My Top 5: Things for a Newborn

Here is my first post for My Top 5 “series”.  🙂  Every so often I’ll be posting my top 5 favourite/most used/just plain awesome things for a specific topic.

Today’s topic: Newborns

Here are 5 things that I found to be super useful when E was a newborn.

# 1. SwaddleMe

I strongly believe in swaddling a newborn.  Here are a couple reasons:

  • They are used to being nice and tight and cozy in Mommy’s belly so being all wrapped up tight helps them feel like they are safe and “home”.
  • Newborns also have very little control over their arm movements so the swaddle keeps from startling themselves awake.

Please note that I swaddled my baby, E, when she was sleeping or when she was too overwhelmed by this great big world.  She had lots of unswaddled time to practice moving her arms and legs.  Also, we never swaddled her hips so tight to create a problem.


E all snug and ready for bed

At first we swaddled using receiving blankets and then moved on to large flannel blankets my mom had made.  The blankets worked great for her naps, but at night she was managing to get her hands out and startle herself awake.  I finally splurged and bought a SwaddleMe.  She LOVED them!  She would often be crying very hard while we were getting her ready for bed, but as soon as she was snug in the SwaddleMe she calmed right down.

The feature I love most about the SwaddleMe?  The velcro!  So easy to keep her snug all night long!

The SwaddleMe comes in different sizes.  We bought the Stage 2 variation in both the small and large.  I would often tell my husband that if/when I go to any future baby showers a SwaddleMe will be included in the gift!

# 2. Avon Sensitive Skin Bubble Bath


Who know that this would get out baby poop?

This one might seem a bit strange to have on a list like this, but believe me, it is a product that every mom needs!  You know how everyone seems to be offering advice as soon as they find out that you are pregnant?  Even if it might drive you crazy, if you actually listen sometimes you get some good tips.  This was one of those times.

That mustard yellow baby poop stains everything!  And Avon Sensitive Skin Bubble Bath gets those stains out as easily as can be!  How awesome is that?  🙂

# 3. Soother


E with her Wubbanub pacifier

A soother/pacifier seems to be a bit of a controversial item.  Some parents are worried that the baby will become too dependent on it, other parents worry about it affecting the baby’s teeth and jaw.  I, however, think that a soother is a wonderful invention!

In a previous post, I mentioned how we avoided having a colicky baby and one of the reasons was because we used a soother!  E was a sucker.  At first she was using me as her pacifier and, despite warnings of developing nipple confusion, we introduced her to a soother a couple days after she was born.  Maybe we just got lucky, but there were no issues for going between the soother and breastfeeding at all.

It took awhile to find one that she liked, but when we did (thanks to a gift from a friend), she was a happy baby!  We used the soother for about 6 months and stopped using it once we started sleep training.  I was a bit concerned that she’d start sucking her thumb instead (and you can’t take a thumb away), but it didn’t happen.  Luck again?

If/when the next baby comes around, we’ll definitely use the soother again, but once the baby is past the 3-4 month age, we’d probably restrict it to just naps and bedtime.

# 4. AngelCare Baby MonitorIMG_3395

There are so many monitors available now, but we decided to go with the AngelCare system because of the motion sensing mattress pad.  The pad goes under the mattress and detects the slightest movements of the baby, including breathing.  If movement stops for too long the alarm sounds.  I found it very reassuring as a new mom, knowing that if my baby stopped breathing for some reason I would know about it right away.

There was a recall on the monitor systems recently, because there is a cord connecting the sensor pad to the nursery unit.  All I had to do was request a kit to fix the problem.  The kit came quickly and using it I am able to keep the cords away from my baby’s curious hands.

When the time comes to purchase a new monitor, I will probably go with AngelCare again, although I’d like to get the version with the video.

I did have a problem with the parental unit going blank, but AngelCare sent me a new unit.

# 5. Nursing bras

Ok, this isn’t really for a newborn, but definitely something I’d recommend if you are going to be breastfeeding!  One time my nursing bras were all dirty so I was wearing an ordinary one.  I ended up having to strip down, taking my bra off completely, so that I could nurse.  Not so convenient since I was visiting my parents at the time.

It is recommended that you go a few weeks before your due date to get properly sized for a nursing bra.

And while you’re shopping for your bras, consider buying a sleep nursing bra.  I really appreciated having mine.  It was nice in the hospital because it kept me a bit more covered up than the hospital gown and once I was home it offered support at night as well as held nursing pads in place so I didn’t leak all over the bed.

Ok, there you have it, five of my favourite things to have for a newborn.  And just because it is awesome too, here’s a bonus.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is just a wonderful thing.  It has SO many uses.  For a newborn it works great as a diaper cream (cloth safe even), a moisturizer, and it helps get rid of cradle cap.  E was starting to get cradle cap and so I slathered her head with coconut oil about 10 minutes before her bath.  I took a soft bristled baby hair brush and brushed her hair…ok, I brushed her scalp, she didn’t have THAT much hair.  Haha!  Then rinsed it out.

Coconut Oil works great as a nipple cream too, so don’t just save it for baby.  🙂

Hope you found this helpful!  Moms out there, what did you love using when your baby was a newborn?  Please add your comments below!  🙂



Shopping for Baby


Me at 9 months with my daughter

Being pregnant for the first time is pretty exciting!  (My baby is 9 1/2 months old now, so I’m reminiscing. 🙂  Here’s a picture of me about to pop!)  Even though I was completely exhausted most of the time, I never seemed too tired to shop.  🙂  As a new mom-to-be I picked out the “obvious” stuff like a crib, change table, rocker, stroller, etc – you know, the things that you typically think of needing when you have a baby.

Shortly after I announced my pregnancy, a teacher at the school where I was working offered to take me shopping to buy all the “essential and maybe not so obvious” things a new mom and baby would need.  This woman is  a very caring woman and isn’t afraid to talk about the things that aren’t mentioned all that often.  She’s very open, but in a way that makes one feel comfortable asking questions.  She also loves buying baby cloths and let me buy a whole bunch of baby girl clothes at a great price.  The clothes had belonged to her daughter and some of them had probably been only worn once!

Anyways, we picked a day to go shopping and here’s a list of the things she recommended.  I thought I’d share the list.  This list is not comprehensive (you will need more than this for a baby) and there are probably moms out there that would say that there are things on here that aren’t needed, but hopefully you’ll find it as helpful and fun as I did.

For Baby (in no particular order, I am listing things as I remember them!)

  1. Oval Drops: My baby was not colicky and I don’t think she was in pain because of gas, but she sure did have a lot of gas bubbles in her!  Giving her a dose of the Oval seemed to keep things from getting too bad or painful.  I would recommend getting 2 bottles – one for at home and one for in your diaper bag.
  2. Infants’ Tylenol Drops: I don’t use this very often, but it is definitely good to have on hand in case my baby develops a fever or is in pain because of teething.  I got the White Grape flavour which doesn’t taste too badly if you ask me.  Again 2 bottles – one for at home and one for the diaper bag.
  3. Bottles: Regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or giving formula, you will most likely need bottles.  When my baby was first born I was nursing and pumping.  The bottles were very useful when someone was watching my baby when I had to make appointments or went on a date with my husband.  After struggling with breastfeeding for four months, I decided to switch to formula and those bottles got even more use.
  4. Hydrasense Ultra GentleMist Baby nasal spray: It can be very dry here in Edmonton, Alberta and this nasal spray is great for moisturizing her nose and relieving congestion.  I don’t use it all that often, but it is good to have on hand.
  5. Vick’s BabyRub: My daughter didn’t get a really bad cold until she was about 8 months old and then she was hit hard!  Poor thing was so stuffed up and was coughing like crazy.  😦  We rubbed her chest, back, and feet with the rub and I think that helped.  We also gave her a small baby spoonful of coconut oil which helped with the coughing too.
  6. Baby bath tub: This is one of those things that you don’t absolutely need, but I’m so glad I had one.  I was able to borrow one from my sister, but if it hadn’t been available I would have bought one.  A newborn baby is super slippery in water (ok any baby is super slippery in water) and it was nice to be able to put the bath tub on the table at a level that is easier to work with.  We used it on the table for a bit and then put it into the large bath tub.  It was nice being knowing that she wasn’t going to bang her head on the hard porcelain.
  7. Baby bath tub insert: Lots of baby bath tubs come with inserts pre-built into them, but if yours doesn’t then I’d recommend the insert.  I had a c-section and wasn’t able to lift much weight so things were a bit harder trying to hold up the baby’s head and grab the shampoo and rinse her off, etc.  Again, I was able to borrow an insert (from my sister-in-law this time) otherwise I would have bought one.  There are several different kinds.  The one I used was mesh on a wire frame.  The one that was used by the lady who took me shopping was foam.
  8. Baby Shampoo, Bubble Bath, and Body Wash: There are so many different varieties out there.  Choose the one that suits your needs best.
  9. Baby Lotion: Again, lots of variety out there.  I found the lotion great for giving mini baby massages and just moisturizing her skin in this dry winter weather.  I had bought some lotion, but the best stuff I’ve used was a homemade version made by my sister-in-law.  (More on these great products of hers coming in a future post)
  10. Humidifier: I wasn’t sure how much these really help and I was a bit hesitant about buying one since they are kind of expensive.  But then my daughter got a bad cold and we were able to borrow one from my mom.  It is run during her naps and at night.  If nothing else, it provides a bit of white noise.  🙂
  11. Play mat: Any of them will work.  I was given one as well as was able to borrow one from my sister.  I think for the next baby I want to splurge and buy the SkipHop one because I think it is so cute!  Even though the baby won’t play with anything at first, it was nice to have a soft place to lay her down when I needed to do something.
  12. Baby wash cloths: I originally bought 24 wash cloths thinking that would be enough, but then they turned out to be great for wiping up baby spit ups.  My baby spat up a lot and these cloths were a bit easier to use than blankets or actual burp cloths.  We eventually went out and bought another pack of 12.  They have proved useful even now as cloths to wipe up her face after eating.
  13. D Drops: Here in Canada we don’t get enough sunlight to create all the vitamin D we need so if you are in a similar environment, definitely pick some up.  I had heard that a formula fed baby doesn’t need the drops because it is added to the formula, but when I was talking to the doctor and nurse before I switched over, they both recommended that I continue with the D Drops.  (By the way, everyone living in Canada should be taking a vitamin D supplement!)
  14. Diaper cream: I decided to cloth diaper so I needed to make sure I had a cloth safe diaper cream.  Your baby will most likely develop many diaper rashes (it’s just the nature of wearing non-breathable diapers – whether cloth or disposable).  My sister-in-law makes a fantastic diaper cream which is cloth safe and works like a charm!  (More on these great products in a future post)
  15. Newborn diapers: Even though I was planning on using cloth diapers I wasn’t sure if they would fit her right from the beginning.  These were great to have on hand as well because she developed a bad case of thrush diaper rash and the antibiotic cream is not cloth safe.

Welcoming my daughter into the world

For Mom:

  1. Pads: You’ve probably heard that you are going to bleed for awhile after you give birth.  I bought a pack of those super long overnight pads.  I didn’t use them all, but it was nice to know that I would be prepared.
  2. Hemorrhoid cream: No one wants to think about hemorrhoids, but there is a chance that you might get them so why not be prepared!
  3. Stool softener: I didn’t end up using the ones that I had bought because after my c-section the surgeon prescribed some and I used those instead.  Maybe this helped avoid serious hemorrhoids, but I can’t say for certain.
  4. Lanolin cream: Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt if the baby is latched on properly, but your nipples will still be sore.  A baby is sucking on them for the first time after all!  I remember feeling a sharp pain when my daughter first latched on, but then the pain would go away.  The lanolin cream helped keep me moisturized and protected.  I don’t think I’d buy the cream again though because coconut oil works great and smells better too!
  5. Breast pads: I used a couple boxes of breast pads during the first month.  I found the Lansinoh brand ones were the best.  There are also reusable ones out there, but I liked the convenience of the disposable ones. 

Like I mentioned above, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the things you’ll need for a new baby, but hopefully it will help get you started.  Happy Shopping!

Experienced moms out there, are there items you would add to the list?