Y'all there's a thing called a Baby Shusher.
It's a recording of a person shushing...
to play for your baby.
I know this because I Googled "Things I Need For Baby," and this badboy was listed at the very top. Babies don't need Baby Shushers? Or 5-7 pairs of socks. Or infant shoes. (Socks--of any size--don't stay on and shoes spend most of their time in a drawer.)
So we threw together this list of Newborn Essentials.. the 6 things you actually need for a baby 0-2 months. Then, thinking back over the 12+ years we've been working with families, we added on 17 extra products you should really want. Want this list? Keep scrolling...
The 6 Things You Need for a Newborn Baby:
- A safe place to sleep. While one can safely bedshare, we are big fans of a separate space for baby to sleep in your room. It gives parents a little autonomy and helps babies get comfortable sleeping on their own (this will go far later when you're transitioning baby to a crib in their nursery). Our favorite is the Halo Bassinest. It can stand alone in the sitting nook of your bedroom or be pulled up flush to your side of the bed. The bed-facing rail lowers with light pressure when unlocked, making middle-of-the-night pickups or reassuring pats easier on the arms. And the swivel feature helps a postpartum person get in and out of bed easily (no crawling or sliding required).
- Diapers. We remember when the blue line first came on the scene...now we couldn't imagine changing a diaper without it! Pampers was the first, but certainly not the last. Since then, tons of diapers exist with "the line," but none are as soft, as absorbent or fit as nicely as Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive. For families using disposables (and even for those planning to cloth)*, these are our favorites. And we've changed them all. For cloth diaper fans, Charlie Bananas are a stylish, soft and long-lasting option. We still recommend starting with disposables for a few days until all the meconium has passed.
- Clothes/Hats/Blankets. This is sort of obvious, but if we're calling this an essentials list, we should probably include them! We've found Skip Hop clothes to be extra cute and comfortable.
- Food. Whether you're breast or bottlefeeding, you'll need a bottle for baby in those first 8 weeks (the ideal time to introduce a bottle to a breastfed baby is 4 weeks). The Ola Baby bottle is a fantastic option that mimics the breast in a variety of ways... and comes in mint. If you're breastfeeding, you'll also need a pump. Our current favorite is the Spectra S1.
Pro Tip: Buy the Medela Adapters so that you can use their parts/bottles instead. They are WAY easier to find...especially on a late-night Target run.
- Nursing/Pumping Bra. Ok, ok... some might not call this an essential...(especially since those feeding formula or donated milk won't need it) but we wanted those planning to breastfeed to realize just how important it is. The BeliBea nursing/pumping bra is the most amazing invention on the planet. It's a bra you wear all day (that doesn't create a uniboob) that can easily be unhooked for pumping or breastfeeding. No pumping bras to lug around, or weird slingshots to put on... just this one bra. Swoon.
- Car Seat. They won't let you leave the hospital without one... our favorite is the Britax B-Safe Infant Seat.
17 More You Should Really Want (what registries are for):
- Swaddle Sacks. There are about 400 swaddle sacks available to new parents. For brand new babies, we've had the best success with velcro sacks, like the Halo Sleep Sack or these that are SUPER CUTE. Once babies are a bit older (a month or so), a Woombie Swaddler or Miracle Blanket can be used with similar success. Whatever you do, be sure to get more than one. You don't want a pooped-on swaddle sack to get in the way of a good night's sleep.
- Sound Machine. I suppose a sound machine was the motivation behind the Baby Shusher. We prefer the Dohm, however. Personally, mine is approaching 4 years of 12+ hours of use every day and still going strong. It's the perfect amount of white noise to help your baby sleep.
- Pacifier. Pacifiers help satisfy your baby's need to suck, and can help harder-to-soothe babies get to sleep on their own. We like the Wubbanub because it doesn't fall out as easily and is *much* easier to find in the middle of the night. Remember, only one lovey or similar item is allowed in baby's sleep space...so this would count. Don't add anything else to their bassinest or crib.
- Bottle Sanitizer. Skip the bright green grass and lawn and save some counter space with a bottle sanitizer. You can use this for loose pacifiers, as well!
- Bottle Warmer. Don't be fooled, you can use this warmer with more than just Dr. Brown's bottles. It fits small and large size bottles and the time is programmable so you don't have to do anything but press a button when it's time for baby to eat. (Cool fact: I was able to use this warmer to scald my high-lipase milk when pumping for Maggie!)
- Baby Carrier. We love the Moby Wrap because it is a cost-effective, not-so-intimidating introduction to the world of babywearing.
- Baby Positioner. For the moments you don't feel like having a baby attached to you or you need to shower, or eat, or just take a deep breath... an infant positioner can come in handy. We know you know...but don't let your babe sleep in here, ok? The safest place is flat on their back, yes, but this also creates a hard-to-break habit once they outgrow the positioner. Instead, nap baby in their regular overnight sleep space. We like this budget-friendly, portable Rock-n-play.
- Baby Monitor. We believe baby should be in the same spot for all night and daytime sleep. A baby monitor comes in handy when you don't feel like being trapped in your bedroom or just don't feel like "sleeping when baby sleeps." This monitor has served many of our clients (and us!) well. Being able to see your sweet newborn will put your mind at ease until they're back in your arms again.
- Diaper Bag. This stylish diaper bag is a favorite for sure.
- Brest Friend. If you're breastfeeding, a pillow to help position your new baby can make a world of difference in your baby's latch. Skip the Boppy pillow and grab a Brest Friend instead. It snaps around your waist, so it stays put and even has an arm rest for you!
- Tummy Time Mat. Technically, baby doesn't need a mat for tummy time (a blanket will do), but an interesting pattern to grab their interest that doubles as a little gym when they get older is a great investment. Plus this Sassy Tummy Time Mat comes with tons of little toys for your baby as they grow. Jackpot!
- Play Ideas for Baby. As soon as your baby starts staying awake for longer stretches, introducing play time is a wise idea. If you're anything like I was when I had my first baby, "playing" with a newborn is awkward and difficult. Making faces gets old after a while. These books are written by an occupational therapist, are super easy to follow and have some great ideas for interacting with babies from birth-on. And don't worry... no Pinterest-worthy activities here. Just simple guidance for meaningful, interactive play.
- Baby Lotions/Shampoos/Creams. We love the Era Organics line of baby products.
- Pumping Bag. If you're returning to work, or just want to get away for a couple of hours, a pumping bag will keep everything organized while you're outside of the home. The Spectra doesn't come with its own bag, but this Sarah Wells Pumping Bag has plenty of space for it and is the perfect addition to any ensemble.
- DockATot. If your baby is having a hard time sleeping flat, using the DockATot can help make them more comfortable without creating the bad habit of an infant positioner for sleep. It's also a great option for traveling (no bulking pack-n-plays here).
- A Baby Book. Listen, you may or may not fill this out. But if you're going to start a baby book, Baby's First Book is the one to have. It's gorgeous and the perfect way to keep track of your little one's milestones!
- Help. You can definitely do the newborn stage without a lot of help...but it sure makes it more enjoyable if you aren't on your own. A Postpartum and Infant Care Doula can help care for baby, answer questions about normal newborn behavior, maternal healing, newborn feeding, sleep, and more. Your doula can assist with meal prep, light housekeeping, sibling care, pet care, assistance with daily trips/appointments, overnight support and is an understanding presence when families are their most vulnerable.