Evelyn officially just turned 6 months old last week, and it is giving me all the feels ❤️ The newborn days are definitely hard, but they really do go by so fast. It’s true what they say, babies don’t keep. You’ll find yourself wishing you could be transported back in time to enjoy those newborn snuggles just a little while longer. To hold your tiny newborn baby just a little tighter, and smell that newborn smell just one last time. Below I’ve listed my top 10 newborn essentials that made the first couple of months a little bit easier.
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As a general life philosophy, I like to keep things simple. I’m not really one for excess gear and gadgets, but these are things I wholeheartedly recommend as newborn essentials for anyone caring for a new baby. As a type 5 personality on the Enneagram, research is something that I often spend a lot of time on. This was especially true when it came to preparing to have a baby.
We created a registry on Amazon and one on Babylist which made the whole process as painless as possible. Based on all of my reading, research, and experience, here are the newborn essentials that were most important and useful to me during those difficult yet amazing and fleeting newborn days.
So without further ado, these are my Top 10 Newborn Essentials:
1. Baby Wrap
The fabric of the Solly wrap is buttery soft and so comfy for you and baby. It can be a little bit tricky to get the hang of it at first since it’s a single piece of long fabric that you wrap and tie around yourself before you put your baby in. The thing that helped me the most was to watch a few different videos. And then I always put Evelyn into the wrap in front of a mirror. You’ll get the hang of it after a time or two! The weight limit of the Solly is 25 pounds.
I loved wearing Evelyn in this wrap, and it’s not an accident that it’s #1 on my list of newborn essentials. I don’t think I could have gotten by without it. I remember telling my husband, “I love snuggling with her, but I love getting stuff done too.”
I did try my ring sling when Evie was a newborn. When I had her in the ring sling, it really didn’t feel like it had enough head/neck support. I didn’t feel comfortable with her in the ring sling unless I was cradling her head with my hand to keep it up while she was in it. Now that she’s older and has great head/neck control, my WildBird ring slings are definitely my favorite!
2. SnuggleMe Organic Lounger
We received a SnuggleMe Organic lounger with a linen cover as a shower gift and it was probably one of my favorite newborn items! If I had to pick only a couple of newborn essentials (instead of 10), this would be one of them.
I could put Evelyn in the SnuggleMe on our bed while doing laundry, or on the kitchen counter while cooking or doing dishes, etc. She always seemed to calm right down when we put her in there. I’ve also seen some pictures with a SnuggleMe in a Moses basket (so cute!), and I’m sure that the basket makes it even easier to move the SnuggleMe around the house with you.
From the SnuggleMeOrganic website – “The next best thing to being held in your arms. The Snuggle Me® Lounger is a unique lounging pad designed to hug your baby’s full body. This snuggling sensation is highly effective at calming and comforting your baby when you need extra support.”
I didn’t put Evelyn in the lounger unless I was right there next to her. And I definitely didn’t let her sleep overnight in it (see the AAP recommendations for safe sleep). She had reflux for the first couple of months, and one time she spit up quite a lot but she wasn’t able to turn her head to the side while she was in the SnuggleMe, and she started choking a little bit. Luckily I was right next to her and was able to scoop her up, but it was still scary!
3. Bedside Bassinet
This BabyDelight bedside bassinet was a lifesaver! I had to have a c-section because Evelyn was breech. Having her right next to me helped me heal during the first couple of weeks since I didn’t have to move around so much. Evie was actually still sleeping in this bassinet next to me up until recently! Now that she’s sleeping through the night, we transitioned her to her own crib in her nursery a couple of weeks ago.
I also added one of these baby-safe crib mirrors. It’s actually reversible and the other side has high-contrast black and white pictures which can help encourage visual development.
This bassinet is designed so that you can zip down one side and push it right up against your bed as a co-sleeper. The bassinet comes with one waterproof bassinet sheet, but I would definitely recommend having some extra waterproof fitted sheets on hand because of all the spit up you will probably be dealing with. Just make sure that they fit snugly around the mattress with no loose fabric! The weight limit for the BabyDelight bassinet is 18lbs.
4. Halo Sleepsack Swaddle
This Halo Sleepsack Swaddle is definitely a must-have newborn essential. Babies are born with a natural startle reflex, and they can wake themselves up with their own arm movements if they aren’t swaddled. Swaddling babies for the first few months helps them sleep better, and that means you might sleep better too! As you can see, Evelyn loved to have her hands up by her face when she was swaddled and it was super easy to do that with the velcro flaps.
I had the hardest time swaddling Evelyn with an actual swaddle blanket. All those tucks and folds were just a little too much for me. Plus, I was always nervous about the swaddle coming undone at night and covering her face. This Halo Sleepsack Swaddle was so easy to use. And the one we got zipped up from the bottom (even when the baby was swaddled) which helped make nighttime diaper changes a breeze. We bought a second one because it seemed like one was always in the wash and it wasn’t dry in time for bedtime.
5. Sound Machine
We received this Hatch Rest Sound Machine/Night Light as a shower gift and I love it! It helps to muffle the sounds of dishes, laundry, dogs barking, etc. while the baby’s sleeping. This sound machine has lots of different settings for different sounds and light colors. Currently, we use just the sound machine and usually have it set to the “rainfall” sound.
Another great feature is that it’s Bluetooth enabled, so you can sync it with your phone. There have been some nights where I forgot to turn the sound machine on, and it’s so nice to be able to turn it on from the other room without opening the door and waking up the baby.
I also read a few reviews that mentioned another great feature that we might be able to use in the future. Some parents set their HatchRest to turn the light on at a certain time and told their children once it turns on that they can get out of bed. “Before we purchased the Rest, our 2.5 year old daughter would wake up anytime between 6 and 7 am and would call for us loudly to come and get her. Now she stays in bed quietly talking or singing to herself until the green light turns on and we are able to have time to ourselves in the morning. It’s the best thing! Highly recommended!” I think that’s such a great idea!
6. Huckleberry App (it’s free!)
I didn’t find the Huckleberry app until Evelyn was a couple of months old, but I wish I had it when she was first born! You can use it to track sleep, feeding, pumping, dirty diapers, medication/vitamins, temperature, and measurements (height, weight, head circumference).
I especially love the nursing tracker – it keeps track of how long you nursed, including the last side you nursed on (so helpful!). One feature that I would have loved to use when Evelyn was a newborn is the diaper tracker. Those first several days it’s important to make sure your baby is making enough wet and dirty diapers, and the app makes it so easy.
You can easily customize your home screen to add or remove whichever features you actually want to use from that list, and the app is overall very user-friendly and easy to figure out.
7. FridaBaby NailFrida File & Clippers
These FridaBaby NailFrida clippers and file have really come in handy. 😅Newborn nails really are so tiny! I was scared to use nail clippers at first, but I used the file every few days during the first couple of weeks. The S-shape makes it a little bit easier to file those super tiny nails. Keeping your baby’s nails short will prevent them from accidentally scratching themselves (ouch!).
The clippers are great now that Evelyn’s a little older. One thing I love about the clippers is that they don’t make the usual snapping sound when they cut the nail. The top and bottom actually overlap at an angle and use a scissor-type motion instead of a clipping motion. The clippers also have a little window on the top so you can see through and make sure you’re at just the right spot before you cut.
Here is a link for the cute wooden hairbrush from the photo with the nail clippers.
8. Babo Botanicals Soothing Diaper Cream
We have been using cloth diapers and wipes most of the time since Evie was about 6 or 7 weeks old (once she was big enough to fit in them), and the Babo Botanicals Soothing Diaper Cream is the best cloth diaper safe cream we’ve found. Some creams that aren’t cloth-diaper safe can create a barrier on the fabric that can affect their absorbency. They also have a fragrance-free version.
Since we’ve been using cloth diapers, we haven’t had too many issues with diaper rash. Because of this, I didn’t use this cream too much during the newborn phase, but it’s important to keep on hand because diaper rash can spring up very quickly no matter how vigilant you are with changing diapers as soon as they’re dirty. And it can be very uncomfortable for your little one. The sooner you start treating it, the better chance you have of the rash clearing up quickly.
Now that Evelyn started sleeping through the night, we have had a couple of instances where she developed diaper rash overnight from being in her diaper that long. Using this cream with each diaper change healed it up in just about a day. Plus it doesn’t have any mystery ingredients and it smells so nice!
If you’re interested in cloth diapers or wipes, check out this post. It’s a lot easier than you probably think!
We have been using this Munchkin Sit and Soak Baby Bathtub since Evelyn was about a month old. Originally we started out with the Blooming Bath Lotus Flower insert for our kitchen sink, but it didn’t have any support for Evelyn’s back and it always seemed like she was about to topple over into the water.
I was terrified to give her a bath by myself until I got this Munchkin “Sit and Soak” baby tub. It is designed so well! The angle is perfect to support her back, and the little bump on the bottom prevents her from sliding down into the tub. It fits right in our kitchen sink and works great.
Even though I consider this bathtub one of my newborn essentials, Evelyn just turned 6 months old and it still works great for her now too. The manufacturer says it’s good for babies up to 12 months of age.
10. Baby Book
This “As You Grow” baby book is one of my very favorite things. I’m not usually very sentimental, but I love writing in Evelyn’s baby book! The book is so beautiful and such great quality. I know it will be a treasured item in our family for years to come.
One thing I love about it is that it has several pockets throughout the book to hold keepsakes. This baby book would make a great baby shower gift as well! Be sure to crack it open before baby gets here- there are pages to record things like your thoughts before baby’s arrival, things about the nursery, and about how you found out you were expecting.
And that’s it for my top 10 newborn essentials! Are there any newborn essentials you would add to this list? If you’re having a baby soon, what are you most looking forward to in the newborn days??
If you’re interested in a tour of Evelyn’s nursery, check out this post. We stuck with all neutral decor because we didn’t actually find out her gender until she was born, and I still love how it turned out!