Perfectly curated baby registries mean nothing if the products don’t actually work or are a waste of time, space and money. As a third time mom, while I am no expert, I have a pretty good idea of the best tools out there to make mama’s life easier! Now that we have made it through the “fourth trimester,” I thought it would be the perfect time to share all of our favorites that made it easier in this sensitive postpartum period!
Books: Surprise, newborn babies do not do much of anything. It can be hard to connect with and spend time with them during their wakeful periods. Books are a great way to foster your bond, and definitely help their brain growth! Here are our favorites:
Activity Gym: Towards the end of the fourth trimester, you will notice baby likes to kick her legs and move her arms all around. We have two different styles of activity gyms that are perfect for laying her in. At this time, her eyesight is also getting better, so having something to stare at keeps her developing. The plush activity gym is easy to set up and gives baby something soft to lay on. The wooden option is more stylish, but more expensive. For a cheaper option, do a DIY like I did and add these toys. Roelyn especially likes when you wiggle the one with the bell.
Stroller: Getting outside is good for both baby and mama! We have used this Baby Expedition stroller for ALL three kids (5+ years). We have had to switch out tires only once, as I run and have put A LOT of miles on this thing. I really like that the car seat easily transitions from car to stroller. Being able to use a car seat means you can start safely running with baby before 6 months.
4moms Mamaroo: We keep this downstairs as a great place to set baby down, especially after she has just fallen asleep. If she is awake, she likes to stare at the mobile. If she is drowsy or asleep, she prefers the “car ride” rock mode. Personally, I do not like the sounds of the rocker, but the swing modes are great!
Pacifiers: this style pacifier fits baby’s mouth perfect. Sucking is a natural reflex for a baby and a pacifier does not harm the breastfeeding relationship. According to Dr. Sears in the Baby Sleep Book, sucking is one of the five S’s that helps put baby to sleep. We have definitely found this to be true. If she sucks on my breasts (which are SUPER full by the way these first couple of months) she just drinks too much a gets a stomach ache and spits up. I am able to nurse her to her content, then throw in the paci until she drifts off to sleep.
Breast Pump + Breast Milk Storage: I truly believe in the power of this liquid gold and think that every mama, no matter what your choice in feeding method, should read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Breastfeeding. There are lots of good tips and both scientifically backed evidence and practical advice from other mama’s incorporated to get you started on the right foot. Our insurance, like most insurances, covers a breast pump. We chose the Spectra S2 from those options because it is a closed system and hospital grade quality. I use Amazon Subscribe and Save to get these Lanolin Milk Bags and use this tray to easily store them in the freezer.
Bottles: Glass bottles are better for the environment and better for your baby. We use the Nuk Simply Natural Bottles. They are made perfectly for breastfeeding mama’s; the plastic nipples even have multiple feeding holes just like mama! I am not sure if it is because Roelyn is such a good eater or because these bottles are so easy, but when we tried a bottle at one month old (after a solid breastfeeding relationship was established), she guzzled down 4 ounces from dad NO PROBLEM.
Breast Pads: I have a huge collection of these reusable pads, which I like most of the time because they are more comfortable and save money. However, for when your milk first comes in or overnight, I definitely recommend having the disposable kind on hand because they absorb so much more milk to keep your clothes dry.
Nursing Tanks: consider this my new uniform. They are so comfy and can easily be worn under any t-shirt to make it a “nursing” shirt. After birth, barely any of your old clothes fit, and the selection is widdled down even more when you realize you have to be able to breast feed in public in said outfit without feeling uncomfortable. These tanks make that possible.
Halo Bassinet: WOW this one is a dream. We keep this downstairs as a great place for baby to nap, but also a changing table. The pockets on either side are perfect for diapers and wipes. We do not use the light, vibration or sounds at all because she surely gets enough “white noise” from the kids playing in the background.
Sleepy Wrap: Once we figured out how to tie this, it was a lifesaver! Baby is so used to mom’s womb, and it’s important to keep her as close to mom in the “fourth trimester” as she learns to navigate this new world outside the womb. The sleepy wrap swaddles her right to your body, almost instantly helping her fall asleep and helping you get stuff done around the house!
Baby Delight Snuggle Nest: This portable, fold-out sleep option has been awesome! We use it when we are playing in the front yard, when we visit a friend’s house during nap time (which is all day at this stage), and even when we camped in the backyard. Essentially it is a portable bassinet so you can set baby down to sleep wherever you want!
White Onesies: They say to always dress baby in one more layer of clothing than you are wearing. These white onesies make that happen without sacrificing style. Little baby’s t-shirts often ride up, so I put a white onesie on Roelyn if she is wearing a t-shirt style outfit so her belly doesn’t hang out.
Socks: Little baby’s feet can get really cold, and they already have a hard enough time regulating their body temperature. The white ones I got fell off (even though they claimed not to). I liked these size appropriate ones from Carter’s better.
Zip Up Footed Pajamas: The zipper makes middle of the night changes a breeze and footed keeps those toes warm.
ALL the cute outfits: Dressing baby up is way too much fun, literally like having your own doll.
and if it’s a girl…ALL the cute bows: self explanatory
Waste of Time
Some Products I thought I would need but DON’T at all: Burp cloths, toys (she is not interested in holding anything at all yet), Baby monitor (I can hear baby cry from anywhere in the house LOL), Sleep Sound Machine (I thought I would need it for baby to get a good sleep, but she is fine on her own), Baby Mittens, and Baby Body Wash (we just use a Norwex cloth so we don’t disrupt baby’s sensitive skin biome).