We’re six weeks into newborn life, so I thought it a good time to share some of our favorite things we’ve been using with Liam! One of the things I learned pretty quickly in the last month and half is that a lot of new parenthood is trial and error and attempting to find the things that your baby will respond well to. All babies are different, of course, so what worked for us with Liam may not work well for another baby, but here’s a look at what we’ve used the most with him:
Diaper Bag Backpack – This is more for me than Liam, but I’ve loved this diaper bag! I like that I can throw it over my shoulder and it’s big enough to bring along what I need. There are interior pockets that make is easy to keep organized. I also like the external zip pocket to throw my card case and a tinted lip balm in, so that I don’t need to carry my own purse in addition to the diaper bag.
Portable Fan – We’ve used this thing quite a bit already! I’ve clipped it onto the bassinet for our morning walks, the carseat for our long drive to SC, and to a table when we’ve been outside and it’s hot. It runs on battery, so we make sure to charge it after each use, so that it’s ready to go next time we need it!
Dockatot – My sister handed me down her old dockatot just in case we had a use for it. It wasn’t something I was planning to register for or buy, but has turned out to be very useful in the first few weeks! While you definitely need to be careful and monitor baby while they’re in it, it is a great little thing to have around to set him down in. We use it a lot when we’re hanging on the couch at night or to lay him in while we’re getting a couple things done around the house, like cleaning up the kitchen.
Inverse Zipper Footies – If there’s one piece of advice I can offer in regards to newborn clothes, it’s to buy inverse zipper footies only (and avoid buttons/snaps whenever possible)! These make it so, so easy for middle-of-the-night diaper changes because you can just zip it up, pull their little legs out, change them, and then put them right back in without having to completely undress them. Newborns are so squishy and really don’t help you out when you’re trying to dress them or change them, so every little thing to your advantage is helpful!
Soothies – Liam will reluctantly take another kind of pacifier, but these are definitely his favorite! They’re great because they’re lightweight, so he can actually keep it in his mouth (sometimes, haha!) and they’re not so big that they take up half of his face.
Portable Sound Machine – This is one of the best purchases we’ve made, thus far. We use it multiple times a day! In fact, I’ve already ordered a second one to have on hand, just in case the first one is charging and can’t be used. Liam sleeps in his bassinet in our room at night, so we use the Hatch for nighttime sleep, but naps in his crib during the day. For his daytime naps, we use this portable sound machine, since we don’t want to have to move the Hatch back and forth between rooms every day. It’s got great volume output, different sound options (although we always use white noise), and an impressive battery life. I always toss it in our diaper bag, too, since I can hang it on his carseat or set it in his stroller bassinet for naps. Highly, highly recommend this!
Hatch Sound Machine – This sound machine is GREAT! It’s a sound machine, night light, and okay-to-wake light that we will utilize when he is a bit older. You can operate it on the device itself or download and use the app to control it. What’s nice about the app is that when I’m on the opposite side of the bed, I can still make changes to the brightness or volume without having to get up. You can schedule it to come on at a certain time and more cool features like that. I’ve grown so accustomed to sleeping with white noise since Liam came home that we just may need to get the adult version for after he moves out of our room!
Velcro Swaddle – I had previously shared that Liam did not like being swaddled the first couple of weeks. The first week of his life, he had his days and nights mixed up, which meant nighttime sleep was a bit of a nightmare. He seemed to get agitated whenever we would wrap him in the swaddle, too, so we used a sleep sack for a few weeks and that seemed to work well for him. He liked having access to his hands, too! About a week ago, after a few not great nights of sleep, I tried swaddling him up for his morning nap and he napped like a CHAMP. Since then, we’ve been swaddling him for sleep and have seen a marked improvement. We have some of these swaddles, but have been exclusively using the Ollie for the last two weeks or so. I like that it’s a light weight fabric, so he won’t get too warm at night, and it will grow will him. You can also swaddle them in it three different ways, which is cool! My one complaint is that we do have to undo the two bottom velcro strips to change his diaper in it, and even then it’s a bit of a struggle, but it’s better than having to completely un-swaddle him and wake him up.
Cozy Blanket – I ordered this blanket for him before he arrived to start using, in case her turns out to be a blanket baby! I had and slept with a blanket for many years as a kid and loved that thing, so I wanted to have something for him, in case he’s the same way. While we liked the muslin swaddle blankets we have to lightly wrap him in (if it’s chilly), it’s nice to have a cozy blanket for him to snuggle up in. I like to steal a snuggly nap here and there with him laying on my chest and I always drape this blanket over him for ultimate cozy-ness.
Halo Bassinet – We have loved this thing! I bought it in a panic the day we returned home from the hospital when I realized that the original bassinet we bought for him was way too low to the ground. I was moving pretty slowly during recovery, so I wanted to have something right beside me in the bed to be able to easily access him, instead of having to take minutes to slowly get out of bed. We got the basic model, which is what I would recommend. It gets the job done just right! I like the swivel feature (makes it easy to get in and out of bed) and that it comes right up to our bed height. It’s essentially the safest version of co-sleeping – I can check on him whenever I need to or just reach over and hold the paci in his mouth without him being in the bed with us.