I've recently had many friends get pregnant and ask me what some of our favorite baby products are and what things you actually need for a newborn. It is easy to start looking at all the baby products available and feel like you need to build a whole house just for baby gear. We were very blessed and were given so so so very much from loved ones and depended a lot on their wisdom. Instead of sending an email each time I'm asked about gear, I thought I would just direct them to this blog post and it could be a reference for myself when in the very very distant future we enter back into babyland and I need a reminder what works for us.
Our apartment where we brought Henry home to was itty bitty (and perfect for us)and there was not much space for bulky baby gear, so we try and get things that can grow along with Henry or serve more than one purpose.
Sleeping in our room: I knew I wanted Henry in our room for the first few months of life. As cute as a cradle or bassinet are, I knew they would only be useful for a couple months and then take up a lot of room once out of use. My aunts got us this pack n play that has a bassinet/changing table option and we can actually use it again once he moves out of our room.
Henry eneded up in bed with us between using the pack n play and being in his own room. My friend used a much much smaller option with her baby and I think next time we will do that than the big pack n play.
Bathtime: Our bathroom doesn't have any room to store a bulky baby tub. I hesitated buying this tub because it isn't cheap but knowing that it would enable Ronnie to help out and participate in bath time a little easier is what pushed me to buy it and I am SO glad I did. Bathing a squirmy little newborn is hard enough, but this tub makes it so much fun! We hang it on the back of the bathroom door and it doesn't take up any extra space.
My cousin Rachel sent us these Aden and Anais swaddle blankets and they are most definitely our favorite! They are light enough to shove in the diaper bag and perfect to wrap a little one up tight without worrying they will overheat. I have even ditched the carseat cover and use these blankets instead.
Because I loved the light stretchy fabric of the muslin swaddle blankets, when I saw these Weegoamigo blankets for half price on Babysteals I snagged a couple and love them. They are bigger than the Aden and Anais blankets which make them perfect for nursing under.
My friend Val introduced me to the Woombie. The real ones are something like $25 each so I bought the off brand on amazon 2 for $15 and they work great (and it especially nice to have a second one around when there is a middle of the night blowout). It is so nice to just zip those little arms in and not worry about achieving the perfect swaddle.
At my baby shower, my friend Charity gave us a ziploc bag full of organic coconut oil and we have put it to good use. Henry had a rash on his cheeks and side of his head that would not go away. We tried switching soaps, I quit using scented soaps thinking it was my skin causing him to break out in a rash, and I tried all the special lotions for eczema. Coconut oil did the trick! It absorbs so well and he smells so delicious. There are about a million uses for coconut oil and we love it!
My sister gave us her bouncer seat and we ended up using it a lot more than I thought I would. It was great for setting Henry in when I needed to cook dinner or clean up the house a bit. He loved loved loved the toys hanging from it and would kick and squeal when they moved. We only did the bouncer and not a swing because we A. didn't have room for both and B. I didn't want to rely on a swing to get him calm. If we don't have it, we would never need it.
A baby carrier! I was a little timid jumping into the "baby wearing" world, but now I am all for it! My sister gave me her old carrier which is super simple and I am sure was much less expensive than other brands, but it also didn't offer much support. When Henry was itty bitty I carried him in a Moby wrap but once he put a few lbs. on, it didn't hold him well. I tried out a friend's Ergo and knew it would be great for both Ronnie and me to use. It is THE BEST for getting grocery shopping done and when we are walking around a lot.
My sister in law also gifted me her old ring sling and we use that daily! It takes some getting used too but I love it! Borrow a friend's carriers and give them a try before slapping down money for these bas boys. Baby wearing is very personal and individual and you want to find what works for you!
As far as bottles and pacifiers and clothes, and all that other jazz, I am sure you will have your preferences and so will your baby. Hope this little list helps and just know that babies really don't NEED that much.