We’ve reached the 6 week mark with our third daughter, Polly, and now that we’re in a groove with sleeping, nursing and hormones have even balanced out, I wanted to share a few of my favorite newborn necessities. Some I have used with all three of our girls and some we have become converted to in these last few weeks. The 4th trimester is no joke and while it’s easy to accumulate so much unnecessary baby gear, I 100% recommend all of the items here–all things we have purchased ourselves.
No. 1 Rock ‘n Play | No. 2 DockATot | No. 3 MamaRoo | No. 4 Summer Infant Insert | No. 5 Fawn Design Diaper Bag | No. 6 Target Jammies | No. 7 Nipple Butter | No. 8 Windi | No. 9 Gel Pads | No. 10 Baby Monitor | No. 11 Calming Lotion | No. 12 Sound Machine | No. 13 Madewell Button Downs | No. 14 Nursing Bra | No. 15 Spanx | No. 16 Boppy | No. 17 Water Bottle | No. 18 Cover
1. We’re on our second baby with our Rock N’ Play and this is a must-have! Our daughter sleeps in here (for now) and the incline helps with reflux immensely. She also already sleeps 7 hour stretches (at 6 weeks old!) and I give the Rock N’ Play some of the credit for that. We don’t use the vibrating feature, but it’s nice if she starts stirring, to go in her room and rock it easily with my foot.
2. The Dock A Tot is a recent purchase, and I’ll put it in the nice-to-have column if you can swing it, because it is pretty pricey. But, for us, it has been worth every penny. It’s basically a very portable baby lounger and the sides mimic a womb so babies feel very safe and cozy in it. There have been so many times, whether we’re eating dinner and it’s on the table, making dinner and it’s on the counter, outside and it’s on a blanket or just running around the house and we set it on the couch where it has been a life-saver to lay Polly down in it. She’s often fallen asleep on her own while lounging in it, too. (See it in action at our house here.)
3. We are on our second baby with our Mamaroo, a stationary swing with lots of settings for movement (car ride, kangaroo, etc) and sounds. We’ve lent it to many friends in between because this swing is magical. Not only does it look good and take up a lot less space than many other swings, but babies love it. We keep it in the corner of the living room and Polly mostly uses it for naps right now—or play that ends up as a nap.
4. This newborn insert is inexpensive and has come in handy so many times! Right now, we mostly have it docked in the Mamaroo to support Polly’s head and keep her a little more cushioned, but it’s great for carseats (if yours doesn’t come with one), and strollers, too!
5. Every one of my friends have a Fawn Design diaper bag, and now I see why. It fits everything without looking like you’re carrying around ALL the baby things! It’s stylish and buttery soft and I’ll likely carry it around long after babies. I personally have this gray one, but they have a few other colors.
6. For the first couple months of life, I can barely stand to put my babies in anything but something super soft and warm. While I purchase most all of my baby clothes from H&M, Old Navy and Target (all budget-friendly options because, shoot, they grow too fast!), I prefer Target’s jammies (or sleep & plays as they call them) above the rest for one reason—the reverse zipper! That means when it’s time to change a diaper for the tenth time, I don’t have to completely undress her. Plus, built-in mittens. :)
7. The first two weeks of breast-feeding are never fun for me. In fact, they’re down right painful. Even with my third, I just know I have to make it through those two weeks! This nipple butter was heaven sent, and in my opinion, way better than Lanolin. It goes on a lot easier and doesn’t need to be wiped off before nursing either. My friend brought it over to me around day 8 when I was ready to give up and It healed me almost overnight.
8. A gassy baby (what has this blog become!? ha!) is a cranky baby. Occasionally we have used the Windi to help immediately relieve Polly’s gas pains. It literally whistles as they pass gas, instantly. It’s the craziest thing only parents find amazing. This comes in a 10 pack and we always make sure we have some on hand.
9. This is another breastfeeding must-have for those first couple weeks when your nipples may crack (and even bleed!). These gel pads were cooling and they allowed me to heal without re-opening any cracks or sores unlike a traditional nursing pad that could get stuck or dried in place on a sore.
10. We purchased this Yi Home surveillance camera to use as a baby monitor and then purchased two more for other areas of the house (the girls’ bedroom and playroom!) because we love it so much. It has a lot of the same features as the Nest Cam, alerts when there’s movement or sound (we’ve turned this option off now that we’re several weeks in and used to her noises) for a fraction of the price.
11. There’s a million calming lotions out there, but I love this Babo one. It smells so good and is a part of our nightly routine. I use it to massage Polly every night after bath and she lulls off to sleep for 7 blissful hours before waking up to feed again.
12. We use white noise to help Polly distinguish between day and night. During the day, there’s all the normal household noise and then after bath, it’s lights off and this little sound machine on. As soon as she hears those waves crashing (there’s a few different options), her eyes close almost immediately now. I like that it’s portable, too, so we can easily take it with us when we travel.
13. I’m D-O-N-E with maternity clothes, they are packed up and shipped off to a friend that’s currently pregnant, hallelujah! But now I’m dressing for nursing. Which means easy access and trying to downplay my huge boobs—ugh. I love Madewell’s slouchy button downs. (Here’s the one I’m wearing in the first image.) They make me feel like me again and check off all the necessities, too.
14. If you have to wear a bra 24-7 (and when I’m nursing, I do!), this is the softest, you-can-sleep-in-it, nursing bra ever.
15. After I have a baby, I can feel my insides are all out of place. I tried the popular postpartum Bellefit girdle, but I found it so uncomfortable! I’ve since moved back to wearing what I did with my other two babies, these Spanx! Not only does it help slim things down, that’s a bonus to my core feeling so much more supported and things moving back to where they’re supposed to be. I highly recommend this route.
16. I have had the same Boppy nursing pillow that I got with our first daughter 7 years ago, but I keep updating the cover. I adore Pottery Barn’s stylish options that come with the oh-so-necessary pillow.
17. I’ve never been more thirsty in my life. Having a water bottle by my side is 100% a must-have. I love this one that holds nearly a liter, but I can still operate with one hand—because let’s face it, that’s all I have these days.
18. Lastly this Milk Snob cover is beautiful and fits snuggly over car seats, carriers and shopping carts AND it’s the perfect 360 nursing cover. A Must-have, for sure!
And some just-for-fun recommendations (I’ll update occasionally)
• These baby blankets are fun.
To see Polly’s full nursery (with all the sources), check out this post.