When Melanie was a newborn, it surprised me that there were very specific things she preferred (and that we used a lot for her). I thought I'd take a moment and share a short list of what worked for her and us during those first, hazy days. Here's my newborn baby must haves:
1. Knit Blanket – We use a simple knit blanket exclusively in the car seat and it is perfect! Not too heavy. Not to light. Able to be twisted and turned and tucked wherever and however we need it.
2. Newborn Diapers – Melanie used disposable diapers at first (we switched to cloth at 2 1/2 months) and I loved these ones. There's a cut-out for the umbilical cord stump (before the the belly button heals) so you've got one less thing to think about in those early days. We weren't brand specific either. The hospital gave us Huggies and we picked up the generic brand at the grocery store, too.
3. Infantino Go Ga Ga Chime – I got this as a baby shower gift and immediately hung it from the handle of her car seat. She could've cared less about the actual toy but it made a jingling noise when moved that she loved. Sometimes, when she was fussy, we could shake it and the sound would calm her down.
4. Summer Infant SwaddleMe 2-Pack – Melanie used hers for the first two weeks-ish (but only if Daddy tucked her into it) and slept pretty well. After that, she got too long for it and staged a full-on protest when we tried to swaddle her in the next size.
5. Rectal Thermometer – Gross but necessary. Doctors don't give a crap about any temperature taken with anything other than a rectal thermometer. So, don't bother buying or using anything else. It's not fun to administer (Melanie was not a fan) but digital ones will take less than 5 seconds from start to finish.
6. Onesies – Melanie was born at the height of the Texas summer heat and I swear to God – she lived in onesies. Day and night. The only time we dressed her in anything else was when we had a doctor's appointment or visited her Daddy's work. She even slept in one (or in just her diaper – we high class).
7. Moo Baa La La La – I adore this book (it was a “special” that I used to read to the little girl that Melanie is named after). In those early, overwhelming days, it was the only book I had the energy to read to Melanie (mostly because it's like, 10 pages long and I have it memorized).
8. Car Seat and Stroller Travel System – A gift from my mom and one of the best baby items we own. The car seat and base are so easy to install and adjust to the baby's size for safety. And the stroller? I honestly did not think that I would use a stroller but, MAN, was I WRONG. We use it every time we go to doctor's appointments (they are in huge medical buildings with small parking lots) and lots of different stores (without shopping carts). Nana for the win!
9. Swing – A gift from my godsister and for the two whole weeks she used it – it was wonderful. Then she suddenly decided she hated it and will not be in it ever. Ah, well. Those two weeks were lovely.
10. One Nice Outfit – You'll have to venture out of the house a little in those first few weeks (doctor's appointments and such) and having one nice outfit can make you feel a little more pulled together when you walk out that door. Plus, it just feels special.
For the record, here's some things that we thought we'd use/she'd like while she was a newborn that were just not necessary:
- Hat – Used one at the hospital then never again. It was too hot and fell off all the time. Wish we hadn't wasted money on them.
- Bath Stuff – Didn't wash her until her belly button fell off and even then, we only bathed her once a week. She just didn't get dirty so it was pointless and a waste of time.
- Pacifiers – OMG. My daughter would not use any form of soother but my nipples. I think we had four or five different kinds and she hated them all.
- Socks and Shoes – It was hot and well, she just refused to wear them.
- Nail Clippers – The hospital hated them and encouraged us to file her nails instead of clip them. Wish I had gotten that memo before we sent a family friend out to the store to bring us one.
What were your newborn baby must haves?