The Most Useful Baby Items: Newborn Edition

I already shared my list of the most useless baby items, it seems only right I share the other half of that list. Now that baby A has made it to the second half of her babyhood, I feel better informed to give you the lowdown on the items that were absolute must haves for us.  Of course every baby and mother is different so what was key for us may be complete junk to you - this is just my view.

Mostusefulbabyitemsnewbornedition

1. The Miracle Blanket - If you happen to get a baby who likes to party all night like Aggie, you will do pretty much anything to help her (and you!) get some nighttime zzzs.  Swaddling did help us eventually but she was a houdini right at the start - managing to escape from every swaddle blanket known to man until we finally settled on this one.  Eventually she managed to escape this one too (at about 4 months) but by that time we were ready to wave bye-bye to swaddles all together.

2. One piece sleep + play outfits.  You know all those adorable baby clothes you buy when you are pregnant with the idea that everyday is going to be a fashion show?  Forget em.  For just a little while.  Especially at the very beginning when you are just getting adjusted, a one piece that suited sleeping and playing was wonderful.  Since we went through a least a few outfits a day during anyway, having a stash of these was a nice way to make life simple. (Don't forgo all baby fashion shopping - you'll need a few fun outfits for special occasions in the beginning.  After the newborn stage is over, you can start putting baby in day and night clothes like the rest of us.)

3.  Bibs, lots of them.  You might get lucky with a baby that doesn't spit up often and in that case, feel free to skip this suggestion.  That wasn't the case in casa limestone.  We went through lots of bibs - sometimes 10 in a day!  So having lots on hand was key.  I especially love these aden & anais snap bibs because they were very soft on baby's skin and snapped in the front rather than velcro'd in the back but we saved those for when we were going out and had a huge stack of cheapo white ones for home use.

4. Baby Bathtub Generally I eschew any one purpose, short term items like this but the baby bathtub was and continues to be useful to us.  As first time parents, we were way to scared to just plop her in the hard sink directly.  This was a great help to baby bathtimes.

5. Rock n Play Sleeper I stumbled upon this item by accident.  Agatha was just over a month old and we were about to take a 2 week road trip with her.  She wasn't sleeping much at all but I searched for a portable crib we could use on the road.  Well low and behold the rock n play sleeper came up and it was a magical portal to sleepy baby land.  After using it for just a few days, Agatha was sleeping in few hour stretches vs. few minute ones.  She needed a lot more help and guidance to get sleeping through the night down eventually but this bridged the gap when we were really exhausted.  Get it!

6. A good stroller.  I've only had a Bugaboo Bee so I can't compare it with other brands and models but we have already gotten our money's worth and we have only just started to use it.  It will likely be the item we use the most over her baby and toddler years so its a worthy investment.  It's important to go with a model that has the right features for YOUR life. For us city folk, good shock absorbtion and a smaller profile has been great for maneuvering the sidewalks and the small spaces we have to get through. (I wish it had a one handed close option which would make it a lot easier to fold up while holding baby in the other hand and it could really use a drink holder but other than that, I've been very happy with it.)  If you live in a different environment, you'll have a totally different set of needs so this is one area a lot of research pays off.

So there you have it.  My top 6 baby items.  That just covers the first few months.  Now that she is older, we are in a whole new world of baby junk! For the other moms reading, how did my list compare with your own?

24 comments:

  1. Great overview! I am looking to have the necessities and try to avoid useless items so I definitely have to check out your other post. Glad you and baby A are doing well!

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  2. This nearly mirrors my list! Funny. We went with the City Mini - but the Bee looks awesome too. A good stroller - especially in the city is a must have. We are back for two weeks and only brought our Chicco umbrella and I can attest that it is simply not the same!! Awesome list!

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    1. Everyone seems to love the city mini too so Im sure its a great one. Its funny you mention the umbrella stroller since we are sort of tempted to get a really cheap one and bring it with us to europe (just so we dont have to lug it back home) but I'm sort of leaning toward just taking the bee.

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  3. Ooh, I'm going to have to bookmark these posts to look back on when we start our family, which will hopefully be somewhat soon. We just bought our first house and it feels ridiculous with just two of us using all this space. I need an ankle biter to stain this new carpet!

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  4. All hail the rock and play! We loved that thing. I was so sad when we packed it away. I totally agree with the quality stroller purchase too. We bought one (a little more pricey) stroller and never had to mess with the snap and go/umbrella/etc strollers that everyone says you "need".

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  5. I love the Aden & Anais bibs too, but I used the "burpy bibs". They worked as either a bib you could snap on (though the snap WAS in the back) or as a shoulder burp cloth. SUPER useful and very absorbent. We have the Rock N Play sleeper too and unfortunately, my kiddo didn't take to it. He liked it well enough but it didn't work any magic... oh well...

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    1. We have those too but the little snap drove me crazy. But you are right that they work very well. Sorry you didn't have luck with the rock n play.

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  6. I'm almost exactly a year behind you - prego now with my first (it's a boy!) and due around Christmas this year. I'm taking notes, thanks!

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  7. I had that Rock and Play on a similar list I posted a few months ago. I saw it at a friend's house and HAD to get it. Also, I now swear by the Woombie as the impossible to escape swaddle extraordinaire.

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    1. I remember reading that post back then and thinking you were so right about it being a must ( I think we might have just got it at that point) I wish I had known about it before she was born so I would have had it ready day 1. Not sure if it would have made a difference but who knows? We used ours differently though - we never put her in it during the day (unless she was napping). It was for sleeping and sleeping only! I imagine if she played in there, its magical sleep properties would have evaporated :)


      We didn't have the same luck with the woombie. She couldn't escape it but she got her hands kind of stuck at the top and that would keep her awake. But the woombie was a lot easier to put on than the miracle blanket so I really wish she had taken to that one instead. Thankfully for us, when she was able to escape the miracle blanket, she was cool moving to a sleep sack so we just nixed the swaddle altogether.

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  8. You can purchase the Bugaboo drink holder for the Bee, I have a couple of them! I have a Bugaboo Cameleon and a Bee(it stays at Grandmas house). You probably already know this, though:)

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    1. Thanks Shanelle. At the time, it was out of stock everywhere. I just have to actually order it now. yea. Do you find that the cup holder is in a weird spot or hinders you from folding it up? The pictures make me think it might be an issue but not sure.

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  9. Like Allison, I am also due in December with #1 so I am taking notes here. Did you put Aggie in the bee as a newborn? Or was she a few months before she could go in there? I don't know if it is possible to avoid the whole infant car seat phenomenon, but I would like to try, but all of these strollers seem so big for newborns.

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    1. Congrats Laura. You definitely can use the Bee while your baby is still a newborn. We didn't start using it straight up until she was closer to 3 months old mostly because I didn't even realize I could put her in there until then. Blame in on my sleep deprived brain. To warn you the Bee doesn't have a lot of extra stuff so its not nearly as cozy as a car seat. And finally using a car seat snapped in there is actually quite handy when you go into restaurants and need to put the stroller away but don't want to hold the baby for the entire meal. I would urge you to take a look at the Bee before committing. Its not nearly as big as some of the others.

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  10. Don't get rid of that baby tub! You'll have a toddler that wants to water-play at the kitchen table with her tub toys in the middle of winter....and you'll be glad you bought that "one purpose" tub! :-)

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  11. My number one item (besides a carseat) was my Ergo carrier. Love that thing! Still useful for when she's a toddler and we go on hikes.

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    1. I really thought I'd use the carrier a lot but for whatever reason, it just didn't work out that way. I still think its a handy thing to have but it wasn't a must for me. My guess is that we didn't use it that much in the beginning because my coat wouldn't close around her in the carrier. And then once it started getting warmer, we were pretty adept at getting around without it. I bet if we had a spring baby (or had a larger coat!) I'd be singing a different song.

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    2. you may love the ergo or your particular carrier when you're vacationing....baby can easily sleep while you're out & about. & no stroller to worry about lugging around. it's awesome in the airport too!

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  12. Great list!! I'm registering for baby stuff now and was wondering what kind of bottles you use?

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    1. We used the Medela ones for no other reason than we had them handy (the first set came with my pump and they seemed to work fine so I saw no reason to experiment with others). http://www.diapers.com/p/medela-breastmilk-5-oz-bottle-set-3-pk-309634?site=CA&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc_D&utm_term=MED-026&utm_campaign=GooglePLA&CAWELAID=1338703038&utm_content=pla&ca_sku=MED-026&ca_gpa=pla&ca_kw=%7Bkeyword%7D

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  13. Good list.. and it's amazing how little is really needed :) on my second newborn and for us, the most useful items are: a pack n play with a changing pad and a bassinet that we use all day when we're on the first floor, onesies when its hot and footie PJs when it's cool, swaddle blankets (we love aden & anais) (and my 2nd newborn is no houdini, so yay), bath tub, and all types of carriers. Strollers are kinda a pain for us because we live in the suburbs - its much easier to pop the baby in a carrier. That's it! :)

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  14. Mrs. Limestone, just making a recommendation: When you get your cup holders, make sure you get an insulated mug that has a lid that can be snapped shut! Any to-go coffee cup, even half-full, will slosh all over the place. BuyBuyBaby in Chelsea has the ubiquitous Copco insulated mugs with a fabulous snap-shut opening, or you can purchase online here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CO5K7U2/ref=s9_hps_bw_g79_ir07
    Keeps coffee off your shoes and baby's legs!! Seconding your love of the Bee -- Erica

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  15. Oh my gosh! The rock and play sleep chair might be the best invention for baby sleep this side of the miracle blanket. They did not make them when my first child was born, although my god I wish they did. He was a terrible sleeper! We got one for my second little bundle the day after we came home from the hospital with him and used it for six weeks straight. He slept so well in that thing that I would usually have to wake him up to feed him. He got really sick when he was itty bitty and we were in the hospital for two weeks. We loved the chair so much we brought it to the hospital for him to sleep in rather than the yucky hospital beds. We rearranged his entire room, oxygen tubing, IV poles, etc just so we could accommodate the bunny chair (that is what we called it). He slept like a dream in that thing, even in the unfamiliar hospital environment. This chair is the ABSOLUTE number one thing I would recommend to a mom with a bad sleeper, tied with the miracle blanket of course.

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  16. The Rock n Play Sleeper has been recalled...
    http://www.babble.com/baby/the-fisher-price-newborn-rock-n-play-sleeper-has-been-recalled-now-what/

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