While I was pregnant I spent a lot of time researching the things I would need to care for a baby. Things like muslin blankets, baby baths, and sleep sacks were triple checked across different websites. I read countless articles about the things every mom absolutely needed to have. I really thought I was buying products I would actually use.
As a result, I had 3 different registries to make sure I was getting the best deals on the best products (because which college student mom can afford full price??). But you know what? A lot of that stuff I haven’t even touched yet. Don’t let this happen to you!
Products I Actually Used in the First Three Months
1. Muslin Blankets
These have absolutely saved my life as a parent. We were gifted a lot of them when Rand was born and we love them! They are great for swaddling, throwing over the car seat when we go outside, spreading on the ground for baby to lay on, acting as a breastfeeding cover, being an impromptu changing pad when you’re someplace questionable, or (more recently) acting as a burp cloth. This is one that we have and it’s wonderful!
This swing saved our sanity the first few nights after Rand came home. He did not sleep well at all in the pack ‘n’ play we had set up for him, and the only other thing we had was this swing. Not only does he still sleep great in it, the older he has gotten, the more he has enjoyed being in it! There’s a great mix of songs so I don’t have to kill myself, there’s a mirror so he has “someone” to look at, there are little dogs that go around in circles, it swings in two different directions (cooler than it sounds), and it plugs into an outlet (I’m not a big fan of batteries). It’s seriously my favorite thing.
3. Rock ‘n’ Play
Where do I start?! He sleeps great in this, too! We switched off a lot between the swing and this rock ‘n play and it helped him learn to sleep wherever we went. We visit both our parents a lot and it’s really easy to throw this sleeper in the trunk and set it up there so we don’t have to stress about Rand’s sleeping arrangements. He also loves to sit and play in it (as much as 0- to 3-month-olds play). If I’m eating breakfast or making dinner I can put him in it and drag it into the kitchen and he’s content! Same if I just want to keep an eye on him but don’t have hands that are free at the moment.
Related Article: Becoming Mom: Mourning the Life Before
4. Dr. Brown Bottles
I researched a lot of bottles and these are the ones I finally decided to get. I haven’t regretted it! Yes, there are a few extra parts to clean, but Rand hasn’t had any problems with swallowing too much air and getting an upset stomach. Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have gotten the newborn feeding set and would’ve gotten the larger set of bottles that hold more fluid. Rand can eat more than 4 ounces now, so two of our 5 bottles don’t hold enough for him anymore.
5. Breast Pump
Our insurance provided us with a breast pump when we came home from the hospital, and I actually really like this one that I have. I can’t imagine having to hand express all those nights when I was engorged late at night or when I wanted to save some of my milk in the freezer for when I would be in class. I did use this hand pump though for when I agreed to start my unplanned internship (when everything falls together, how can I say no to graduating 3 months earlier than planned?). I didn’t want to haul my electric one to work with me, and the hand pump fits easily into my backpack.
Shocker, I know. Who uses clothes? I just had to throw this in here because it’s the obvious one. We kept Rand in pajamas 24/7 for the first 6 weeks of his life since he always seemed to run cold. After he got some fat on him we started putting him in onesies and he’s done great with them!
We used Soothies for the first couple months, and then we tried a Nuk and he took to it like a charm! I try and make it his last resort if he gets upset during the day, but I give it to him all the time when he goes to sleep. They even suggest that parents give pacifiers to infants as an additional way to reduce the risk of SIDS.
8. Car Seat Cover/Nursing Cover
I used this several times during the first couple months to cover Rand’s car seat when I had to go outside or when I had to take him to public places before he had received his first immunizations. It probably wasn’t necessary, but it made me feel better and having his whole seat shaded helped him sleep as well. It also doubles as a nursing cover! It took me a while to get the hang of it, but by the time I really felt like I could go places we had worked it out. I still use it and I am so glad I have it!
9. Nursing Pillow
I highly recommend getting one of these! There’s nothing like a soft pillow that makes feeding baby easier. It’s also better on your back if you get one. I was given this nursing pillow and it’s worked great! I love how soft it is and that I can throw it in the washer and it’s fine!
10. Stroller & Car Seat
As we all know, car seats are an absolute necessity. We decided to get this car seat/stroller combo and I’ve loved it! It’s nice knowing that I can put him in something secure and just snap it into the stroller. It’s also lightweight which is awesome because babies chunk up fast!
I got this thermometer during one of Amazon’s flash sales and boy, do we love it! I like that you don’t actually have to touch the person for it to read correctly, and it’s way better than sticking something under your tongue or in an armpit! We’ve used it on Rand and ourselves and it’s been wonderful. I highly recommend it.
I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise either. When Rand was first born he was always cold, so we swaddled him in heavier blankets. Once he put on some weight we then switched to the muslin blankets I mentioned above.
13. Mini Diaper Bag
A neighbor gave us one of these before Rand was born. I had never heard of them but I take it everywhere! It’s like an oversized zippered pencil case that’s big enough to hold 3 diapers, a small package of wipes, a onesie, a binky, and some diaper cream (or whatever you would use the most). It’s small enough to fit in my purse so when I go to the grocery store or to a WIC appointment I can just grab this instead of hauling his whole diaper bag around with me.
14. Actual Diaper Bag
This is the actual diaper bag that I got. I love that it’s a backpack and that it is SO roomy. But because it’s a little big I usually only take it with me when I know I’ll be gone for a good chunk of the day. Quick trips usually get accompanied by the mini diaper bag I mentioned above.
15. Baby Towel and Washcloths
We use baby washcloths when we bathe Rand just because they are a little softer than the ones we have. We used the towel that came with them once or twice, but it was so thin that we would always get soaked. We use regular towels now and they seem to work a little better. This set we received sure is adorable though!
16. Baby Shampoo and Soap
Even that kiddo needs to stay clean, even if baths only happen once or twice a week! We were given this baby body wash and it’s been great. We were also given a travel sized version of this baby shampoo and it sure goes a long way! We give Rand a bath 2-3 times a week and the shampoo we were given isn’t even half gone yet. Had I bought them myself I probably would’ve only bought the head-to-toe body wash because babies don’t have a lot of hair, so the body wash works all over.
17. Baby Bath
Babies are slippery little buggers! I’ve washed Rand before without using some kind of baby bath or something to lean him on, but it was a LOT more difficult for me. My friend washes her kids in the sink and that seems a lot easier, but if you’re not a sink washer, I suggest getting this baby bath. I’ve loved it and it allows Rand to kick in the tub all he wants without me worrying that he’ll kick himself right out of my hands and into the water.
18. Baby Lotion
I live in Utah so dry skin is almost impossible to avoid. I love this baby lotion because it smells divine, but also because the pump feature is super nice. Rand gets way squirmy after we take him out of the tub, so the lotion rub has to go as fast as possible. Sometimes I only have one hand, so the pump feature is super convenient.
19. Changing Pad
Honestly, a lot of people told me not to get one of these, and I admit that it’s not a necessity. Floors, beds, and couches work just fine for changing babies. BUT. There are two reasons I’m really glad I got one. The first is because where the changing pad is, there are the diapers, wipes, and diaper pail. Having a designated area keeps the dirty diapers where they should be (in the diaper pail, not strewn about the apartment). That being said, I realize it’s much easier to have this in an apartment where, at most, you’re only ever two rooms away from what you need. Second, using an example from today, Rand had a blowout and poop was everywhere. Though this was while I was at my internship, my husband said it was nice to have something poop-proof (we didn’t have a cover on the changing pad at the time) to put the poop-covered Rand on that we knew could be easily wiped off later. Getting all that stuff on the carpet, bed, or couch would have been a messy option.
20. Play Mat
The play mat I was gifted was very similar to this one. I like the large square shape with the two arches and the toys that hang from them. I especially like the addition of a mirror. When we first pulled this out, Rand would look at the mirror for minutes at a time. It was the first thing that really got him interested in his reflection. On top of this having a mirror, the mat is also large enough for tummy time where he has room to roll over without rolling off the mat completely. The arches are also removable and the mat is easily washable. Love it!
21. Diaper Pail
We didn’t go out and buy this, my brother and sister-in-law didn’t use theirs so they gave it to us. I didn’t think we’d use it either, but since we have a designated changing station for Rand it fits right in! It’s also nice to have a sealed place for diapers. They don’t stink so bad right now, so we could technically use a garbage can with a lid and I’m sure we’d be okay, but this diaper pail has a baking soda deodorizer which is fantastic for covering up the bad smell. I’ve also heard that once babies start eating solids their diapers start smelling a lot worse. So I’m glad we have one!
22. Infant Carrier/Wrap
I decided to get both this infant carrier and this boba wrap. I only used the wrap a couple times because Rand was born in the summer and it was really hot, but it worked well when he was brand new and slept a lot. I’ve only used the carrier a couple times, too. It’s cooler than the boba wrap, but by the time I broke it out of its box Rand wanted to face out to see the world, but still didn’t have that great of head support. So when I put him in like I was supposed to for his age and ability he did not like it. So we’ll be trying that one again soon now that he has a little more muscle. Both of these things helped me get things done around the apartment when Rand wanted to be held but I still needed my hands.
23. Burp Cloths
OMGosh I cannot stress the importance of these. We were lucky in that my grandma made us a ton, but wow! We go through them SO fast. Whether it’s spilled milk, spit-up, vomit, drool, boogers, or any kind of fluid that comes out of that kid, we are using these like crazy. I’ve placed at least one in every room of our apartment because I’m always needing one. Get some!
24. Baby Nail Clippers
Honestly, adult nail clippers probably work. My mother-in-law will use her clippers on Rand when we visit and they work just fine. I do like these though because they have a better way to grip the clippers, and the clippers themselves are smaller. Totally up to you though!
25. Nasal Aspirator
I’ve only had to use it a couple times, but man, this booger sucker (that’s what we call it) is nice to clean out Rand’s nose, especially when there’s a lot in there. And it’s easy to clean out! And it gives me some peace of mind when Rand has a stuffy nose that there is a way to help him breathe better.
26. Lamp/Night Light
I was told to get one of these and it was some of the best advice I received. It’s small, portable, and has settings for the brightness and color. I usually keep it on the dimmest setting with it set to red, because it tends to help keep me and Rand as close to sleep as possible when I get up to feed him in the middle of the night. I love that’s it’s rechargeable so I can carry it from room to room if I need to, and I also love that it comes with a remote!
27. Separate Clothes Hamper
Once again, this isn’t necessary, but since I use a different detergent for Rand’s clothes, having something to put his dirty clothes in makes it nice so I don’t have to sort through our clothes to wash his.
28. Breast Milk Freezer Storage Bags
I got these freezer bags as soon as I found out I had the opportunity to take an internship. Now every time I pump at work I can come home and freeze the milk for when my husband needs to feed Rand when I’m gone. Having some frozen milk is good to have in case of emergencies as well.
29. Baby Medicine
We use this gripe water sometimes, and it was especially good when he was really little and we were figuring out his eating habits and the best way to get him to pass gas. These gas drops helped as well, and when he got circumcised this infant Tylenol helped him a lot. We even gave him a little Tylenol when he got his 2-month immunizations (though our doctor did tell us that giving the baby Tylenol can decrease the effectiveness of the immunization).
30. Hand Sanitizer
This was not only nice to have on hand for people who came to visit, but it was nice for us, too, when we would get home from work or when we finished changing Rand’s diaper. When your whole life is flipped upside down, letting yourself have some convenient things helps pull a little extra sunshine into your life!
31. Rocking Chair + Ottoman
And last but not least, the rocking chair and (in my case) the ottoman. My husband got this for me before Rand was born and I love it! My feet didn’t touch the floor when I sat all the way back, so we got the ottoman as well and it made a world of difference. It’s soft, comfortable, can fit a nursing pillow around my waist, and is easy to wipe off when some of Rand’s spit-up gets on it. I love it!
I hope this post helped you get an idea of what you need for your first three months with baby. Obviously everyone is different and will use different things, but I just wanted to get a general idea out to people who are going through the same thing!
What things did you use in your first three months with baby?
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© No Nightlights by Kyra Sutherland