It's official: I no longer have a newborn. Okay, it's been a couple of months since Gemma was considered a newborn. But it's official that now I'm accepting it. I kind of can't ignore it, being that she is trying to crawl right now (what?!).
But when I DID have a newborn, life felt crazy. Hormones, emotions, not knowing what the heck I am doing, plus a little baby that needs me? These and a million other things make being a new mom of a newborn one of the craziest seasons of life. It may be full of joy, but it's also full of absolute chaos and trying to figure things out constantly.
I was sometimes (often) a mess.
But thank God for the baby product revolution. Sure, a lot of it is just trying to get moms to spend a whole lot of money they probably don't need to spend. But a lot of it is also made to make the mom-of-a-newborn life easier.
And here, my friends, are the products that kept me sane most of all.
All babies are different, but these products worked for us. I mean really worked. And made life way easier.
Yes, this thing is gold. Thank you Fisher Price. Thank you to all the moms who said I needed this. I did need it. This product helped Gemma sleep. Really Quick Story: Her first night home, she didn't sleep until 3am, when I finally resorted to the Rock N Play. So yes, this thing saved us. She slept in it exclusively for about a month and a half, and then we resorted back to it on bad sleep nights after that up until 4 months old when she transitioned to the crib. I then promptly gave it away to a friend so I wouldn't keep resorting back to it because it is so tempting! It's magical. I highly recommend it.
Not only is this super helpful for breastfeeding a little babe and saving mom's posture while doing so- it also serves so many other purposes. First of all, this helped me so much with breastfeeding in the beginning. Gemma would take forever to feed and my arms/ entire body would have otherwise been dead if it wasn't for this little pillow. It was also great for comfortably holding baby (Nick used to use it, too), propping Gemma up for play or photoshoots, tummy time, a tray for eating on the couch (yes, I've done it), and the possibilities are endless. We still even use it now, 5 months later, for comfortable breastfeeding & for helping Gemma sit up. I'd definitely buy it again and again and again.
I love baby wearing so much, I even wrote a whole blog post on it. The baby wrap we have is great for those early, squishy newborn days. But the Lillebaby also has a great fetal carry that works well for tiny newborns. I will say I used the wrap more until maybe a month old, and after that I used the Lillebaby more often. I still interchangeably use both. I won't talk too much on this- see my blog on why a baby carrier is a must have!
I'm sure any baby swing will do, but we loved the Mamaroo. Gemma liked it from when she was a teeny newborn all the way up until about three months. It would put her to sleep when she was a newborn, or just soothe her. When she was a bit older, she liked to play with the toys that came with it. She'd talk to them, too. It was adorable. I'm sure other babies might even like it longer, but Gemma is just not a stationary baby- she likes to move too much. This swing also is a sanity saver because it is a space saver! Anywhere that you can safely put your baby down and keep them content (maybe even asleep), plus it doesn't take up too much space is a win in my book. Believe me, your living room will be taken over by ALL the baby things. Less clunky baby products are so helpful.
Not much to say about this other than it helped Gemma stay asleep during night time or naps and not be interrupted by regular household noises! She napped on the first floor the entirety of her newborn life, so I needed something that could allow me to make noise cleaning the house or cooking while she slept. This worked wonders. We have a homedics one, and it was pretty affordable.
When I got a thousand muslin swaddle blankets for my baby shower, I wondered to myself "what ever will I need all of these for?" I'm so happy I didn't take any of them back to the store. I needed all of them. I still do. We used these to swaddle, cover her up while holding her, as a nursing cover, as a cover for the couch, bed or floor if we were setting her down there, and as a carseat cover. I'm sure I've missed ways we've used them.
Infant Car Seat & Frame Stroller
If you are wondering whether or not an infant car seat is worth it (yes, you can use a convertible car seat from birth, so why do you need an infant car seat?) Well, you do need one if you want to leave the house and not have to take your baby in and out of the carseat a million times. Or if you want to have somewhere to put them at a restaurant, or wherever you are. Gemma fell asleep in the carseat a lot as a newborn and I am so glad I had an infant carseat so I could keep her sleeping wherever we went! I got the Graco Click Connect 35, and I actually got it with the jogger stroller as the travel system. The jogger stroller is huge, but it's amazing, so I'd highly suggest that purchase. However, I also got a Graco frame stroller, and this has been perfect for quick trips out of the house, or to use in church, etc. It helps to not have to lug a huge stroller everywhere, and this thing is super portable. The carseat just clicks right in!
This nursing cover/ carseat cover has been used a ton. I also have another carseat cover that I love, but I use this one a lot when I go somewhere I know I'll need to nurse Gemma. Because it works as both a nursing cover and a carseat cover, I have less things to bring with me, and that is always a win. It's also super light, soft material, so Gemma doesn't get super annoyed when it is covering her up. It helps keep her asleep in the carseat, too; it gives her enough air but also keeps the light out when she is sleeping.
These are obviously not the only products we used for Gemma as a newborn, but these were the products that really helped us be a little less crazy transitioning to parenthood. They helped make things easier, and when you're a new mom, that's something to be thankful for because not much about the job is easy.
And even though being a mom of a newborn is hard, it's such a sweet season, too, and it goes fast. Savor it if you can! I can't believe how fast Gemma has grown and I just wish I could slow time down!
I hope you find this post useful if you're creating a registry or you have a newborn at home. Share with a new-mom friend (or mom-to-be) in hopes of making her life a little bit easier.