So I’m going to skip the super obvious must-haves like diapers, wipes, car seat, pacifiers, etc. (If you want to hear my faves of those, I can definitely do a post on that too, just let me know!) This list includes various other products that were lifesavers for us during Evelyn’s first couple months at home.
Before I go into the products, I’d like to add a quick disclaimer. Every baby & family are very different, so while these products worked for us, they may not work for you, and that’s okay. There are a thousand lists like this out there, & some products on those other lists didn’t work for us, and that’s okay too. My intentions with this list are NOT to say “OMG YOU NEED THIS”… but rather to share what helped us in the hopes that it may help you, too.
Since there’s no way for you to know what type of baby you’re gonna have beforehand (wouldn’t that be nice though), I would recommend making sure the store you purchase (or register for) your baby items has a good return policy of at least 90 days (Target & Amazon were our two main go-to’s). I can’t even begin to tell you how many items we returned/exchanged in those first few months; things we bought that we thought we needed but ended up not working for us. Also, make sure to keep the packaging of everything you open, just in case you do decide later to return it. I kept a crate in our nursery closet where we threw empty packaging so it was easy to find later.
I hope this list helps & I’d love to hear from you if any of these were helpful to you too. I wish you all the happiness in the world with your new sweet baby <3
Must-Haves for New Mamas
There’s a reason why the Dockatot is so hyped up in the mommy blogger world. I’ve used it since day one (& still use it daily at month 7!) Specifically during her newborn weeks, we had it in the bassinet while she slept at night (make sure to okay this with your pediatrician first.) We also added the toy arch & toys & brought it out in the living room with us during the day for her to hang in. We also brought it with us when we went to other homes so she could lay in something familiar. And we gave it to our parents when they would watch her. And when we transitioned her to the crib later on, we put it in the crib the first few times and it made the switch super easy. We seriously had SO many uses for it.
Of course we had lots of other cute outfits & button-down onesies too, but zip-up onesies are what we used on a daily & nightly basis because they are the most convenient. They made diaper changes so much easier, especially late night changes when you’re a total zombie. Also, try & get ones with feet & hands flaps to keep their little fingers & toes warm at night. And one that zip up from the bottom for even easier diaper-changing.
Our favorite were the Bonds Wondersuit (they are on the more expensive side; they were given to us as gifts but I will definitely be buying more for our next baby because they are more than worth the money.) Other brands we loved were Carters & Boodywear Baby.
White Noise Machine
We use the Hatch Baby Rest Night Light (another product we still use today & honestly will use for years.) In those early months, we kept it on my bedside table next to the bassinet, & Evelyn slept with white noise on at night. Then we moved it into the nursery with her later on. We all know babies are sticklers to routine, & this was something I’m so glad we implemented from day 1.
Aside from white noise, the night light is totally clutch too for those late night feedings. You can hook it up to your phone & adjust the brightness & change the colors. And it also plays lullabies & various nature sounds. We use it all & I can’t recommend it enough.
I wore Ev’s to the store, on walks outside, & around the house when she was being needy & I wanted my hands free. My favorite are Moby Wraps - I love the original wraps & also the slings. Plus the colors/patterns are SO cute. I still wear Evelyn all the time, but I miss those early days when she was so tiny up against my chest!
For the dads: Ryan preferred a baby carrier over a wrap/sling.
Halo Sleepsack Swaddle
Her little hands would ALWAYS find their way out of swaddles, no matter how tight we wrapped her. These velcro swaddles by Halo were the ONLY ones that she couldn’t break free from. Plus if you can’t quite get down the art of the manual swaddle, then these are super easy to use instead.
We didn’t discover these until Evs was about 2 months old, but I’m including them on this list because I am 10000% using them for our next baby starting from day 1!
I started wearing this around 2 weeks postpartum & saw a HUGE difference in my stomach flattening almost immediately. I wore it as often I could remember for several months & even slept in it most nights. It was a big (& sometimes painful) commitment, but so worth it.
I tried a few of the more expensive brands, but I actually ended up loving this $12 girdle the best by far! (Just a heads up, I’m normally a size small & I exchanged it for a medium because the small was SO TINY)
Every baby will have their preference here. Evelyn napped in these during the day. We used the Fisher Price Rock-n-Play the most in the first few weeks. Then she got more difficult & picky, so we rotated through the Rock-n-play, the 4moms MamaRoo & the Fisher Price Cradle-n-Swing.
Any one of those would be perfectly fine, you don’t need all three. But we loved having three because they each served a slightly different purpose for us & we kept them in different rooms. We also bought two of them used on Facebook Marketplace to save $$.
For my breastfeeding mamas out there, a product like this is an absolute must-have to save that precious breastmilk that leaks out. While you’re nursing baby, put one of these in your bra on the other breast to catch all the milk that leaks out, then pour it into a designated bottle in the fridge. At the end of the day, I was able to put several ounces from this into a freezer baggie & pop it in the freezer!
Changing Pad Liners
Blowouts are inevitable mid-diaper change. And somehow babies will pee all over the changing table during the mere seconds you leave them diaper-less. These pad liners come in super handy - put them on top of your changing pad, then I just throw them straight in the wash whenever baby has an accident. So much better than staining the cute changing pad covers!
Another good one for my breastfeeding mamas are these nursing tanks. I LIVED in these for, like, the first 5 months with baby — both at home & out in public. Honestly, I hardly wore anything else!
They are inexpensive & high quality & make breastfeeding super convenient. They also stretch at the belly so are super comfortable with your post-baby bod. I paired them with cute cardigans out in public & you couldn’t even tell they were nursing tops (who says nursing mamas still can’t have cute style?!)
Last but not least, you’ve gotta get a nursing pillow. There are a few different types… we got the Boppy Pillow & loved it. My husband & I both used it - me for nursing & him for bottle feeding. It makes it so much more comfortable. You can also use it to lay baby in as shown in the photo. This is another multi-functional product that we still use everyday with Evs at 7 months old.