The arrival of your baby is a monumental occasion! For new parents, it is also a time where you are essentially winging it, there is a good chance you have never done any of this before. A few things that I found to be crucial during the first few months.
Swaddles, Baby K’Tan, Magic Merlin, Waterproof Pads, Stimulation Station
Swaddles- these come in all shapes, sizes, varieties.
I liked the Halo Swaddle with Velcro, because they were easy to use and get the baby in and out. Three is a good number to have, so that you are not having to do laundry every day.
Also recommend getting 2-3, or one pack, of muslin swaddles. As the baby gets bigger, these are helpful for swaddling for naps, and they can also be used as nursing covers, or light blankets.
Baby K’tan– when you are ready to venture out of the house, or sometimes just around it, the Baby K’tan is it! I used this to walk around the grocery store or any errand, and it is especially great because you are hands free and the baby is snug and cozy. Sometimes if the baby got fussy at home, I would put on the k’tan and walk around with the baby to settle him.
Waterproof Pads– these will make cleaning a whole lot easier. Especially during the early months, diapers do not always contain your baby’s #1 and #2. We used these in everything- the bassinet, the rocker, the car seat, the Dock A Tot. It is much easier to throw the pad in the wash then to disassemble whatever else and try to clean.
Magic Merlin– this thing is invaluable!! Babies outgrow the Velcro swaddles, and there is a gap period between wearing a loose zippered sleep sack. Newborns have a “startle reflex”, something I had never heard of prior to having a baby, where if they hear a noise, their arms jolt into the air. If they are sleeping, this action wakes them up, which is not want you want when you are teaching your baby to sleep for naps and through the night. The Magic Merlin provides a warm cozy environment for your baby when sleeping and most importantly, prevents the startle reflex. It is huge during the journey of getting our baby to sleep through the night!
Stimulation Station- I used this Fisher Price model, but anything where you baby can lay and be entertained. Gives you, as a parent, a supervised break to shower or do laundry, and provides good stimulation and self play time for your baby.
Milk Storage Bags– I used Medela for the most part. If you are pumping, you are going to need a lot of these bags.
Gripe Water– we used Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water. This was recommended to us, and during the 0-3 time period where babies experience gas/ colic, and we would give it to our baby before feeding at night. It made a huge difference!
Play Area Blanket- Any quilted blanket will do, to provide enough cushion between your baby and the floor, or ground if you are outside.
Soft Books– Soft, crinkly books will entertain your newborn endlessly. Great for travel, for self play, or reading. My baby loved the crinkling sound and entertained himself with these during the first few months. Puppy Tails was a big hit in my household.