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Until I became a Mommy, I was never really a baby person. I never felt the urge to hold newborns, never changed a diaper, nope— none of that. I loved (and still do love) kids of all ages… but babies have never been my thing.
So, imagine my utter horror and dismay the first time I walked into a Babies ‘R Us to scope out the baby gear scene prior to registering. My heart raced, palms sweated… as one question raced through my brain like a jackrabbit–‘ Why in the world do babies need so much gear?’ That question was quickly followed by a panicky thought, ‘I have no idea what I am doing. How am I ever going to make it as a Mom?’
Fortunately, my friend Jenny was a pro at the baby stuff and she almost literally held my hand as we walked the aisles of the baby superstore… pointing out the function each piece of equipment served and giving me the inside scoop on what I really needed.
Let’s face it- in the days and weeks after a newborn comes home from the hospital, the most important considerations a new Mom will have is taking care of the baby’s eating, sleeping, and pooping. You probably registered for a diaper genie and Bobby pillow. However, what else is really going to make a difference to you as a Mom in those crucial first weeks? These are my top 5 picks for newborn essentials you may not have considered:
- The Miracle Blanket. There are a lot of great swaddle blankets on the market but if you have an active baby, the miracle blanket really lives up to its name. A newborn is used to being in the womb and if they are not tightly swaddled, they will easily wake themselves up with their flailing arms. If your newborn is active like Sweet Pea was, they very easily could ‘punch’ out of the normal swaddle blankets. That is much more difficult with the Miracle Blanket.
- The DVD, Happiest Baby on the Block. So, I know there are hundreds of parenting gurus, philosophies, etc… However, cranky newborns can wreak havoc on the first 3 to 4 months of Mom and Dad’s lives. This DVD (and the book by the same name) are designed to teach you 5 easy steps that will solve about 95% of all newborn crying issues… provided they are not sick, in pain, or hungry. We used this method and Sweet Pea was sleeping through the night (8 hours at a time) by 8 weeks old. Granted, I know every baby is different… but I also know many many Moms who swear by this method.
A noise machine. Really, any device that creates white noise, even a cell phone app. Apparently babies are used to noise from being in Mommy’s womb. Sweet Pea did not sleep well her first week or so, until someone showed us how white noise actually soothed her. She has had a white noise machine in her bedroom ever since.
A lactation consultant. Seriously, if you decide to breastfeed, there are so many resources available that will help you succeed. Breastfeeding can be a real challenge and there is nothing more heartbreaking than trying unsuccessfully to get your newborn to latch. Lactation consultant services should be available at the facility where you deliver (hospital or birth center) or you can most likely find one by looking up your local chapter of La Leche League International. Either way, an afternoon with a consultant is both time and money well spent.
Netflix. Don’t laugh! Between feeding baby and watching baby fall asleep in your arms, you are going to be nailed to the couch or rocker for the next few weeks. Unless you plan on staring at the walls 6 to 8 hours a day, now might be the time to binge watch that tv series you have been dying to check out. Me? I consumed the entire series of Friday Night Lights. It was great. I laughed. I cried. About the time the curtain closed on that series… was about the time Sweet Pea and I were ready to leave the couch and head out on new adventures.
Bonus! A camera. You are really going to feel the urge to capture so many adorable moments with your new baby. Those fingers! Those eyelashes! That belly! Make sure your camera is with you so you don’t miss the moment. Trust me, you will be glad you did!
There are lots of essential newborn items. However, these are definitely my top picks. What were yours?
Thanks for reading!