What do I need for my newborn? What can I live without?
Hey new mom! WEEE! This is an exciting time my friend. I know finding what you really need for a newborn can be stressful AF. Karin to the rescueeee! I'm about to blow YA mind.
I remember being overwhelmed with info + advice from people saying what is absolutely required in order to mold the perfect, happy, smiling child. Excuse me while I hide under the house.
Did you ever stop and wonder how humans 100+ years ago had babies? They didn't have a mandatory checklist for noise machines, the perfect booger flusher, and nursing bras. They got in there and handled their business like a boss. Let's take a brief moment and yell THANK YOU GREAT GRANDMA!
And thank God for epidurals! And Baby Brezzas too!
So after having five children in the past 8 years (save the jokes 🤣) I'm here to share what we LOVED, what we NEVER used, and what we WISH we had that's available today. I reached out to some of my mama besties along with our millennial mom tribe on Insta for some answers. Essentially, the goals being ease, competence, necessity, and convenience.
Here, here. Let's begin.
What We Loved
1. Baby Swing - There is a reason this is at the top of my list. These were a lifesaver for me and I legitimately cried when my kids had outgrown them. I LOVE baby swings, all of my little dumplings spent many hours in these when they were little. It'll allow you to shower, breathe, drink coffee, work, Pinterest, workout, and OH just about whatever you want mama.
These are a lifesaver really and a comfortable place to put the baby down. In the beginning, they'll spend lots of hours here sleeping. Here are my favs:
- Graco Simple Sway- Simple, affordable, works great.
- MamaRoo - This was a strong rec from our tribe!
- Cradle N Swing - Another great pick. Just depends on your style.
2. Baby Carrier - Also a big fan of baby carriers! Going to the mall, walking around town, even staying at home. Grab one or more of these and you won't regret it. You've got a few options here, here's what I loved:
- I love this Moby Wrap. At first, it was challenging to put on, but once we got it we absolutely loved how soft and comfortable it was for the babies. We'd use it until about 6 months then switch to one with more support.
- This Infantino carrier is a great deal! If you're looking to buy just one, this may be your jam.
- This ERGO carrier has the best support and highest reviews overall. Super nice, more expensive but will LAST forever!
3. Carseat + Stroller - My advice is to invest in a good car seat/stroller. They're a lifesaver and something you'll use more than anything else. My friend Jessica from Chicago has 3 kids and had some great advice. She said, "If you're planning on having more than one child, go for the double from the start. You can use the extra space for shopping, diaper bag, etc and save money!"
- Good: Baby Trend EZ Ride
- Better: EvenFlo Modular Pivot System
- Best/Amazing: Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base
- Good: Baby Trend Double Stroller
- Better: Graco Uno 2 Duo
- Best: Bob Revolution Flex Dualie Jogger Double Stroller**This ended up being our absolute FAV and we still use it today! It's heavier, but you can take it anywhere and it'll last. You'll need to grab the extensions for car seats also, but I think it's worth it if you plan to have multiple kids and are active outdoors. Another awesome one that's lighter weight is the City Double Stroller, it's not a jogger but is high quality and will last forever.
Note: If you're looking for a less expensive double stroller option you can read out latest review on the top 5 double strollers on a budget.
Splurge-Worthy Travel Stroller:
4. Blankets - Love a good blanket! We liked to have a few different options for different weather or needs. I generally just used them as burp cloths also, so having a handful of blankets was helpful.
- Muslin Blanket: Aden + Anais, we used these daily! Use to swaddle, for a light blanket, or for a burp cloth. These are soft and lightweight.
- Heavy Blanket: Hudson Baby with Sherpa Backing
- Swaddle Blanket: Copper Pearl Large Swaddle Blanket - These are seriously a dream! We found these easiest to swaddle with since they are more stretchy.
5. Crib + Sheets - We had one solid crib to last us through 5 babies. I'd recommend the same, there's no need to get a new one each time! I like the convertible cribs that can turn to toddler beds. Don't forget some comfy sheets!
- Basic look will last. Delta Children Crib
- Classic look, more expensive. Evolur Madison Crib
- Jump off Jo Crib Sheet (cutest ever!)
- 3 Pack Crib Sheets
6. Dr. Browns glass bottles - We stayed away from plastic bottles because my mom was a freak with a capital F about plastic! She gave us these in the beginning and we really loved them. I bottle fed all 5 for the most part and we never had issues with colic or gassiness, etc. I cannot say for sure it's the bottles, but I'd certainly use them again. Thanks, mom!
- Comotomo bottles - Our mom tribe also highly recommended these
7. Breast Pump - If you're a working mama, have an inconsistent flow, a large supply of milk, or don't like breastfeeding but want to provide breast milk for your baby, pumping is for you! This is the Cadillac of pumps, another one of those things I'd invest in for quality, longevity, and to make life easy.
8. Boppy Pillow - This was an underestimated gift! I got it and thought, I'll never use that thing. I was wrong, but if my husband asks just tell him I'm right about everything else, ok? The Boppy Pillow was awesome to support the baby for the short time I breastfed and also perfect for bottle feeding down the road. My babies also laid in them propped up pretty content just watching me buzz around the room. Grab an extra cover too so you can rotate and wash! Found some cute ones here!
9. Baby Shampoo + Butt Cream - These aren't the most fun purchases, but they'll keep the peace in your home! This is one of the things I was particular on. I loved having a more gentle and natural product. Here's what I tried and loved:
10. Pack-n-play - Easy to bring around with you. Great for when they're around crawling age. This one is great and a super deal.
11. Bumbo Seat - We actually used these in the shower/bath, as a high chair for feeding, and all around the house. This was a surprise one for me also, I didn't think I'd like it. We used it daily!
12. Baby washcloths - Simple, soft, won't scratch the babes.
"This Boppy Pillow was an underestimated gift! I got it and thought, I'll never use that thing. I was wrong, but if my husband asks just tell him I'm right about everything else, k?" - Karin C
WHAT WE NEVER USED + REGRET BUYING
I will preface this by saying of course there are people on the planet that love and cannot live without these. I'll do some 'splainin as to why I didn't love it to back dat a_____ up. The blank word was 'answer', but if you're a Millennial mom for sure you are singing some Ludacris right now 😉 OKURRRRR.
1. Baby Monitor - We've always had a small house! My friends cannot live without theirs so I do think my opinion would change if we had a larger home with our littles. These below came in highly recommended, but for us, we've never used them.
2. Baby Bathtub - These always seem so bulky and not worth the effort, but on the contrary, a squirming infant is not easy to bathe. We opted for sink baths and would lay a towel down first so they wouldn't slide. If I were to try one today, it'd be the Blooming Bath Lotus. I like the idea of folding it and putting it away.
3. Hard soled shoes - I am a shoe addict, like most women. Gym shoes, heels, wedges, running shoes, boots, they all have a place in my closet. We received some of the cutest shoes for our little ones, but for the most part, I felt bad putting them on their feet. Some of them felt like they weighed as much as the baby and I felt like I'd break their tiny ankles wiggling to get them on.
Tiny Jordans are the cutest things on the planet, but I always opted for something easier that slips or has velcro. We loved these:
4. Bassinet - We always opted for the baby swing instead (see the options above). We'd prop it by our bed or move it during the daytime. We had a bassinet for our first child and never used it.
We've heard rave reviews about the SNOO baby bassinet, it's expensive but if you get to put the baby down and get more sleep, it's worth considering! There's also a renting option which sounds great but do the math first. If you plan on having more kids and love the SNOO, you'd probably want to just buy it. We reviewed the Snoo Smart Sleeper here.
5. Wipe Warmer - 'Literally nobody I've talked to actually used these. In theory, a warm wipe on the tooshie sounds like a fine plan, but it doesn't seem quite necessary. 'A baby will probably cry when you change their diaper weather it's warm or cold,' Jamie mom of 3 from our Instagram said.
6. Half the newborn clothes we were given! - Girls, if you've given lots of NB clothes, trade them in for some in for larger sizes. You won't believe how fast your little bugger grows. It's the miracle of life and the other miracle of money down the drain 🤦🏻♀️
PS: Hand me downs are the SHIT. If you have a friend with a bag of baby clothes, you hug her and take them. Got it?
7. Bottle warmer - Another thing I don't recall anybody saying they used. I sure didn't and we made a lot of bottles between 5 giant babies. Listen though, the Baby Brezza is an out of this world invention that we do think every bottle feeding mother should have. Checkout our review on the Baby Brezza Formula Pro here.
It wasn't around even a few years ago when I had my last baby, but I wonder if it can pour me wine every day at 5 pm now? Essentially it makes (perfect) bottles for you and just the idea of having that for midnight feedings makes me want to raise the damn roof.
8. Baby Diaper Garbage Can - I got this as a gift at first. I couldn't get over the smell when I had to open it and drop a diaper in there. After one poopy diaper is sitting in this thing with the lid closed you will have a strong urge to throwup when you open it again.
The smell seemed to take over my house and I couldn't stand it. We officially ditched it and started operation take the dirty diapers downstairs to the garbage can. I can be super lazy so this to me wouldn't sound enticing, but just wait until you get that first whiff of stale ole poop diaper and you'll know what I mean 💩
9. Baby Towel Robe - Chances are, you are 504% more responsible than me and you'd hang the baby towel in the same place every time. Me, no. We had a cute robe for the littles, but post bath/shower that adorable towel was MIA. We used it like 4 times total but our intentions were GOOD. We opted for a regular human towel and our babies were still dry after and just as cute, I promise.
10. Shopping Cart Cover - If you're a total germaphobe, this is something you'd probably love. I never minded walking into target and throwing my little in a shopping cart. They usually have those germ wipes and in mind, I was the mother of the year if I remembered to wipe them before sticking them in the shopping cart.
If that makes your skin crawl, here's a few for you:EN Babies 2 in 1 Cover
Summer Infant Cushy Cart
Eddie Bauer Cover
What We Wish We Had
My youngest will be 4 in May and somethings on the market now look amazing! There are several items that either weren't around a few years ago or weren't something I thought I needed. In retrospect, here are those handful of things:
1. Dock-a-Tot - I love these things! A comfortable sleep or lounge spot for your little. It's light, mobile, and convenient. If you're on the go a lot, you have a simple solution for the baby to lay down and be comfy. These are also great for around the house. If you're making dinner, lounging, folding laundry or anything else, you can keep your baby within a close distance and give them a comfy place to snuggle in.
My opinion is firm in that anything that makes the baby sleep and be comfortable for longer periods of time is a solid win.
2. Car mat under car seat. Have you punctured a hole in your seat yet from a car seat? I learned the hard way and only recently found they have mats for UNDER the car seat to protect your car. I was using a towel for a while, similar idea different approach.
Nonetheless, if you plan on getting a new car or protecting your current one, do yourself a favor and grab it. You won't have car seats on there forever and they'll still look nice after. Cough cough, mine won't.
3. Amazon autoship! Oh my gosh Becky, look at her autoship. This is my saving grace nowadays! It's both convenient and competitive in price. Grab your diapers, wipes, formula, baby soap, and more. Amazon did have their auto-ship program during my last babies and now I wonder why I opted to do things the hard way?
4. Keekaroo Baby Changer: This adorable baby changer would have been great to have. I used one baby changing pad for a while but got annoyed with the sheet falling off and having to wash it all the time. This one, spray it clean and it's done, I love simplicity!
5. A Good Diaper Bag: This may be funny to you, but for the majority of my babies, I wandered around with my 99 cent target reusable bag. We had tried several diaper bags, all of which sucked, were too small, not helpful, ugly AF, or didn't have enough pockets.
I feel like moms can take over the world just by solving problems, we deal with this stuff on a regular basis, we know what we want! Just ask our husbands. 😉 That's exactly what we did this year at Lenny Lemons. Hands down, this is our fav diaper bag, because we've created it out necessity.
6. Baby Brezza Formula Pro: My jaw just hit the floor actually. Hold on a sec while I grab it, eh? So basically a Keurig for baby formula is what this is. I posted today on our Lenny Lemons Instagram to our 116k strong mom tribe. This is the one we heard over and over as a recommendation and 4 years ago, it wasn't even an option yet! Adding this to the list of what I wish we had because obvi moms today have it better than we did 💁🏽 KIDDING! Check it out if it's your jam!
7. Pregnancy Pillow: I was the 'stuff pillows under and around me like I'm a queen' type of pregnant lady. I survived and overall feel like I did sleep pretty good minus the having to pee on the regular part. A pregnancy pillow would help though in hindsight and I'm sure if my husband knew these existed he would've bought it for me to alleviate him from stuffing pillows around me all the time. If you don't know how to sleep with a pregnancy pillow, check out the article for some tips and what to expect.
A Long post, but hopefully useful list for you as you embark on one of the most incredible journeys life has to offer. We'd love to hear your favs are too! Happy shopping!
Owner | LL
I remember being overwhelmed with info + advice from people saying what is absolutely required for the baby in order to mold the perfect, happy, smiling child. Excuse me while I hide under the house.
— KARIN, MOM OF 5