I have a mom friend who loves to shop for baby products all the time. I’m one of those moms who loves to shop, but can’t stand all the stuff. I really only buy things that I feel are absolutely necessary.
But, with kids the amount of stuff you need adds up quickly. As a working mom, raising two under two, I've had some sleepless nights to figure out what baby essentials to buy.
This is Part 2 in the series, but for my other baby product recommendations you can check out Part 1 here.
Essentials to Buy Before Bringing the Baby Home
- Part 2
Another friend of mine recommended the Fisher-Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse. She buys it for every new mom. The seahorse is plush, lights up, and hums lullabies. The wide button makes it easy for babies to start the music, and the glow comforts them.
Another similar item is the Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Giraffe. It also glows, plays different tunes, and is plush and soft. I even used the Soothe and Glow Giraffe as a prop for my daughter’s bottle.
Both the seahorse and giraffe are inexpensive and can help your little one sleep.
You're Gonna Need Diaper Cream
At some point, your baby is going to have a diaper rash. I’ve used many different kinds and had (still have) a few favorites. I tend to stay with the one that works for the moment and switch when it doesn’t.
My three favorites are Angel Baby Bottom Balm Natural Cloth Diaper Cream, Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment, and Desitin Baby Diaper Rash. I also had a good mom friend tell me that she swears by Triple Paste Medicated Ointment.
I recommend buying a few different brands to find out what works well for you and your baby.
Angel Baby Bottom Balm is organic, natural, and smells wonderful. I like this one to prevent diaper rashes. I usually buy three at once to cut down on costs and keep one at each of my diaper stations.
You can also use this cream if you’re cloth diapering. Another use is for dry skin or cradle cap. Little Bird had the worst cradle cap, and I would rub a small amount to help with the flaky skin. Overall, this cream is my favorite, but sometimes you need stronger stuff to wipe out diaper rash.
My pediatrician recommended Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment. It’s odorless and reminds me of vaseline. It comes in a travel size and a giant tub. The giant tub is nice because during the diaper changes with a squirming baby, you don’t have to squeeze a tube, rather dip your fingers. You can also use the cream for dry skin.
Desitin Baby Diaper Rash is the cream used at my kiddos daycare. It’s thick, bright white, and sticky. It reminds me of the sunscreen football players put on their noses before the big game.
What I don’t like is that it sticks everywhere, so if you’re changing a squirming baby, you have to be careful not to get it on yourself. But, this stuff works like a charm.
Another option for the natural mama is Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. My sister is a nurse and recommended using it. I love the way it smells and is a cheaper holistic alternative.
Choosing the best diapers
In San Diego, where I live, diapers used at the hospitals are Pampers Swaddlers. I do love Swaddlers and find that they’re great newborn diapers because they fit a lot of different body types and provide secure leak protection. A mom friend told me she loves the smell of pee and Swaddlers. Funny, how that happens.
But, I also love The Honest Company because they are non-toxic and eco-friendly. The quality and durability is excellent. They also have the cutest designs.
One way to lower the cost of Honest Diapers is to order a bundle. You can mix and match different designs and sizes. The delivery of the package is up to you, and if you add other Honest products, you get them at 25 percent off. I also use their formula, so this is a huge incentive for me.
Right now, they're offering $10 off a minimum purchase of $25 with promo code GET10 at checkout.
Or you can choose a discovery kit of Diapers & Wipes, Essentials and/or our Health & Wellness products from The Honest Company for a small price, to see which ones you like best.
One thing to think about is that they run a little small. So, I usually order up one size. But, not in the beginning. It's best to first order the newborn or size 1 when your little one is born.
As the baby grows, you'll need an overnight diaper. I recommend the Honest Overnight Baby Diapers because they provide excellent leak control, and you won't need to worry about changing a diaper at night.
You’ll be changing a lot of diapers in the beginning. Sometimes 10 - 15 a day, so having some diapers on hand at home is smart before you bring the baby home. But, only a few packs of the newborn size because they'll grow out of them quickly.
Every mom is different when it comes to diaper choice. Some go strictly for the price, others for absorbency, and some for quality. I tend to have two different kinds on hand - the Swaddlers and Honest. Although, I’ll use HUGGIES Little Snugglers when I buy strictly on cost.
Lately, I've been trying Andy Pandy Premium Bamboo Disposable Diapers and Bambo Nature Premium Baby Diapers, to test out the best organic diaper. I'll be posting a review soon.
I recommend trying a few different diapers to see what works best for you and your baby.
Wipes are a Must
I had no idea how many packages of baby wipes I would go through during the first month. Baby Wipes are not solely used for diaper changes, but for cleaning up messes and baby's hands and face. I keep a package in almost every room in the house, in my car, and diaper bag.
Like with diapers, I recommend trying a few different kinds to discover which ones you like best based on quality, durability, price, scent, and baby.
In my quest for the perfect wipe, I've tried most brands, and always go back to one brand - Honest Wipes. They are thick, moist (but not too moist), and smell great.
I found that I use less of the the Honest wipes because of the quality and thickness. They clean more with less. I also prefer a natural wipe over one with lots of chemicals. When I use other wipes, my husband complains.
But, I will also use the Amazon Elements Baby Wipes for price and quality. The thickness is comparable to the Honest wipes, but they tend to dry out, if you leave the package open. I read a review suggesting to turn the package over to keep them moist. I follow this suggestion and it works.
One thing I do love about Amazon products is that you can set up an automatic delivery to save 5 percent, and they offer coupons for some products. This goes for diapers as well.
Another wipe I've been trying lately is WaterWipes . I'm going to post a review in the next few weeks comparing wipes in more detail.
Babies Get Sick Too
Hopefully, your little one doesn’t get sick until he/she enters kindergarten, but it’s better to plan. My son got sick constantly once he started daycare, which was quite early because I’m a working mom.
I've learned that four items are necessary to have when your baby becomes ill.
NoseFrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator is awesome. Throw away the syringe bulb they use at the hospital. The NoseFridawill suck any kind of snot. Don’t worry; you won’t get any on your tongue when you suck. And you’ll be sucking snot. Honestly, there is a part of me that loves to see the green stuff sucked out.
Little Remedies Noses Saline Spray breaks up the snot. Spray some into their nose (they usually hate it) before you suck the snot. Although, my hubby made it into a game with my son and now he loves the saline solutionshot up his nose.
Buy a butt thermometer. The first time a nurse used one on my son in the hospital his face made us laugh out of sympathy. I thought I’ll never be able to do that. But, I was able to and still do when I check for a temperature. It’s the only way to be sure when they’re little.
Baby Tylenol or Infant Ibuprofen. At some point, your baby will have a fever or will be fussy and sick, so you'll need some medicine. Now, only use what your pediatrician recommends, and Ibuprofen isn’t recommended to use before six months, but having it stocked is smart. Nothing worse than a sick, unhappy baby. I’ve gone through bottles of this stuff.
You'll Have to Clip their Nails
I remember asking the nurse to cut my little bug’s nails in the hospital. She replied, “We don’t do that.”
I thought I’m never going to be able to cut his fingernails. I’ve failed already. I then believed I had to do it every day. No wonder I was so stressed out, at first.
Once you work up the courage to cut them, I recommend Simba Baby Safety Nail Cutter.The clipper kind is harder to use and won't cut your baby’s nails properly.
Another option is to bit off your newborn’s nails. Sounds disgusting, doesn’t it, but their nails are so thin that it’s sometimes an easier option when they squirm. A nurse recommended this, and I did this until I bought Simba Baby Safety Nail Cutter. And you’ll need to cut them because babies love to scratch their face with long nails.
The best part about these nail cutters is that you can use them from the newborn stage and well into toddlerhood.
Giving Your Baby a Bath
At some point, you’ll need to give your newborn a bath. The first time I gave Little Bird a bath she screamed at the sound of the water. The whole experience was torture.
But, like all things mom related, it does become easier. Besides a bathtub, you'll need a good shampoo. I’ve tried a few different brands, and my favorite is Honest.
For lotions and shampoos, I want brands that are more natural. But, I also buy on cost and will use other shampoos like Johnson's Head-To-Toe Gentle Baby Wash.
Honest shampoos come in different scents and lather up so nicely. When your babies are small, a little goes a long way.
You’ll need a baby tub for the sink or shower.
When my bestie visited me after Little Bug was born, she bought me a The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn To Toddler Tub. You need something to place them in when you bath them, so they don’t roll into the water.
I found that you don’t need anything fancy, but you’ll need something that keeps them secure and grows with your baby. This one has a mesh fabric that dries quickly and is easy to clean.
Sleep Sacks Totally Rock
Sleep sacks are great after your baby outgrows the swaddle. I’m a sleep sack goddess. Basically, they're wearable blankets.
I’ve owned at least ten different sleep sacks at various sizes/ages and thickness. For Little Bug, I was constantly fearful of SIDS. By baby number two, I’d relaxed some but still use sleep sacks.
When your little one uses a sleep sack, you don’t have to worry about tangled blankets or your baby pushing the blanket off at night and becoming cold.
My favorite brands are HALO SleepSack and Merino Wool.
The Halo has every different thickness you need, in a variety of colors and styles. My personal preference is for the plush dots fabric for colder months and the HALO 100% Cotton Muslin Sleepsack for summer.
Merino Wool are more expensive but regulate temperature better. Once I started to use the wool ones, it was hard to go back to the Halo brand, even though Halo rocks. Also, don't think that the wool is itchy or not soft. The premium fabric is super luxurious.
The wool ones make a lot of claims about temperature regulation that got me hooked. I also found that it was true.
The one consideration is that you have to wash them with special wool wash. If you don’t use the wash for wool, you'll start to ruin the fabric. You also have to line dry and this can take time in the winter. And having two on hand can be expensive.
But, put it on your baby registry, and you could get lucky. Start at the size of 3 months or higher for sleep sacks because you won’t need them beforehand (unless swaddling doesn’t help your baby sleep at all). Once your baby rolls over, it’s time to use a sleep sack.
I would love to know what baby essentials you liked best and why. Leave a comment below.
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