By Amanda Griffin-Jacob
I’ve been in a delicious delirium of newborn-ness. From cluster feeds to poops to baby grunting, and everything in between. Even though I have four kids, I find myself going through new experiences with each child. My newest baby Kyle is no exception. I never knew there was such a thing as Baby Grunting Syndrome! But my past experience has come useful and I thought I would quickly list down my current essentials for the first month.
A supply of diapers- Newborns pee and poop a lot! I was going through at least 8 diapers per day in the first 2 weeks. As environmental as I strive to be, I just couldn’t keep up with the sheer volume to cloth diaper. So I am currently buying the most planet-friendly diapers I can find until I transition to cloth diapers in a week or so. Love Charlie Banana diapers from Babymama.ph
A huge stash of cotton balls soaked in pre-boiled water for the many diaper changes that will ensue and cotton swabs for the umbilical cord care. I don’t recommend using baby wipes at this early stage for newborns. You want to keep it as natural as you can.
Onesies for the win! At this stage, babies grow so fast so I’d advise organic onesies and anything else that’s easy to put on. We also love tie side shirts, which are effortless to put on. Don’t forget mittens (newborn nails are sharp), socks (so their feet don’t get cold), and receiving blankets. We love the St. Patricks organic line. And it’s local.
Alcohol/hand sanitizer (for your hands only). You want to make sure that you and whoever else is touching your baby has clean hands all the time. I have hand sanitizer stashed in most rooms, bags, and the car. Please remember not to put alcohol on your baby.
Nipple Cream- Even after years of breastfeeding, those initial first few weeks are painful because your baby has to learn how to feed.
Breast pads (for leaks) and nursing bras for breast support. I prefer Pigeon breast pads and Coobie nursing bras. So comfortable.
A breastfeeding pillow- My boppy pillow is indispensable. It’s not just for breastfeeding, but also for propping the baby up when I want to stare at him or her for hours, as new mothers as prone to do! Mothercare has a great selection of pillows, not to mention all your other newborn needs.
A breast pump- I’m a Medela loyalist—all 4 kids. However I don’t start pumping much until week 4. Get your pump at The Parenting Emporium
Malunggay supplements to boost milk production in case you need it. Mega Malunggay from @vpharmaph works wonders
Organic formula, bottles, and related paraphernalia if you are formula feeding your baby.
Organic pajamas, tie side tops and pajama bottoms with feet and onesies- I have written about the importance of using organic clothing for your newborn babies many times as you don’t want chemicals from clothing seeping into your baby’s delicate skin.
Swaddle blankets- Newborns need to be swaddled to reduce their arm twitches and jerks so they can sleep more soundly. I could not have survived without our Halo Sleep Sacs because they take the difficulty out of swaddling. Swaddling can be quite an art form!
White noise machine- This will help trigger sleep signals in your newborn. Believe me any little bit helps. My favorite machine is the sleep sheep (available from Hobbes and Landes). The rain sounds really helped lull both my kids (and me!) to sleep. I know many people now use their phone apps for these kind of sounds but I don’t like having the mobile’s radiation near my baby.
A bathtub with a stand- Bathing your newborn on a stand is so much easier than doing it on the floor.
Hooded towels, organic if possible. Hooded towels are better for little babies because they keep the head warm as well as the body.
Baby wash and shampoo- Aveeno Baby is our favorite baby care line, as it doesn’t have any nasties. I hold off on putting anything on baby for the first week though and will just rinse with water.
ON THE GO
Diaper Bag- Make sure you pack all your necessities into you diaper bag: change mat, diapers, wipes, change of clothes (a few sets), breastfeeding cover, and so on.
Baby Carrier- I love the local brand Saya carrier for when my baby is small and then transition to the Tula Baby Carrier once my baby gets heavier.
Stroller- The Baby Zen Yoyo stroller has been a Godsend. I love power walking during the first month after birth and the yoyo allows me to stroll my baby with me. It transitions simply from newborn to toddler stage. And the most exciting part for me is that it fits in the overhead compartment of an airplane!