10 Must-Haves for New Mamas

11:49 AM

Being a new mom is like stepping into a whole new universe. Not only is everything unchartered territory for you, but you also start realizing how confusing baby stuff shopping is. I remember needing a crib skirt, plain and simple. I went to all the baby stores only to find crib skirts available in bed-in-a-bag type sets with crip comforters + bumpers. "But aren't bumpers and blankets not recommended because they pose a suffocation hazard?" I asked, after brushing up on my baby safety info online. Yup, that's true. So why would I buy this bag of stuff for $200 when I really just want a dang crib skirt? Because that's the only way I could find one. There were some online but I just kept hmming and hahing and ended up just making my own. But what that experience taught me is the baby industry is kind of insanity. Not only are there 50 million products to read up on, a bunch of them aren't even considered safe, like car seat accessories. I am not really one to buy into fear mongering so I tend to ignore warnings about stuff lol...but I already learned my lesson when I ignored a baby sleeper recall and then had the same thing break on Isla's sleeper! So I guess when it comes down to it, it's most important to have products that are safe for babies. Second to that, it's important to invest in products that actually work! For this reason, I've compiled this list of items that were such huge help to me as a new mom in the first 3 months of life with a baby. These are products I love and stand by and these are my honest opinions and my own personal experiences. I completely recognize that everyone is gonna have their own list of favs - this is just mine!

1. Natursutten Pacifier

Okay so first off, I was pretty hesitant to offer Isla a pacifier but had read a lot about the stats that they help reduce the risk of SIDS and also suffocation so I decided to be open to it, plus soothed baby vs. screaming baby seems to be a pretty easy decision if she decided she liked having a pacifier. However, the thought of plastics being in my baby's mouth for hours everyday for the duration of years freaked me out. When I found this Natursutten pacifier online, I was happy to read about the natural rubber material and how baby friendly it is, with its wide round base to emulate breastfeeding so the baby is more likely to take it. Their packaging is also 100% recycled and uses soya ink, for those who like sustainable minded companies. This pacifier is sold out often but I was able to find them at Serenity Birth Studio in Barrie. You can shop on-line if Barrie is too far by clicking here.

2. Binxy Baby

This product is freaking awesome! Everywhere we go...literally...people freak out about how cool it is. I am asked probably 5 times each store where I got it. It's your baby's own personal shopping cart hammock. It works for all shopping carts except for double deckers. With the double deckers though, you can use your hammock to safely secure your car seat to the cart so that there is no risk of your car seat falling. Overall, this product has been the best! Isla isn't obsessed with her car seat. She only really likes it if she is asleep otherwise she gets squirmy and wants out. The Binxy Baby gives her a first class bed in the stores and she either naps or looks around at all the details. She has never fussed in it which makes this shopaholic mama very happy! lol. They also have tons of adorable patterns. I opted for the floral because the rest of our travel system items are gender neutral and I was like screw it we are going super girly with this one! You can buy one here and it gives us both perks - you get 10% off and I get a referral bonus.

3. Ollie Swaddle

This product is one of my husband's absolute favs and I am just as sold on it, but he does the nighttime routine with her so he just raves about this swaddle. When I heard of this swaddle, I was skeptical because aren't all swaddles created equal? Definitely not! Seriously...this swaddle has been a lifesaver. Can you put a value on a baby who sleeps? Isla has loved being swaddled from day one but still would wake a few times a night. When we started questioning our routine and I was becoming quite exhausted, we gave this swaddle a try. Since that time, she has slept the night - even through growth spurts and leaps. I love that it is made with a wickable fabric that is breathable to prevent overheating which gives this mama peace of mind. It also ties at the bottom so that it fits through the entire swaddle stage which makes a huge difference. Her routine is the same, she knows once she is in that swaddle it is bedtime, and she is so used sleeping like a baby burrito she just adores it. If you're interested, click here for 10% off.

4. Dockatot

The Dockatot is a popular product for moms with babies who want to safely co-sleep...I have many friends who swear by it if their baby is a fussy sleeper. It's 100% breathable, so cute, and made from non-toxic materials. Since Isla has been a great sleeper since day one, I wasn't sure how much use we would really get out of it. That being said, it's super portable and so she has taken many naps in there - on the beach, in the backyard, at a friend's house, etc. It's also machine washable which is handy. Our favourite use to date is on road trips! We have an SUV where we make ourselves a cozy bed in the back with the seats folded all the way down. Adding a newborn to that equation made me a little nervous. Would she sleep the night in our car? Was there enough room? Would she be kind of squished between us? We brought along the Dockatot and lo and behold - we all slept the night great, with no worries of her ending up under blankets. You can shop for a Dockatot here.

5. Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter

This product was simply the best thing that happened to me when I started breastfeeding. I didn't have it at first and was in soooo much pain. My nips were cracked and bleeding and because I was already in so much pain with my stitches and also wasn't sleeping, I felt so overwhelmed and nervous that maybe I couldn't succeed at breastfeeding. I bought this nipple butter and it was basically like waving a magic wand and healing my nipples and our entire breastfeeding experience. Within less than a day, the pain left and never came back. Breastfeeding became something I enjoyed instead of something that was making me feel like I was losing my mind. I cannot recommend this product enough - and this is another one I don't get any kickback from promoting - though I should because I am going to be promoting it to every BF mom out there!

6. Berry Patch drool bib

The Berry Patch is a small Canadian company that handmakes adorable drool bibs. They offer two sizes for smaller babies and toddlers. I ordered one just in time because Isla is a drool machine! Rather than changing outfits way too often, this bib helps Isla stay dry and comfortable while she drools away. I also love that it is reversible, with two cute patterns to match baby's outfits. You can check out Berrie's shop by clicking here.

7. Young Living essential oils

Okay, full disclaimer: I am an oily rep and make commission when people buy essential oils on my team. Think of me as the oil tycoon (jokes of course). There is a reason I bought into EO's - they totally have changed my life! Recovering from birth is hard work on a normal day and while recovering you need to give your all to this little being who relies on you for their every need - all while you are getting the worst sleeps of your life. EO's are my go-to for all my needs. Self-care is SO important. Whether it's helping to calm my fears, give me natural energy, ease headaches, making my own perineum spray, or putting together a rub for my tummy to tighten up...there are endless uses for essential oils and endless ways I've used them! I personally love Young Living because you can visit their farms and see the whole process from planting to bottling which means there is 100% transparency with how they operate their company. Since there is a lot of education that comes with using essential oils, I think the direct sales model works so well because there are so many questions everyone has and having an upline to reach out to day or night is invaluable. Generally when you're just getting started with EO's you don't take out your oils until you NEED them and then you're like how in the heck do I dilute this? What's a carrier oil? How much do I use? Where do I apply? Is this safe around my baby? etc. and often Google can just confuse you even more. Having a rep like myself to help you out and point you to resources is so helpful. You can check out Young Living by clicking here or by heading over to the Essential Oils tab at the top of this blog and then follow the link and instructions from there! I used essential oils in labour and postpartum to help me naturally in a lot of areas without having to worry about risks vs. benefits. I have a blog post about what oils I used here.

8. Medela breast pump

So obviously this is for mom's who are breastfeeding! (If you're formula feeding then I would put the Baby Breeza in place of this pump on your list). I am exclusively breast feeding, so I don't pump often but when I need to pump, I NEED to pump. Having a handsfree electric breast pump that charges by battery and can literally go anywhere with me makes pumping easy. In the beginning my supply was SO overabundant I had to pump everyday because I was constantly engorged even after Isla was well fed. When it started balancing out a little I stopped pumping because by pumping my body was keeping up with too much milk. Now that my supply is balanced, I only need to pump if I want to store extra milk for bottle feedings when needed, like when someone is watching Isla for me. I won't post a photo of the pump in use (lol) but I will say it definitely helped me keep Isla well fed as I found my milk supply would be way too high in the morning and low by nightfall, so while that was still happening we would give her a pumped bottle before bed. She was back at her birth weight by day 6 and has been doing wonderfully for weight gain - we haven't needed to formula supplement which has just kept things more simple and easy. I know some women really struggle with BF and there is no shame in supplementing I am just grateful we didn't have to add that to our list of things to worry about. I really believe my use of Fennel EO had a lot to do with my great supply so far, as well as using the pump to keep Isla well fed until my supply regulated to her needs! 

9. Peg Perego Travel System

We have the Peg Perego travel system, made in Italy, and super kickass. Everything is so easy to use and transfer from location to location. It's one of the more expensive systems but I think it's so worth it. Isla's Bassinet snaps onto it's stand beside our bed, but it is also fully transporable and snaps onto our stoller base as well for walks right now while she is too small for the stroller. Our car seat also snaps onto the stroller base. To me though the bassinet is the total all star of our system. She loves it, she sleeps great, and that makes this mama happy!

10. Anointment soothing skin ointment

This is the product we use at home for diaper changes! Let's put it this way: we cloth diaper, we definitely have left Isla too long in a diaper, and she has never had a rash. If she develops any redness or irritation from a day out, we use this ointment on her and within hours things are much improved and by the next day the area is back to normal. It always seems to be the days out of the house this happens...especially if we used generic brand baby wipes. Now we use Young Living lavender wipes and we are loving them - no redness even after a full day out...and no toxic chemicals! Woo. Allison at Serenity Birth Studio in Barrie carries it and ships country wide...click here for that link.  

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