There are so many products on the market for babies today, it can be really overwhelming for new parents to know which ones they really need. Today, I’m going to share with you my 5 must have items that will make your journey into parenthood easier. I will note that these items are in addition to the obvious baby necessities like the car seat, stroller, crib etc.
Babies are born with a dozen natural reflexes and one of them is known as the Moro reflex. Also known as the startle reflex, this reflex is activated when the baby is placed on their back. You may have seen it in action and not realized it, but when this reflex is activated, the baby will throw their arms out to the side or will be woken up out of sleep because their arms will twitch or jerk. These motions are generally upsetting to the infant and can cause them to flail their arms, which stresses their nervous system.
In order to help your baby be more comfortable, help them sleep better and minimize the symptoms of the Moro reflex, your baby will need to be swaddled, held tummy to chest or be worn in a carrier. Here are my 3 favorite swaddles for newborn babies: Swaddle Me, Woombie, Miracle Blanket.
When your baby is in utero they are exposed to many soothing sounds including the sound of the carrier’s heartbeat, amniotic fluid moving around and blood pumping through the veins and to the heart. In fact, these noises at times can actually be as loud as 90 decibels which is comparable to the decibel rating of the average vacuum.
In order to help your newborn transition from life inside the womb to the outside world, it is often recommended to use familiar and soothing noises around the baby. I find that using white noise, and in particular brown noise, helps baby sleep better and calm down when they’ve been overstimulated. White noise also acts as a cue for sleep and drowns out other often startling noises that can upset baby. Lectrofan and Lectrofan micro for travel are my favorites.
There are so many clothing options for baby, many of them cute, but not at all practical. The truth is that babies do a few things a lot – sleep, eat, spit up, poop and pee. As a new parent, you will be tending to these needs all day and night and it’s helpful keep things simple. Keep readily used supplies stocked and nearby and put your baby in clothing that is easy to change.
Two of the reasons I like onesies so much is that there are only 3 snaps at the crotch and the fabric is stretchy making them easy to put on . No extra bulk, no zippers to snag skin and nothing that will creep up towards baby’s face when you are burping them or when they are sleeping (happens with t-shirts and clothing items that are too big).
Some new parents find onesies daunting at first because you have to pull the neck opening over the head and get their little arms in the arm holes. The best trick for this is to STRETCH the fabric. For the arms, mimic the action of putting on a sock. Scrunch it up and gently work their arm though the sleeve.
My favorite onesies are the Carter’s brand. They have a long and slender body and the fabric has ample give. I find that many other onesie brands are short and wide.
If you want another easy option on hand, register or pick up a few kimono style shirts or sleep in play rompers.
Black out blinds
Babies need a lot of sleep and while they may sleep anywhere and everywhere the first few weeks, that quickly changes. As your baby grows and develops, he/she will soon become very interested in the world. Something as little as a shadow on a wall is enough to keep their interest for hours. This will lead to your baby becoming overstimulated and over tired.
It’s also worth noting that babies are not good producers of melatonin. Any light that hits your baby’s eyelids when they are trying to sleep will interfere with melatonin production, which can make it very difficult for a little one to get the proper sleep they need. Blackout blinds are an extremely helpful item to have to help create a conducive sleep environment for baby. Amazon has paper ones that are inexpensive and Home Depot has good quality cut to size blackout blinds that are reasonably priced.
Whether breast or bottle feeding your baby, the Boppy is a handy item to have for feedings. They provide nice support for the feeder, helping to reduce the amount of weight the baby places on them. You may be thinking “it’s just a baby, they don’t weigh that much”. Yes, you are correct. However, babies don’t stay 7 pounds for long and when feeding 8-12 times per day for 3-6 months, it adds up. It’s a lot of weight and easily stresses the feeder’s neck, shoulder, upper back and arms.
The Boppy is also a “grow with baby” item. Meaning that you can use the Boppy in many ways. Baby can sit in the Boppy to just hang out, be on their tummy as they get to around 2 months and the Boppy can be placed around their bums as a fall cushion, when baby is learning to sit.
These 5 items are ones I recommend to every family I work with. I really believe they are helpful and make the transition into parenthood easier. A soft carrier is another useful item, particularly if the family wants to follow a more attachment parenting style or the baby has reflux and needs to be kept upright.
Do you have any additional must have baby items? Please list them in the comments below!
The content contained in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or to replace the advice of any medical professional. It is based on our opinions and experience working with newborns and their families. Other’s opinions may vary. It does not represent the views of any affiliated organizations. The reader understands that term “Babynurse” is often a word used to describe a newborn caregiver. However, unless otherwise disclosed, we are not licensed nurses in any state. By reading and/or utilizing any information or suggestions contained in this blog, the reader acknowledges that we are not medical professionals and agrees to and waives any claim, known or unknown, past, present or future.
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