izababy in bjorn at food cart

Top Ten Newborn Essentials

So let’s talk baby products! I know as a first time mom, buying baby stuff wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be because of: 1) hormones; and, 2) it’s overwhelming af. There’s so much crap out there, and god forbid you buy the wrong thing and feel like the worst mom ever. And forget the mommy influencers out there touting the same overpriced baby products across the board. The economy is in a sh*t hole, people! No one can afford a thousand dollar crib!!! So here’s my Top Ten Newborn to Early Infant Essentials from Amazon. (The links below are affiliate links, but nothing is sponsored. I paid for everything myself. I kept it real-real.)

Top Ten Newborn to Early Infant Essentials from Amazon (by rank)

1) SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper

We purchased a larger co-sleeper bassinet that attaches to your bed before Isabel was born, but when we brought her home, we knew it wouldn’t work. She was tiny (a little under 5 lbs at birth), and she hated not being held. (She hasn’t changed much. ??‍♀️) So we purchased this smaller co-sleeper that you put in the middle of your bed, and it was a life-saver in that we could actually put her down without her feeling abandoned, and we could get some sleep (not a lot, but just enough so we wouldn’t die).

2) SwaddleMe Pod

They teach you how to swaddle your baby in a blanket at the hospital, but when your baby is fragile, super squirmy, and crying bloody murder, sticking her in a zip-up pod is SOOOO MUCH EASIER! When she was really little, we swaddled her in a muslim blanket and then stuck her in the pod. Since the heat in our apartment was flaky, this worked for us. I wouldn’t advise doing this if your heat works normally or in warmer weather.

When she outgrew the pod, I looked for other zip-up pods, but none worked as well and I used this velcro version from the same company. (Ours was a cute zebra print that seems to have sold-out.) It wasn’t as easy as the zip-up, but it worked, and had a zipper at the bottom for easier nighttime diaper changing without unswaddling.

3) Dr. Brown’s Preemie Bottles

Before my breastmilk came in, we were feeding Isabel formula and she could only drink 15-20 ml at a time. The smallest size of most baby bottles are 4 oz, so these worked like a charm. If the bottles were a little larger than 15 ml, they would have been even better, but we found if we filled the bottles to the top, right before the threading, it measured out to be 20 ml, which was just what we needed when she was little. All the way to the top was 30 ml.

4) Gerber Baby Footies

Before Isabel was born, I googled must-have baby clothes and bought all of them. She ended up wearing a quarter of the clothes, if not less. For example, gowns and pants were useless, and since she was so small, mittens and socks were useless also. Most of the time, she wore a onesie and swaddle, and after a month, we rotated in these footies with foldover mittens. These were also good for doctor visits when we needed to get her in and out of her clothes quickly.

5) Health o Meter Scale

Since Isabel was underweight at birth, we weighed her very frequently. In the first month, we weighed her 2-3x a week, and now, even though she’s on the curve, we still weigh her (just in case) 1-2x a week. This scale works well, and always matches the numbers at the doctor’s office.

6) Philips Avent Ultra Air Pacifier

Isabel didn’t care for pacifiers early on, but now she’s really dependent on them. We have pacifiers from two different companies, and she seems to like these because they’re soft. I like them because there’s no right side up, so it’s easy to pop in, especially in the middle of the night.

7) BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Mini

We actually have the original BabyBjorn which they don’t seem to carry on Amazon anymore, but if I could redo the purchase, I probably would have bought this version anyway. This version allows you to carry a baby at 7 lbs, as opposed to 8 lbs, which would have been EXTREMELY helpful for us. As I mentioned, Isabel likes being held, and holding her without a carrier the first month was a nonstop workout. Also, once it got hot out, the mesh would have helped keep her cooler better.

izababy in bjorn
That said, the original was and still is very helpful (pic above is Isabel this week at 7 months!). Wrap-style carriers are more popular now, but because Isabel, my husband, and I all sweat a lot, the Bjorn works nicer because it isn’t as snug. Also, putting on the carrier is super easy. No fussing with loops and knots, we just click her in and go. Since she reached 8 lbs, a day hasn’t gone by when I haven’t used the Bjorn.

8) Angelcare Baby Bath Support

Our apartment doesn’t have a bath tub, and the kitchen sink is too cramped for us to bathe a baby in, so this baby bath seat (or baby strainer, as I like to call it) works nicely in our shower. Other people use it in their bath tub, or even at the beach! It’s for babies 0-6 months, but Isabel is 7 mos now, and we still use it. Another nice feature, it’s mildew resistant. We’ve been using the strainer 2-3x a week since Isabel was 2 weeks, and it’s still nice and clean.

9) Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing

Again, Isabel likes being held. This swing helps in that it occupies her 5-10 minutes at a time. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, those 5-10 minutes are heaven. The only regret I have is not buying the slightly upgraded version that has a rotating mobile for $30 more. It turns out Isabel loves looking at the mobile, so now I spin it manually. Not a huge deal, but you know, “ragrets…”

10) Little Tikes Deluxe Changing Pad

This changing pad is slighter shorter in length than the Keekaroo by 4 inches, but otherwise very similar, and is half the price! It’s cushiony and wipes clean. What more do you need?

11) BONUS – Mustela Cleansing Water

Not essential, but I had to add this because I use it quite often and recommend it all the time. Isabel would get baby acne from spit-up and/or sweat. I tried DIY remedies with witch hazel, but found it too harsh on her delicate skin. This baby micellar water is gentle as long as I don’t use too much, and gets rid of little pimples in 3-4 days.

That’s it. More lists to come! I hope this is helpful to someone out there. This mom stuff isn’t easy…

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