Must Haves for New Moms in 2018

Before my oldest daughter was born, I was one research-obsessed first time mama. I literally recall dedicating myself to researching one item per night as "we" created our infant registry. My husband is not much of the analytical type when it comes to this type of stuff, so we never did the walk around a baby store and shoot the registry gun at all sorts of cute stuff type.

Instead, I felt much more confident in my decisions by researching EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM I put on our registry. We didn't want to walk through a store and arbitrarily pick this car seat or high chair or nipple cream. Nope, I wanted to read all 1,237 reviews on Amazon about it and fact check the product on ConsumerReports. So "we" spent many nights sitting together on the couch as I slowly but surely made my way through our baby registry checklist and selecting the items we would entrust our little one in/with/on.

Since I was one of the first of my friends to have kids so at the time, I didn't have a ton of people to ask their opinions of when it came to what items mattered most. A few valued friends sent me over lists of their favorite items and some insight on what items were actual essentials versus more useless in the end. For the most part though, I learned the most about what items we could have gone without and which ones were core to surviving that first year of motherhood just by being a first time mom.

That's why it is interesting to me how much has changed over the past five years since I first made a baby registry. Some of the products that we received or purchased with our first are still those we will reuse again now with our last (Praise God - not even our infant car seat has expired yet!). I have created a special list on my Amazon shop with all of those favorites from over the years you can reference here:

I am amazed though by the number of items that are totally new to both me and the market of "new mommyhood" though. That's where this post comes in.

As on my Instagram (aka where I share an obnoxious number of photos of our new baby), I want to share some of the products that are newer to the market and particularly new to my babe, me, and our home here. I hope this post will be helpful to you as you research and sort through the "must haves" of motherhood as well as the latest and greatest products for new moms in 2018.

 
 

 

10 Must Haves for New Moms in 2018

Please note: some of the links on this post are affiliate links. These do not cost you extra to use, but will provide Veggies & Virtue with a small commission if/when you purchase through them. I appreciate your support!

The following are shared in no particular order. A more comprehensive list of all the items on my registry can be found here.


1. DockATot

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Disclosure: I received this product for free, but all opinions are my own.

A few things have happened over the past 2.5 years since I had our last child was born.

One, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated it's policy on safe sleep practices to include the recommendation that infants should, "Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months." Going on to state that room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent, many parents have begun to look for safe options for how to comfortably room-share with their infants - especially in those early months.

Another big change to the infant sleeping scene is the DockATot. I had never heard of this product until pregnant this time with our third, but I have since had many of my fellow mom friends swear by it as a multi-functional option for sleep, playtime, tummy time, and lounging around in any room of the house. While made in Europe, I was grateful to see it also meets US safety standards so we can allow Owen to lounge in it safely (when proper precautions are taken to it's overall surroundings). With this being our first summer baby, I also appreciated seeing that the DockATot has been tested for breathability to ensure it provides a safe, cool micro-climate for infants!

So far, we have loved having the Deluxe size DockATot as an option for easy transport room to room around the house. It has been so helpful to have one universal item that I can move around the house in one hand with Owen in the other, without needing to rely on a swing, rock n play, boppy, or other items in each room.


2. Infant Sleep Courses

Disclosure: I received this product for free, but all opinions are my own.

Speaking of getting our little ones to sleep (or a lack thereof!), I am so grateful to have been generously gifted this newborn sleep course from Cara over at TakingCaraBabies. Admittedly, I haven't opened a book on pregnancy, postpartum, or newborns since we had our second daughter. Even then, it was a pretty weak crash-course refresher that I am pretty sure I did when we hit 40 weeks and ultimately were just waiting until she was induced at 41.5 weeks. That means it has been more like five years since I really did much of any study on newborns, sleep habits, and all of the necessary information on early survival with them.

While I know some parenting tactics and tools have changed since then, one reality still exists: figuring out how to get a newborn to sleep can be exhausting. That's why I reached out to Cara to learn more about newborn sleep habits as I approached the arrival of our third. I wanted to know how to best ensure we were doing what we could to promote healthy sleep patterns from the start, especially since I knew it would be a bit of a juggling act between two older kids, their schedules, and the demands of my trying to work at home (something I only did minimally during my last postpartum). Even though we are still early on in adjusting to life with a newborn, this online newborn sleep course has been a huge help at giving me the confidence, understanding, and scope of what steps to take to make sure we are getting as much rest as we can.

Cara also shares tons of informative posts on the DockaTot and the Ollie Swaddle so I better know how to use them more safely and successfully. I encourage you to check out any of her sleep courses as well as her Instagram (@takingcarababies), as she is constantly sharing helpful swipe ups and posts to promote better sleep for your child (and you!).


3. Ollie Swaddle

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Disclosure: I received this product for free, but all opinions are my own.

There will probably always be parents who use bumpers versus don't, put their infants down on their tummies versus backs, and co-sleep versus start their infant out in the crib. Some will swaddle, others will use sound machines, and many will use sleep sacks. But one universal truth that ALL of us parents are aiming for is babies who sleep better stat.

That's why I was a bit surprised to learn from @takingcarababies that the Ollie Swaddle was one of her favorite sleep products on the market. Not being around when I had either of our daughters, the Ollie Swaddle was a totally new concept to me going into life with Owen.

Since all of our sleep sacks and PJs from the girls were pink, flowery and with frills, I had debated how many new sleep aid items I would reinvest in for Owen. Thankfully, Ollie World sent me this smarter swaddle in stone color. Not only is it a cute option for our first boy, but even more so I am loving how functional it has been to help get him to sleep! I have already noticed a big difference in how Owen sleeps in the Ollie Swaddle versus the other handed-down sleep sacks we received or even the swaddle sleep sack hospital gave us. He went from waking often throughout the night the first several nights to consistently going 3-4 hour stretches overnight in the Ollie Swaddle. No mom needs convincing - this been a BIG blessing in making sure we are all getting as sound of sleep as possible in these early days!


4. SollyBaby

 
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Disclosure: I received this product for free, but all opinions are my own.

Something I borrowed when we had our second daughter that I told myself I would never forget (should we have a third) was a sollybaby wrap. Sure enough as soon as I knew we were pregnant this time, it was one of the first items I ensured we had ready in our infant survival arsenal.

With our oldest, we had the Ergo (with infant insert), BabyBjorn, and another wrap. The wrap was never one I was particularly fond of and thus ever really used though and the more traditional baby carriers weren't my favorite options in the early infancy stage. That's why knowing I would need my hands free all the more in this postpartum season, I wanted to have a Solly Baby wrap we could use again to ease the transition.

I find the fabric on this wrap more breathable than others (which is key with having an August baby in Houston!), but also much MUCH easier to put on (even in a highly sleep-deprived state). It also seems to keep Owen much more snug and safely situated on my chest than I felt other wraps, slings, or infant carriers have offered. I wear it around the house, when at the park with the girls, on evening walks with the family, and whenever I need my hands free to do tidbits of work. Thankfully it is easy to wash as well (since I seem to spill on it a fair amount too when trying to rush around and feed myself).


5. Binxy Baby

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Disclosure: I received this product for free, but all opinions are my own.

I have not yet figured out how I am going to grocery shop with three littles. I know there are tons of moms who manage this each week, especially before curbside pick-up or grocery delivery was available. It still feels like kind of a crazy operation though unless my oldest walks, my two year old goes in the seat, and I baby wear our youngest.

That's why in trying to navigate how to make this work in a way that is manageable, comfortable, safe, and "convenient" (or as convenient as shopping with three kids can be!), I was stoked to see this new option available from Binxy Baby.

It is no surprise that I love going to the grocery store, so I don't want to rely exclusively on picking up our groceries after our third little one arrived. Instead, I love the idea that I will be able to take our oldest two to preschool two mornings a week and use one of those days to also swing by the store and shop with our little man in this. Since we frequent everywhere from HEB to Sprouts to Trader Joes to Target, I love that the Binxy Baby fits most standard grocery carts and can be used pretty much all the places we shop. It is nice to not have to haul the infant car seat inside the store, since it 1) makes me cringe when people prop it up on grocery carts, 2) takes up the whole basket when you place it inside the cart. The Binxy Baby will instead let me engage with my little guy as I shop in a way that is safety tested and ideal for the first 6-8 months of life when he can't yet sit up in the seat on the grocery cart.

I am excited to take Owen along on grocery trips to come soon, and will be sure to show us in action as we put this Binxy Baby to use.

Shop here to get 10% off your Binxy Baby purchase!


6. FawnDesign

 
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The item I think I spent the most on when we had our first child was splurging over $200 on a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag backpack. At the time, I thought it was everything I wanted in a diaper bag. I soon discovered though that the design of the bag was less than awesome (in my opinion). I started favoring a simple, embroidered backpack we had for our daughter instead, but it truly wasn't intended to handle the wear and tear of a diaper bag. It got dirty very fast and still didn't function totally as I needed it to with her or especially once we added our second daughter to the mix and I needed to pack all the more.

That's why one of the items I knew I wanted to get before baby brother arrived was a new backpack. After surveying you all on my stories, it was quite clear that a new favorite diaper bag for new moms came from Fawn Design. I immediately fell in love with the style, so when this backpack went on sale, I jumped on it and ordered one. I am so excited about how simple yet stylish it is (especially now as a boy mom, too) but also how it has plenty of room to tuck essentials I need myself (like a laptop on occasion) or other items for the girls as well. I plan to organize items inside with the pockets, as well as with additional bags as needed (like those below).


7. Bumkins

 

With my daughters, I was notorious for having bags inside of bags inside of bags with our diaper bag. The pockets often felt frumpy and lacked the actual organization I wanted out of a bag, so I often resorted to using Ziplocks instead for whatever I was putting inside. This go around, I am excited to have these bags from Bumkins to help sort the items in our diaper bags with.


8. Multi-Use Nursing Cover

 

I first heard of MilkSnob nursing covers on Shark Tank, back when I wasn't pregnant nor nursing. Since, I have seen them on several friend's registries and heard so many great reviews about this style of nursing cover (slash later grocery cart cover or restaurant high chair cover). I had a more traditional nursing cover with both of our other kids, as these are what were more mainstream when I registered five years ago. Now as I hope for the "third time to be the charm" with being able to successfully breastfeed our son, I am excited to put this cover to use when I need a bit more privacy while out and about.

There are several brands of these that look great. Shown on the left and linked here is the one I registered for this go around as it seemed to be the most cost-effective without compromising great reviews on Amazon.


9. Spectra S2

I asked over on my stories about which breast pump you all used and would recommend the most and hands down, the Spectra S2 was the most wildly recommended favorite.

I used the Medela pump in style with my first and again with my section, in tandem with the hospital grade Medela pump when at home. The Pump in Style was free from insurance and helped do the job while exclusive pumping, but I would never say I "liked" it. That's why it was a bit of a surprise to hear SO many of you share that this pump was a "game changer," "SO much better than the Medela" and "a lot quicker and quieter" than other options.

I am still new to using it but I can already tell I enjoy the Spectra more so than the Medela (which is still tucked in my two year old's closet). While I hope to not have to exclusively pump this time, I am grateful for insurance giving me this as a good alternative to use when needed!


10. Banner Toys

We have had a lot of toys pass through our home over the past several years and babies. When I went on a girl's trip to the Magnolia market though this past spring (while pregnant with our first son), I admit the first baby toy I just couldn't help but get for him was this toy truck from Bannor Toys.

We have plenty of bright, obnoxious colored kids toys that require minimal self-manipulation to spin or make sounds. The beautiful simplicity of these wooden toys by Bannor though makes the boy-mom in me seriously swoon.

I secretly want to get Owen the Texas (where we live) and Washington state (where I am from) wooden toys by Bannor too...good thing Christmas isn't THAT far away!


In Summary

Figuring out what "must haves" to get as a new mom can be overwhelming. So first and foremost, remember that you likely already have what you need most: enough love to go around with your infant. That said, should you find yourself wanting a few other items to register for, I hope this list gave you some ideas based off of items I have been excited to discover myself.

For more ideas of Tried & True Favorites as well as Must Haves for New Moms, be sure to hop over to my Amazon shop to see ideas list on each!