We are five weeks into having our first baby and we have learned a lot! I put together a list of the most essential items we've used during the first month of having a newborn in the house.
1. Flat Cloth Diapers - Even if you don't cloth diaper, buy these! You can use them for everything. We have used them for spit up cloths, makeshift changing surfaces, blankets, sun covers, nursing pillow covers and iPhone cleaning cloths :) If you DO cloth diaper, I really think that these are a better deal than those fancy inserts that come with the expensive diapers. All you do is fold them into rectangles and put them in the covers just like the liners. The best part is that you can buy thicker or thinner ones depending on how much absorbency you need. We also haven't had any diaper rash since we used up the disposable diapers the hospital gave us and started using these instead.
2. Moses Basket - We got one of these from some friends and it's really convenient. It's super portable so we can put Ellie down anywhere we are in the house, even in bed with us. Sometimes I set it up on my rocking chairs gliding ottoman and use it like a cradle.
3. Lansinoh Thera-Pearl Hot or Cold Breast Therapy Packs - Since I pump most of the time I use these as hot packs and attach them around the pumps with the snaps. It helps to get the milk flowing. They also help a lot as cold packs when you get sore. I've tried the Medela cooling gel pads and they did NOT work at all. They were just gooey and gross.
4. Cloth Diaper Covers - We have six diaper covers so far and that seems like a really decent amount. We only go through one or two a day including night time. I chose five different brands to see which I liked best and so far my favorites are Rumparooz, GroVia and Best Bottoms. The Thirsties brand is pretty good, but they don't come in one size, so when Ellie gets bigger we will have to get the next size up. We have a couple of the cheaper brand, Diaper Safari, and those don't have leg gussets, which sucks, but they do have pockets for the cloth inserts.
5. Medela Cloth Nursing Pads - I had to start using these before Ellie was born! One thing I learned is that you need to buy a lot of these and they only come with four per pack. Better yet, if you have a bunch of flannel fabric laying around you could probably make some. I end up soaking through these quite often, so I use the disposable ones sometimes if I'm not wearing a bra. Too much information? Too bad!
6. Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced - I was given this by a friend, who is an angel by the way, because this is the best thing ever. I'm a working mom, so I have to get my frozen milk supply up before I return to work. This pump even runs on batteries if you need it to. I recommend getting the bustier so you don't have to hold them the whole time, even though it makes you feel like a cow on a dairy farm. It's a pretty roomy bag so I can keep my lanolin cream, nursing pads, extra bottles, caps, nipples, milk storage bags and breast shields in there. The ice pack bag is perfect to keep by the bed at night so when I pump I can just store the milk in there instead of going all the way to the refrigerator.
7. Boon Lawn Drying Rack - This thing is super cute! I have the little white tree that you stick into the grass to hang the nipples on. My parents thought it was hilarious to have a little "nipple tree."
8. Swaddle-Me Blankets - Ellie can't kick her way out! She really calms down when we wrap her up in these. Did you know you can actually undo the bottom portion of the swaddler so you can change a diaper without taking your baby out of the entire thing? My mom figured that one out.