This is the blog post every new mom writes and even though I’ve read hundreds of these, I will always read new ones that I find. I think it’s so interesting what everyone feels is a must have for their baby and what truly helped them adjust to parenthood. The items I chose to include were really the only things that we used for the first three months of her life and they were all items that I knew I wanted and would use. I tried to be mindful of the items I was purchasing for her because I still want to make sure that I’m getting items that will be reusable with another child, are better for the environment, can be used for a longer period of time or for more than one purpose.
I’m starting my list off with a controversial item. The Owlet smart sock allows you to track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep. If either falls within a dangerous level, an alarm goes off on the base and your cell phone. The reason why it’s controversial is that there are discussions as to if it makes parents a little obsessive over their baby’s well being and because it could make parents too comfortable regarding sleep safety. Every parent can make the decision as to what they feel is best for themselves and their child. I knew I wanted something to give me peace of mind at night and the owlet was just that. We do not obsess over it. I check it once as I head to bed to make sure that I turned it on and it’s working. We do travel with it but I don’t feel the need to bring it to daycare or use it for naps during the day. We also still follow the safe sleep guidelines despite having the smart sock. This means that Cecilia does not sleep with us, she stays on her back and her sleeping area is completely empty. If we give her a blanket then we’re in the room with her until she’s awake or we then remove it. It is never a substitute for safe sleep. Another criticism for the Owlet is that it has too many false alarms. We have never had a false red alarm and if we did, I wouldn’t mind. I’ll take all the red alarms in exchange for a safe baby even at the possible expense of my sleep. We have had a few yellow alarms which means that the sock isn’t tight enough or it’s placed wrong. It is an investment but it’s one that we’ll hold onto and use it for our other children in the future.
The Hatch Rest is simply put, a night light and white noise machine that you can control with your phone. I wanted one that I would have for a long time without needing to be replaced and one that was multifunctional. I use this for not only a white noise machine and night light for her but also a light to breastfeed by. With one touch I’m able to change the settings or shut it on/off. If we’re too far from the light or I need to adjust settings while she’s sleeping in the other room, I can from my phone. I wanted this one in particular because I would be able to use it in the future. It features timers and you can program it to light up different colors or play certain sounds at different times of the day. When my baby gets older we plan to sleep train her using this so she knows when it’s time for bed and when it’s time to wake.
The Hatch Grow is made by the same company as the Hatch Rest. It’s a smart changing station and scale. Hatch Grow also has an app it connects to that helps you keep track of diapers, sleep, weight, height and more. When you input your babys weight and height it also calculates their percentile. The reason why I love this is that I can check my daughter’s weight daily and do weighted feeding sessions. The weighted feeding sessions was what sold it to me originally but I didn’t realize how important it would become for us when she started losing a lot of weight. It allowed us to keep track of her weight loss and gain without heading to the doctors daily. It also let me know that I wasn’t producing enough milk for her after I did a weighted feeding session. If you plan on breastfeeding I would recommend this.
Love to Dream Swaddle
From the very first night we had Cecilia we knew she would be a tough sleeper. In the hospital, she was breaking out of her swaddle, rolling onto her side, always wanting her hands out and overall just getting into trouble. My husband and I were both so uncomfortable with how often she would do these things, the very first day we brought her home we had this sleep sack ready for her. We felt so much better knowing that she wouldn’t get stuck in the blanket and she would still feel swaddled. What’s nice about this swaddle is that it keeps hands in one place but allowing for controlled movement so they can self soothe by sucking on their covered hands. The design is fitted in the torso so they feel secure and then there’s a little more space for their legs to move around. This company was also very thoughtful and had two zippers put in so it’s easy to change baby at night without having to remove the whole sleep sack.
There are mixed reviews about these bottles online but I think it’s due to user error. I love these bottles. They are wide and there’s only two pieces, the bottle and nipple so they’re easy to clean. They also mimic a breast and nipple so you can easily go from breastfeeding to bottle feeding and back no problem. This was important to me because my little girl would be going to daycare but I still wanted to breastfeed her when I got home. These bottles also come in either plastic or glass, we wanted them to last a while so we got the glass ones. To be a little more conscious about our consumption and trying to stick to a minimal parenting style, we only have 12 bottles. I didn’t want a ton of baby bottles around my kitchen and having to store all the pieces so I committed to only buying the amount that we needed. 12 is enough where I wash them all at the end of the day and still have a few extra available.
Pack and Play
This pack and play, in particular, is incredible. The first thing I knew I did not want was a bassinet because I figured it was an additional baby item that she would outgrow in 3 months and then I would have to store it. My alternative was a plain pack and play because then we would be able to use it as she got bigger. As we were looking for one to put on our registry, we found this one and it’s wonderful. It does have a bassinet which we used for awhile and it has a changing table which made for easy nighttime diaper changes. I love how many different ways we’re able to use this product.
I was on the fence about getting one of these and I still was after using it. It didn’t work so well for nursing sessions for me but it has been wonderful to sit my baby in for playtime or if shes having a rough day I would lay her next to me in it for a supervised nap. These are NOT okay for safe sleep because they can cause positional asphyxiation. This happens when a baby can’t properly support their head and their chin sits on their chest, stopping airflow. She did not sleep with a boppy unless I was next to her and she had her owlet sock on. So use it properly.
UppaBaby Stroller & Mesa
So many people have this stroller and car seat combo and there’s a reason for it. It is truly amazing. I love how easy it is to use, I love the quality of the product and the company. I wanted a stroller that I could use with all my children and I believe this is it. The company offers tune-up events to get your stroller looked at and the warranty is fantastic. What I also love about the company is that they offer travel bags for the car seat and the stroller so if they get damaged while flying, UppaBaby will replace them immediately for you. I truly believe that this company stands by its values and their product. It was very expensive but I would get it again and again.
I know that these essentials are all high priced items but we felt that we wanted to buy products that we knew we wouldn’t replace, we would get long term use out of and worked for our family. We also decided against getting other items to get these larger items instead. We saved the money from those other purchases and put them towards these. What are your newborn essentials?