The 10 Newborn Must-Haves I Couldn’t Live Without for Both Kids

We all know the typical newborn must-haves like a crib, changing station, bottles, etc.

This list, however, is about the little in between items that may not be obvious at first, but I found to be pretty important with both my kids.

#1. The Swaddle (Newborn MUST Have)

Swaddling is one of the best things you can do to help your baby sleep at night. Not only do they feel as though they’re snuggled in the womb, but it also represses their startle reflex.

I have tried a ton of swaddles when my kids were in the baby stage and the following were my absolute favorites.

Velcro Swaddle

For the newborn stage, I skipped the swaddle blankets and jumped right into these velcro swaddles. I was too paranoid to use a swaddle blanket, because both my kids broke right out of them even as newborns.

Love to Dream Swaddle

Around 3-6 months or so, my little ones started breaking out of the velcro swaddles.

At this point, I upgraded to the Love to Dream Swaddle UP.

I really love this swaddle, because it allows baby to sleep with hands up near their head. This is a much more natural way for them to sleep than with their hands pinned to their sides or chest, so it eases their frustration and tends to get them to sleep longer stretches.

Nested Bean Sleep Suit

Once my babies started rolling, we switched them from a swaddle to a sleep suit.

This allowed their hands to be completely free, which helped both babies self-soothe at night.

We used the Nested Bean Sleep Sack with my son, because he began waking up every hour or so once he hit his four month sleep regression.

It has this little bean bag over the chest of the suit (or its back if you flip it around), making it feel like mom’s hand was on his chest or back. It really helped him sleep longer stretches.

The Nested Bean comes in a swaddle or pajamas, as well.

Magic Merlin Sleep Suit

The last sleep suit Lucy used the Magic Merlin sleep suit.

She entered a horrible sleep regression and we switched her to this and she slept incredibly well with it. It was one of the main ways we got her to transition from her travel crib to her crib in her room.

Side note: It also has the extra bonus of making your little one look like a giant, adorable marshmallow.

#2. White Noise Machine

If there was ever a holy grail of baby sleep tips, using a white noise machine would be it for me.

Lucy needed to be soothed around the clock when she was a newborn, and. white noise was incredibly helpful during those difficult times.

It also truly helped both my little ones sleep longer. You’ll find in many baby sleep tip books that using a loud, white noise machine is important as well.

Also, you never realize how loud everything else is when you have a sleeping newborn! Finding a loud white noise machine will help block out the world so your baby can sleep in peace.

That being said finding a white noise machine that is actually loud was quite the challenge.

After going through several white noise machines we found this one can be turned up the loudest.

#3. Snuza

You’re either going to love this newborn must have or you may think I’m a crazy lady.

However, I’m still adding it because I know some of you out there are just as crazy as me.

I could not sleep once my first was born, because I was constantly checking to see if she was breathing.

I finally invested in the Snuza. This little magical device clips right to the baby’s diaper and sounds off if it detects breathing has stopped.

It was the only thing that allowed me to get some sleep.

#4. Rocking Chair with Ottoman

I absolutely lived on my rocking chair and ottoman set for both little ones. We bought a second one when Nicholas was born, because I was still using Lucy’s for her in her own bedroom at the time.

In fact, I still use them for both kids!

There is just something about creating a little oasis for just you and your baby.

I always recommend getting a rocking chair or glider with an ottoman, because it just sets you up with a comfortable spot for long hours of nursing/feeding and pumping (if you’re doing so).

My little ones still find comfort in being gently rocked in their chairs as part of their bedtime routine or just when they need a little extra love.

#5. The Boppy

I could not live without my boppy with both my kids! I used it for so many different things.

  • It was the only way I could nurse/feed comfortably in the rocking chair or on the sofa
  • I used it as a lounger while we were hanging out on the floor
  • I even utilized it for tummy time once in awhile to change things up

I did have a boppy lounger for Nicholas, which I did love, but I still preferred my regular boppy to it.

#6. Video Monitor

For the same reason I needed the Snuza in my life, I needed to have a video monitoring system so I can check on the kids while they’re sleeping.

Especially as babies grow older, I like to be sure they aren’t trying pull a fast one and climb right out the crib.

That being said, finding the right video monitor system has pretty much been the bane of my existence.

What I found was that most video monitors eventually have battery issues and this is an issue that seems to be pretty universal with baby video monitors.

It happened with our first system we used with Lucy and we always had to keep it plugged in. It wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen, but still a minor inconvenience.

So when Nicholas was born, I did a ton of research to find the best fit for our family.

I didn’t want to spend a ton of money and I wanted it to actually last. I needed an extra camera to be added onto the system so I could watch both kids in their rooms.

We also did not want to go the wifi route, since we’ve heard too many horror stories of people hacking into them.

We finally settled on this one for Nicholas and we have yet to have an issue! We’ve been using it for 15 months without any problems.

#7. Carseat Cover

I’ll admit, I didn’t use a carseat cover for Lucy – and I regret it now that I’ve used one for Nicholas.

I thought it was just an extra thing moms bought into that wasn’t really needed.

However, I found it to be super convenient for a variety of reasons:

  • It gives newborn privacy so people don’t try to touch them when out in public (this does happen, weirdly enough)
  • It protects the baby against rain, wind and snow when you’re carrying them from car
  • It can also be used as a nursing cover if you prefer using them

I used a carseat cover by Carseat Couture You can get one for free by using my code “MOMMYHOODING”. You will just have to pay shipping and handling.

#8. The Nose Freida

The Nose Freida absolute must have for when you’re little one gets sick. You use it to the suck the mucus out of your baby’s nose.

It’s so much better than bulb syringes (which I’ve read can gather gross mold in it).

#9. Infant Tub

With Lucy, we went with Summer bath seat, which we liked because it was relatively inexpensive.

However, with Nicholas we went with this tub and I absolutely LOVE it. I wish I had it for Lucy too. It fit over our sink and went into our bath tub. It has a newborn part that hammocks the baby gently in the water.

Then when Nicholas was able to sit and we realized what an absolute wild child he is, we transitioned him to this tub. I can’t tell you how awesome this thing is. It suctions right to the sides and allows baby to sit safely in the tub. I don’t know what we’d do without it.

10. DockATot

image credit: DockATot

The DockATot is a baby lounger, where baby can feel snug and comforted. It was designed to mimic the womb and it’s made out of breathable fabric.

I used a few different baby loungers, but they were too small and I didn’t feel safe putting my babies in them.

I used the DockATot all the time for Nicholas. I loved putting him in it while I folded laundry, played with Lucy and even in my bed as I laid with him.

They also come in a variety of covers that you can remove and throw in the wash.

What are your favorite newborn must-haves?

How I Finally Got My Baby to Sleep in the Crib

The transition from bassinet to crib can be a challenging one! This is especially true when you throw in teething and countless sleep regressions.

Babies love their cozy little bassinets and sleeping close to mom, but there comes a time when most moms need to figure out how to get their baby to sleep in the crib.

Are you trying to get your baby to sleep in the crib? Transitioning my baby from bassinet to crib was one of the toughest sleep hurdles we had with her. I read all the baby sleep tips, but nothing was working until we did this one thing. She ended up sleeping in her crib, transitioning from her swaddle and slept longer stretches and eventually slept through the night. #babysleeptips

This post contains affiliate links.

The Baby Who Would NOT Sleep in Her Crib

My daughter would not sleep anywhere other than in something that made her feel cozy and secure – like a bassinet.

She simply would NOT SLEEP in her crib. She was around 6 months or so and we were exhausted.

She was outgrowing her bassinet and it was time to transition her to her crib.

The Transition Was Not Working

The problem was every time I laid her down, she would start screaming. She simply hated her crib.

We tried everything we could think of to make the transition easier. We took advice from anyone that offered help.

We found baby sleep tips that worked everywhere else, but nothing that would help her sleep in her crib.

Nothing was working, until I stumbled upon a forum and read a thread from a group of moms who were having the same struggle.

The ONE Thing We Did That Changed Lucy’s Sleep for the Better

Photo Credit: @magiclseepsuit and @slduke

The solution several of these moms came up with was transitioning their baby from a swaddle to the Magic Merlin Sleep Suit.

When I looked this sleep suit up, I thought it resembled a space suit and didn’t think it would work.

We bought it anyway, because we were desperate for sleep.

I later learned it was actually created by a pediatric physical therapist, who was also a mom of four. The reviews on Amazon seemed amazing, so I was glad I made the purchase.

When we first put this sleep suit on her she was not a fan, but it was just a matter of her getting used to something new.

The very first night she slept with the Magic Merlin Sleep Suit (after she settled down), she slept the longest stretch of sleep she ever had – in her crib!

Why the Magic Merlin worked

Now that Lucy is older, I know she craves a ton touch and comfort. She really likes deep pressure touch too.

I think the Magic Merlin created that same level of comfort her cozy bassinet did and gave her the security she was craving as a baby.

It seems like it works the same way a weighted blanket works for older kids (and adults). It also served as the perfect transition from her swaddle!

Truly, every baby is different and finding the right swaddle or sleep suit will look different for everyone. However, the Magic Merlin was one of the best products I bought for Lucy. I’m hoping that someone else will read this and find it works just as well for their baby as well, because us moms can always use a little more sleep!

Do you have a favorite swaddle or sleep suit? Tell us in the comments!

Why You Should Take a Postpartum Sitz Bath

A postpartum sitz bath is a great tool for self-care after delivery, especially within those first couple of weeks.

A sitz bath can be used for a variety of medical conditions, but it’s especially useful after childbirth to help heal and cleanse the area around the perineum.

Postpartum Sitz Bath | The ultimate guide to everything you should know about a postpartum sitz bath, including sitz bath benefits. A postpartum sitz bath is a great form of postpartum care and postpartum recovery. It helps speed up the healing process of childbirth and soothes any postpartum soreness.

The postpartum period is something that is near to my heart, because it’s such a raw time for new mothers. It’s a time of healing, bonding, learning – as well as an emotional rollercoaster. I think it’s important to prepare for this postpartum chapter while pregnant, so this post is the beginning my “preparing for baby” series.

There are affiliate links in this post.

What is a Postpartum Sitz Bath?

During a postpartum sitz bath, you soak in 2-3″ of warm water. You can add ingredients like epsom salt, essential oils and herbal water (with herbs strained).

The warm water speeds up the healing process, because warm water boosts blood flow to the area.

The sitz bath also soothes soreness and irritation due to the water relaxing muscles in combination with the gentle herbs and essential oils.

Lastly, a sitz bath will help you cleanse your perineum.

How do I Take a Postpartum Sitz Bath?

Before we begin, always speak with your doctor about any questions you may have regarding a sitz bath.

1. Decide What Type of Bath You’ll Take

We know that taking full baths right after delivery isn’t suggested, so you’ll just want to soak in 2-3 inches of warm water so that your private parts are covered.

You can do this in a bathtub or you can go with a wash basin that fits over your toilet. I prefer the wash basin, because it’s easier to clean postpartum and I find it hard to get in and out of a tub right after delivery as well.

2. Add What You Want into Your Bath

Some people just opt for a sitz bath with a bit of epsom salts in it, but you can really boost soothing by also adding herbal water or essential oils.

I recommend getting a pre-made sitz bath soak to make your life easier and take the guesswork out of what type of herbs to use as well as their ratios.

3. Soak for 15-20 minutes

Soak in the sitz bath for up to 15-20 minutes. Afterward you’ll want to air dry a bit before getting dressed.

Other Ways to Use Sitz Bath Soak

You can also mix a bit of your sitz bath soak with water and add them to a peri bottle (a postpartum must-have) to use after you use the bathroom.

You can also add this solution to a DIY “padsicle” and freeze for a soothing ice pack.

Are you planning on using a postpartum sitz bath? If you have in the past did you find them helpful?

I hope you find comfort in the “preparing for baby” series. Preparing for everything you and baby will need before delivery is a great way to put your mind at ease.

Sources

WebMD

Postpartum Sitz Bath | Why you may need a postpartum sitz bath to sooth soreness and speed up the healing process after childbirth. Take time for postpartum care with a postpartum sitz bath, which is loaded with benefits for any new mom. Postpartum recovery can be touch, so while preparing for baby think ahead to what you can do during this time. Preparing to take postpartum sitz baths was one of my favorite postpartum tips. #postpartum #sitzbath

The Secret Behind Roasting a Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey (6 Quick Tips)

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is such a labor of love, so the last thing you want when you finally sit down to enjoy the fruits of this labor is a dry turkey!

Thankfully, there are 6 secrets to creating a juicy Thanksgiving turkey!

Here are 6 tricks of the trade, for a juicy turkey! You don’t have to use all six tips, but incorporating at least a couple of these tips will certainly upgrade your next Thanksgiving dinner!

1. Use a Fresh Turkey

Using a fresh turkey is one major secret of roasting a juicy turkey, because fresh turkeys hold moisture better.

2. Brine

Brining a turkey not only enhances the flavor of the entire turkey, but it also keeps it moist.

This is because brining allows the turkey to absorb liquid and even though some of that liquid is lost during cooking, the turkey still ends up with a lot more juice than if it wasn’t brined in the first place.

3. Rub Butter under the Skin

As it melts, it bastes the turkey and adds delicious flavor. You can add herbs and spices to the butter to really make it your own.

4. Truss loosely

If you tie the turkey’s legs too tightly, the turkey takes longer to roast. This, of course, may threaten to dry out the bird. So truss loosely!

5. Roast Upside Down

Placing the turkey, breast side down, on a V-rack for the first hour of roasting essentially allows it to baste itself.

6. Let Turkey Rest

One of the most important secrets to serving a juicy Thanksgiving turkey is to let the bird rest for around 20 minutes after removing it from the oven.

This allows all the juice to redistribute throughout the entire turkey.

Related: The Top 10 Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes People are Raving About

There you go, 6 quick and easy tips to a juicy Thanksgiving turkey! What are your best tips?

The Top 5 Nursery Themes for Boys

There’s nothing sweeter than putting together the nursery while preparing for baby. I enjoy watching nursery theme trends every year and this year the nursery themes for boys are absolutely adorable! If you’re looking for boy nursery themes, this list is a great place to start!

BOY NURSERY THEMES | 5 boy baby room themes that are trending this year. Boy nursery ideas and themes, including color schemes. Boy woodland nursery theme, boy space nursery theme, boy sport nursery theme, and the classic boy nautical nursery theme. #boynurserytheme

1. Woodland Nursery

Photo Credit: Hobby Lobby

The woodlands nursery theme is still a popular baby boy room idea among expecting moms. There are so many ideas you can run with while looking for woodland nursery decor, which makes preparing this type of nursery fun.

You can create a woodland nursery in 3 easy steps:

1. Choose Your Woodland Nursery Color Scheme

The woodland nursery theme usually consists of neutral grays and creams, with touches of blues and forest greens.

Try choosing a neutral wall paint color with your accent color of choice displayed in the decorative details.

Bring in nursery furniture with rustic touches, like a natural crib and dresser. Espresso and white colored furniture also looks nice in a woodland nursery.

2. Pick Your Focal Point

What’s the focal point of your baby boy woodland nursery?

You can paint one wall an accent color, use woodland themed wallpaper, or add woodland themed wall art above the crib.

3. Add in Woodland Nursery Decor Accents

This is where the fun begins!

Add bookshelves made out of birch accents, beautiful woodland crib sheets, decorative woodland baskets, woodland baby rockers and more.

Collect woodland art to decorate the walls, or even woodland themed name signs.

There are so many options to make your baby boy’s nursery theme one of a kind.

2. Space Nursery Theme

via Project Nursery

I’m loving the space nursery theme that has been majorly trending! You can add such eye catching details to this type of nursery, so it becomes a really unique nursery theme.

You can create a space themed nursery in 3 easy steps:

1. Choose Your Focal Wall (or Ceiling)

Most space themed nurseries are going to have a wall or ceiling dedicated to a magical mural of stars and constellations.

You can do this with easy to apply (and remove) star nursery wallpaper or you can paint the wall and then apply star decals.

Consider adding an eye catching wall art piece to complete the look.

2. Pick Out Your Color Scheme & Nursery Furniture

A space nursery’s color scheme tends to be black, grey, silver and whites. I think also a pop of color in its accents would look great in addition to these colors.

Choose nursery that has sleek, straight lines. Mid-century modern cribs and dressers would look great in a space themed baby room.

3. Find Your Boy Space Nursery Accent pieces

This is always my favorite part!

Think of star filled baby sheets and blankets, moon shaped pillows, beautiful space-themed nursery wall decor, star and moon mobiles and more.

You can even add a personalized touch with customized constellation art from the minute your baby was born.

3. Nautical Theme

via project nursery

The nautical theme is defintely a classic baby boy nursery theme, but it’s always trending with expectant moms.

Here are some ideas on how to prepare a nautical nursery for your baby boy:

Color Scheme

Usually a nautical nursery colors consist of navy and white. I think white nursery furniture looks great in a nautical nursery, but I’ve also seen rustic wood tone pieces that look great too.

Accents of gold, grey, or other shades of blue complete the look.

Nautical Nursery Decor

When you’re choosing your nautical nursery decor, consider the following:

4. Buffalo Plaid Nursery

via Project Nursery

I’m obsessed with this theme. The buffalo plaid nursery theme has been trending lately and it’s adorable. It could also be considered a lumberjack nursery theme.

Here are a few ideas to inspire your buffalo plaid boy nursery:

Plank Wall

I’ve seen a lot of buffalo plaid or lumber jack nurseries have wood plank walls.

This looks great behind the crib!

Add in Rustic Touches

Choose rustic a rustic crib and rustic nursery furniture.

Decorate with allll the Buffalo Plaid

Well I suppose you could go a bit overboard here, but add in buffalo plaid to complete the look. Here are some ideas:

  • Buffalo plaid crib sheets
  • Buffalo plaid changing pad cover
  • Buffalo plaid wall art
  • Buffalo plaid nursery blankets
  • Buffalo plaid baby room curtains

Find “Woodsy” Touches to Complete the Lumberjack Nursery

Think about woodland animals, forest wall art and more.

Create a White and Black Buffalo Plaid Nursery

I’ve seen some awesome buffalo plaid nurseries that are decorated in black and white, rather than the traditional red and black. This looks really cool and it’s sort of a fun idea to use modern touches along with it.

One nursery that I love has black and white buffalo plaid wallpaper behind the crib, which I think looks amazing.

5. Sports Theme

A sports theme nursery is another classic and is always a trending baby boy room idea.

Add in sport elements in:

  • wall art
  • name signs
  • bed sheets
  • changing pad cover
  • sport equipment used as decorations
  • Baby blankets

There you have it! The 5 trendiest boy nursery themes. Which is your favorite?

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