Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Serene's newborn necessities

serene's newborn necessities
serene's newborn necessities
serene's newborn necessities
serene's newborn necessities
serene's newborn necessities
When we were pregnant with Serene, I was promptly overwhelmed when contemplating what we'd need to acquire for a brand-new human being. Everything I read regarding the subject online and on blogs told me I ought to buy seemingly hundreds of items. I was nearly convinced by consumerism that Serene needed gear in the likes of a diaper pail until I realized that parents of yore did not always have tall, perfumed trashcans to store dirty diapers, and their babies turned out just fine. So I sought guidance from mama and papa friends on newborn necessities, and though their advice helped narrow down the list from the superfluous to the must-haves, I was then faced with what kind of baby essential to buy (Why are there so many types of strollers? Should we get a travel system? Full-size stroller? Convenience stroller? Umbrella stroller? Jogging stroller? One that converts to a double stroller? And don't even get me started on which brand to choose!) That's when I turned to (Amazon) reviews for solace. I read customer reviews on everything (on some nights until the wee hours of the morning) my entire third trimester in an attempt to select the best, yet most mandatory stuff. Aside from the general needs like onesies, a carseat, a stroller, diapers, wipes, etc., the following 8 items kept 0-3 month old Serene content (I can't believe she is no longer a newborn!). Though I'm aware that every baby is different and might not have the same needs that Serene did, my hope is that this list shall help other mamas-to-be shrink down that excessive 300+ item list that Babies "R" Us claims we  need.

1. Bassinet
Our bassinet is undoubtedly my favorite newborn item, for it's the one Serene used the most; she slept in it since we brought her home from the hospital. We did not intend to buy a bassinet because her crib would be in the corner of our room, but, as an OCD new mama, I realized I wanted her not 5 feet away, but right by my bedside, and in a snug space that the crib could not provide in those early days. A sweet friend recommended the Fisher Price Rock 'n Play, so I looked up reviews. They were spectacular, stating that babies love that the incline helps them feel as if they're being cradled as they snooze. Indeed, Serene loved the Rock 'n Play and slept steady stretches in it during the day and night. It was also light and easily maneuverable throughout our home. Though she now sleeps in her crib at night, she still uses the Rock 'n Play during naptimes, and anytime we need to set her down so we can, say, eat a meal.

2. Nursing Pillow
I never could have fathomed how much time I'd spend nursing a newborn (every 2-3 hours around the clock!). I never realized that new mamahood meant I would be promoted to resident milk machine, either. In both cases, I am so grateful for a nursing pillow. A dear friend looked through our baby registry, noticed that we didn't have a nursing pillow on it, and insisted it was absolutely something we needed. I thought I could use a normal pillow, but I am so thankful we got a Boppy that Serene could lay on while feeding. If we hadn't, my arms probably would have fallen off by now.

3. Swaddling Blankets
I don't think people really need the sought-after Aden & Anais brand of swaddling blankets, but those were the ones we received at one of our baby showers, and we love them. Serene actually detested being swaddled; she wanted to flail her little arms and legs as she pleased, so we stopped trying to constrain her in a swaddle after the first week. However, swaddling blankets are so soft and versatile. They served, at different points in her first three months of life, as a car seat cover, a nursing cover (before I got a real one), a portable changing pad (until I bought a real one), a regular blanket while she slept, etc.

4. Cotton Balls
Up until Serene was 6 weeks old, we used cotton balls dipped in warm water to clean her bum during diaper changes. We had never used so many cotton balls in our lives.Good thing they don't cost much, and even better that they didn't irritate her delicate newborn skin.

5. Diaper Ointment
Serene has really sensitive skin, apparently. We use wipes more often during diaper changes now that she's older, but every so often, she'll get diaper rash, even though we use wipes for sensitive skin. That's where Burt's Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment comes in handy. It's all-natural and heals her bum of varying degrees of diaper rash practically instantly. Plus, it makes her bum smell minty fresh - who would be adverse to that?

6. White Noise
Newborns are partial to white noise since that's what they're used to from their days in the womb. We would repeat "Shhhhh!" in her ears, but that wasn't sustainable, especially since we were sleep-deprived zombies. Then I discovered the Sleepy Sounds App, which we downloaded for free onto our phones. From that historic point on, most of the times Serene commenced wailing during the first couple of months, we'd use the white noise option from the app to calm her. Seriously a sanity saver.

7. Nasal Aspirator
New babes accumulate new snot on the daily. The Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator helped us get all the boogers out of her teeny nostrils so that she could breathe more easily. In the name of good hygiene, it was a tiny victory for us every time we sucked one of those wet suckers out. Serene didn't agree. She hates getting her nose vacuumed to this very day.

8. Pacifier
Babies have an uncontrollable urge to suck. I didn't figure that out until Serene was 6 weeks old. Sometimes, she'd nurse for a bit and end the session crying. Once I realized she was full but still wanted to suck, we gave her the pacifier. We received Avent pacifiers at one of our baby showers, which she prefers to this day. I also tried giving her the Gumdrop ones, but she didn't like them. These days, she uses the pacifier to sleep through the night, and when she can't, to her chagrin, manage to get her fingers to stay in her mouth.


  1. my sister has this music player thing that she plays white noise on for my niece. it's crazy how it soothes babies, where to us listening to it, is just nothing but noise! and with the pacifiers, we probably should have bought stock. we went through so many from them being lost and my babies not sleeping without them!

  2. I wish that bassinet was around 13 years ago. I like this post a lot. I'm sure it will help many a new mom or mom to be. Just love your pictures, always. Love,

    Shauna xoxo


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