If we learned anything from the abundance of generous gifts and purchases we made with our first babe, we learned that babies don't need much. And, hilariously, often do not like what you pick out for them (shocker! babies are people with opinions, too!). For instance, the beautiful, deluxe, multiple-hundreds-of-dollars fancy ultra pack n' play with the bassinet and changer we bought for Sage. You know, the one she NEVER slept in and became a glorified changing table (forget the $300 dresser we bought with the changing pad in her nursery she never used) for the first six months, until it was banished to the basement. Or the crib she didn't use until she was two, the fancy outfits she wore once... yeah, things like that.
This time around, we made a list of just a few things we hadn't kept from Sage, opting to ask for diapers and spending our money on a few quality organic onesies instead of dozens of fancy outfits to be spit up on or blown-out in, and banished to the giveaway bin. We thought hard about the things we had actually used, stocked up on the must-haves and waited on things we weren't sure she would need (and thus far, we haven't had to go out and buy anything else). We skipped fancy lotions in favor of coconut oil, and borrowed a swing from a friend (it happened to be our top pick- score!). Altogether, we didn't spend a ton of money, stayed all-natural and our sweet baby is doing just fine with our minimalist baby gear. So today I thought I would share an almost-complete list of our natural baby essentials, for 0-3 months (I kept a couple of the obvious, like car seat, bath and changing pad, out- but this is pretty much a complete list).
With Sage, we were positive we were going to exclusively cloth diaper and wipe after the first week until she was potty trained. And we were pretty successful, until a whole batch of diapers got ruined around 6 months and we didn't want to fork over the $$$ to replace them, and we settled on natural disposables, instead. This time, we were much more lax, choosing more natural brands (Honest and Seventh Generation) and cloth diapering intermittently. These are our favorites that work well and are free of most of the harmful chemicals associated with disposable diapers.
2. Basic organic prefold diapers These are ESSENTIAL for all the bodily fluids, because there will be plenty in those first few months! Spit up, breast milk, even the occasional blow-out-on-the-changing-pad (ugh), these are soft on baby's skin and wash well.
Just like diapering, we were SURE Sage would sleep soundly in the sweet bassinet right next to our beds. Wrong-o, again. Baby girl only wanted to sleep right next to mama, and despite trying our best to get her in the bassinet, we gave up a few weeks in and co-slept for the first six months, trying out various products to make it safest as possible, but ultimately really enjoying the ease of nighttime feeds with baby right there. This time we found the dock-a-tot and it is the absolute BEST of both worlds. Wren has her own cozy, safe sleeping space, in our bed, right next to mommy and daddy, close enough for me to just roll over and pick her up to nurse or for daddy to pop a paci back in, but safe enough that there is no chance of her, or us, rolling in the wrong direction. I know not everyone is a fan, but we wholeheartedly are.
Does anyone NOT love these swaddles? They're the best! Soft and breathable and stretchable, they're perfect for our love-to-be-swaddled babies.
5. L'oved Baby Onesies (we also have a few sleepers, pants and socks). These are, by far my favorite onesies. They're a little more pricey, but well worth the price tag because they hold up awesome, are super cozy and thick (no need to layer in the winter) and the side snap makes them super easy to change without needing to pull over the head. We also love the sleepers (though they tend to run a bit small), and the leggings.
6. Wool hats I am blessed to have a wonderfully skilled friend who makes gorgeous hand made knit hats- these were perfect for the first three months in the cold New England weather! (She also makes ingenious teething biscuits, which we have ready for when the time comes!) p.s.- the preemie size was perfect for our 6#13oz babe from 0-2 months, and the newborn is working well at 11.5# and 3 months.
I mentioned this in my breastfeeding essentials, but this nipple stuff is THE best. Not just for nursing, but for anything that needs soothing! We used it on her baby acne and her unfortunate neck-roll irritation (oh, the joys and sorrows of having a roly poly babe!) and it cleared up in no time. Gotta love that calendula!
8. Coconut Oil We skipped lotions with questionable ingredients and stuck with coconut oil for baby's skin. It also worked well to help rid her of cradle cap and even thrush (oral yeast), as it is an anti-fungal. 9. Lavender Essential Oil roll-on I was so excited when I saw DoTerra came out with a roll-on lavender essential oil! It's pre-diluted, so we use a bit right on the back of Wren's neck before bed and it helps her fall asleep soundly (and currently, for about a 5-hour stretch- woo hoo!). 10. Tula Free-to-Grow carrier This carrier, I am SO impressed! We loved our Ergo with Sage, but we have small babies, so the infant insert was needed for quite some time with the carrier we had and it was cumbersome. The free-to-grow is adjustable and starts at 7 pounds so no insert needed! It is super cozy for mama, as well. 11. Como Tomo Bottles
We went through multiple attempts at getting Sage to take a bottle before she would accept one. Wren loved this one right away. It's shaped a little bit more, ahem, naturally, and the wide mouth makes it really easy to clean. She loves it, we love it- it's a winner for sure!
12. Medela Breast Pump We had quite a few feeding troubles in the early weeks and I don't know what I would do without a quality breast pump. I have the Medela Pump in style double electric and it is worlds easier than the single I had with Sage, and it's much more effective at stimulating the breast when baby is having trouble doing so. 13. Supplements: Vitamin D + Probiotics I'll talk more about supplements, soon, but we keep our supplement routine simple. The only thing breast milk is lacking in, in the first six months is Vitamin D- we use a one-drop liquid by Sun Drops and a probiotics (this is the one we use) because I received antibiotics during labor and we want the best gut health possible for our girl (I take them, too).
14. Nuna Leaf This chair is awesome! It sways, instead of swings, it's gentle and ergonomic, and the weight limit is over 100 pounds. We borrowed one from a friend, but I would buy it in a heartbeat. I truly believe baby doesn't need fourteen different swings and chairs- she has this, and the carrier, and she is happy all day long.
Do you have any favorite natural baby essentials for the wee ones? I'd love to hear!