This post is sponsored by Lunchbox. All opinions are my own.
In the 7 years my husband and I have been married we have had four children together all evenly spaced two years apart. That means, if there is one thing I know it’s babies! Our youngest is 10 months old and I often look back and compare how I was as a first time mommy and how things have changed as I have learned and grown over the years and have parenting experience behind me.
If there was one area I totally blew as a new mom it was knowing what types of things I needed. We planned to have our children somewhat close together so my very first stroller was a double stroller. It was enormous, heavy, and by no means practical. I hated my stroller. The funny thing is now today even with four kids, I use my single stroller most of the time and a baby carrier for my youngest. So, it’s time to share some of the hard earned wisdom from my years of raising little ones. Here are my top ten new mom essentials!
Top 10 New Mom Essentials!
Hint: Add these to your Baby Registry or Baby Shower gifts list
- A “diaper” bag – You will need something to keep all your baby gear as you travel but don’t choose something that looks like a traditional very boring diaper bag. Pick out something that will grow with you beyond the newborn phase. Often, you can even just use a larger purse. You’ll want a bag that is easy to wipe clean and has at least one side pocket for a sippy cup or bottle.
- Muslin swaddling blankets – Don’t skimp and by the really tiny receiving blankets. Your baby will outgrow those in a month or two tops. The muslin swaddling blankets absolutely cannot be beat. They are lightweight, breathable but still warm, and double for 100 different uses from nursing cover to fort building as your child grows.
- Diaper stash – If you plan to use disposable diapers, have a supply on hand. Babies go through diapers SO fast and it is the worst thing to need a diaper only to realize you are out, which happens way more often then you might think. Don’t buy too many in one size as kids can switch what size they need literally overnight. However, you can always return or exchange any unopened packs for the size you need should you need to. Have the size or two up ready to go as well. If you are using cloth diapers, make sure you have at least 18 diapers in your stash to start with and grab a pack of disposables for that first week.
- A swing OR a bouncer – You really don’t need to have both a swing and a bouncer and in fact having both most often just means too much baby gear you have to navigate around. In a 2-story home, you might use both items for different areas of the home, but in most cases your baby will prefer one or the other and the other will just feel in the way. If you spend most of your time at home, a swing is a really great investment as it will give you a few moments hands free. However, if you like to be out and about visit friends and family or have to work, a bouncer will probably be a better choice as it is much more portable and takes up less space in your home.
- An umbrella style single stroller – Forget the travel system, they are usually so heavy and hard to push around. While there is an appeal of it fitting your infant car seat, your baby will want to be sitting up in the cart by around 6 months so that phase is very short lived. You can also just place the infant car seat in the bed of a shopping cart when you head out to shop. Most of the time, I don’t use a stroller or a shopping cart for the first 3-4 months anyways, see my next top pick!
- Infant carrier – This is the absolutely best parenting product, in my opinion. I have used a variety of different styles of carriers and I do think there are two “best” types based on stages. Think about how you might use your baby carrier to pick which style might be best for you. A wrap style carrier is ideal for the newborn and young infant stage. None of the other carrier options are as ideal for these early crucial months. My favorite carrier once they are sitting up and more curious wanting to see their surroundings is a soft sided carrier like an Ergobaby or Boba carrier. Both styles can be used as your only carrier, they are just each best suited for a specific time frame.
- Mobile or Crib Soother – I didn’t use a mobile or a crib side soother with my first two children. I would nurse them to sleep and then tip toe as quietly as I could trying to keep them asleep as I laid them down to sleep. The tiniest sounds would wake them up and I was constantly checking the baby monitor for any peeps from them. With my third, I had a light up soothing toy that sang lullabies and was made for infants. He was really drawn to the toy and it ended up being a lifesaver and getting him to sleep. Now, by number four, I often laid my son down even if when he is restless and not passed out asleep in a temporary milk coma. A soother helped give him something to focus his attention on, rather than that mom was leaving the room.
- A Walker OR a Jumperoo – When your tot outgrows the swing or bouncer, the next step is to pick out either a walker or a jumperoo. I’ve used both and they have their pros and cons. A walker really encourage tons of walking as they love cruising around the room. A jumperoo encourages less walking but is so incredibly fun for most infants. I love watching as they jump, jump, jump. Both will give you a safe place to set your child to give you those few needed minutes to finish your task like when you used to rely on your swing. Personally, we love our Jumperoo!
- Baby proofing – Your little one will grow so incredibly fast and be crawling and into everything within reach way faster than you will ever expect. Plan to pick up safety products and have them on hand so you are ready the moment you need them. You will want to have cabinet locks, furniture straps, and corner protectors for your coffee table and similar furniture by the time your baby is around 6 months.
- Quality Crib – A crib is something that will last you through the first two years of infancy but can last much longer than that. Now days, there are convertible cribs that can become a toddler bed, day bed, or even a headboard and footboard for a full size bed so the crib grows with your child. We have used our crib as a toddler bed and tend to switch over the crib at somewhere around 18 months. Because they are already used to the bed the transition to a toddler bed is so much easier.
Fisher-Price offers great baby gear for children of all ages at Walmart. You will be able to find everything you need from the day your baby arrives all the way through potty training and beyond. Fisher-Price has long been known for it’s quality products from cribs to their Rainforest jumperoo.