There is endless preparation when expecting (um, there are how many brands of diapers?), and one can never really know what works until baby arrives! Being the type-A, planful person that I am, I thought I had it all figured out. We were set. And then she came. While many of the items we scooped up beforehand were useful, I spent more than a few late nights ordering sanity savers from Buy Buy Baby, and Amazon. Because sometimes you just don’t know what you’ll need until you need it. Here’s my hit list of 12 newborn essentials that have helped save our sanity during those first few newborn weeks.
  1. Tiny Love Mobile. It’s not always easy to keep baby still during diaper changes, and this mobile really helps. The combination of the black & white graphic and cute little faces on the characters will immediately soothe and settle your baby on the changing table.
  2. DOHM Sound Machine. This stays on constantly in our apartment. The sound reminds baby of being in the womb. It also blocks outside noise and dependent upon where you live (us in NYC and in a small apartment) it’s super helpful.
  3. Swaddle Me Swaddle. After 5 weeks of sleeping with us, we needed another solution to help baby girl transition to the bassinet. The swaddle me kept her tightly tucked, and helped troubleshoot the startle reflex. We’re talking 9 hours of sleep at 5 weeks!
  4. Look Look Book. You want your baby to love books, but it’s not always easy to get them engaged early on. We started reading this immediately. The graphic photos were extremely attention grabbing and kept baby’s focus.
  5. Medela HandPump. Most women invest in an electric pump, but if you’re exclusively breastfeeding, the hand-pump provides relief during those first few weeks of engorgement and is way less aggressive.
  6. Gerber Diaper Cloths. Even if you’re not cloth diapering, you’ll want a ton of these -- I use at least 2 per day. They are in every area of my apartment and serve every purpose, from burp cloth to changing table cover.
  7. SollyBaby Wrap. The SollyBaby wrap gave us the opportunity to be hands-free while keeping baby close.
  8. MZ Wallace Tote. Staying sane can apply to fashion too. This bag is not officially a diaper bag, but it’s super functional while keeping style on point.
  9. Organic Kimono Onesies. Despite buying a ton of newborn clothes, our baby only wore onesies for the first few weeks. I recommend the kimono style since it doesn’t have to go over baby’s head.
  10. Exercise Ball. We used our birth ball every single day to rock baby to sleep. There’s something soothing about that bouncing that a rocker just can’t replicate.
  11. Earth Mama Angel Baby. We were very nervous about what would be safe for our baby’s sensitive, newborn skin. After a bunch of research and firsthand experience, the Earth Mama products are our favorite because they’re super gentle and mild.
  12. Skip Hop Activity Mat. Although I do my best to interact with Vida as much as I can, I need to put her down sometimes. While your baby won’t interact with all of the elements on this for a couple of months, she will be super stimulated by the hanging toys starting during those first newborn days.
Photography by Lori Berkowitz.