I know, I know you - you've walked around the baby store aimlessly adding things to your registry. You're up to well over 150 items, but what do you actually NEED? Well, here it is. The list you've been waiting for. Here are the items I found I needed most as a first time mom AND as a doula working with new families.
1. A salt lamp or light with a dimmer switch:
Personally, I just love a good salt lamp; but if you're not into that sort of thing, any lamp with a dimmer switch will do. Picture this, your baby wakes up crying and hungry so you tip toe into the room and TURN ON THE BRIGHT OVER HEAD LIGHT. The salt lamp omits a dull light that will let you nurse, bottle feed or change a dirty diaper, but is not likely to wake up the whole house.
2. Velcro swaddle/sleep sack:
In utero, babies are very use to being warm and curled up, so being on the outside is no different. Invest in a great velcro sleep sack that gives you the option to keep their arms tucked in or out. A couple of these on hand would be great as you will 100% get spit up on it at some point.
3. White noise machine:
Babies actually don't like silence. Your pregnant belly is about as loud as a vacuum, so constant white noise like rain, a fan or static is actually very soothing. There are lots of white noise machines patented for babies specifically, but any white noise machine will do.
4. Rocking chair:
Disclaimer, any rocking chair is fine. Ideally it will have a comfortable pad for you to sit on, but no need to purchase the $900 one vs the free one your aunt is giving away. This WILL become your best friend in the middle of the night. Movement is one of the key aspects of getting your newborn to settle, and will help make nap time a breeze.
5. Baby carrier:
Being able to multi-task is a beautiful thing. Not only does baby-wearing promote bonding and decrease crying in newborns; it also lets you go to the washroom without disturbing your baby's mid-day nap.
6. Diaper genie:
The diaper genie is all about saving you time. Store dirty diapers in there throughout the week without the smell!
7. Postpartum doula:
Alright, this one is huge. Adjusting to life with a newborn is not only taxing on your body, but on your mind too. Postpartum doulas do it all, and everyones support looks different. So wether you need help nursing twins, practicing good sleep hygiene or you'd like someone to care for your new baby while you take a shower; doulas do that. They are the perfect combination of evidence based research and a really amazing friend. Want more information on postpartum doulas? Click HERE
9. Teething toy:
You won't need these right away, but when you do, you will wish you had them cooling in the fridge already. Parenting hack: wet a small wash cloth and put it in the freezer, it does the same thing and is generally more malleable than the store bought toys.
10. Re-useable breast-pads:
Wether you are planning on breastfeeding or not, you will produce milk and that means leaks. Having an absorbent and comfortable breast-pad can make a world of difference. Find the ones I gift to birth clients are HERE.