Oh I wish I knew then what I know now.  I’d love to go back as a new mom and make a few purchasing changes (as well as birth Tee at home!).  But it’s ok, we’re a work in progress here.  I do hope this helps you (dear Cuzzy) sift through the massive mound of CRAP otherwise known as Babies R Us.

These are my “must haves” from my perspective.  Talk with 10 moms and get 10 different lists, I’m sure!  Without further ado, here is my must have list for a newborn (age 0-2 months), though far from exhaustive.

Diapering: Cloth diapering is a dream with a newborn.  No scraping needed, everything washes out with little effort and really, their poo just smells like tangy yogurt.  Newborns are pretty perfect, even in their poo…

  • 24-36 Cloth-eez orange edge prefolds
  • 2 Disana wool diaper covers, newborn size
  • 3 newborn diaper covers
  • Cloth baby wipes, made by you, from all those useless flannel receiving blankets (we’ll get to those in a second) you’ll be gifted at your baby shower
  • A really cute wet bag for those dipes on the go
  • A wool changing pad: when changing a cloth diapered bum, there is a time when the cover is off, but the wet prefold is still on and soaking into the changing table cover.  This can be stinky (unless you change your changing table cover multiple times a day!) when pee lingers.  A wool changing pad is what they lay on and doesn’t hold stink.  The wool pad doesn’t need to be washed unless soiled, and even then, it’s as simple as spraying the soiled area down and letting it air dry.
  • Eden Salve: this could go in every category!  The most wonderful diaper rash “cream”; perfect for scraps and cuts, rashes, bug bites and imaginary boo-boos.  I also carry this in my diaper bag and the whole family uses this almost daily for something.  It’s an astringent and antiseptic; use in place of Neosporin…

Sleep: We have completely redone our baby bedding through the children.  From research on SIDS, resting heart rate and childhood asthma, there seems to be a shocking amount of evidence against all these fire retardants required in everything baby related.  These retardants “gas off” and can be toxic to such tiny systems.  Considering how many hours a newborn is sleeping on their mattress each day, this is our most important investment with the most conviction behind it.

  • Wool crib mattress: the fiber structure of wool is such that it takes the moisture released by our bodies- instead of living in the mattress and becoming a perfect place for dust mites and other allergens- and is drawn through the fiber out to the other side, into the air.  Basically, dust mites and the like can’t live in wool and don’t like wool.  Wool mattresses are nice and firm and regulate the body temperature well; it’s really a prefered fiber for tropical/humid climates because it’s not hot nor stays damp.  And lastly, it’s naturally flame retardant and has no chemicals sprayed on.  No out-gasing!
  • Wool puddle pad: first layer on the mattress to protect it.  Rarely, if ever, needs to be washed.
  • 2 cotton chuck pads: place one pad on top of the puddle pad.  These absorb spit up etc and are washed with the fitted sheets each time.
  • 2 fitted crib sheets
  • Sound machine (non looping)
  • 4 pack Aden and Anais swaddling blankets: if could only take 2 items to a desert island with my newborn, this would be one of them! Or a similar blanket, the point is a tight swaddle.  Those little flannel receiving blankets aren’t big enough to wrap around multiple times…go ahead and make ’em into wipes now.

Out and About: I tend to wear my babies a lot, so I’m big on slings.  But a good stroller is also worth it’s weight in gold.  If you’re like me and keeping your kids close in age, think about adaptability.  Can this single stroller become a double?  Or can I sell this single for a good price when my second child arrives and I need to upgrade to a double?  Remember when a nice car ages it’s called “vintage”, but when a cheap car ages it’s called “junk”…a stroller is a similar investment that can pay you back well when its time to sell and make your life a heck of a lot easier when using it.

  • Phil and Teds stroller, adaptable to a double stroller.  Also becomes a bassinet for those early days and has a car seat attachment to click your seat into.
  • BOB jogging stroller: big fixed, front wheel.  We heart BOB, in a big way.
  • Graco Snugride car seat with an added wool liner.  The wool will help the babe not sweat from all the crying they may do because they hate their car seat.  Again, wool is a good temperature regulator.  Can you tell we love wool yet?
  • Sunshine Kids Easy View Back Mirror: to see your little bundle screaming behind you in the car and be consoled that they’re just screaming for a little exercise.  After many a mirror, this was the only one that actually stayed in place and adjusted well.
  • Moby wrap or a Zolowear ring sling or a Storchenwiege wrap: each of these are perfect for holding babe close in the “frog” position they love so much.  A wrap is my second desert island choice.  Though technically, central Florida already feels somewhat like a desert island.  Somewhat.

Home Gear:

  • Bouncy seat: the point is to have a safe, upright-ish position for their “awake” time after a feeding.  Vibration is nice and so is the bouncing.  High pitched music and tons of toys are not nice.  A 0-2 month old needs little entertainment.  Little.
  • Natursutten pacifier: this paci helps encourage breast feeding (once established) by touching the babes nose while sucking, similar to breast feeding.
  • Make a crib canopy if your house is drafty like mine.  It’s better than over heating your house or over dressing your newborn.  I used a lamp shade and four white, twin sized sheets. It was inexpensive and effective!

Bath Time: we don’t bathe our newborns much.  Their bits and pieces are cleaned with each diaper change and we use a warm cloth in the morning on their face and neck.

For the family:

  • A good camera with a large aperture lens!  If I had a picture (as well as running video) of every moment of their lives, it’d still not be enough.  You can’t smell them in a picture.  You can’t kiss those chubby cheeks in a picture.  But hopefully, what you’ve captured on film with remind you of the smell of their hair and feel of their cheeks.
  • We love love LOVE  Charlie’s Soap for laundry.  It’s a clean rinsing, paraben free, fragrance free and sls free detergent.  We don’t use dryer sheets and other fabric softeners as they leave a residue behind that can easily absorb into the thin skin of a newborn.  Whatever you use on the adult clothes is what will get on the baby clothes in the machine, even if you’re switching between detergents.  Therefore, it’s easiest to switch the whole family over.
  • A big, stainless steel water bottle…bring it, breastfeeding thirst!  Sans the BPA.