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The 20 things you need for the first month home with a newborn baby

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It was Charlie’s 1 month birthday yesterday so I figured I’d recap what I couldn’t have  lived without this last month – besides him. I would have killed to have read this post before I brought him home from the hospital.This is one of those posts that you might not need now, but if you ever plan on having a baby BOOKMARK THIS. Or send it to anyone yo know who is prepping for their first baby.

There is so much that you are told you should register for, so much that you want and think you need but what you ACTUALLY need that first month is very specific. So these 20 things are what I personally bought and have relied heavily on the last 4 weeks.

1. Sydney Diaper Clutch What’s so great about this diaper bag is how cute it is, obviously, (waxed canvas and leather) and the fact that its smaller for more on the go days. That first month if you are breastfeeding, you don’t have a lot of bottles to carry around so you really don’t need a huge bag – just room for a diaper, to-go wipes, an extra onesie, pacifier and the changing pad. The clutch actually turns into a changing pad – all transformer style.

2. BabyMoon Pillow Not sure how necessary this is for everyone, but to combat flat head syndrome we are using this pillow and he likes them.

3. Maxi-Cosi Car Seat I’ll be honest that it’s not like I tried out all of the car seats in the world. I registered at Giggle for this one because it said it was really light. And so far its a huge hit. It’s just simple navy blue so it’s not over decorated and it is really light weight.

4. Co-sleeper  – So for the first month at least we are having little Charlie sleep in this in between us in our bed. We aren’t going to get all family bed on you, but it’s so nice to have him near us but still in his own area with a barrier so we know we can’t roll onto him.  We figure maybe another month of this then move him to a co-sleeper bassinet and then crib at 6 months. But also ANYTHING could change. I have to say I miss cuddling with Brian a lot.

5. Prince Lionheart White Premium Wipes Warmer I mean, if you just got out of the warm womb wouldn’t you want someone using a warm cloth to wash your balls 10 times a day?

6. Nursery Sound Machine – We have a different one, but I love the look of this white noise machine. We use it every night and on some desperate days, too. And of course,  now Brian and I are addicted to white noise because of it. It puts all of us to sleep faster.

7. Boba Wrap Baby Carrier – He’s in the wrap right now while I’m blogging (standing up at the kitchen counter nonetheless). He loves it, I love it. It calms him down and I can still get things done without feeling like a bad mom. Basically it’s just cuddling. I have the Boba but the Moby is good as well.

8. Daiper Pail – Brian doesn’t like how small the hole is (especially as Charlie and his dumps get bigger) but I really like the look of it. Its expensive, I figure we’d have it for 3 years (hopefully less, but I don’t dare put expectations on this little angel).

9. Swaddling Blankets – For the daytime and nighttime inexplicable crying fits. I can’t wait for a doctor somewhere to diagnose why they cry so much for seemingly no reason the first couple months. These swaddles help and these ones are VERY soft, too. We also use them for over the car seat or bassinet because they are really thin but block the sun/germs if we are out.

10. Baby Changer – I bought this wooden top to put on my vintage dresser so the pad stays put – there are brackets on the back that screw into any surface. Its clean, simple and modern.

First Month Essentials

11. New Born Sleep N’ Play Suit We didn’t have nearly enough bunny suits that cover the feet, too. These are inexpensive (like 2 for $8) . Sure, I want the adorable fancy ones but get the expensive ones as gifts and do yourself a favor and buy a bunch of these from Target. This small (newborn) is kinda hard to find so I’d order them online.

12. Bear Ears Hat Obviously he ears aren’t necessary, but neither is me kissing him 95 million times a day. Scratch that. THAT is totally necessary. But basically they lose A TON of heat through their head, and therefore burn a lot of calories trying to keep themselves warm. When they are so little you are dying for them to gain back their birth weight, so have a ton of these all over your house (they fall off constantly) so his noggin is always covered.

13. Monte Design Como Glider – Here was my snobby mistake: I didn’t want a traditional glider because I figured I’d just use my big leather 70’s club chair that is crazy comfortable and looks so cool. My mistake was sitting in this one at the Giggle store in Pasadena while I was shopping there for pacifiers. It’s so GD comfortable and made holding him so easy and rocking him so enjoyable that I couldn’t NOT get it. Brian sat in it, too and freaked out. I’m sure most of them are comfortable, but this one is THE MOST comfortable that I’ve ever sat in probably because of that back cushion. I just ordered it so sadly I didn’t have it for the first month. Do yourself a favor and get a glider. Don’t try to be a snob like me. You just need this thing. And yes, there are so hideously ugly gliders out there, but this one is simple, modern and pretty. I used to think that the back was too high until I sat in it and you want your head supported. I used to think the arms were too low until I sat in it and it was the perfect height to nurse Charlie in. Its simply designed perfectly for the function. I could go on and on (I’ll have it for both kids … I’ll read to them in it until they are 18, etc).

14. Honest Hand Soap – It doesn’t have to be honest, although I like that company certainly, but you will need A TON of anti-bacterial soap all over your house. You will wash your hands 29 times a day and they will get so dried out. So get hand soap with moisturizing components in it and place them all over your house so your filthy guests aren’t getting lazy and not washing them immediately.

15. Nursing Cover – Um, i’m sorry, but did you mean ‘hooter hider’???? I know these are controversial, but here’s my schpeal: When you are first nursing you don’t really know how to do it and there are a LOT of fleshy parts to manuever. You need to be able to see said fleshy parts without a ton of scarf/blanket material in the baby’s face. I’m not embarrassed of these parts but it’s just awkward and your friends and family that come over to see the baby are normally not psyched to see these either. They just aren’t. It doesn’t mean they don’t think that women should be able to vote – its just very intimate and deserves a little bit of deference. These new milk pillows of mine are not these adorable little cute things that are easy to hide . If you have this same problem and you want to breast feed in public without things flopping around, arm yourself with a hooter hider.  Probaby the ugliest and best thing you can buy yourself.

16. Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow – I bought ‘My breast Friend’ and it proved to be too horizontal for me. So this guy lets me prop him up on the side that he’s nursing on and then the rest of his body falls off, so he’s more vertical (which is said to help with digestion and therefore colic).

17. Moses Basket – I love this thing. For the first month they sleep CONSTANTLY. And while of course i try to hold him, nap with him or ‘wear’ him as much as possible, this basket is the perfect little baby catchall. Its so easy to carry from room to room and he seems to love it.

18. Munchkin Lulla-Vibe Vibrating Mattress Pad – This, like the soundmachine, helps put US ALL to sleep. You put it under their crib or cosleeper and it gently vibrates in a really defused matter. Its padded and its shaped like a big paddle so it’s a diffused vibration. We all love it and use it nightly.

19. Puj Tub – Soft Foldable Infant Bath Tub – What I love about this guy is how simple and flexible it is. We are bathing Charlie in our kitchen sink as of now and this tub flexes to fit in there, drains really well and is obviously very attractive. It stores easily, and so far has worked great. Although a note – your cats might watch to use it as a scratching pad especially if they are angry at you for neglecting them because there is a new loud, hair-less cat taking over the house, so don’t leave it on the ground like we did.

20. Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump with Metro Bag – I didn’t know which one to get. Medela is probably considered the best brand although I have no idea why and it’s not like you can try them out. But since I would be pumping constantly for a year I figured that I wanted a reliable brand. Within the Medela family there are a few different options. I got the PIS because you can take it out of the stupid tote bag they give you (why? you think we are going to tote that ugly bag around?) and put it in your much cuter diaper bag. The freestyle is the one that is one level above the PIS which is said to be even more mobile (and more expensive), but this guy has been great so far and is what all my friends chose, too. So if I had to recommend one I feel confidant that this is a good choice (but if anybody is using an inexpensive pump please comment and let us know. The fact that these cost almost $400 is ridiculous.

That’s what I needed this month. So my questions to you are:

1. What am I missing? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

2. What do I need next? What doesn’t come up the first month that does the second?

Fin Mark

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Kat

(8 & 9 are the wrong way around!)

Amber

Some great suggestions here! I love the glider you recommended but it’s priced pretty high. And like you said there are some ugly gliders out there, would you maybe do a post on stylish gliders at every price point? Similar to previous posts about rugs, lights, and curtains?

Kelsey

Hi Amber, here is one my friend just got for her nursery. Not quite as stylish, but still with a modern flair and much more affordable. It’s available in other colors as well. http://www.modernnursery.com/itemsDetail.cfm/JenniferDelongeLuxeNurseryGlider/0/pcid/76/cid/0/item_num/JD-LUXE/more/1

Michelle

Am I reading something wrong? That alternate chair alone seems to only be about $100 less than the one Emily shared…? Just wondering if I glossed over something 🙂

Emily

just noticed that, too. the problem with doing a roundup is that you cant actually test drive most of these chairs. even a lot of pbkids or restoration hardware arent in their stores…. but i’ll work on it…

Anna

I ordered a Monte glider that I’m super excited about. Hopefully it’ll arrive before my baby does in 2 weeks! After I’d already ordered mine I saw one at a West Elm store that is actually VERY comfortable, has a high back and quite a bit cheaper.
http://www.westelm.com/products/graham-glider-g667/?pkey=e%7Cglider%7C2%7Cbest%7C0%7Cviewall%7C24%7C%7C1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

Amber

Thanks for the recommendation!

West Elm has a simple gray velvet glider for fairly reasonable and it’s been on sale a ton. I splurged on it when on sale because it could double in any room later. It’s super comfy and I love it.

Melanie

Hi-

I am having a baby in March & I got the Graham Glider (& ottoman) from West Elm. It looks similar to this one and is really comfortable! I waited for a sale and got both items for 20% off. Hope this helps!

Jessica

I got the Graham glider as well and it’s very comfortable, great for nursing, and also big enough to hold my older daughter on my lap while we read. I just checked and it’s currently on sale.

Hey there- I’m due in July, and was just checking out Target’s gliders. They have some mod ones in the $300-800 and a large variety of colors.

Molly

We got this one from Target and LOVE it:
http://www.target.com/p/little-castle-charleston-swivel-glider-solid/-/A-14236165

I could have done with slightly more modern lines, but it is super comfy and quiet and very good quality if you are on a budget!

LDK

I am a big fan of the Monte brand and love what they do But there is an American made company that is just as great. The company BEST Chairs makes quality, affordable chairs great for nursing and mid-night rocking. Check out their story time series. I’m a huge fan of their Rena Chair and Ayla Chair. http://www.besthf.com/best/Storytime/Chairs

I have this glider and LOVE it! It’s priced at $399, but I was able to go in store when it was on sale, use a 20% off coupon and apply for the Babies R Us card and get an additional percentage off for that which brought the price down a ton from even that. It’s so comfy and it glides and swivels. The cutest and best glider ever!

Nikki

Speaking of gliders, does anyone have a recommendation on types of materials (other than leather) that are easiest to clean (i.e. spit up)? I notice that the west elm graham glider comes in tons of different fabric options, but am curious if one holds up better to the newborn “elements”.

Amber

Some great suggestions here! I’m due in May so I’m starting to set up for the baby. I love the glider you recommended but it’s priced pretty high. And like you said there are some ugly gliders out there, would you maybe do a post on stylish gliders at every price point? Similar to previous posts about rugs, lights, and curtains?

just posted above, but thought this could help you: check out Target’s gliders. They have some mod ones in the $300-800 and a large variety of colors. You can also buy a cheap arm chair (or thrift one) and add a glider or rocker bottom:
http://interiorsbykenz.com/ikea-hack-strandmon-rocker-diy-wingback-rocking-chair/
http://mtjrt.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/diy-rocking-chair-from-consignment-upholstered-regular-chair/

Rachel

We loved the Miracle Blanket and SwaddleMe wraps for swaddling. Our sweet boy wiggled out of all the other blankets.

I also use a diaper caddy to keep my changing supplies organized on my changing table. Plus, it made for easy diaper changes in rooms other than the nursery.

When he starts sleeping in his crib, check out Clouds and Stars zipper sheets – SO MUCH easier to change than regular crib sheets!

Congratulations!

Excellent roundup! For the first month, I was really REALLY happy to have some HPA Lanolin (I used the Lansinoh brand) to sooth nipples and of course nursing pads, too.

Lisa

I second this. I actually found an empty box on the store shelf once -some woman was so desperate -she stole the stuff.

Lindsey

I almost snort laughed my morning coffee out my nose at #5!

#9 Swaddling Blankets – Have you read, or ever heard any talk about, the book ‘The Happiest Baby on the Block’? It’s one docs theory about why babies (mainly ones with colic, but it applies to all in my opinion) cry so much during the first three months and how beneficial and MAGICAL swaddling is. My two (ages 3 1/2 & 9 mo.) didn’t have colic, but it worked wonders getting them to settle and they both began sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and haven’t stopped. They were both swaddled tight during every sleep time until 6 mo. READ IT!

He’s adorable, by the way. Enjoy!

Emily

yep. read it. its awesome. and we are doing all of them…

Amelia

Thanks for the post, E! I am due early Feb and it has been a joy and comfort to read you go through the process a few weeks a head of me. 1) I’m glad you posted about the nursing cover. I have been hesitant to get one because truly, SO UG. But the points you make seem right on. 2) I hope you’ll do a post on style/feeding. I am more scared of what comes up when I type “breast feeding top” into Pinterest than I am of labor and delivery. My thought now is Madewell button ups… How do I get through this breast feeding year without completely loosing my self/dignity/style!?

Bab

Amelia, I just made a nursing cover like the one featured for my daughter, with fabric that she chose. They are easy to make if you have some minimal sewing skills and there are free patterns on-line. You could make up a ‘wardrobe’ of nursing covers that you like if you are going to breast feed in public a lot for the next year. Or maybe you have a relative that likes to sew for you?

(In my day, we just used diapers or receiving blankets to cover up.)

Emily

but in yours do they have the wire? Its all about the wire … that way you can see down without the blanket in the way.

Sarah

Loved the “doesn’t mean women shouldn’t me able to vote” line.

Haha this killed me. too funny

Hi Emily! You are so freaking adorable! I think you pretty much covered it – except I really, really loved a fleece swaddle blanket, like this one here: http://www.diapers.com/p/halo-sleepsack-swaddle-microfleece-16288 It had to be fleece – the cotton ones would not stay closed for some reason – my son, Maddox, would wriggle his chubby little hands out in no time. They start doing that anyway as they get older – it is hilarious to wake up and see them with their hands sticking out of the blanket next to their face, haha. After a while you can’t stop them, but you can use these with his arms out to keep him warm. Probably not in month two, but more like month 4 – 6 (it is hard to remember with 2 kids under 5 and working full time – mama mush brain and all) – but we switched to a wearable blanket to keep them warm and snuggly. Putting blankets on your baby just doesn’t work – these are safe and warm. You can get one to match for you and Brian too – you know, the SNUGGY? I’d like to see a pick of all three of you decked out… Read more »

Tara

When nursing our twins I kept the MotherLove nipple cream nearby constantly!! It’s olive oil based, so it doesn’t have to be washed off before nursing like lanolin creams! solved cracking and itching.

Tara
Nik

Lanolin creams dont have to be washed off for nursing and shouldnt be. MotherLove makes a good cream nevertheless…

Cheryl

I found a how-to on Pinterest awhile ago on how to convert a regular upholstered chair into a glider, and was very intrigued by it. Haven’t tried it myself (no babies on the way), but it could be a more affordable way to convert a chair you like into a glider.

http://honeyandfitz.com/2011/06/15/converting-an-upholstered-chair-into-a-swivel-glider/

Emily

Ha! Yep. I tried that. I got the rocker part online and tried it and it rocked so violently. So then I was about to order the$275 glider part when I realized that converting the chair would take hours of ‘dude’ labor which costs money right now. I still might do it to the leather chair so i have an awesome glider for the living room, but still the proportions are off for breast feeding. I will let you guys know if it works, though. Just hesitant to spend another $275 if it doesn’t work …. But if it does then it will be like the best blog post ever …

Andrea

I dont know about your area, but here in Northern Cali the thrift shops are FILLED with those hideous grandma glider/recliners covered in wide wale “velvet” for under $25. I bought one just for the glider assembly on the bottom to make my own glider chair for our living room. Turned out great…and cheap too!

Cheryl- we used that link as inspiration to do ours, and it worked out great!
http://bowdenisms.blogspot.com/2011/11/baby-bs-new-digs.html

Emily

Courtney your nursery is soooo cute! I need to try the glider thing, for sure. Even for another room in the house.

i second the double breast pump. i got a single with my first and i have the double now and it’s a world of difference!

Lisa

What is the best item for a friend to get a new mom? A lot of these items are personal and may not be on the registry. I ordered dinner for one friend which she loved as a new mom stuck at home, but other ideas are appreciated!

Emily

Yep. I’m doing that post – gifts to give new moms. Stay tuned 🙂

Nicole M.

I am looking forward to this post! My best friend is welcoming a sweet baby boy in May, so I am definitely searching for ideas. Since I am not a mom, I am clueless…and I want to get something that is useful for both mom/dad and babe. Most gifts are for the baby (which makes sense), but mom/dad deserve something, too!!

Emily, CONGRATS on your gorgeous baby boy! Just wanted to let you know that your insurance should cover that breast pump. I got mine while still in the hospital after delivery. The hospital billed the insurance company, and I never saw a charge. I think the new Affordable Care Act requires this, so definitely look into it! 🙂

Tana

I second that. I had to pick my jar up off the floor after finding out that there was actually something FREE from insurance. It was super easy too. I just called my insurance while I was pregnant, they sent me a list of approved breast pump supply companies, and I ordered a really nice Medela pump from one of them. A few other helpful things I’ve learned in the past few months with a newborn: Soothie pacifiers and the wubbanub pacifier. The wubbbunub was such an impulse buy because it was ridiculously cute (and seemed unnecessary), but my baby LOVES it because he can hold on to it even with his lacking hand/eye coordination. And did I mention they’re so freaking cute?! I also recommend setting up an account on diapers.com. They have free next day delivery and TONS of stuff. You won’t be getting out of the house much so having your account on lock with them is key. And if you go through ebates.com on your first order you can get a really great discount. For swaddling, my baby loved the swaddle designs receiving blankets. There’s something about them — they’re super soft and have just the… Read more »

Emily

WHAT????? But I already bought it!! I’m calling today. Thanks so much for the tip. That totally makes sense.

I bought the wubbanub pacifier and Charlie is knocking it out of his mouth constantly. I think he’ll like it better once he has more control of his parts.

Diapers.com is very smart. We do honest diapers which i like, too.

Kelley

I’m 99.9% sure that as long as you kept the receipt for your breastpump, you can fax a copy of that and some form of Charlie’s birth record (ss#, birth certificate or something) to your insurance company and they will mail you a check for the cost of the pump.

Sarah

My insurance covered Medela Freestyle in full – I was shocked to be honest. My doctor called it in like you would a prescription to a medical device store in town. I had heard you could only get it after the baby was born but that was incorrect – I was able to pick it up in my third trimester. My understanding it is part of the Affordable HeathCare Act – so most if not all insurance companies are now required to cover it. I just wish more people knew about this – someone told me in passing when I complaining about the cost.

Second month things that were helpful for us –

1) pacifiers. Once you’ve got your nursing relationship down you might find that it’s nice to have a soothing option that isn’t your boob. Like, when you have to take a shower. Or pee.

2) A rocker/chair/bouncer. I loved our bassinet, but our daughter had a bit of reflex so sitting up was a big help. Also nice for when baby can actually start to look around a little bit. It’s nice to get one that reclines when baby is sleeping. Ours was a maclaren, but this one from giggle is nice and neutral http://www.giggle.com/on-the-go-gear/bouncers/bloom-Coco-Go-Lounger/U1608,default,pd.html?start=1&cgid=on-the-go-gear-bouncers

3) You are probably going to want more of a structured carrier as he gets bigger. I’d recommend the Ergo or the Beco gemini (he can face out or in in the Beco) I don’t recommend Baby Bjorns – they aren’t great for hip development, or your back.

Glad things are going well for you guys and congrats!

Emily

Good to know about the bjorn. Right now we got gifted the bjorn and the stokke and so far haven’t needed either because he is so small, but will probably return the bjorn.

ergo for sure. you can even get an infant insert. i’m on my third kid and my first two are 14mths apart (and yes, we planned that. and no, i don’t know what we were thinking). wraps are great for your first kid but you need something you can put on fast with your second kid. also, ergo is so much better for your back. it’s like a hiking backpack with a kid instead of a sleeping bag. kids are way better than sleeping bags. 😉

Emily

We loved our ergo, too!!! Our son grew like crazy so we only used the infant insert only until he was 10ish weeks. The ergo itself served us well until he was nearly 2 years old. It was super-easy for either my husband or I to wear. We had the performance version, which is made of more breathable fabrics so no one was hot and uncomfortable. We are huge, HUGE fans!!!

We also love our Ergo! I can carry my son around for 4 times the amount if time as the Bjorn since it distributes the weight so well! Though the Bjorn was great sun he was lighter, or if he wanted to face out. I used the ergo when going to restaurants and he’d fall asleep the whole time. Not now!

Julie

We actually used our Ergo as a hiking backpack until my son was FIVE years old! Dad would strap kiddo on his back when he got tired coming back from a long trail climb. The Ergo was the single best purchase we ever made for our child, hands down. Two other suggestions: something else we used until grade school was a rear-view mirror that clips under a car mirror so you can see what your little bundle of joy is up to while driving. A dishwasher basket for all the little things (bottle parts, toys, pacis, snack containers, etc.). We still use ours and our kid is in fourth grade.

mary

Great stuff!

I would read a little about the ‘hygiene hyphothesis’ before going too nuts with the anti-bac. Or maybe ask your doctor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hygiene_hypothesis

Jessica

As a microbiologist, I agree and don’t recommend antibacterial soap. But the Honest soap you linked to doesn’t contain antibiotics anyway (does not contain triclosan, the major antibiotic used in personal care products), so there you go!

Emma Alden

As a physician I also agree and recommend steering clear of anti-bacterial soap and heavy use of anti-bacterial cleaning products throughout your home. A child’s immune system needs germs to practice on!

Anya

Things that I used regularly the first month that aren’t on your list:
1. pacifiers (i know this isn’t for every baby, but both of mine were OBSESSED)
2. lanolin for cracked nipples (no one tells you how destroyed your nipples get in the first few weeks)
3. what to expect when you’re expecting (as a new mom, i was a bit paranoid, and constantly read this book to see if what I was experiencing was “normal”…I didn’t use it as much with my second child)
4. several 7lbs and under baby clothes (these were really only necessary for the first few weeks, but although both my babies were over 8lbs at birth, they were WAY too small for newborn clothes at first)

Other than those, I completely agree with nearly everything you posted.

Emily

All very good additions. I just bought our first pacifiers and LOVE THEM. And yes on the nipple cream, too.

Cindy

I would add burp cloths to this list. It is impossible to have too many. The old-fashioned rectangular cloth diapers are the best. Also easy to embellish and make into a gift, but even just plain-jane, they are life-savers. Shout stain remover. Baby poop stains badly, no matter if the baby is on formula or breast. What is up with that, babies? What Makes a Rainbow, by Betty Ann Schwartz. I read to my boys from the beginning, and this was one of the few books they really could “see.” Bright colors and large shapes, maybe? If a baby is having trouble latching-on, buy a contact nipple shield, like this: http://www.diapers.com/p/medela-contact-nipple-shield-309954. Do not wait. Buy several. These things saved us with my first baby, but I didn’t learn about them until it was almost too late. As my babies got onto more regular feeding schedules, I was glad NOT to have a wipe warmer. Here’s what happened: I was breast-feeding and needed my baby to eat on both sides, but often he would eat on one side and fall asleep, then wake up an hour later hungry, eat on one side, fall asleep, wake up an hour later… hello, maddeningly… Read more »

I did the switch a roo with the diaper change added in too! It was to wake them up and to try to make sure they didn’t poop right as they fell asleep! Such a good tip. Also i found if you did each feeding on both boobs, it kept them balanced and I didn’t have to keep track of which side they had fed on last.

Maria

Does anyone find that the hooter hider/nursing cover draws more attention in public? Like ‘hey everyone, don’t mind me..I’m just wearing a giant apron’ than say a muslin blanket? My due date is next week, so I’m not sold on either but luckily I’m on the east coast, so having by fleshy parts out in public won’t really be an issue for me for another month or two.

I also second the tip of going through your insurance company for a breast pump. They covered 70% of mine.

Emily

They suck, don’t get me wrong. But you can actually see your baby because there is a wire shower curtain basically around your neck. the blankets get in their face or you have to literally go under the blanket with them to adjust everthing. it looks RIDICULOUS. The best situation is if you have smallish boobs and you are a pro at nursing – then just do it without anything covering it. I just can’t seem to manage that right now.

Jenna
Emily M

I had the traditional nursing cover with my first baby, but I just decided I am going to make a nursing poncho to use with our 2nd baby. There are a ton of tutorials online. What I like about the poncho is that your back is covered! I hope it will be as comfortable for me as many women claim they are, and hopefully less eye-catching than my previous cover.

Molly

The regular nursing cover worked like a charm for the first three months and then my little guy decided he HATED having that thing over him and would spend each in-public nursing session trying to throw it off or grab it and pull it off, so I switched to one from covered goods. It’s a super soft knit and I can bunch it up so that it covers everything the baby doesn’t, but it doesn’t get in my little guys’s way. Or I can cover him if need be (If I’m somewhere that’s a little more sensitive to breastfeeding.) An infinity scarf works well for that too, but the Cover Goods cover folds down small and is washable–most of my scarves are not.

http://www.coveredgoods.com

Lisa

Love your must-haves….and agree with all! I am sure you use these a ton already, but maybe didn’t mention them….burp cloths!? I went through a zillion a day and the more they “eat” (drink), the more they spit up (lol).

These are my fav by aden & anais — they never slide off of my shoulder like the regular rectangle ones do:

http://www.giggle.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-giggle-Site/default/Product-Show?pid=0004092076&kpid=0004092076&gclid=CI-uj9fG8bsCFeHm7AodKikAEA

Emily

Funnily enough he doesn’t spit up really (YET) so i haven’t needed them. But i have a huge stack ready to go. 🙂

Nik

My baby spit up for the first time at 7 months! I was prepared though.

Barb

1. Cushy closer on esty. Make my anxious mama self feel better knowing that I can close his door while he is asleep and not worry I will accidently wake him.
2. Nosefrida. Gross concept. But it is superior to the bulb syringe and easier to clean. I promise you will not suck baby boogers into your mouth. There is a filter and the snot never touches it. I resisted getting this until my little guy got his first real cold, don’t wait like I did.

I may need to convince my husband we need that glider for our second baby, it sounds AMAZING!

S

My kids are too old for it now, but several friends have raved about the nosefrida.

S

I would strongly encourage you to find a moms’ group with new moms with babies Charlie’s age.
No one can understand your life like someone experiencing it at the same time. It’s a very unique sisterhood. I would have never considered it really, but someone invited me to join a group she was starting….I’m still meeting these women 8 years later!

Emily

I’m looking for the right one (mommy group) now 🙂
Also very intrigued by the cushy closer and the nose frida …

Huntington Hospital in Pasadena has a great Mommy and Me program – I think Tuesday mornings? At least, that’s what it was back in the day when my oldest was born. I think it starts when the babes are six or eight weeks old.

Emily

Oh, thanks! And thats close, too.

Rachelle bell

Everyone is obsessed with Babies First Class on ventura blvd. i know its a little far from you but I have never heard so many people tell me its great… and I’m due in May. Already signed up. 🙂

Kelley

Yes, completely agree with the NoseFrida! We got it for my first (now 3) after several tried and failed alternatives. She hated every option equally (save for the insanely loud Graco battery-operated one.. she hated that one the most) but it was definitely the most effective and a complete life-saver. After the first try with it, you’re completely over the ick-factor. We’re on our third baby now (due in 3 weeks!) and I plan on purchasing another for this guy. Best $15 I’ve ever spent!

Hi Emily,

So happy to see Babymoon as #2 on your list! Isn’t it great? My friend Kelly (mom of 2) is the designer/owner of it. Definitely letting her know that you are using her product! She’ll be so thrilled.

Keep bloggin; love reading it!
Jane

Sheri

Hey there Emily!

I totally agree that the Sleep N Play outfits with the footies are essential and that the not-as-cute ones are a handy moneysaver, since you need a BUNCH of them. What I found was that i especially loved the ones that closed with a zipper like so:

http://www.target.com/p/gerber-newborn-3-pack-snap-front-sleep-n-play-navy/-/A-14359507?reco=Rec|pdp|14359507|ClickEV|item_page.vertical_1&lnk=Rec|pdp|ClickEV|item_page.vertical_1

Woah that’s an ugly URL (thanks Target!) Anyway, the zipper made the barely conscious diaper changes in the wee hours of the morning a little quicker with a newborn who was INSENSED to be even partially naked (another thing I thought made sense after months of cozy womb lounging). Trying to get those snaps lined up on a wiggling and SQUALLING little one when I felt almost drunken from lack of sleep…let’s just say I was at the Target hunting for more zippered Sleep N Plays on my first maternity leave trip outta the house 🙂

Tanya

Totally second the Medela Pump. My baby had to be in a hospital for the whole first month of his life, so I pumped like a madwoman (and then, later, after I went back to work). At hospital you could rent different machines, and Medela was just a hand-down winner. The way it’s designed, it was super convenient to pump at work during my breaks, since I didn’t have much time at all, and had to cram everything back into the bag and know it won’t be a hot (cold?) mess in the evening when I get home.

Charlie is absolutely adorable, and so are you when you talk about him (not that you needed to get any more adorable than you were before)

laurel

Hey Emily! I’ll throw in my input: first, a washable cover for the glider. I run a house cleaning business in Seattle and am a new mom myself and I can tell you that spit up stains are STUBBORN. After a few months, that chair will be covered and it’s not a good look! Also, buy clothes for him in advance. Babies grow in spurts and I can’t even count the number of times I’ve pulled something out of the clean laundry stack that fit my son a few days or a week ago and it’s suddenly miniature. Having clothes the next size up at the ready has been a lifesaver. I also agree with the comments about zippers over snaps, especially early on. My son absolutely hated diaper and clothing changes until about 4 months or so (he’s still not a big fan, but he no longer screams in my face every time) and the faster the clothing is to put on, the better! Lastly, this book has been the most invaluable tool for the first year of parenting: http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Basics-A—Z/dp/0060535482/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389288823&sr=8-1&keywords=michel+cohen It’s a baby manual. It helped us with all the major milestones and changes and also to embrace the… Read more »

Emily

I’m so going to buy that book. In fact i’m going to do a baby book roundup! Ordering now …

Jen N
Rachelle bell

Which do you recommend for after bringing up bebe? its linking to that. I want to read it…!

E

I second The New Basics! I’m still referring to it from time to time and my oldest is 6! The author is a ped. in Manhattan who is used to dealing with Type A moms – he makes it really easy to determine when to worry and when to CTFD. 🙂

Jen N

Hi Emily,

Thanks for the post. I have been admiring the blue knit blanket wrapped around Charlie in your “Promises to Charlie” post. It looks attractive and soft! Can you share the details of that blanket?

Thanks!

Jen

Emily

Its from Dwell Studio. Its super soft and warm so its our go-to for the serious cuddle sessions. xx

This is a great list. My daughter is 3 now, so I can add a few things! Mei Tai carrier – When Charlie gets too big for the Boba wrap, you will need a new carrier. Most people opt for Ergo, which is a GREAT carrier. However, I used a BabyHawk mei tai-style carrier. The reason I loved this carrier was because it offered similar support as an Ergo, but if I didn’t want to use it, it rolled up into a little ball and fit into my purse. We love being out and about on the weekend and this made it incredibly easy because a) strollers in crowded areas are a pain in the ass, b) if we wanted to stop for lunch or something, I could put her in the high chair and wad up the carrier and shove it in my purse. There are other mei tai carriers, but I liked BabyHawk because you can customize colors/prints. I ended up with a $1000 Bugaboo stroller that I only used like the first 2 or 3 months of her life. Oops. Cute tote bag to act as purse AND diaper bag – I absolutely hated toting a bunch… Read more »

cynthia

You know what is pretty awesome? Bouncing on an exercise ball while cradling your precious bundle in your arms. This is how we settled my second and got her to that magic *almost* asleep state before putting her in the crib. (Then once you put Charlie in the crib, you can do an ab workout. Bam! Hello, six-pack!)

Emily

Yes, i’m ordering the ball now. My god, you just need a lot of things don’t you????

Kerri

Love this post! I bought the Monte glider for my first five years ago and still use it for my second – I absolutely love it! It’s also easy to clean. It was a splurge, but I also thought I would be able to resell on Craigslist when I am ready to part with it. [Same logic I use for all big price tag items!]

Next up:
– Sleep sack. My children were done with the swaddle by 6 weeks. Sleep sacks are great because they are safe and keep them warm all night. We have the Anais + Anais, but Baby Deedee is my favorite. http://www.babydeedee.com/
– Pacifier. Avent always worked well for us (still do).
– Microwaveable steam bags to clean everything.
– Hands free pumping bra. They look and feel a bit strange, but you’ll be able to work on your blog while pumping!
– Pack and Play. I wasn’t sure I would need one at first and bought mine second hand. It’s great for visiting friends/family and short trips.

Ann

You can get a free breast pump with your insurance. I got the Medela Pump In Style Advanced and love it.

Hill

I love reading all of your posts. It’s nice read from someone who’s got such style AND humor. I get you! I’m in Giggle all the time in Pasadena…I live walking distance so I stroll by there with baby in the stroller all the time! Anyway… other items I love: A SLING Maya wrap/sling. I have the moby and Ergo…but sometimes this sling was really cool because it was fast & easy!! https://www.mayawrap.com/ A BLANKY Gotta have a blanky! My son loves his by Little Giraffe. Kinda pricey for a little cloth, but they are so soft and he’s obsessed with his. We started giving it to him around 3 months…but you can always do it earlier. He totally soothes himself with it by rubbing it on his face or with his hands and rubs the tag on his lips!! I heard many babies are attached to those tag labels on LG items. But here’s an important note… GET MORE THAN ONE BLANKY AND INTERCHANGE THEM. That’s my biggest mistake. After he was attached to it I had my friend who works for LG get him a few more…but he refuses them. Even though they are just alike. A friend… Read more »

Hill

OH and the Nose Frida – FANTASTIC!

Julie

Yes, I second the NoseFriede!

Colleen

Congrats on Charlie! Due with #4 here in about 7 weeks (give or take). Just had to say…..”milk pillows”? Dying. My one item that I can’t live without over the course of the 1st 6 mos or so is the Maclaren Rocker. Check it out. It’s my my go to shower gift 😉

Jodi

Re: the expensive breast pump…the new affordable care act mandates that breast pumps are covered by all health insurances – you should look into getting reimbursed, or for soon-to-be-mom’s purchasing a pump through your hospital or doctor!

LOVE this list!! As a mom of twin girls, I agree with so many of your recommendations. I wanted to add some tips for natural, pure, toxin-free baby products (lotions, creams, shampoo, etc). You recommend one of my FAVORITE baby brands: The Honest Company. Love them. Their hand soap isn’t a traditional “antibacterial” because it doesn’t contain triclosan.. which is good. You wash your hands a lot – so avoid anything with triclosan (i.e.: Dial antibacterial liquid soap, Soft Soap). The FDA finally announced a potential ban on this ingredient for it’s potential harmful effects. Here’s an article I wrote for more info: http://live-clear.com/harm-good-antibacterial-soap-home/
Another great baby product brand to look at is California Baby. Natural, pure, and works really well. I used on our twins when they were born, and still use (they are 5!!). It’s my standard baby gift 🙂
Congratulations… love the sweet pictures of Charlie.

Emily

Good to know. I had heard about the ban but didn’t have too much of that anti-bacterial myself. When people put that on their hands it always seemed weird to me – like great, now i just have a bunch of chemicals on my hand?

SHoitsma

Yes to the Nosefrida! It is the BEST. Also, as you and Charlie become more experienced with nursing, the large scarves will work better. Surprisingly I found that a lightweight, boxy sweater worked better than anything with buttons for nursing on the go (the usual stuff PLUS many flights the first year). Baby goes under sweater and scarf is draped over baby’s body to hide any coverage gaps at the midriff. With skinny jeans, the sweater works to disguise any pooch…

Amy L.

We used the Baby Whisperer. Our first was a crying machine. Helped a bunch. Loved this book…http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Whisperer-Solves-Your-Problems/dp/0743488946/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389293523&sr=8-1&keywords=the+baby+whisperer

When babies start to eat regular food, the diaper pail stink isn’t suitable for the nursery, ours lives in the garage.

Charlie’s adorable, congrats to you and Brian.

Emily

Just ordered it. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations!

Yes to the glider! I am always trying to tell design-minded people that YOU NEED THE GLIDER EVEN IF IT ISN’T PRETTY, and people don’t listen until the baby arrives. And yes to the high neck and arms. I’d also add a little side table with the glider; nursing makes you very thirsty.

As they get older: our exersaucer and jumper/bouncer were great. My oldest would jump up and down in the jumper for like an hour straight.

Regarding diaper bags: it can become tempting to just use the diaper bag all the time, even when the kid isn’t with you, because your stuff is in it and you’re in a hurry. Put all your personal things in a pretty little pouch, and then you can just grab the pouch and throw it in a pretty bag when you get to go out as a grown-up person.

Kathryn

I lovelovelove my Maya sling wrap. Easy to use, stylish and not bulky. Used it daily for my daughter until about 18 months (we ride the bus to work/daycare together). Also, I got a hand-me-down hand pump (Medela) and think it’s great to have in a pinch. Cheap and I could leave my electric pump at work.

Page

Man, it is one of the cruel tricks of life that big boobs — the ones that *look* like ideal “milk pillows” — make breastfeeding notably more challeging. What are big knockers for, if not for fulfilling their main official function? Getting motorboated, as far as I can tell. Beyond that I am out of answers.

Second month you can bust out some high-contrast black-and-white little board books, to kid yourself that you and your child are reading together? And, if you have a tablet, do you have a stand for it? When I was pinned under a nursing baby, this thing was a lifesaver: http://www.amazon.com/Arkon-Portable-Fold-Up-Toshiba-IPM-TAB1/dp/B000CKVOOY/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1389294127&sr=1-2&keywords=ipad+stand Lastly, by the third month C. might be ready for a Bumbo or some other kind of supported baby seat, so you might look into that. Some are hideous to look at, but they free you up so much (and you use them for such a short time) that I hardly cared.

Jenny

Congratulations on gorgeous Charlie! I’ve just had a little boy myself, and am AMAZED at how over the moon I am with him. Not that I wasn’t with my first (a girl), but wow…little boys and their mamas. That kid’s going to be able to get away with murder. My son is 8 months old so we’re well into that “next phase” you’re asking about. My daughter is almost 6 (YIKES…) and there are a lot of things that we did with her that we’re repeating with our son, and a few new favorites: – Jammies from Hanna Andersson (the “night night baby sleepers): Hanna clothes aren’t really my style, but the zipper jammies are the very best. My son is re-using ones from my daughter (they’re still in amazing shape). They are not flame retardant, which has become more important to me…just don’t want those chemicals near my kids. Most importantly: THEY ZIP. No snaps…I cannot tell you how great this is, especially because I have a little man on the go and have to perform acrobatic feats of dressing and changing daily. Screw snaps. Hate them. – Honest diapers: I see you’re using these already, but we LOVE… Read more »

I used that exact hooter hider (ugh) a lot with baby #2 because I didn’t have the option to always go into a privater spot to feed him since I was keeping up with kid 1 (BTW, Nordstroms all have great nursing/changing rooms).

Get a woombie – Charlie will be busting out of the swaddle sooner than you thing and yet he will still have the startle reflex. I LOVED The woombie. When he gets good at sitting up you will love an exersaucer. It keeps them entertained and in one spot.

Toys – I got a clip on toy bar – Tiny Love Take Along Arch in Sunny Day which is fantastic – it goes on the Moses Basket, on the car seat – anywhere. Also the Skwish toy and Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes.

Melanie Price

COLIC CALM!! Sold only at CVS. Homeopathic and amazing!! I know, I know-you may be thinking, ‘Isn’t that just gripe water’? Hells no. My girlfriends and I call it ‘Liguid Gold’ and we give it to EVERY new mom!! I have had friends thank me over and over for this shower gift. You may need it…you may not. But if you do-you will probs Google me JUST so you can find my info and call to say “Oh meeer God…THANK YOU”! And then you will do a happy dance and sing praises to heaven.
This stuff is for colic, gassy tummies, reflux, etc…The only warning I do have for it is that is looks like ink going down and when le bebe burbs…well, the spit is dark blue. Weird? Yes. Happy baby? Hells yes. Safe? BIG YES!
My daughter is 2.6 years old and we have used it here and there if she has bad gas…or as she puts it, ‘Toots Mama’.
Cheers Emily!! Great post.

Emily

I’m going to buy it right now. He probably isn’t colic but yes, lots of unexplained crying … So thank you so much!!!

Chelsea

I must second the colic calm! It is a lifesaver product! I was so hesitant to give my boy anything that wasn’t from me, it felt wrong for some reason, like I should be able to provide everything he needed and I was failing if I couldn’t. But the times when he couldn’t get to sleep or was very fussy, colic calm always gave him relief. After a lot of reading I believe a breast feeding mothers dairy intake has a lot to do with unexplained crying. Very interesting topic. Once I eliminated dairy from my diet (in whole form, I didn’t look at lables) sleep got better and crying almost disappeared. Oh, and now I know how dairy affects me too, I had no idea. Amazing.

Laura

Once you get more confident with the latching process and all that, it’s easy to nurse in public if you layer your clothes the right way. I like a nursing tank under a t-shirt or top without buttons. The top layer gets pulled up and then you just unclip the tank and latch on. Baby’s head covers the teeny bit of nipple that is exposed, and if he unlatches for whatever reason, the t-shirt can quickly be brought back down a bit. I’ve been feeding my daughter like this for months now and I have to say it’s much easier than a cover. Also, the longer you feed in public, the less you will care. At least, that’s been the case for me. Good luck!

Lauren

totally agree.

Emily

Totally agree. Target has good nursing tanks and I LIVED in them for the first 8 months. I layered exactly as described above. I bought several right after I had my son and then bought them all again in a smaller size when he was 3-4 months old. Completely worth it.

Melody

PEEKABOO- nursing tops that is. 🙂

I have a 5 month old and when I got back from the hospital after her birth I realized that my “nursing appropriate’ clothes were null.

Now, I can’t live without these tops: http://studio-peekaboo.com/store/item.php?id=1&color=1

They are so comfortable and cute, and it’s very easy to nurse with them anytime anywhere, (i.e. on a plane, no one can tell you’re nursing). I’ve never looked back! I seriously wear them every day. Peek a Boo also offers lots of other styles.

Worth the price, they ship from Israel for free and are on your doorstep in only THREE days. Amazon also sells for a slightly lower price, though the shopping is not free and seems to take a tiny bit longer than ordering directly from them.

Butt Paste. I know. I didn’t believe, either, but it’s a miracle worker: http://www.buttpaste.com/. Lusa Organics also makes a nice Booty Balm: http://www.lusaorganics.com/natural-handmade-organic-baby-skin-care-booty-balm-p/booty-option1.htm. And Lusa is made in WI, by a local mama. Great company all around. My friend also made me a ton of cute burp cloths, which were nice to mop up puke, etc. Make sure to get a nice balm for your lady bits – it was nice to have after pumping. Those suckers dry out.

Lynn Jimenez

Hi emily- first I love your work. I pin it all the time and want you to influence our home! Second- yes get a breastpump from you insurance… If you are out of the country look on eBay! Other tips:
Baby blanket sleeper total must- it looks like a zip up fleece baby bag
Love the medela pump. I just pump into bottles then pour into bags to reduce the number of bags I use
Ergo carrier is my preference of bjorn. More comfortable, has a shade which I use to cover myself to nurse in public and had a pocket for phone keys wallet etc.
A must is a good nursing bra! My co-worker tuned me into the basics by bravada. It’s sold at target. Very comfy but also pretty thin. I have huge nipples and it is sometimes a little awkward;)
Onset of teething… Soffie giraffe or another teether, your nipples can’t/shouldn’t take the pain
Microwave sterilizer I use dr brown
Toys:). Projection light… Things for them to focus on and manipulate

Love the posts!!!
Lynn

Nicole

Hi Emily, I always love your posts!.
I’m now about 6 months prego so definitely enjoying the baby updates and information. There is so much to consider and purchase that I don’t even know where to begin. This post definitely helps me get started. Thanks again!

Lauren

A bouncer was pretty critical for us the first few month so our son could sit up and interact with us when he wasn’t in the ergo or his bassinet. He liked the vibrating function, but once he was old enough to kick his legs and rock himself we dubbed him “buck” because he loved bucking so much. Happy mommying!

Ali H

My son is 10 weeks old and loves sitting in his BabyBjorn Balance bouncer. Around 7 weeks he got bored with laying on his back all the time and wanted to see what was going on! The toy is great too as it encourages grasping. And the design is simple and not too babyish.

This is a great list, Emily. A glider (and ottoman) is at the top of my list, too. We have the one from West Elm.

Jonica

Just a quick note about places to save money, and one next month suggestion:

1. Some new moms choose to rent a breast pump instead of purchasing. You pay a monthly fee and return when done. Only for moms that are comfortable with the idea.

2. Check local baby/parent listservs classified section and you can often find things that are in good condition but half the price, like swings, gliders, carriers, highchairs, strollers, etc. (At least this is what a lot of Brooklyn mommies do, may not be the same everywhere)

Some people swear by the swing for newborn babies (0-3 mo), but that probably also depends on the baby.

3. Emily if you don’t already have one, you may want to consider an activity mat to use for the next few months. He can start doing tummy time or just hanging out and start learning to use his body and interact with the world. Babies end up living on the floor.

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