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I’m in denial that Blythe is now one month old. How do these first weeks fly by so quickly? The newborn season seems to pass in the blink of an eye. I experience an odd tension of shear elation at her growth and development day by day and week by week, simultaneously paired with a most desperate longing to pause time and linger in her littleness.
I had the idea for this blog during a half-awake, middle of the night nursing session. I realized there were items I had reached for multiple times a day in the past four weeks. I find these items particularly helpful at meeting common needs that arise with a newborn in the house. Hopefully this list can help simplify your surroundings so you can better focus on sitting still in the moment and cuddling your little one.
These are the ten items we use EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. with our newborn (in no particular order).
Our Newborn “Must-Haves”:
- NURSING PILLOW – I use the boppy pillow and a cotton cover. This nursing support is important for breastfeeding posture. Not only does it allow me to position my baby in a way that supports their head, shoulders and hips, it also saves my back and neck! I often use a second pillow from our bed or from the couch under the boppy on the side I’m nursing on as well. This brings the baby right up to the breast and prevents any hunching over. It’s also handy for propping baby up on the floor.
- HAAKAA – Breastfeeding related again because newborns spend so many hours eating. While you nurse from one breast, this simple silicone manual breast pump catches the “let down” milk from the other breast. I’ve created a nice little freezer stash thanks to the Haakaa! It has a gentle natural suction that helps relieve any discomfort and collects all of that liquid gold. I keep it at my nursing station at home and pack it in the diaper bag when we go out.
- BURP CLOTHS – I love these! Choose something that is a good quality cotton so it is ultra absorbent. You want something that will soak in all of that spit up as it comes, instead of just creating a slip-n-slide for the puke to run down the entire length of your wardrobe.
- SNUGGLE ME LOUNGER – We purchased this for our oldest daughter and used it daily. It’s been a repeat with Blythe. It’s a simple lounger that mimics the contours of a hug and is thus very comforting to the baby. It’s a comfortable place to set baby down and handy to throw in the bassinet for daytime use.
- MUSLIN SWADDLE BLANKET – A multi-purpose baby item if ever there was one! We use these as blankets, for tummy time, as sheets tucked into the bottom of our bassinet, to throw over the snuggle me like a sheet (if we need to wash the cover), as a nursing cover or car seat cover, etc. I always opt for one that is 100% cotton. Plus, there are so many beautiful patterns and colors available!
- BABY CARRIER – Anything for baby wearing! We particularly LOVE using a baby wrap for the first three months. We have a Solly wrap. We also have a Sakura Bloom carrier and they have a nice infant insert. A ring sling is my personal go-to for a baby over 3 months.
- HUMIDIFIER – We keep a cool mist humidifier running at night especially through the dry winter months. With Blythe’s early respiratory issues, we’ve kept one running in our room for her since she’s been home. This one doubles as a massive essential oil diffuser and runs for almost 40 hours. It’s AMAZING.
- NURSING/NIGHT LIGHT – We use a Himalayan salt lamp. It’s ideal because it has a dimmer and the amber color of the light keeps circadian rhythms in balance (versus a blue light which would interfere with the body’s natural clock). Salt lamps are said to be natural ionizers, working to change the electrical charge of the circulating air. Though it has not been thoroughly scientifically tested, the theory is that the salt lamp attracts water particles that then turn into a salt solution as they are heated by the light and evaporate.1 This evaporation is said to generate negative ions which helps to create a clean and fresh environment and stimulates feelings of well-being (similar to the pleasantness that results after the atmosphere is charged with negative ions after a storm for example.)
- MOISTURIZER – Coconut oil is our go-to, jojoba oil is the runner up. Lathering coconut oil on their bottom helps wipe away sticky meconium first poops and these natural oils are gentle and wholesome options for little bottoms and tender newborn skin. Newborns love a gentle full body massage. We also use coconut oil multiple times a day to soothe and heal the nursing blisters on her lips. Its antimicrobial properties are so beneficial. It worked wonders!
- CLOTHING – Newborn clothing can be so basic. We go for short sleeve onesies, long sleeve onesies, a newborn hat and footed onesies depending on the time of year and temperature of the day/season. I like button up footed onesies for the newborn phase because you can keep the baby’s chest covered but unbutton the bottom to change their diaper. Additionally, letting babies have their toes free is important for sensory development during tummy time, and a button up gives you the option to easily free their little toes. I always choose clothing that is 100% cotton and try to find organic cotton options especially during the newborn phase.
A few other obvious items include diapers (disposable or cloth–I use these covers and pre-folds), wipes (I love these cloth wipes), a changing pad and cover, and sleeping situation of choice be it a bassinet (we use this one as it’s portable and can be moved to the living room during the day), bedside sleeper, crib or co-sleeping option.
Other items we still appreciate but don’t use as frequently include a sound machine, sponge for baby to lay on in the sink or bath, pacifier, probiotics and gripe water. Blythe has had some indigestion (likely due to the antibiotics she received in her first week in the NICU) and the probiotics and gripe water have helped her immensely.
As I learn about health, non-toxic living, and grow in motherhood, my opinions shift and change. I’ve started seeking items that are 100% cotton, organic cotton, solid wood for furniture, low VOC, GREENGUARD Gold Certified, and ideally made somewhere in the USA, Canada or Europe. I do what I can, and slowly switch out items as they need to be replaced and as we budget for them. Our most recent purchase was a new crib mattress as our current mattress was inherited from when I was a baby. We purchased this one, but have heard many good things about this brand as well. As our girls spend so many hours of their days sleeping, we decided this was a wise “clean” switch to make.
These are our go-to items right now. This list looked different with our firstborn and it might look different with future children. You’ll find what works best for you and your newborn too. I hope this information gives you ideas and helps you gather items that will make your life easier during this new and wonderful season, so you can fully embrace the wonder of your tiny new human. Soak in as many cuddles as possible!
1. Naz H and Haleem J. Exposure to Illuminated Salt Lamp Increases 5-HT Metabolism: A Serotonergic perspectives to its Beneficial Effects. Pak. J. Biochem. Mol. Biol. 2010; 43(2): 105-108. http://www.pjbmb.org.pk/images/PJBMBArchive/2010/PJBMB_43_2_Jun_2010/13.pdf. Accessed June 26, 2020.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. This post is not meant to be medical advice.
Lachelle has a love for writing and holistic health. MBA, 500RYT Yoga Instructor, founder of Ello Lifestyle and Ello Candle Co., Lachelle spends most of her time as a wife and mother to two daughters, looking for ways to optimize health, create an efficiently running home, embrace the chaos, and pursue those things that make life feel enchanted.