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I know they say time goes by at warp speed when you have a newborn, but I really didn’t expect it to be this quick! It’s been 3 months since we brought little miss Emily home and to be honest… it’s been one big blur. The days are long and blend easily into one another, my coffee intake has increased significantly, and I have officially perfected the “mom-voice.”
To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect during the “4th trimester.” You can read about it in books. Hear about it from friends and family. And dive deep into online mommy forums. But until you experience it for yourself… there’s no amount of reading or talk that can prepare you for it! Don’t get me wrong, Emily is a great baby; she’s breastfeeding like a champ (the little chunk is 14 lbs already), sleeping 6-7 hours through the night, and is chatting and cooing up a storm, BUT she has her moments where she’s super fussy, wants to be held ALL.THE.TIME, and just doesn’t want to take a nap no matter what I do. It was especially hard during the first 6-7 weeks when my body was still healing (I’ll spare the details, but hey, pushing out a baby is no joke)… but now that we’ve made it to the 13 week mark, I feel as though I am kinda getting the hang of this “mom” thing!
It’s been such an eye-opening and rewarding experience so far! It’s such a crazy feeling looking down at her and for a moment thinking your heart is going to explode. I have so much love for this tiny human, it’s indescribable. And don’t for one second think that motherly-instinct doesn’t exist. I’ve honestly been shocked at how responsive and natural I have been since bringing Emily home. I thought I would be an anxious, stressed out mess, but that hasn’t been the case AT ALL!
So now that we are 3 months in, I have a pretty good handle on what items I’ve really needed for #NewBornLife. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the STUFF… and I’ll admit, there were some things I bought because I saw them on a blog or because I thought they were cute, but the list of 11 items below are TRULY items that I don’t think I could live without!
My Top 11 “Must Have” Items
Stroller + Car Seat System
The first 6 weeks after Emily was born I didn’t really go anywhere with her (besides doctor appointments)… the weather was crappy and I wasn’t all that confident travelling alone with her. But once we got moving I realized how thankful I was to be using the Uppababy stroller, car seat and bassinet system. John and I have two car seat bases which makes transferring the seat between cars easy. The bassinet is so beautiful and Emily loves going on walks in it. But best of all, the car seat easily pops into the stroller base, so I can do all my running around without taking her out of the seat!
Confession: Before Emily was born I would scroll through Instagram and Pinterest admiring all the ADORABLE baby girl outfits. The rompers with leggings. The bubble shorts and bonnets. All so stinkin’ cute! Boy did I have an awakening when I realized how difficult it was to remove those items for constant diaper changes! Cute yes, functional no. Needless to say, I went out to Carter’s and bought 8-10 footed onesies and she’s been LIVING in them ever since. If I can offer up one very useful tip: get the ones with the zipper that zips up from the foot/leg… that way you are not trying to thread a zipper in the dark through heavy eyelids.
White/Pink Noise Machine
The Whisbear was definitely an impulse buy since there are soooo many other cheaper sound machines on the market (the Hussh portable sound machine is a good one & there are several playlists on Spotify that play white/pink noise)! Whisbear is actually a smart “pink noise” machine – with CRYsensor it happily hums away for 40 minutes and then switches to standby mode. If it hears baby cry, it will slowly fade back on for an additional 20 minutes. Emily is now sleeping through the night, but she sometimes wakes up for a 1-2 minute cry between sleep cycles… when Whisbear kicks in, it limits the need for me to go into her room to comfort her. The only downside I have found so far is that it burns through batteries like crazy, so make sure you have a jumbo pack on-hand!
At first, I very much regretted buying the Design Dua bassinet as Emily did not like sleeping in it! I did a lot of trial and error when we first brought her home seeing where I could get her to sleep the longest. For a few days it was in the bassinet, then her crib, then my bed, then in my arms, then the Snuggle Me Organic… It was a constant guessing game! She was probably 6 weeks old by the time she started to sleep in the bassinet at night. It worked really well for us up until last week… she really outgrew it fast, and I’ve since moved her to the crib. That said, the basket part of the bassinet is so beautiful and well made that I will continue to use it for her toys!
Haaka Breast Pump
I can’t say enough about the haaka! At first I was skeptical because it looks and functions nothing like a traditional breast pump, but man does it ever work! Rather than mimicking sucking, it simply suctions to your breast and you’re done! Milk will naturally begin to flow and it’s full before you know it! I like to use it first thing in the morning when I nurse Emily… so she’ll nurse from the left and I will simultaneously pump on the right. It has allowed me to gather quite the freezer stash of milk (which someone she will hopefully drink from a bottle… but that’s a whole other story!).
I almost didn’t buy a nursing pillow, thinking I would just cradle her in my arms while I nursed. All you moms out there are saying “HA!!” During those first few weeks, when I was dead tired and nursing was a marathon, it helped so much to have this pillow propped up around me to help support her little body… especially if I accidentally fell asleep, which if I am being honest, happened a lot. I exclusively nursed while sitting in the glider for the first 6 weeks because, quite frankly, I was too sore to sit anywhere else (again, that a whole other story!), and a pillow helped tremendously. I like this one because it’s not structured in any way, making it easy to stuff under one arm. The cover is also removable, making washing it a breeze! If Perlimpinpin sold the covers separately I would definitely buy another one to have on hand!
Diapers + Wipes
Diapers and wipes. Don’t get me started on the level of guilt I feel every time I throw out a disposable diaper and wipe… they are so incredibly wasteful. That said, right now I am using the Pampers Pure line of diapers and they get the job done! I really appreciate that they are made with
with premium cotton and soft plant-based fibers using 100% certified renewable electricity and sustainably sourced wood pulp. They are also free from chlorine bleach, fragrance, natural rubber latex, and allergens. I did purchase a set of Thirsties cloth diapers with hemp inserts and will be using them once they fit her a bit better (why they are soooo large is beyond me!).
I had a love/hate relationship with my Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle. For the first little while I wasn’t wrapping it tight enough and Emily would Houdini her way out, so I quickly assumed she hated being swaddled. Not the case. She actually likes it and needs it. When her arms are not swaddled she sleeps terribly, startling herself awake or clawing at her face. We’ll see how well she transitions to a sleep sack without the swaddle very soon… but I have a feeling it’s not going to go well!
I really, really like this wrap baby carrier! It’s lightweight, easy to wear, and frees up both your hands! I really, really wish Emily liked it as much as I do… unfortunately, the few times I’ve used it she cried and cried and cried. I’ll be giving it a few more solid tries as she continues to grow since carrying her around all day, every day, is started to wear out my wrists! Yes, mom wrists are a real thing!
Bibs + Burp Cloths
If one thing is for sure… there will be spit up! I received a lot of burp cloths as gifts and thought “well, this is overkill.” Nope. In fact, I had to go out and buy a few more! I keep one in every room of the house (because I often forget to throw one over my shoulder when walking around) so when spit up happens I can clean it up! As for the bibs, not only are they a cute fashion accessory, they help me keep the front of Emily’s cute outfits spit-up free when we go out!
Comfortable Nursing Bras
Don’t forget about the ladies! Nursing can be very painful for the first 6-8 weeks, so it’s important that you are comfortable. I must have 7 or 8 different types of nursing bras, but I consistently wear 3 of them: Bravado’s Ballet Bra, Boob’s Sports Bra, and Belly Bandit’s Nighttime Bra. I also opted to invest in reusable nursing pads. When I am at home I use AppleCheeks and Bravado, but when I go out I use Bamboobies since they are a lot thinner and softer.
5 “Nice to Have” Items
Like I said above, it’s hard not to go out and buy everything that’s recommended to you when you’re pregnant… trust me, I wanted ALL.THE.THINGS! All the items listed above are the basics I don’t think I could live without.
That said, I do have a few items that I would call “nice to haves” vs. “necessities,” so if budget is an issue, you can easily pass on these items.
Electric Bottle Sterilizer
I’ve only used my Avent Bottle Sterilizer a handful of times and found it super easy to use and helpful! You still have to wash the bottles before sterilizing them, so this doesn’t exactly reduce your workload…. but it is nice to have!
The Arlo was 100% a John purchase! He LOVES all the high-tech stuff. I would have been happy with a simple camera/monitor combo, but the 1080p HD camera with night-vision, air sensors (temperature, humidity & VOCs level), nightlight, and two way communication won John over! It’s handy, I like it, but again it is a nice to have!
Snuggle Me Organic Lounger
If you follow any type of “Instagram-mom” then you’ve likely seen the Snuggle Me Organic Lounger. I’ll admit, I bought it because I saw tons of my favourite bloggers using it, but it’s in no way a necessity. I found it super convenient to move around the house so when I needed to put her down I had a place to do so. For the first 2 weeks this thing didn’t leave our dining room table; I’d set her in it while making dinner. I haven’t used it all that much since week 5 or 6, but it’s definitely nice to have.
As I said above, 95% of the time Emily is dressed in a footed onesie, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a time and place for a cute outfit or two! I purchased some really adorable outfits from Baby Gap during their Black Friday and Boxing Day sales and she’s worn them during outings and special occasions. I’d say 2-3 outfits for the 0-3 month time period is plenty… again, not a necessity, but certainly nice to have! And just remember, as soon as you put them in a cute outfit they will likely spit up all over it or have a blowout… that’s just how it works!
I bought the Fisher Price Lamb Bouncy Chair because when my nephew, Jax, was little he LOVED his bouncy chair. He was totally content to just sit in it and be bounced all day. That’s not the case with Emily… she LOVES to be held. But when she’s not being held (like when I am in the shower or making dinner) she is usually in this chair. She loves talking to the little lambs and is now starting to reach for them. It keeps her occupied for 15-20 minutes!