Things you need and don’t need for your newborn

Some good things came from this pandemic. 3 of my bridesmaids (I had 8 lol) are having their first baby in March 2021. They started asking me a bunch of questions on what to buy and I started writing this post for them. After four babies, I’ve learned that a lot of things that are marketed toward new moms as essentials, really are not. With your first, you want everything perfect. You are in a “nesting” mindset. Learn from my experience, and here is a list of items you can do without and save yourself money to spend on you!

  1. Baby Wipe Warmer. I love the idea of a hot towel after showering, and I don’t even spoil myself to that luxury. You will have made 194,328 diaper changes. Crying baby. Stinky diapers. Warm wipes? … No.
  2. Diaper Pal: The problem that needs to be solved is the smell. No high tech diaper genius can stop that fermented poo smell. Diaper pals do not address this. Best practice is to re-use plastic bags from the grocery. Hang them on a door knob, put your diapers in there and make daily trips to your outside trash bin. (use your partner)
  3. Crib Bedding sets that include pillows or head shaper: Have you heard of SID? A newborn simply needs to be snuggly dressed and swaddled. Your crib mattress only needs a fitted sheet.
  4. No Scratch Mittens: Babies need to learn not to scratch their own face. Scratch mittens teach babies it’s alright to scratch their face. Inevitably, your baby will be able to take one off (or you will forget), and it will result in a scratched up face. More importantly, tactile learning is important for infants. We should not prevent babies from using their hands to develop their brain through touching. None of my kids wore mittens, and their preschool teachers were very impressed at their hand eye coordination at a young age.
  5. Stuffed Animals: Friends and family will inundate you with these. You will soon have a mountain of stuffed animals. If you do get any as gifts, make sure to take them out of the crib.
  6. Nursing Cover: Who likes a blanket over one’s face when eating? If anyone gives you a dirty look for nursing in public, time to put your longest finger to use.
  7. Shower hat: So what if some water gets on a baby’s face? More importantly, have your baby get used to water. At swim school, parents struggle to put these absurd flower petal looking rims over their kid’s head trying to make sure water doesn’t drip down, but kids still get angry.
  8. Changing station: Your entire home will be a changing station.
  9. Baby shoes: Oh, those little cute booties? Unless they are glued on, you will probably lose one booty on the first day. Baby’s feet are the squirmiest things in the universe.
  10. Baby Food Maker: Your baby will start eating solids at about 5-6 months. I tried my sister’s baby food maker, but I didn’t find it any easier than using a pot and a blender. It’s not worth the money.
  11. UV bottle and toy sanitizer: Your dishwasher can effectively sterilize baby bottles. It is recommended that brand new bottles or second-hand bottles should be sterilized before the first time use. Common sterilization methods are: boiling in water, microwave, or using chemical agents. It’s okay to just use the dishwasher once the baby is older than 3 months, according to CDC guidelines.

Items that I absolutely couldn’t live without through all my 4 kids!

  1. Crib (get one with wheels): My amazing mother-in-law bought a super fancy crib for my first baby. Then more came. Two kids are very close in age, so I had to invest in more cribs. My favorite? The one with wheels! Super portable, lightweight and just as sturdy. Also it fits through the doorways so you don’t have to take it apart in case you have to move the crib.
  2. Baby Monitor: Who doesn’t want peace of mind by having a third eye that watches the baby for you while they sleep? Reliability and ease of connectivity are the most important features. The one I use can connect on both wifi and a phone network so I can watch the baby even when I’m away from home.
  3. Wipe Dispenser: Instead of wipe warmer, get this weighted dispenser for one hand dispensing. Trust me, you will be forced to get used to doing everything with one hand once you have a tiny human attached to your other arm all the time. I get this refill pack of wipes (it saves money and reduces waste) and fill up the dispenser. For on the go, I use these portable wipe dispensers.
  4. Burp Clothes: You will be amazed how such a tiny person can spew out so much bodily fluids all the time. Also your breasts will drip milk a lot. Have one handy all the time.
  5. Cradle cap massager and comb: Most babies will develop a cradle cap on their scalp. You don’t need to worry about it unless it’s severe enough to bother your baby. While nursing, I had such a hard time resisting the urge to pick on the dangling dead skins (you should never since it can aggravate the condition and cause infection). This cradle cap massager will loosen the dead skin safely after the baby’s scalp has been soaked in warm water. After massaging, comb it out using the other side. It’s so satisfying.
  6. Onesies: Those with easy access for diaper change are best.
  7. Breast Pump– Even if you breastfeed exclusively, pumping boosts your milk supply if necessary. Also if you can pump enough milk for 1 or 2 feedings, you can have your partner or a helper to feed the baby over night so you can sleep a longer stretch of hours.
  8. Nursing Bra: I recommend getting wireless ones because they are comfier. Also get at least 3-5 so you have a clean bra without having to do laundry everyday.
  9. Nursing Pad: Your breasts will leak milk. A lot.
  10. Nipple Cream: I’m so sorry to tell you that your nipples will be sore and cracked, but breastfeeding is so worth it. Once you get over that brief painful stage, you will fall in love. There is no better way to bond with your baby than breastfeeding.
  11. Ollie Swaddle: Typical swaddles get loose if your baby is active. Ollie swaddles really saved me time because they really stay snug all night.
  12. Puj Bath Pad: It allows you to wash your baby at any standard sink. It will save your back.
  13. Medela (compatible) glass bottles and disposable nipples: I am not a fan of DR BROWN bottles. They have one gazillion too many parts. Will DR BROWN help with Colic? Not sure, but no one really knows the causes of Colic. I’m all about convenience, especially with a newborn. Things are hard enough. If your baby is fussing, first try spending more skin to skin time instead of trying different bottles. One thing I strictly stick to is my “no plastic” rule. Especially baby bottles.
  14. Puracy Baby Wash and lotion: Pump included? Organic? Pleasant and mild scent? Refillable? Yes to all.
  15. Brestfriend nursing pillow: I found it more comfortable than boppy because it has a clip and stays on your hip more securely.
  16. Bouncer/Lounger: My babies spent so much time on this bouncer. I used to have a swing too but bouncer is more compact, cheaper, and easy to carry around and babies love it just as much.
  17. This Japanese baby nail clipper: I’ve tried all the good ones. This one is the absolute best.
  18. Andy Pandy bamboo diapers: These diapers are super soft and organic, great for rash-prone sensitive bums. Also compostable and better for our planet.
  19. Projection Mobile: All my babies spent hours looking at this mobile and the projection. Classic mobiles can be really cute, but honestly, it’s not much to look at (babies get bored quickly). The music is soothing and the hanging animals are cute. While your baby is entertained, it will allow you a lot of extra breaks.
  20. Force of Nature non-toxic sanitizing spray: I already did a posting about this amazing sanitizer, but I cannot emphasize this product enough. Dropped pacifier? Need a quick sanitizing? This 100% non-toxic spray will make your life easier and cleaner.
  21. Feeding spoons and bib: These spoons are brilliantly designed so when placed on a table, the spoon part doesn’t touch the table. I like (food-grade) silicone bibs, because you can just throw them in the dishwasher.
  22. Baby carrier: I love this versatile carrier. Very lightweight and easy on your back.
  23. Doona Infant Carseat + Stroller Combo: I got this for my last baby and it’s a game changer. You don’t need to open the trunk for a separate stroller frame for the carseat. It saves trunk space and it’s super convenient for traveling.
  24. Hip Seat Carrier: Koreans have had this for a long time, and I got a hand me down from my sister. Every mom who sees it, asks me where they can buy one. It’s especially useful for grandparents by putting less strain on backs and arms. My mom would never carry my babies without this.
  25. Suppository for constipation: My thirds child had horrible constipation at 6 weeks old and these were the only remedies that worked. I still keep some in the medicine drawer for emergencies.

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