When S jr arrived, we had nothing.
Well, okay – we had a co-sleeper and some hand-me-down clothes (Thank you, friends!). But because our adoption timeline leapt forward, we scrambled to gather baby items after he was born.
But in the sixth week of this young man's life, it has become abundantly clear there are some we cannot live without. Besides the obvious (diapers) here are five things that make life with a newborn much, much easier.
When we were in the adoption process, I considered breastfeeding. There are a number of ways to stimulate milk production, but when I did research I found that ideally, I should have started months ago. And even then, success rates vary. This is one of the many points on which we have decided not to obsess – breastfeeding is wonderful and so beneficial for a newborn, but if it's not an option there are great formulas out there. And if you're using formula, I highly recommend the Baby Brezza Formula Pro. This thing makes life SO MUCH EASIER. When you're feeding a human every three hours, streamlining the process is a gift. The Formula Pro stores water at the perfect warm temperature and enough formula to make 20 8 oz bottles...and with the push of a button, blends the two together right into your bottle. You can choose to dispense in 2 oz increments, from 2 to 10 oz. You do need to clean it regularly, but it's simple. I'm telling you. I love this thing profoundly.
There are about a billion different baby bottles on the market. With everything from nipples that simulate the breast to engineered air flow to anti-colic to specially angled for newborns, you can easily lose your mind trying to choose. And since the only way to know is to try, you can end up with a hodge-podge of bottles, like we did. But eventually, we tried the Life Factory baby bottles and DING DING DING these are the ones that work. I love these bottles for several reasons: 1) They're glass 2) With the medical-grade silicone sleeve they handle beautifully 3) You feel like you can really get them clean. There's no fancy airflow duct, no special nipple. And the bottles can advance with your baby with sippy caps and flat caps. I'm actually using one of the 9 oz. bottles with a flat cap as a small water bottle. Yup. Stealing from baby.
So I got this tip from Parent Hacks and it is genius. Using microfiber cloths as burp clothes works so well I get a little giddy about it. There are plenty of cute burp cloths out there (and trust me, I've already gone down the Etsy rabbit hole and purchased some), but come on – it's meant to be dribbled and barfed on. So for the day-to-day, head to the automotive section and get a pack of microfiber cloths. I ended up cutting all of them in half, since they're pretty good-sized, and it's easier to tuck under S jr's chin when they're smaller. Double your money! Plus they're great as washcloths, too.
I have, in my possession, four changing pads. Three of them are for on-the-go, however, and while they're great, nothing compares to the Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer. Because of our small loft space, we have yet to buy any baby furniture, and are instead using existing surfaces. The Keekaroo is great because you can set it anywhere, and the thing is solid. Plus, it requires no cover, no pad, and it's non-slip. When we first opened it, we both gasped because it looked enormous. Especially compared to our 5lb 14oz baby. But he's growing and I've been grateful for the Keekaroo's water-resistant, wipeable surface on a number of occasions when he's decided to pee/poo into the air/my hand and it's landed on the changer. Also, he often likes to just lie there and gaze at stuff. So it must be pretty comfy.
I'm squidging and putting two carriers for the fifth essential, because they both get a ton of use. Corey loves the Solly Wrap and while it was a little tricky at first, the Baba Sling has become my go-to for baby wearing. Both of these are wonderful because there's no weight minimum - perfect for a small newborn. For Corey, the Solly looks and feels great. I specifically ordered it in a color I thought we'd both feel good about wearing, and it's the best in terms of feeling like baby is close to your body. Corey has been wearing S jr and people haven't realized. He's hiked wearing S jr in the Solly and likes how it doesn't require a big shift in his center of gravity. The Baba Sling is also a great hands-free baby carrier, and enables parents to carry baby until the age of three. I love the variety of carries both the wrap and the sling can do and really look forward to letting both grow with our son.
Also – three cheers for baby-wearing dads! I just discovered this account on Instagram and love it.
And finally, the pièce de résistance, the jewel in the crown, the jam on my toast: the Doona. The world of car seats and strollers is overwhelming to the point of nausea. There are WAY TOO MANY choices. So when I first came across the Doona, I did a cartoon triple-take. It's a car seat and stroller in ONE. Yes, that's right. And it really is as incredible as it sounds. Our main car is a Honda Insight, and while we love our hybrid, it doesn't have a huge amount of trunk space. So the thought of dismantling a car seat from a wheeled base, putting the car seat into the car and muscling the base into its folded state and jamming it into the back of the car just seemed exhausting. Plus, we often need to tote C jr's giant baritone sax around, and we need every square inch of space. The Doona simplifies everything. The wheels fold up and the entire thing gets put in the car. Without disturbing baby. And for our neighborhood, the stroller has been great for narrow sidewalks and pedestrian traffic of DTLA.
This is the first video I watched and I was sold.
Is there something you can't do without for your newborn? Let me know in the comments....