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In the months leading up to the birth of a new baby, excitement builds steadily. However, as delivery approaches, it is easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed as well! You’ve heard countless recommendations as to what baby will need, particularly in the first year. You may also be uncertain as to what you’ll actually need.
If you are expecting and are currently building your registry, or even if you are simply wondering what to purchase for someone else’s new baby, then this post is for you!
We’ll break this into 2 parts, detailing what I consider to be the 10 most essential gifts for a new baby, including some honorable mentions as well. I’ll cover the first 5 today.
1) Breastfeeding Pillow
One of the most challenging – but rewarding – parts of motherhood is nursing (if you are able to do so). It is difficult at first to figure out proper position, especially with a newborn who must be handled with the greatest care. One of the most crucial purchases is a breastfeeding pillow. Although a regular pillow will technically do, I found that it did not provide the best support for a delicate newborn. This breastfeeding pillow from My Brest Friend (below) attaches to your waist and provides a perfectly sized shelf upon which you can hold the newborn while he or she is nursing.
2) Pack ‘N Play
This multipurpose product can serve as a bassinet, changing table, play pen, and a bed. The bassinet section and the changing table can be used during the first 2 months in the upper part of the Pack ‘N Play. After the first two months, the upper part of the Pack ‘N Play can be removed, and it converts into a play pen for the later months. The lower part of the Pack ‘N Play also doubles as a bed for an older baby. The best part is that this product folds up easily and is transportable. A truly versatile purchase!
3) Sterilizer and Dryer
Whether sterilizing breast pump parts or bottles, this product was a Godsend for us. You simply pour a small amount of water into the base of the sterilizer, load the pump parts or the bottles onto the rack, place the cover, and press start. Although it has 3 settings (“dry”, “sterilize”, and “dry + sterilize”), we usually used the “dry + sterilize” function. It really is a large sterilizer, so it was amazing how many accessories you could fit onto this device.
4) Owlet Baby Monitor
Our second son spent 48 hours in the NICU following delivery, and naturally we were quite anxious bringing him home for the first time. The Owlet device helped reassure us. This device involves attaching a sock to your baby, and it will monitor heart rate and oxygen saturation for you. You download an app as part of the monitoring system, as well as a charging base. If the monitor goes off in the middle of the night, you can look at the app and see what your baby’s heart rate and oxygen saturation are at any given moment. Although there are some false alarms with this device, we were well able to overlook them for the peace of mind that it provides.
5) Baby Buddha Breast Pump
During my first pregnancy, I used the standard Spectra breast pump that was covered by insurance; I obtained decent milk output but was never able to form a large freezer stash. For my second pregnancy, I purchased the Baby Buddha breast pump. Total game-changer! In my opinion, this is the best portable breast pump. Not only did it double my milk output (I was able to fill 2 freezers full of breast milk!), but it was lightweight, totally portable, and enabled completely hands-free pumping. The pump, which has to be charged like an iPhone, is actually the size of an iPhone and can hang around your neck while you chase a toddler, fold clothes, etc. Although this pump is listed at $249.99 on the website, it is often on sale for $189.99. You can get a 10% discount when purchasing this pump at the website with this code – MAKEUPDIVA10. Please read my full review here.
Please stay tuned for Part 2!