What You Will Need the First Couple of Months of Motherhood

posted in: Doula, Family | 0
It’s so hard to know what you will really NEED for a baby. The baby industry has grown a lot in recent years and it’s just so easy to be sucked in and led to believe that you need this and need this, etc. You want all the latest and best for your new little one (and let’s be honest – for yourself too). 
Let’s just start with the basics, though – what is most important to have? **NOTE: We set up a baby registry on Amazon and loved using it! Not only can you check out user reviews, but you can get great prices!! We also loved directing our out of town family to this registry so they can just buy and send the gifts directly to us.

  • Place for baby to sleep2013-07-12 10.22.43sm(Crib, Bassinet, Rock ‘n Play, Co-Sleeper or Sleeper Area for your bed) – For baby #1 we chose to buy a Pack ‘n Play (we got the Elite, but I’d recommend the Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat one!) that has an infant bassinet so we could have it right by our bed. Once he outgrew the bassinet, we just put him in the pack ‘n play part. We also got one that has a changing table and organizer attached to it. This made it easy for us in the first few weeks when I didn’t want to go up and down the steps a lot.

UPDATE: For baby #2, who had a lot of reflux in the early months, we used a Rock ‘n Play. Baby rests at more of an incline, which is much better for reflux. I loved it so much!! It’s VERY easy to transport from room to room (or a great option to bring to your parent’s home).


  • 2 fitted sheets
  • 2-4 receiving blankets
  • Baby Carrier – great for newborns and infants! I have two: the Infantino Mei Tai Carrier and the Ergobaby Original Carrier. Both have been very versatile and I love them so much! UPDATE: For baby #2 I used a Soothe Shirt almost daily in the early weeks – so amazing!!! It’s a lot less bulkier than an Ergo with an infant insert (although the Ergo is great for 4-5 months and beyond).











I’ve also been experimenting with woven wraps. There is a bit of a learning curve, but they are so versatile and flexible. I like that wraps are the perfect size for your baby, no matter what size because YOU are the one that is adjusting for your baby.

If you are not sure what carrier would work best for you, I would really recommend checking out your nearest Babywearing International meeting (they have chapter meetings across the US). It’s basically a gathering of babywearing moms and experts. You can physically see and try on different carriers and learn how to safely wear your baby. If you become a member, you can even “check out” a carrier from their lending library for a month! I’ve been really enjoying this Didymos woven wrap:

front wrap cross carry

  • 2-4 Swaddle blankets – I specifically like the size of any of the ones from Aden and Anais. It’s made of a very breathable material.
  • Safe car seat for the car
  • Sun shade for the car
  • Bouncer, Swing or Rocker – so handy to have when you need to shower, or go to the bathroom, or eat, etc.
  • Nighties/footies (especially the kind that has a flap you can fold over to cover their hands)
  • You may have to buy some clothes, but wait until after your baby shower (if you have one). We were given so many clothes, we didn’t have to buy any for the entire first year!! You really don’t need much more than 10-15 onsies, 10 pants or shorts (depending on the season).
  • A few, different brands of bottles – you never know which bottle/nipple your little might like. I like the idea behind the Lansinoh Momma bottles, or these Tommee Tippee ones, but Ain ended up taking to these Nuk bottles the best (I think because the nipples were a similar shape to his pacifier).
  • Bottle brush – we have this one
  • Burp cloths
  • Stroller (may or may not be a necessity for your family)
  • Baby nail clippers or blunt little scissors
  • Dresser to hold clothes and at a good height to put a changing pad on top of.
  • 2-3 changing pad covers
  • Baby monitors (depending on the layout of your house and you will not need it for the first few months if you plan to have baby in your room) UPDATE: we love using the Nest Cam in our toddler’s room now!!
If you are cloth diapering:2014-05-03
  • Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail
  • Pail liner – I wouldn’t recommend the FuzziBunz zippered liner we had – the zipper broke off after just 3 months!
  • Wet Bag – maybe a couple of sizes for around the house, or packing in the diaper bag. (I recommend Planet Wise – they are a quality brand)
  • Bac-Out Stain Remover – just spray the dirty diapers and let it set – works wonders!

If you are using disposable diapers:

  • You might get a lot of diapers at your shower, so wait until after to buy some!
  • Diaper Genie
  • Tip: Before baby is born (or even after), register online at all the diaper companies and they will send you samples of their diapers to try before you buy!! 
For Mama:
  • My Brest Friend Breastfeeding Pillow
  • I’ve got this nursing cover
  • huge maxi pads for long period (though buy only one package at a time – everyone is different as to how many they need)
  • nursing pads – I loved the soft, washable ones
  • A perineum irrigation bottle to wash yourself after urinating and for hygienic reasons. You will usually get one from the hospital or birth center.
  • Tucks pads or DIY padsicles. Just pour witch hazel on some of those monster pads, wrap in aluminum and pop them in the freezer. These can provide much-needed relief to a sore vaginal area.
  • Sitz bath – so good for healing!! You can probably find them in many places, but a local mom makes them!
  • Warm/Cold gel pads (or just cold green cabbage leaves) to ease engorgement pain.
  • A nursing bra in a bigger size or one made out of forgiving material, again, for engorgement.
  • Sleeping nursing bras. I actually lived in these for the first month or so.
  • A breast pump. Even if you plan to breastfeed full time and only pump minimally, I would get one of these. It’s often necessary to have on hand in the beginning – to relieve engorgement, or to start the practice of introducing a bottle when your baby is between two and four weeks.
  • Nipple cream. Lansinoh lanolin – it’s safe enough that you don’t have to wash it off before nursing.
  • Breast shells – designed to give sore, cracked and bleeding nipples some breathing room. This one from Avent even collects leaking breast milk. (This is a recommendation from a friend – I never knew about these with Ain, but it’s on my list for #2!)
  • Nursing tank tops that either fold down or lift up for easy access. Again – you will probably live in these for the first month or so!
  • One-handed food. You may have a freezer full of pre-made meals – which is great – but to keep your energy up during the day, you’ll need food that’s quick and healthy. Apples, bananas, granola bars, trail mix – stock up now.
  • Help. Trust us – you’ll need it. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a supportive partner, if your mother, mother-in-law, sister – whoever – offers to stay with you for a bit, say yes.
Nice to Have:
  • Crib – We didn’t use the crib until Ain was 4 months old. We found one on Craigslist that had never been taken out of the box!!
  • Crib mattress – we love this Sealy Crib Mattress It’s GREENGUARD certified for indoor air quality and low chemical emissions, providing a healthier sleeping environment for your baby.
  • Travel bassinet – I bought this one IMG_20150303_091002for baby #2, just so we have a quick napping option (the pack ‘n play we would have to pack up when going up or down the stairs). Although, we later learned the Rock ‘n Play was so portable and also a great option.
  • Link toy clips – they are colorful and can hold little toys onto the car seat, stroller, diaper bag or high chair. Sometimes, they’re also a favorite chew toy.
  • Bottle drying rack – we got this one, but you can also find others for pretty cheap.
  • Cage for bottle bits and pacifiers – to use in the dishwasher (I didn’t use this, since we didn’t give Ain bottles that much)diaper bags
  • Diaper bag – we have two: this large Duo Double and the Versa (both Skip Hop brand!)
  • Baby Nasal spray or the Nosefrieda Nasal Aspirator – when your baby is a newborn, it’s hard to fit anything in those tiny nostrils, so just use a saline spray. But I’ve found the nosefrieda very useful after that!
  • Pacifier thermometer – this was a great option. When your baby is not feeling well, it’s hard to keep them still to get their temperature. This is a great solution to that!!
  • Wipe Warmer – not necessary, but we liked having it for those middle of the night diaper changes (and just for using all the time)!
  • Sound machine to help baby fall asleep (or just a fan)!
Nice to have, for Mama:
  • Silicone Reusable Lilypads – these are nursing pads that are seamless and allow you to wear under braless tops or dresses. Don’t use until your supply has leveled off though!!
  • This book – The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases Into Magical Leaps Forward
  • wine or beer – to celebrate and make more milk!
Not necessary:
  • A stroller  – Not necessary at first. If you have a baby carrier and a car seat – that’s all you need (until your baby gets a little too heavy to carry). Even then in a good baby carrier that distributes weight well, you can still wear your toddler! We did get a Baby Trend Travel System: a car seat and jogging stroller!
  • Hooded towel – regular soft towels work just as well
  • Baby video monitor
  • Bedding set for crib – they recommend no excess fabric in cribs. You want just the fitted sheet and that’s it. No blankets (we used the swaddle blankets since they are breathable)
  • Mobile for crib
  • Bumper pads – if you do buy these, then make sure they are mesh, so baby can breathe through it!

2013-07-09 23.15.39


What everyone tends to buy you (at least from my experience):
  • clothes (newborn clothes that don’t have to go over baby’s head)
  • pacifiers
  • toys
  • socks
  • nighties
Wait to buy lots of clothes – you never no what size they will be. Don’t have to many newborn size on hand, but it is safe to buy 0-3 month clothes.

Want another mom’s opinion? Check out this extensive list!!

Do you have any baby items you couldn’t do without during the first few months?