Sunday, October 4, 2009

Newborn Essentials

Bryan and I were talking last night about some of the things that we have used as new parents that we didn't expect to be so helpful or useful. We came up with a list of newborn essentials. We have found that every new parent should have:
  • Receiving blankets- We were so glad that we were given the advice to get lots and lots of receiving blankets during one of our birthing classes. We have about 15 and we use them for everything. We lay them down on everything so that we don't have to worry about washing covers and sheets all the time. These blankets are also very good for swaddling which an important blanket wrapping technique that every parent needs to know how to do.
  • Vaseline in a Tube- If you have a baby boy, this is a must because you need lots and lots of vaseline for diaper changes if your little one is circumcised. Vaseline in a tube makes the diaper changes a lot easier than if you are trying get the vaseline out of a tub.
  • Newborn diapers- We are planning to cloth diaper, but our diapers are incredibly huge right now and we had quite a supply of newborn diapers from showers. We have found that it's kind of hard to know if your baby is wet at first because you can't really "feel it" from the outside because newborns don't wet very much at first. The newborn diapers have a yellow stripe on the outside that turns green when a diaper is wet or poopy. We didn't realize this until our last day in the hospital thanks to a nurse telling us. We probably would have eventually read this on the package or discovered it on our own, but it has been a nice feature to the disposable diapers while we are using them.
  • Bouncer Chair- We use our bouncer chair everyday! It is so nice because it can easily be moved from room to room.
  • Pacifiers- Get one of every kind! We were not going to use a pacifier for as long as we could hold out. We lasted about a week and a half. I was doing some research on pacifiers and found that a pacifier is really helpful for babies until they are about 6 months old. It is a soothing tool but is not needed beyond 6 months, so pacifiers are really useful until then. We decided we would give one a try. We put one in Seth's mouth and as soon as we did he spit it out. We tried again and the same thing happened over and over again. We decided we would try a different kind that we had been given and Bryan had picked up a Soothie while he was out. I really wanted Seth to use the Soothie brand because it was recommended by several friends but it was so awkward and too big for him. After trying several kinds we eventually had a winner but a certain one doesn't just work because you want it to.
  • Boppy- I thought I wasn't going to use the Boppy pillow very much after I first got home from the hospital but it has proven to be very, very helpful for feedings. If you are breastfeeding, get one!
  • Socks- I was thankful that I was given several pairs of socks in a bag of used clothes that I received because I didn't buy any. Socks are needed but I just didn't think about stocking up on a lot of them. Don't overlook the socks!
  • Dr. Brown's bottles- These bottles were recommended by our pediatrician and by several friends and while we have only had to give Seth probably 4 bottles of pumped milk, they have really been great.
  • Medela Double Pump- If you breastfeed, get a good pump. It is worth the money! I had to pump in the hospital when Seth was having trouble feeding, and I have also pumped at home a few times for convenience when going out. A good pump is essential!
I'm sure over time we will have a much longer list, but these are the things that we have used or found most helpful these past two and a half weeks.

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