Florence has been with us earthside for 18 days now! It’s been a whirlwind of love, snuggles, midnight wake up calls, and a lot of time spent connecting through breastfeeding. It hasn’t been easy, as we struggled with her gaining weight, but thankfully with the help of a team of incredible professionals, she’s gaining and we’re figuring out feeding together!
When I found out I was pregnant, I felt a big overwhelm about all of the baby products on the market and trying to figure out what we needed as a family and what was just a marketing/consumerism scam haha! I wanted to share with you some of our favourite things since Flo has been with us that have helped with our journey to parenthood.
I hope this helps other first time mamas out there or pregnant people feeling that same overwhelm I felt.
Open bottom sleepers.
This is our top newborn essential. Both Matt and I love the newborn sleepers that are open at the bottom. They’re perfect for middle-of-the-night changes when you’re half asleep and don’t want to fuss about zippers or buttons or snaps.
We bought a beautiful one from Baby and Me and the rest of the ones we got were secondhand off Facebook marketplace. I believe the brand of those pictured are Carters.
Snuggle Me Organic.
The Snuggle Me Organic is a pricey item, but one that we use every single day, all day and all night. We were kindly gifted this by some of our best friends and we’re so beyond grateful. Flo lounges in this every day during her naps and absolutely loves it. She also sleeps in it some nights when she’s not interested in her bassinet and being far away from us.
The sides allow her not to roll and feel all tucked in and snuggled. I don’t know what we’d do without this at this point. She’s a pretty long baby, so I hope we can continue to get some good use out of this before it goes into storage for baby number 2!
Haakaa and nipple shields.
For me, breastfeeding has been quite the journey already. It takes two hands, nipple shields and some breast compressions. But, I’m so thankful to be able to breastfeed in general. We’re taught by society that breastfeeding is so easy and every mom can do it, but that isn’t always the case. (more on that at a later date as I have a lot to say about the topic!)
When it comes to breastfeeding, I use two things that help make it easy. Nipple shields being the first thing. This helps Flo latch to me and lets me be able to breastfeed. She won’t latch without them, so I’m so so so thankful I found out about these to help with feeding her.
The second thing is the Haakaa! It goes on the other breast while feeding and collects all the let-down milk that would otherwise just end up in your bra. I have quite the heavy letdown and having this extra milk to supplement Flo with after a feeding is perfect. It’s one of the reasons she gained weight and has gotten the amount of milk needed.
Nursing + pumping bras and tanks.
Truthfully, I sit around the house topless a lot of the time. But, when I get dressed and I feel like I need that support, I’ll throw on a nursing bra. I got the Knix nursing bra and tank top as well as two bras from Bravado. The Bravado ones from Baby and Me are for sure my favourite. They’re so comfortable and also kinda sexier. They have so many style options which I appreciate.
Plus, they have a pumping bra accessory that clips into their nursing bras to help with pumping hands-free. I picked this up the other day and absolutely LOVE it! It’s also a must if you plan/have to pump as well.
Stretchy blankets and swaddles.
We love her more stretchy swaddles and blankets. We have a lot of muslin blankets that we use every day as well, but when she likes to be all snuggled up and swaddled, the stretchy ones are the best for that!
We picked up some beautiful ones from Baby and Me in fun prints and colours. One tip also when swaddling, see what your baby prefers. At first, we swaddled her with her hands inside the blanket but realized she didn’t love that. Now, we swaddle her under her armpits and it gives her access to move her arms around, which she loves doing. And when we lay the blanket on her without swaddling, we still like to keep her arms free.
Baby bath tub.
We love our baby bathtub! It has 3 settings in it to help grow with the baby. It gives me ease when I’m bathing her knowing she’s in a good position and won’t just sink into the water. We were given this and love it. I think we also like it so much because Florence LOVES the bath. It may be a different story if she didn’t enjoy it as much.
Matt’s Newborn Essentials
I wanted to get Matt’s opinion on newborn essentials as well! So, here are his essentials that I didn’t mention above.
Silicone change pad.
This is huge! Flo loves to pee when we take her diaper off and if we had a cloth changing pad, we’d have to have it in the laundry just about every single day. Luckily for us, we have a silicone one. So, we just wipe it down and continue on!
We got the keekaroo changing pad secondhand off Facebook and absolutely love it.
Nose booger catcher.
We’ve only had to use this once so far, but it makes it easy to get the boogers out of a baby’s nose! With the filter, you’ll never get it in your mouth when you suck on it, so don’t worry about that. I feel like we’ll be getting good use out of this in the future.
Oils for her skin.
Florence had pretty dry and peeling skin when she was born. Mostly due to her being overcooked and past her due date. We were told to use coconut oil and olive oil on her skin to help with that. We’ve done some baby massages with these two kitchen oils and her skin is looking really good!
Formula if milk supply isn’t coming in.
Like I said above, our breastfeeding journey hasn’t been as smooth as you see in the media. With every hour feedings for 3 hours straight at night, sometimes my milk can’t catch up! We bought some organic formula for those moments.
It’s allowed me to ease my anxiety and for Florence to get the food she needs. It’s been a win win when we’re supplementing with formula. I think formula talk is such a “taboo” topic and I really hope that changes in the future. There is so much pressure to breastfeed and I think it’s important that every family focuses on themselves, their needs and tunes out everyone else’s opinions.
No one knows your baby like you do!
Babies really don’t need that much.
When I was pregnant, people told me that babies don’t need much. I wasn’t convinced, but now I am. Some days she wears the same outfit as the day before because what’s the point in dirtying another one. Some days she’s in a diaper all day long and just a swaddle.
I think focusing on useful things that help solve a problem really helped me realize what we need and what we don’t need. For us, it’s things that make the transition easier for us. I’m sure when Florence grows and is doing more things, we’ll have more of her favourite things to share!
What are your top newborn essentials? I’d love to hear from you!