The first few days and weeks home with your newborn can be a whirlwind. You’re experiencing so many new feelings and emotions and have just been thrown into the brand new challenge of teaching yourself how to be a mom. You’re probably sleep-deprived, uncomfortable, nervous, and unconfident about everything you’re doing, but also so in love.
Luckily, being a mom comes natural for most of us. Your brain and body just kick into high gear once your little one arrives and that motherly instinct (that everyone talks about) makes it’s appearance.
You’ll figure out a system and routine as a new family and you will barely be able to remember what life was like before you became a mother.
For some moms, bringing home your new baby and figuring out your new way of life may not come easy at all. You’ll still need all the advice from friends, family, and medical professionals to understand your baby’s needs and make the best decisions possible. It helps to gather all the information you can to be prepared.
I took lots of advice from all the above, but since no two babies are exactly alike, I found some things that did and did not work for me. The first days, weeks, even years, can be trial-and-error. Both you and your baby are learning about each other and you’ll find out what products and routines work best for you both.
I’m going to share with you some of my favorite and must-have products for a newborn during those first couple weeks. Of course, newborns are all unpredictable and something that worked for me, may not work for you. However, most of these products helped my babies to be comforted, sleep easier, eat better, and just help me stay sane!
Related Post: How to Prepare Your House for Bringing Home a New Baby
Sleep and comfort
We all wish you could bring a baby home from the hospital and they would just sleep through the night. Especially after the last couple uncomfortable months of pregnancy and grueling hours of labor. All we want is a good night’s sleep! Is that too much to ask?
While we can’t get a full night of shut-eye right away, we can provide our baby with the most comfort to help them ease into these first few days outside of the womb (which can be a scary place for them). Here are my recommendations for items that helped our babies feel most comfortable, as well as helped me to adjust better to having a newborn in the house.
Boppy Newborn Lounger
You can’t possibly hold your baby all day, but that’s typically the only way your baby will feel at ease. It’s important to find a place to put them down where they still feel safe, comfortable, and warm. The Boppy Newborn Lounger was a life saver and I highly recommend it.
The Newborn Lounger is a cushion that’s like a little nest for a newborn. The center cradles your baby at a gentle angle, allowing your baby to fit in a perfectly comfortable position. Every baby loves this cushion!
One of the greatest part about the Boppy Newborn Lounger is its unique portability. You will want a piece of baby gear that can be easily transported from room to room or during travel. You can bring it anywhere with you when you need your baby close by. It can go on your bed, in your bathroom, or in your kitchen, following you around your house!
Halo Swivel Bassinet
Your newborn baby will most likely sleep next to your bed for the first couple months. The Halo Swivel Bassinet was the perfect spot for my baby and so convenient for myself.
The swivel lets your baby to get as close to you as possible while still keeping them safely in a bassinet and it allows gliding movement. The side closest to you is able to be pushed down with just your forearms to easily take baby in and out.
Another thing that newborns love is to be held tightly and squeezed. Swaddling is a great way to give them that feeling of compression when you’re not holding them.
In the hospital they will show you how to swaddle with a blanket or muslin, but both of my babies broke out of that so easily. Using these SwaddleMe Velcro Swaddles were amazing because they held my babies in so snug and they couldn’t push their arms out of it when they squirmed. These helped my babies instantly calm when needed.
Related Post: Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits For Your Baby
My babies only loved sucking on Mam Pacifier. Newborns naturally need to satisfy their sucking reflex and these Mam pacifiers are a terrific way to do that for your baby. I think these ones are just the most appropriate sized nipple and fit comfortably in their mouth. These are a must-have for sure.
Swing and/or Bouncer
It’s important to have places to put down your baby to rest, nap, or just when your arms need a break. The Newborn Lounger, listed above, is still my ultimate choice for baby gear because of its portability. However, I also desperately needed a swing and a bouncer during the newborn stage.
I always keep the bouncer in my bedroom and the swing in the kitchen so I had a spot for baby in most rooms of the house.
A standard swing takes up too much space, so I liked a smaller, more portable solution like this Ingenuity ConvertMe Swing. As soon as I put my babies in their swing, they would calm down.
They both loved the gentle rocking motion back and forth and that was a great way to get them to fall asleep during those first few weeks.
Bouncers offer a similar position for baby to lay, but with out all the movement. This Fisher Price Bouncer I kept in my bedroom and used all of the time while I was folding laundry, making my bed, getting dressed, etc. The reclined, supported position made my baby so comfortable.
Dohm Sound Machine
Setting the right sleeping environment for a newborn can make or break your baby’s sleep routine. We used and loved the Dohm White Noise Sound Machine from day one to block out other noises and give my baby a consistent sound everytime he fell asleep.
For swaddling and keeping baby warm and cozy, I kept a blanket on them at all times. Depending on the time of year will determine which type of blankets you will use the most. For summer babies, Aden & Anais Muslin Blankets provide a light covering whether you’re outside or in the house. They’re so soft and light and there’s adorable patterns and colors to choose from as well.
For my baby born in the cooler months, we used this fleece blanket by Just Born which was so soft and kept him nice and warm.
You will be feeding your baby every 2-3 hours around the clock during the first couple weeks home. Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, it can sometimes be a challenge in the beginning, but you will quickly learn what works best for you and your baby. Here are my top picks of items that helped me with both breast and bottle feeding.
My Breast Friend
If you’re planning to breastfeed, you will want to have a nursing pillow. The My Breast Friend Pillow has a strap so the cushion can stay up higher while nursing. This helped me a ton so I wouldn’t have to slouch and also allowed me to walk around while nursing. Multitasking is a must for new moms!
I had a regular Boppy nursing pillow previously, but it was nowhere near as helpful as the My Breast Friend. Positioning can make or break a baby’s latch and a mom’s comfort while breastfeeding, so make sure you choose wisely.
Related Post: How to Prepare Yourself for Nursing Your Newborn
Breastfeeding Tracker App – Baby Tracker
When your baby is first born, you need to start tracking how long they ate, how often, what time, how many pees and poops, and other important information to make sure your newborn is progressing well. It can get overwhelming to remember everything so it’s smart to write it down or record it somewhere.
We started using this free app, Baby Tracker, while still in the hospital and it kept us on top of everything. Just download it to your phone and record every time your baby gets a diaper change, feeding, or any other medical information you would want to keep track of.
Both of my kids were ‘happy spitters’ meaning they spit up all the time, but weren’t bothered by it. I never knew when it would be time for a big spit up so I always had to be ready. I had a ton of burp clothes always handy to clean up those messes that went all over me and my house.
Even if you’re nursing, there will probably be times when you’ll want to pump so that your partner can take a turn feeding the baby. You also don’t want to wait too long to introduce a bottle to ensure that your baby will start taking it.
The Avent Bottles mimic a mother’s breast so well and my son did great with them. They help your baby keep a latch similar to how they would latch onto your nipple so they don’t get confused between the two. We tried a different brand of bottles before these and my son rejected it, but once we switched to Avent Bottles, he took the bottle right away.
If you will be breastfeeding or pumping, you NEED a breast pump. I have tried many different brands of pumps over my last two years of breastfeeding and the Spectra Pump is by far the most superior. This pump is so efficient at emptying my breasts to get the maximum amount of milk possible. It’s also quiet, portable (Spectra S1), and doesn’t damage your nipples.
I had to supplement with formula for my son’s jaundice condition during the first week of his life so pumping every 3 hours a day was brutal. I would not have gotten through that first week exclusively pumping if it wasn’t for this pump.
Now, most health insurances will cover the cost of a breast pump 100% so make sure you get yours! They can be pricey so this is very valuable. Check out Aeroflow Breastpumps to check whether you qualify through insurance. They make it so easy to determine your eligibility and contact the insurance and physician directly. Aeroflow then takes care of all the required paperwork between the supplier and your doctor and gets the pump sent right to you for no cost at all!
Related Post: First Steps to Breastfeeding Success From Day One
Who would have known you can’t use a regular sponge to clean all of your bottles and breast pump parts? I didn’t realize until I tried. These Munchkin Bottle Brushes are perfect because they flex to easily get in all of those little nipples and tiny pump parts, as well as the larger cylinders of a bottle that your hand can’t normally reach. Without these, I don’t know how I would have washed all these bottles (all day long)!
Forget all the cute outfits – button down shirts and frilly little dresses. Both you and your baby won’t want to be bothered with all that. To make my life easier, I stuck with the items below when dressing my newborns and taking them out.
For the first few weeks and even months, your baby can and will live in pajamas. Depending on the season, it’s best to keep them in onesies in the summer and one piece sleep and play sleepers when it’s a little cooler.
These footed one pieces are really ALL YOU NEED. They’re so easy to take on and off and you’ll need that for the middle of the night changes. Be sure to get the ones with ZIPPERS, not snaps and FOOTED, not footless. It just made my life so much easier because socks fall off little baby feet so easily and snaps are a pain when you’re doing multiple.
For those winter babies, the Carter’s Fleece Footed Sleep and Plays are perfect. When it’s warmer, you still want to keep them fully covered, so the Carter’s Cotton Footed Sleep and Plays are just perfect.
My son had a few cold symptoms during his first couple months so we needed to use a few more products than we did for my daughter. However, it’s a good thing that I had these items on hand as soon as we needed them.
If your newborn gets a stuffy nose, the poor thing doesn’t know how to blow it themselves! The NoseFrida Snot Sucker is the best solution for helping to clear them up. It works by blowing into one end of the tube while the other end is in their nose. The snot actually comes out the other side. It works like magic!
A newborn baby is susceptible to all the germs he or she comes in contact with. Just a simple cold from an adult can trigger a terrible illness in your tiny little baby. Make sure you and any visitors are sanitizing their hands regularly before touching him. I kept a few bottles of Babyganics Hand Sanitizer all throughout our house.
We went through a massive amount of diapers in those first few weeks. Newborns go through about 10-12 diapers a day! Get yourself a Diaper Genie to keep the smells contained and Don’t forget to buy some extra refills because you go through them quickly.
Natural Diapers and Water Wipes
Obviously diapers and wipes are a given must-have item for your baby, but in those first few months, I prefer to use the most natural products on my newborn. I absolutely love WaterWipes. They are the purest wipes because they use 99.9% water so I was assured that there were no toxic chemicals going onto my baby’s skin. They are a bit pricier than your standard wipes, but I think it’s a must to use a natural wipe for at least the first couple months.
The Dyper brand of diapers offers a monthly subscription for natural, biodegradable diapers in any size you choose. There are no chemicals in these diapers and in comparison to other natural and organic diapers like Honest and Seventh Generation, they blow them out of the water! Give them a try because you can always cancel the subscription service after 1 month.
A newborn’s skin is typically very dry. They just came out of a wet environment where their skin was constantly lubricated to this dry air in the outside world. You’ll want to keep their skin moisturized if you notice it starting to flake. The Burt’s Bees Baby Ointment was great because it doesn’t contain petroleum like other ointments do (Vaseline, Aquaphor), so I knew I wasn’t putting any harmful chemicals on my baby.
Baby tub with newborn insert
We bathed our newborn in the kitchen and place the bathtub on the counter for the first couple months. This is a lot easier on our backs so we don’t have to bend over the tub when they’re still so small. They only need a sponge bath for the first couple weeks, but it’s still so helpful to keep them propped up on the incline for better support.
This Summer Infant bath tub is great for the raised height, comfortable incline for a newborn, and the piece that comes out when you just need to give a sponge bath.
Baby shampoo and body wash
You can’t have bath time without shampoo and baby wash, right? I loved Babo Botanicals shampoo and body wash because it was gentle for my newborn. I knew they used all natural ingredients so I felt safe using it for a baby’s sensitive skin.
Even though your baby can’t do much in terms of play at this point, you’ll still want to stimulate him as much as you can. Here are my picks for things I used when playing or getting out with my newborn.
Related Post: How to Play With and Stimulate Your Newborn
Light Up Musical Toy – Dance and Move BeatBo
Your newborn will need to be stimulated during the first couple weeks even though their eyesight isn’t fully developed yet. While my baby was in tummy time, Dance and Move BeatBo could provide countless entertainment for him. Once you push the buttons, they will be fixated by the lights and music it provides. Use it during tummy time to distract your baby from the hard work they’re putting in!
Tummy time should start as soon as you bring the baby home from the hospital to start building their core, neck, and arm strength. This Skip Hop Activity Mat is a great place to put your baby down to work on their tummy time, as well as stretch out on their back with toys overhead.
Diaper Bag: Freshly Picked Leather Backpack
I am OBSESSED with my new Freshly Picked Backpack diaper bag. Your diaper bag will literally become your purse (I just throw a tiny wallet for my money, keys, and credit card) so you should have something you feel good about.
The back pack feature has been so helpful on multiple occasions to have my hands free. Keeping it always packed with essentials and right by the door so it’s ready to go at moments notice is a must. It’s hard enough getting out of the house with an infant, so always prepare your bags for leaving the house beforehand!
Related Post: What to Pack in Your Diaper Bag
The first couple weeks home with your newborn will probably be tough for you. Mainly because you just pushed a baby the size of a watermelon out of your body. You need time to heal, but yet need to be at the beckon call of your new baby. We are always so concerned about the things we need for the baby, but you are just as important!
There were a few products that were life savers during this time for me and I listed a few below. Read my full post on Essential Items in Your Postpartum Recovery Kit for more details.
These were by far my favorite postpartum accessory! My nipples were soooo sore after the first couple nursing sessions that I could barely tolerate her feeding! I’m not sure if she was incorrectly latching or I just have extremely sensitive nipples, but ouch!
One of my nurses recommended Ameda Nipple Gel Padsto me and luckily they carried them in the hospital gift shop. I got them right away and they worked great! You can put them in the refrigerator so they are cool and keep them on your breasts in between nursing sessions. It basically numbs the pain. Honestly, I may have given up nursing if it wasn’t for these.
Comfortable nursing bra- Kindred Bravely French Terry Bra
You’re not going to be getting out of the house much during the first few weeks home, so make yourself as comfortable as possible. If you’re nursing, you will want a soft nursing bra that you can sleep in and relax in. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, they will still be tender. The Kindred Bravely French Terry Bra is my ultimate favorite and really helped to keep me comfortable in those first few days home.
I lived in my robe while in the hospital and the first few days home. Your body will still be healing so you don’t want any tight elastic pants or shorts around your waist, but still need to cover up.
A robe works best to give you easy access to breastfeed and doesn’t restrict any of your movements or cause any added pain. You don’t want anything heavy, but something simple and lightweight is perfect. This robe from Amazon is the perfect soft material and won’t get in the way.
High Waisted Leggings
Leggings are a mom’s best friend! I needed leggings that sucked everything in (including my postpartum tummy). Jeans were just not happening for awhile and at least leggings make you look a little more put together than sweatpants! These leggings have a perfect high waist and tummy control to hold me in so I can wear them out of the house or while just lounging around.
If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort in your vaginal region from childbirth, Dermoplast should take the pain away. Use it as often as you need for quick relief.
If you have most of these must-have items ready for your baby, you should be well prepared to bring your newborn home.