With Ben turning 12 weeks old this week, I think it’s safe to say we have officially survived the newborn stage. I can’t even believe I’m writing that because I feel like we just brought the little guy home and already he’s 3 months old. HOW?!!!
Before Ben came along, Matt and I made two goals for ourselves:
- Don’t overthink parenthood
- Don’t accumulate a lot of unnecessary baby “stuff”
Of course, we knew a baby would bring lots of new things into our home, but we didn’t want to be wasteful and overdo it. We especially didn’t want to buy all these little baby gadgets, only to find that Ben had outgrown them in a few short months. Instead, we focused on buying what we absolutely needed and passing on most of the “extras”.
How did we do?
I’m happy to report that so far we think we’re doing pretty well on both of those goals, but especially #2. We have a minimal amount of baby stuff and are already ditching things that aren’t used consistently.
Our Favorite Newborn Products
Today I’m dishing on 12 items that have not only made this cut but have quickly become some of our favorite things throughout the newborn stage. Or if you’re not a mom, some of these items can make great gifts (this list may be helpful too)!
I have a few Monica + Andy blankets and although I love all of them, this type is by far my favorite for a newborn. The other ones will probably be better as Ben grows, but they’re a tad too big to wrap him up in now. We use them more for tummy time or over his car seat. However, this one is perfect. Both Matt and I love the fabric, size, and the subtle amount of stretch the blanket has, making it the best swaddling blanket ever! Monica + Andy, in general, has great products but this one has by far been our favorite!
We actually received two of these as gifts and I LOVE them! They’re a bit of a splurge, but the quality of these bath towels is amazing and Pottery Barn has the option for you to embroider your little one’s name on the towel. The only thing cuter than a baby wrapped in a towel after his bath is a baby wrapped in a towel that has his name on it. I would highly recommend this product. My nephew is almost two and he still uses his… every single day! Totally worth the investment.
We ended up going with the BOB stroller, mostly because my sister had it so she let us borrow several car seat bases that were compatible. Who knew you needed 42 car seat bases?! Well, maybe not that many but between Matt’s, mine, and both grandmas having one… these expensive pieces add up! So far we loveeeee this stroller (and car seat). It’s a smooth ride (haha weird to put it that way, but true) and has quite a bit of storage underneath, which is so helpful when we are out and about. We also bought this cup holder and this hook and are SO happy with both.
The only negative about the BOB is that it only holds one child. I know a few other strollers convert to hold several kids down the road, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we need to. For now, we’re super happy with this stroller and Matt is already counting down the days to go running with the little guy in here!
Like I said, we wanted to attack this newborn phase with the LEAST amount of “stuff” as possible, which is why we opted out of baby showers on my side of the family, at work, and with friends. When I saw these car seat covers, I wasn’t convinced it was a necessity so we skipped it before Ben was born. We eventually caved and bought one after Ben was born when everyone was freaking out about the flu. I’m so glad we did because we use this cover every single day and it’s now one of my favorite newborn products. It’s super easy to slip on and it’s been awesome to protect against the blistering Chicago wind, the super sunny days, and even some germs. Plus, if we are out and in a pinch, it doubles as a burp cloth, changing pad (ha!), and even a wrap to conceal breastfeeding. Worth the $30!
Okay, maybe this isn’t a true necessity, but these were just too cute not to include. I picked them up for a couple bucks and much to my surprise, Ben has gotten more use out of them as a newborn than I ever would have expected. I know he’ll eventually grow into them (and then maybe hate wearing them) but he doesn’t seem to mind when we stick them on him for long walks. We cover him in the stroller, but if we have to take him out or we’re outside with family, we think these are a stylish way to protect those cute little blue eyes!
We bought a mini Letterfolk to take Ben’s “monthly photos” and I really love it. It’s SO easy to change up every month. Then all I have to do is plop it down next to him, snap a few photos, and d-o-n-e! I also love it because it’s not super baby-ish, so we can use it around our house now… and for years to come!
My aunt gifted us this book and quite honestly, it’s the only one I read. A few of our friends swear by this book and all the healthy sleep habits it explores. It’s not necessarily geared towards newborns, but I’m glad I read it now because a lot of the tips start as early as 3-4 months.
My sister gave me this diaper bag as my birthday gift and I’m obsessed! I use it every single day and loveeee the quality. And I’ve only had it a few months, but I’ve already gotten so many compliments on it. Even some moms asking how it’s holding up because their diaper bags are already ripping. So far it’s holding up great, but if that changes I will keep you updated. Plus, the color goes with everything and hands-free is WHERE IT’S AT!
The Monica + Andy items are a bit pricier, but definitely the best quality when compared to any other clothing items we’ve used so far. I definitely wouldn’t recommend going crazy tricking out your little one’s wardrobe, but a few nice pieces could be worth it… even just to gift someone else. Ben wore these pajamas on repeat over the past few months. I mean, can you even with those glasses?!
This $12 investment is well, well worth it because I couldn’t imagine driving with our little guy and not being able to see him. It’s simple gadget but another one I get use out of every single day!
Sound Machine or Deep Sleep App (it’s free!)
This sound machine doesn’t have any fancy frills, but we really love it and use it all the time. Casey has always slept with a sound machine (even when we are on vacation together!) and now I know why she loves it so much. Ben still sleeps in our room and we use it every night. But once he and his sound machine move out, I think a new sound machine may be moving in permanently because we love it so much.
The “Deep Sleep” app has also been amazing when we need a sound machine on-the-go. We put it on, put one of our cell phones close to Ben, and he’s relaxed in no time!
I’ve gotten quite a few questions about having a cream-colored rocker in a kid’s room and I’m happy to report — so far, so good! Don’t get me wrong, it has already stained (a lot) with my breast pump living on that table right next to it and me doing almost all my pumping there. BUT, a little Oxyclean spray and water and those stains have disappeared with no problem. Plus, I really like the rocker’s comfort. It’s not a Lazyboy by any means but both Matt and I highly approve of it!
The Wonder Weeks App
I’m not very techy and am pretty horrible at tracking, checking up on, or even downloading apps. I religiously use some basic ones (like Instagram, Liketoknow.it & a Color Story for photo editing) but other than that…. nothing. But I did download the app “Wonder Weeks” and love checking it on it to see Ben’s development every few days/weeks. It’s really interesting and I especially love that it gives you a heads up which days he may be “fussy”, or stormy days as they like to call it, based on his development “leaps”. This app is similar to what the BabyCenter was to my pregnancy, giving daily/weekly updates on what to expect. It’s definitely nothing fancy and probably a lot of what you may already know if you’ve read the books. But if you haven’t (like me), it’s worth looking into.
So there you have it, our favorite newborn products! We don’t have all of the fancy baby “stuff” and are actually happy we didn’t buy all. the. things. We want to keep parenthood as simple as possible and living with only what we really need (okay, and a few extras) has kept the process a little less overwhelming for us. Here’s to hoping we can stick with this mantra… forever?