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Recommended Gifts - Newborns & Infants

SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet

When your first baby is born, you realize you would do anything for a few hours of sleep. Enter the Snoo. The price tag is hefty. But the parents I know who have one swear by it.  

The Snooresponds to the baby's initial whimpers as they come out of deep sleep into lighter sleep, and initiates soothing white noise and gentle rocking motions that are supposedly reminiscent of the womb. The baby is comforted back to sleep without fully waking. Gradually, the baby learns to "put herself back to sleep" unless, of course, she is very hungry, in which case she will wake and cry loudly for you. 

Shopping List for Your New Baby

I'm often asked by new parents what to buy before the baby arrives. I truly believe that 99% of what your baby needs is YOU. Your arms, your breasts, your warmth, your voice, your presence. Sure, a few blankets depending on the weather, and diapers but really, much of what is promoted to parents before they have a baby is completely unnecessary.

However, there are some items now available to parents that make life happier all around. Baby carriers like wraps and slings promote bonding and allow you to use your hands while still holding your baby securely. Nursing pillows make it easier to begin the breastfeeding relationship without hunching over and giving yourself a neck ache.  Some strollers and car seats are better than others, if you need a stroller or car seat. And probiotics may even help with colic!

So I'm a huge fan of anything that makes it easier to meet your baby’s needs, and your own. Since you won't be shopping with a newborn, you do want the necessities in advance. Here's my short list:

ESSENTIAL:

  • Diapers -  The rule of thumb is ten diapers/day. Wondering about cloth vs disposable? Disposables are more expensive over time and experts agree that they're worse for the environment. Cloth can be used for more than one child, and are much easier to use than they used to be. However, many parents say they just aren't absorbent enough to keep their baby comfortable all night, so some parents still use disposables at night.  Here's a link to a forum at Mothering.com that has many links within it to start you on your decision-making journey:  http://www.mothering.com/community/t/244102/making-a-diaper-choice-cloth-vs-disposable.
  • Infant car seat if you will be taking baby home in a car. You might consider one that converts to a stroller so you don't wake your sleeping baby
  • Sling, Wrap or other baby carrier - Essential. I recommend the Moby wrap, below, but here's a great forum at Mothering as you start thinking about which is best for you: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1297854/baby-carriers-wraps-slings.  You can even make your own!
  • Changing pad - You don't need anything fancy. You can fold up washable baby blankets and toss them in the wash every day.
  • Either washcloths or newborn wipes.
  • Undershirts or onesies, socks, hats.
  • Baby gowns with the opening at the feet are so easy for dressing newborns.
  • Blankets- Several receiving blankets & a warmer one.
  • Diaper bag - You can use anything, including an old backpack, but internal pockets are really helpful to stay organized.
  • Salve to prevent cracked nipples. Lansinoh is great, cheap & readily available (below), or go organic with Earth Mama Angel Baby. Many moms swear by Motherlove Nipple Cream, which is petroleum-free and can be used on baby's skin as well as yours.
  • Nursing bras and nursing clothes/nightgown so that you can nurse easily. Other nursing apparel is great but you can buy it later. 
  • Reuteri infant drops made by Biogaia (Probiotics to prevent colic)
  • Swaddle blanket- Swaddling keeps the newborn feeling more like she felt in utero, meaning held and cushioned. Otherwise, babies often startle easily, wave their arms around, and wake themselves up. You can use a receiving blanket, but a swaddling blanket makes it easier.

NICE TO HAVE:

  • Nursing pillow - Makes getting started with breastfeeding much easier.
  • Glider (or other comfortable rocker)-- not a necessity but oh so comfortable and smooth for nursing baby. BUT if you have an older child, I strongly advise that while that child is awake you nurse on the couch or in a big chair where all three of you can fit. Less sibling rivalry!
  • Baby bag (instead of snowsuit/coat)
  • Breast pump and bottles to express milk if you'll be giving bottles.
  • Baby monitor
  • Stroller
  • Infant "bouncy" seat (a place to put the baby down so she can watch safely while you cook or whatever.)
  • Baby bath tub- Bathing with baby is great.  Especially good to nurse in tub. Nylon/mesh sling is good if you won’t be bathing with baby.
  • Fan for the baby's room. New research shows that circulating air can reduce the incidence of SIDS.
  • Humidifier to keep the air moist in the winter.

Family Bed Co-Sleeping Pad

I think this bolster is essential for cosleeping.  Keeps baby safely on Mom's side of the bed for nighttime nursing, without any risk of falling off.  This also lets parents stay covered under their blankets, without covering the baby.  Also lets you cosleep with a second child on the other side of you.  The pillow can also double as a body pillow during pregnancy.  Highly recommended.


 

Sleep Soother - Whisbear Baby Sound Machine

Like most sleep soothers, this one emits the white noise that research shows is soothing to babies. And like most soothers, this one operates for 40 minutes and then switches off to save the battery. But some sleep soothers actually wake the baby when they go silent because of the change in sound. With this soother, if the baby wakes again, the sound goes on for an additional 20 minutes, which helps the baby go back to sleep. You can also adjust the sound volume. Cuddly plush with rustling ears. Safely attach it to a crib, car seat or stroller with securely sewn in magnets. One drawback -- it doesn't have a heartbeat or music, only the white noise.

Moby Wrap 100% Cotton Solid Baby Carrier

The Moby is a highly rated baby carrier that will help parents and babies develop a strong and secure attachment. 

Recommended Books for Infants and Babies

Feeling a little anxious? We've been there. The best books we know about babies, to help you in developing your own parenting style.  Just click here:  Recommended Books for Infants and Babies

Boppy Nursing Pillow

The Boppy Pillow is a great addition for any mom with a new baby. It helps position baby and gives mom additional support while breastfeeding or bottle feeding. It can also be used for non-feeding positioning, such as tummy time.

Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil for Infant Massage

This baby oil is perfect for gentle infant massage. In addition to massage, it can also be used if your baby's head is dry and scaly. 

HALO Newborn Micro-Fleece Sleepsack Swaddle

Swaddling keeps the newborn feeling more like she felt in utero, meaning held and cushioned. Otherwise, babies often startle easily, wave their arms around, and wake themselves up. You can use a receiving blanket, but a swaddling blanket makes it easier, especially for big babies. This sleepsack also keeps the baby warm so you don't have to use blankets, which are a suffocation hazard.

Lamaze Activity Toy, Freddie the Firefly

Perfect for hanging over the car seat to keep your baby happy while you drive. Designed by child development experts from Yale University, this plush toy offers visual, auditory and tactile interest. Sorry, can only be shipped within the US.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin

Don't let the discomfort of sore nipples interrupt your nursing relationship. Liquid gold for breastfeeding mothers! Soothes, heals and protects dry, cracked nipples and other skin. Start using before delivery to condition skin (and great for stretchmarks, too.)

Motherlove Nipple Cream

This nipple cream is a soothing way to relieve sore, cracked nursing nipples.