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For The Newbs: Gear you actually need for the first 6 months that won’t break the bank or take over your house

Babies need a lot of stuff. Or, at least that’s what retailers want you to think. It’s only been in recent years that baby gear has become a thing. You can definitely get by with less, and save yourself some money and space and sanity! Below is a list of things that I found essential for the first few months, broken down by use.

———-POOP———-

Diapers and wipes. 

Duh. Babies crap themselves upwards of 12 times a day in the beginning. Unless you’re having a toddler-sized child, get a stash of newborn diapers. Little Foot was 7 lbs 11 oz at birth, and she was in newborn diapers for a little over a month.

Also, get a huge stack of unscented wipes. To wipe the sweet, sweet backside of your poopy little one. And by backside, I mean the entire backside at times. Get the kind with a hard flip top. As many times as you’ll be using the wipes, you don’t want to be struggling with the wipes container.

Diaper pail. 

Do you need a special trash receptacle for poopy diapers? Nope. Is it nice to have a nursery that doesn’t smell like spicy eggs? Yep.

I like the Dekor Diaper Pail. Keeps the smell down, looks decent, refills are reasonable. Choose something that is hands-free and easy to refill.

Changing pad and pad covers and liners for the pad covers. 

You can absolutely change a diaper anywhere, but I highly recommend a changing pad with a contoured shape and a strap for when the little nuggets start squirming. You’ll want a changing pad over (probs something cute) and a cover for the changing pad cover. Yes, you’ll be covering up the cute pattern or whatever, but you’ll also be saving yourself from cleaning poop off of the cover itself. I have 3 changing pad liners (with waterproof backing, washable, sometimes 3 isn’t enough to make it through one day…these seem to be treating me well so far), 2 pad covers, and 1 changing pad.

———-Sleep———-

Swaddles.

Sweet little babes come out into this harsh, cold world after 9 months in the cozy womb. Babies want and need to be swaddled for the first few months.

Get. the. premade. swaddles. For the love of all things holy in this world, reswaddling a baby 3 times a night, in the dark, on the floor, when you can’t see straight, and baby is flailing about…swaddle blankets are so en vouge and so cute, but don’t use them to swaddle. Save your sanity!  Velcro ones are louder, but easier to use. Little Foot seemed quite content in the SwaddleMe Swaddles brand.

SwaddleMe Original Organic Swaddle 2-PK Starry Skies (SM)

 

Sound Machine.

Babies are SO rudely forced into this big, dry, bright world, which also happens to be considerably quieter than the womb they inhabited. A sound machine with white noise helps babies sleep. Bonus: also helps parents sleep. New babes are really gruntly at night – the sound machine also helps cover up some of those little sounds so you can get some sleep too.

———-Play———-

Baby Gym. 

So not a gym. who knew? Anyway, from week 3ish weeks – 6 months, LF was totally and utterly captivated by the same 4 hanging toys day in and day out. She kicked, cooed, smiled, and giggled multiple times a day. Plus, they’re supposed to be good for development. Find one with lots of color, sounds, etc. and that folds up easily like this Infantino Pond Pals Play Mat. Perfect for working on tracking, tummy time, and sitting up.

Infantino Pond Pals Twist and Fold Activity Gym and Play Mat

Boppy Lounger.  (like this)

Totally against this sucker at first. Someone gave it to me at a shower, it seemed redundant to all the other crapgear we already had. Man alive, I was wrong!

The babe is in it 3+ hours a day. I didn’t realize that you have to put babies down sometimes. And that babies are fragile and squishy and poopy so the couch probs isn’t the best place and the floor just seems a little cruel. Hence, the lounger. It is perfect for cat naps and playtime and working on tracking for eye development and squeeeeezing out those first fleeting smiles. My only complaint is that the cover isn’t removable aka washable and as we’ve discussed, babies poop on everything. I put a little blankie on the lounger to catch all the spits and poops. Little foot loves taking naps in this, and I knew she was safely snuggled up.

*Update: still using this at 6 months!

Ergo Baby Carrier.

Yes, it’s kind of pricey. And has a dumb name. But I would consider this a must-have item for a few reasons. It barely takes up any space, it’s adjustable so hubs can wear it too, and I’ve used it for walks, nap time around the house, first plane ride, trips to the grocery store…honestly I can’t imagine life without the Ergo Carrier. LF is now 8 months old and pushing 20 pounds, and this is still easy to wear and comfortable.

 

Ergobaby Bundle - 2 Items: Grey All Carry Position Award Winning 360 Baby Carrier and Easy Snug Infant Insert, Grey

———-Randoms———-

Reusable diapers.

Before you get your Pampers swaddles in a wad, I’m here to say that I highly recommend these reusable diapers. AS BURP RAGS. They’re not the most stylish things, but they’re cheap, super absorbent, and get the job done. I got 2 packs of 10, and honestly used upwards of 15 some days. #refluxallday

Aden and Anais swaddle blankets.

These are like, so, middle class fancy white girl. I know. But, they really are amazing. First of all, they’re supes cute, which is most important. Really though, they’re extra big, they’re soft, lieghtweight, and perfect for play time on the floor, covering up for chilly car or stroller rides, make great backdrops for photo shoots, etc. etc. etc. Get a few. You won’t regret it.

Long sleeve side snap shirts. 

People will get you clothes, whether you want them or not. Like, literally, it will seems if clothes are just raining down on you (at your shower…get it?). However, I highly recommend at least having a set of plain white side snap long sleeve shirts – not onesies – with fold over sleeves. These a. keep tiny, fresh hands warm and b. can be maneuvered around a freshly snipped umbilical cord in a way that onesies can’t. I liked that I didn’t have to pull them over my baby girls head; I mean, her head had just spent three hours trapped in a rather small canal, it just didn’t feel right putting it through more trauma by trying to force it into a cute bodysuit. The shirts also make those first diaper changes much easier on both parties.

Nail Clippers.

Little foot came out with some claws. she actually scratched her face a few times in the first few hours of life. So, i asked the nurse to cut her nails. Seems like a reasonable request. The nurse told me that’s not something they do in the hospital in case they accidently cut the finger tips. WTF! Full panic mode! If a trained, professional baby nurse won’t cut her nails, how in the actual hell am I supposed to do it? I’m like, 3 hours into motherhood. I’m afraid to touch my child, much less use sharp objects near her! Moral of the story: get nail clippers made for baby nails, with an LED light so you can see what the hell you’re doing, pack the clippers in your hospital bag, and make someone else do it.