As you know, we recently welcomed our fourth baby into the world. Fresh and wide-eyed, he infuses our lives with joy beyond words.
Since our little guy is baby #4, this is certainly not our first rodeo. We've pared down our baby gear so much that you might barely know we have a baby if you were to walk around our house. In essence, we have discovered what items we truly need and/or love.
Soft, breathable, lightweight, and oh-so-portable, these oversized swaddling blankets have been a staple in our house ever since we discovered them several babies ago. The patterns are gorgeous and on-trend. You'll use them for swaddling, wrapping, and burping. When your baby outgrows them, your kids will use them for building forts and rocking dolls. Definitely snag a three-pack if you are expecting a baby. Don't bother with other swaddling blankets.
At birth, babies have teeny fingernails that are razor sharp. Combined with a startle reflex, babies can quickly scratch their faces if you aren't vigilant. Using mittens helps keep those little fingers from baby's face for the first few weeks. Tim's cousin handed us down an adorable pair of no scratch mittens from Lou Lou & Company, which did the trick.
Understated in design, the BabyBjorn bouncer is blissfully free of bright colors and electronic gizmos. Our baby uses his own legs to power the bounciness to his comfort level. He contentedly cycles away as we make dinner, homeschool, or do other household tasks. We don't have much baby gear, but a bouncy seat is a must for us.
Even though this is baby #4, we were blessed to receive lots of new baby clothes...because this is our first boy! After cycling through a variety of different clothing brands, I have noted that the Carter's brand tends to be my go-to. The materials are soft and the clothes are smartly designed for easy diaper changes and sleepy night outfit swaps.
Our favorite brand of baby wipes! Found at Costco, these wipes are non-scented, hypoallergenic, and super sturdy (they won't disintegrate/break easily). Not to mention that they come in huge packs. This is important since we go through so many of them!
I would trade in a lot of baby gear before getting rid of our video monitor. It gives us such peace of mind to be able to SEE and HEAR our baby during nap times and when we put him down for the night. The Philips Avent monitor we have this time around has clear video quality and streams well throughout our house.
I definitely am brand loyal about diapers for newborns. Pampers' Swaddlers are soft and stretchable, "swaddling" baby's bottom. A gentle product for a peaceful entry into the world. We would be using Pampers still (at four months), but they are not sold at Costco so we've now somewhat begrudgingly switched over to the Kirkland brand. That said, I just noticed that Amazon Prime offers 20% off Pampers Diapers if you subscribe and I'm wondering if this would be a cheaper alternative.
No more aching backs! Bathe your baby in the sink with this super soft, easy to unfold baby bath tub. It's a piece of cake to use and to position the baby safely - even with a newborn. After you're done, it lays flat for quick drying. Our baby is starting to outgrow this tub at about 4 months, but it has been well-used and appreciated in our house.
Shoes are unnecessary for babies, but if you have a winter baby, you'll love the snug warmth of these bitty booties by Zutano. They're oh-so-soft and easy to put on/take off - plus machine-washable! Available for newborns up to 18 months, they come in an array of colors.
I bought a pack of these washable nursing pads from Babies R Us shortly after the birth of the baby. I really appreciate the softness. They are thin too, which helps them not look bulky under clothes. I am no longer using breast pads (I stopped needing them around the 6-week mark), but every woman is different in this regard.
When we go out and about, I like the comfort and privacy of using a nursing cover. I've tried poncho/scarf-style covers and, though cute in advertisements, found them to be not up to par with bebe au lait. Having boning around the neck that allows me to keep my eye on my baby and provides more breathing space is an essential.
The Belly Bandit B.D.A Bra has been my go-to bra for the past four months. It has great stretch & softness - and I always reach for it first in my underwear drawer! I love that there are no buttons, clasps, or ties. It's comfortable enough to wear to bed, but supportive enough to wear out-and-about during the day.
For the most part, I don't buy nursing-specific clothing (they are expensive and hard to come by). Instead, I stick with tank tops under loose fitting sweaters/tees. This nursing cardigan by JoJo Maman Bebe, however, is pretty awesome for the winter time. It drapes beautifully and there are no secret compartments or clasps. Just pull aside! It also functions as an impromptu cover for privacy.
For sore/cracked nipples, I return again and again to Lansinoh's HPA Lanolin. I have used it (liberally) with all four of my babies and am so grateful for its existence. I tried a tub from Bamboobies, but didn't like that the gooey stuff was so thick and would get stuck under my fingernails (yuck!). Lansinoh's tubes could be squirted easily with one hand and were a much better consistency. I also went through several boxfuls of Lansinoh's disposable nursing pads over the first 3-4 weeks of breastfeeding.
If you have been a longtime reader, you know that breastfeeding doesn't come easy for me for the first 2-5 weeks. Nor does it for many, many women. This was the first time that I used a shield on the recommendation of a friend. I only used it occasionally (when I was particularly exhausted and weary), but I'm fairly certain that using it prevented my nipples from bleeding/cracking to the extent that they did with my first three babies.
This is the best nursing pillow I've tried. I love the back support for me and the soft surface for baby. Once I reached the 2-month mark or so, I didn't need a pillow anymore - but they are a huge help for those first few months when you are working tirelessly to get a good latch. The usability window may be small, but getting a nursing pillow is totally worthwhile. If you don't get one from your baby registry and/or don't want to pay full price, see if you can find a gently used one on craigslist or borrow one from a friend.
If we had only the products above for the first three months, we'd be golden. (We also have a car seat, of course!). Tim & I have definitely learned that less-is-more when it comes to baby gear. We don't even use a crib since the baby sleeps sweetly right by our sides.
Click on any product image to purchase over at Amazon or to add to your Amazon Baby Registry (#affiliate). As always, feel free to leave questions or comments. I love hearing from you!
What baby products do you consider to be essential for the first 3 months?
I'd also love to hear if you've used the Subscribe & Save option to buy diapers through Amazon Prime.