8 little products that make a newborn parent’s life easier

Allie models her current infant gown

I previously wrote about some useful gifts I give to soon-to-be new parents – which were based on my own experience as a rookie mom of one. About three weeks ago, I had my second baby, and while I still love those items on my gift list, I have found some other little things that make being a parent of a newborn that much easier. If you’re expecting your first, second, third, or nineteenth child, you might want to consider picking some of these up so they can help you through those first days!

  1. Infant Gown: I had never heard of this with my first baby, but an experienced twin mama handed a couple down to me and they are EVERYTHING in the middle of the night. No snaps or zippers to deal with when you’re sleepwalking through a diaper change. And, they’re kind of cute (see above). You can find a 3-pack for as little as $10.
  2. SwaddleSure from Halo: Do your eyes widen in wonder as someone effectively swaddles a baby in a way that lasts more than 2 seconds? Mine do. I am terrible at swaddling and always have been. Enter the SwaddleSure: a swaddler with so much velcro on it, you can’t possibly screw it up, even at 3 AM in the dark. And since it’s only 12 bucks, it’s a pretty inexpensive item to try out.

The SwaddleSure puts her right to sleep

  1. Bamboo Washcloths: Somehow a regular washcloth just seems way too harsh for baby’s soft skin. Super thin and soft bamboo washcloths are totally the way to go. My personal favorites are from Satsuma Designs (but there are lots to choose from).
  2. Preemie Diapers: Unless you deliver a 10-pounder, newborn-sized diapers will be way too big for your baby in those first few weeks. (Exception: Honest Company newborn-size is quite small and will fit.) I really love the Pampers Preemie Swaddlers because they fit a newborn snugly and even have a little cutout for the grody bellybutton clamp.
  3. Waterproof Baby Pads or Portable Changing Mats: With a tiny one, you don’t need to go to the changing table every time – and may want to just do a diaper change on the couch or elsewhere. Having a few of these waterproof pads on hand will make that easy and prevent your couch from getting pee all over it.

(The final three are all nursing-related, so feel free to skip if you aren’t breastfeeding.)

  1. Nipple Cream: Get this BEFORE the baby comes so you have it on hand. I like Earth Mama Angel Baby and Motherlove – Lansinoh is too thick and sticky for me.
  2. Breast Pads: Between shirt-staining nipple cream and leaking milk, you need to stick something in your bra or shirt as a barrier. If you prefer disposable pads, the Lansinoh disposables are my favorite. For washable pads, I recommend Bamboobies, which are made of super-soft bamboo cloth.
  3. A Very Good Nursing Bra or two: I recently wrote all about how and when to pick a great nursing bra – they make a world of difference when you have heavy, leaky boobs that change from day to day. Check it out.

What did I miss? What little thing do YOU think a newborn parent needs to make life easier? Tell me while I still have a newborn!

[All photos by Karen Merzenich, all rights reserved]

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