Newborn Must Have Items

Newborn Must Have Items

My daughter turned 5 months old this week and is out of the newborn phase, but looking back there are a lot of things that I felt like were incredibly helpful that I might not have realized before she was born. I wanted to put together a list for you of the things that we used regularly when Adaline was first born. Stay tuned to the end for a couple baby pictures!

Muslin Swaddle SwaddleMe Halo Sleepsack

What I would tell you is to not go too crazy buying a bunch of one type of swaddle before baby is born. Buying one of a few types and then figuring out what works best for your baby is a better option. We enjoyed regular muslin swaddling blankets the first few weeks home from the hospital (she was 6 pounds and too tiny for the velcro kind yet!) and then later we really enjoyed the SwaddleMe ones, and the Halo brand. A great hack for the SwaddleMe is to put a burp cloth behind them and wrap their arms, and then swaddle normally. It prevents baby from being able to bring her arms forward and escape. Ha! The miracle swaddle has this feature built in, and doesn't have velcro. This makes it a bit less secure and made me a little nervous about excess fabric (our girl is a super flailer when she sleeps) but it wasn't really an issue and the lack of velcro meant that it was less likely to really wake her when we unswaddled to change her diaper. The features we enjoyed with these Halos were the zipper that you could unzip from the bottom (aka, change the diaper without undoing her arms and waking her) and the fact that you can choose to swaddle arms out when they start to roll and can't be swaddled anymore. Which brings up a point--once your babe can flip over to her tummy, it's no longer safe to swaddle as the restriction of her arms will prevent her from being able to get back to her back and causes a suffocation risk. Our girl started to roll at 3 months, and then it was bye-bye to all the other swaddles except the Halo--and we got her some Zippys as well. More on those in a later installment!

We have used gas drops more than gripe water, but both can be helpful when baby's have some indigestion and can't pass gas or poo without straining and fussing a lot. We don't give these super often, but if her tummy is hard and she seems to be pushing without much success, we'll give her some gas drops and she usually passes a big poo within a couple of hours and gets much happier. :)

Babies poop on everything. Isn't parenthood glamorous? We have a big red bucket under the sink in Adaline's bathroom, and when she poops on something we toss it in there, and then once it's got a few items I use some OxiClean and hot water, leave it for a couple of hours, and then drain and wash the items in the washer. Knock on wood, we haven't had anything stain yet!

If you're having your first baby, it can be intimidating to change regular onesies on such a tiny person, especially when they're doing the aforementioned pooing (and peeing) on everything at regular intervals. Our girl would wait until Daddy was changing her diaper before letting it all loose. He didn't have a lot of experience with babies and would get pretty frustrated. After a few days of this, I hopped online and ordered some of these kimono styles to change her more easily without having to maneuver her head too much.

When she wasn't in kimono tees, Adaline was in onesies with attached mitts. She would scratch up her little face pretty regularly otherwise--even with freshly trimmed nails it was hard to get her not to grab her little cheeks. I had a hard time finding kimono tees with mitts, or else we would have had those. The built in mitts were handy because, again, she was pretty small and the newborn mitts were too big for her and would fall off. Elastic socks worked better, but built in mitts on onesies worked the best. After a few weeks, she learned a bit more about her hands and we don't have this problem quite as often now so she's been mitt-free since about 7 weeks.
As a first time mom, I was surprised to realize how much breastfeeding needed to be learned, as opposed to feeling really natural. (More on this another time). Once I got a couple of nursing positions down (football and cross cradle are our faves) and learning exactly how to position pillows or a Boppy (I also ended up with a "My Breast Friend" that I keep at my in-laws for when I nurse her over there when I pick her up after work) I didn't want to mess with a system that worked. Babies don't have any head control and it's exhausting to hold them in the perfect position for 40 minutes without a pillow for support. I've done it a few times when necessary but I didn't love it. As she gained more head control and generally feels a bit less breakable now, it's not quite as important but still my preference to have a nursing pillow! Even if you're bottle-feeding, some extra support is handy.

Ladies. More breastfeeding talk. If you nurse your babe, your nips will be sore for the first several weeks and will continue to need extra moisturizing for the entirety of your breastfeeding journey. I tried several different things and found that, with the exception of the time period that I had a cracked nipple and required an antibiotic cream, coconut oil has worked the best for me. Plus I love that it's totally edible so it's okay that it's moisturized and absorbed into the skin that baby attaches to.

As promised, here are a couple of Adaline's newborn photos, as well as one taken in August when she was about 4 months old. We are loving being this adorable little girl's parents!

1st & 2nd pic C/O Ciana Cloud of Jeff Cloud Photography
3rd pic C/O Patricia Sandoz

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