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Must Have Baby Gear for New Mommies
Go get a Pen, or Print This. You will Want It Later.
Trust me, I just came out of my very first year as a mother. I have a list of items that we used constantly. I am willing to share my sage advice with you. So sit back, grab a pen or get to printing this, it's important stuff.
Think of it as .... your New Mommy Survival Kit we are creating here!
These things they call receiving blankets are probably the best invention someone could have made for a new mommy.
Need a burp cloth? Grab a receiving blanket.
Need to wipe up some spit up? Grab a receiving blanket.
Need to swaddle the baby? Grab a receiving blanket.
As you can see, there are many many functions for these. Traditional burp clothes do not cover the amount of area you need to actually protect against the amount of spit up and puke that newborns are known to eject. Trust me, stock up on receiving blankets.
This is liquid gas gold in a bottle. Newborns are gassy creatures. They don't have the ability to digest things like adults do. These tiny humans need some assitance. When you become a new mommy, you will learn that the three things you are most concerned about when it comes to your child is: Are they eating? Are they sleeping? Are they pooping?
I know, poop. Dirty. Ew.
Just shake your head now and get over it. Poop is a natural thing when it comes to babies. They do a lot of it. In fact, if babies could get paid to poop, they would be the richest people on the planet, it's a full time job for babies.
SO, what happens if your baby doesn't poop?
That can be concerning. I know you don't think so right now, but wait until you child doesn't poop for three days.
Get this stuff. Get some gripe water. Now ... I am warning you right now, it's potent stuff. Don't use it unless you know you really need a poop. It should come with a warning label. "Will cause explosion." I suggest the smallest amount possible to be administered to your child and then wait approximately 2-4 hours.
You will have poop. A lot of poop. Be prepared. This is when a changing table is unnecessary. You will want to have diapers and wipes at the ready. You will not want to carry your child to the changing table, unless you particularly fancy drops of poop trailing with you from baby's diaper.
Is it messy? Yes. Is it kind of gross? Yes. Is it necessary? ABSOLUTELY. Stock up!
One Piece Sleepers
Don't get clothes for your newborn that has to go over their head. A baby is wiggly and they just get more wiggly as they get older. I would like to take this moment to advise you that you should just get something that doesn't require fighting with the floppy head of a newborn and stick to one piece sleepers.
Try to find some that have zippers and not snaps. Snaps are the devil when it comes to clothing a child. They can be footed, they can be non-footed, they can be sacks (though my kid never cared for the sacks).
I do like the ones with sleeves that have the hand covers. For newborns this is great. Their nails are super long and grow at superhuman rates. However, the mittens you get for babies tend to be too big for their hands and fall off. The gloves that cover the hands, attached to sleepers, are the best. You can use them, or don't, but they are there, ready and willing to help keep your baby from scratching up their face.
Baby Vibration Device
Why no one really tells you this, I'm not sure. We came across this by accident. Our daughter's pack and play bed came with an attachment that played music and had a button for vibration. I remember accidentally pushing the vibration button, and boy did that ever become the best baby calming method we have ever used.
Ours was just an attachment that took batteries. Vibration is used to soothe a baby pretty regularly. I am still astonished that wasn't the first thing people told me to do when my baby was inconsolable. I would have loved a device that went under the mattress It really is an awesome way to lull a baby to sleep.
Carrier or Sling
I wish I had known about the convenience of the carrier or sling when my daughter was small enough to use it. I didn't learn about them until she was at least 6 months old. While that's still an acceptable age to use a carrier or sling, it's not really as awesome as carrying a newborn around in one.
A carrier or sling is great for carrying newborns hands free. You can get so much done. Newborns sleep most of the first months of their existence. Sometimes, the only way to get them to stay asleep or have easy access them is to hold or carry them non-stop. This is where the carrier or sling comes in.
You can find all sorts of carriers out there. I have used two different kinds. I found the slings from Seven Slings to be harder to use and my baby was more bunched up and I can't imagine she was very comfortable. I would recommend the Moby Wrap to anyone who wants comfort and light weight. I hear people say it's hard to figure out, but it comes with directions and you can always find a YouTube video to help teach you how to put it one properly.
Trust me, the first time your baby becomes incredibly warm to the touch, you will want to have something quick and easy to take your baby's temperature. I don't suggest in the mouth thermometers, no matter how fast they are advertised to be. Babies are wiggly and the temp is likely not going to be very accurate. I also don't see the need for a pacifier thermometer, this is only necessary if your baby is using a pacifier AND can keep it in their mouth independently. Most newborns are still experimenting with their sucking reflexes and won't be holding the pacifier in their mouth for long.
I do like the sticker indicators. In fact, these are what we used for my daughter when she was very very small. You put the sticker on the child's forehead and it reads the number out in digital number format. No fuss, no muss. You can keep these on your child's head for 48 hours straight. It will change with the child's temp and it's an easy way to look while the baby is sleeping to check on the temp.
Once they get a little older and are more into pulling things and exploring with their hands, the stickers may not be the best option. Instead, I would suggest getting a thermometer that reads in the ear. Preferably one that just has to touch the outside of the ear canal slightly and takes the temp quickly.
Obvious Things You Need
We all know we need a place for the baby to sleep, something for the baby to eat, and of course, something for the baby to poop in. Obviously, stock up on diapers, wipes and formula (unless you're breastfeeding, then you got it made). Car seat, stroller, and perhaps a small version of a high chair. It doesn't hurt to have socks, though they will likely be lost in a moment.
Other than that, what you really need it a lot of love, patience, and tolerance. Newborns are surprisingly resilient. Be prepared for sleepless nights and worried days. In the end, you will always have what you need just holding your baby in your arms.