Bringing home a newborn baby is a big deal—like, the biggest deal. Making sure you have all the different things you and your little one need can be stressful. This is my list of the essential baby gear I used every day with our baby girl River during her first month at home.
My hospital bag was packed by the door and ready to go with enough room for my Hatch to Hospital Box, my husband’s things (which he never even took out of the bag!), and River’s layette. I still use this bag when I’m out and about with both girls. It’s big enough to double as a diaper bag, plus it fits a few extras, but it’s not too big to wear on my shoulder—and it’s waterproof!
This was pretty much all I took for myself in the overnight bag, plus toiletries. Having new and beautiful things to slip on made me feel human again after River’s delivery. The robe and gown are super soft and comfy, and the cashmere socks are the little bit of luxury I needed to feel more at home.
I was really worried about using a bottle so early on, but I needed to get out for work, and I also wanted some help with nighttime feedings, as River was always hungry and ate every 2 hours. The LATCH nipple mimics breastfeeding, which allows the baby to control the flow of milk the way she does on the breast. We had no problem going back and forth, and her big sister was able to get in on the feeding as an added bonus. See my girls snuggling!
These are the most gentle thing to wash your baby with, and you can use them on your own face, too.
This wrap was a game-changer for us. It’s so lightweight and comfy, I barely felt like I was wearing anything besides a shirt. River used to sleep in for over 3 hours, and we managed to have lunch out with the whole family. The matching wrap for little girls is great for a big sister battling a little jealousy.
When it’s cold, baby needs a sweet hand-knit winter hat on before we can even think about taking a stroll. We got this one in mint and I called her my little elf.
The DockATot is a lightweight “docking station” or portable bassinet for the baby, and the only place River would nap other than on top of me. The Dock was a lifesaver that helped our girl sleep in it at night, either between the two of us or in her bedside sleeper. It’s easy to take The Dock from room to room during the day so the baby can nap securely and within arm’s reach wherever you go. The cover can be thrown in the wash for easy clean up.
This bedside bassinet is one of the best bassinets on the market! It turns 360 degrees and can be raised or lowered to your bed’s height, so the baby can be sleeping right up next to you, but you’re also able to swivel the bassinet away so you can get up easily. The side can be pulled down to scoop your baby right up for easy nursing. We found the DockATot fit perfectly into the baby bassinet, and River was so snug and comfy in there. Some other good options are the Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet (a rocking bassinet that plays lullabies), the Disney Baby Ultimate Sweet Beginnings Bassinet (absolutely adorable), and the Deluxe Moses Basket by Delta Children (a travel bassinet for mamas on the go).
We collaborated on this sweet style with the lovely Jillian of Neon Rae while River was in my belly; she arrived just in time to snag a pair before they sold out! These super special Woccasin Moccasins only get better with use. We left the denim edges raw to allow them to naturally fray and gain character, just like your favorite pair of jeans.
With two kids, I’ve found a backpack gives the hands-free access I need. This one looks so cool that no one would ever suspect it’s a diaper bag with an insulated bottle holder, changing pad, and wet clutch. It also has a spot for a laptop, which is super important for all the working mamas out there.
These are over-sized, they curve around your neck to cover all the areas spit up can reach, plus they have a snap so they double as a bib right on the baby. The fabric is a soft muslin and they come in the cutest prints.
Delivered to home or hospital the same day your order is placed, this is the best newborn gift box for the busy working mama. The organic kimono bodysuit is my favorite baby basic. River used to live in it! The fabric is organic, so soft, and very high quality. It also doesn’t shrink in the wash, which is important when your baby is growing so fast.
This swaddle is so cute and chic! It can be worn as a scarf for mama and double as an Instagram background for quick snaps.
The slim fit on these keeps them snug in place, a fold-over foot keeps the feet cozy and warm, and the zipper makes them easy to take off for quick changes.
We forgot to get one of these before we got home from the hospital; I ended up ordering it at midnight on Amazon. We left white noise on our phones all night to get River back to sleep after every feeding, and my phone overheated and had to be replaced! The small Sleepy Sheep is perfect to take in the stroller and the car too.
I’d been eyeing this for the girls’ playroom, and it made the perfect gift for big sis from the baby. Don’t forget to have a special gift for the older siblings from the new arrival. Those who come bearing gifts are always welcome.
Want to read more about being a new mom? On HeyMama, you can learn new mom style secrets, discover how to make MORE money after having kids, and try out these science-based mom hacks to help release stress.