As a Charlotte newborn photographer, I see lots of new babies and parents and chit chat about lots of baby gadgets. And as a mama of 7, I know which baby items are a must have! Many times, first time parents come into my studio and are blown away by simple items that I use with their baby – many times even saying that they are placing an amazon order as soon as they leave! I thought it would be helpful to put together a list for all of you new parents or parents-to-be, of a few of my favorite things that you may not even think of to add to your baby registry!
WHERE TO REGISTER
First things first, let’s start with my favorite place to register….Babylist! Babylist is so great because instead of having to register a multiple stores, you can add anything to one list from any store or website! This means one link to share with your wished-for items from Target, BuyBuy Baby, Amazon, Etsy and even Two Little Monkeys Photography!
- NEWBORN SESSION
Ok…we know I can’t avoid this shameless plug. But seriously, a newborn session is so important and special and I promise you, you don’t want to miss out on one! People love giving thoughtful gifts, and memories from this fleeting time are among the best ideas. With the above mentioned www.babylist.com, you can add a session from Two Little Monkeys Photography right to your baby registry! You will cherish your images long after the baby stage is over.
If you are planning to breastfeed, you need one of these little guys! I didn’t know they existed until my second to last baby and it was life changing! Feed baby on one side and suction this to the other, and it will catch your letdown that would otherwise be wasted into a breast pad. Let’s be honest, pumping is not fun…this is a great way to get a freezer stash built up without having to pump!
3. WHITE NOISE
After photographing newborns for nearly a decade, this has become one of my must-haves in the studio…white noise! There are about a million white noise gadgets (including free phone apps!) but you need one of them. I’m sure there’s something scientific behind why, but white noise seriously soothes newborns and a happy baby = happy parents.
4. STRETCHY SWADDLES
Everywhere you look you find the muslin swaddle blankets – which are great – but since they have no stretch, newborns tend to ninja their way out of a swaddle pretty quickly. Again, after years of working with newborns and swaddling for photos, I’ve found that the stretchy wraps are the best! They hold baby in and allow you to get that nice tight, secure swaddle that babies love. There are lots of options out there, but my favorite shops for these are Copper Pearl and Lou Lou and Company !
**Just a quick note: swaddling at home/overnight is completely different than swaddling for a short time during a newborn session. It is not good for baby’s hips for their lower half to be tightly swaddled for long periods of time – so be sure to only make the top half/arms snug, and leave the bottom nice and loose for baby to freely kick and have healthy little hip growth!**
5. SOLLY BABY WRAP
Whether you’re a mama of many or a mama of one, you will have moments where you could really benefit from hands-free holding your babe. One of my favorite parts of having a newborn baby are those early babywearing days! The Solly Baby wraps are my absolute favorite from day one until about 4 months old. Trust me…I know when you take it out of the box and are staring at a mile long piece of fabric you’re going to wonder how in the heck you’re going to secure your baby in this thing. Watch some youtube videos, practice, and you’ll be able to do it in 30 seconds before you know it! It’s intimidating to look at, but a lifesaver once you practice a few times and you’re able to do all the things while being able to sniff your baby’s head whenever you want to! A registry MUST!
6. ZUTANO BOOTIES
Babies are wiggly. If you have endured the struggle to keep socks on a newborn/infant’s feet, you’re welcome for introducing you to these magical little booties. They fit snug around the ankles, they keep tiny feet warm, and they’re adorable…what more could you ask for? Ditch the baby socks or shoes and get a few pairs of Zutano Booties. You’ll thank me later!
7. OWLET MONITOR
When it comes to your baby, you can never be too safe. And it’s not only first time moms that lose sleep worrying about and checking on their little one all night long! I finally splurged on the Owlet with my youngest, and it has been a game changer. I’m sleeping more…which is worth any amount of money – am I right? It’s so reassuring to be able to see her O2 levels and heart rate right on my phone and know I’ll be alerted if anything goes out of the normal range!
8. NOSE FRIDA
Parenting isn’t always glamourous. Sometimes you have to suck the snot straight out of your little one’s nose! The Nose Frida is the best little gadget for helping relieve a stuffy little nose…much better than those bulb syringes they give you in the hospital! I promise it’s not as gross as it sounds.
9. LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE
I know we already covered swaddling, and those stretchy knit blankets are my favorite for newborns – but once they are a couple months old and start trying to roll or don’t like sleeping like a mummy, these Love to Dream swaddles are the greatest! They can sleep with their hands up by their face which is a comfy position for most babies but it’s just snug enough for them to feel secure and not startle themselves awake. And hello, no velcro to deal with like many other swaddle blankets/sacks!