Newborn Survival Guide

Newborn Survival GuideAfter Landon, I compiled a list of must have items I used with him (3 years to the day actually!). I recently saw it was getting some hits and decided I should update from my experience since then and with Oliver.

So here was a quick list from that post and my thoughts since then about them.

Top 10 From Round One: Revised

  1. Target nursing tanks – still love. Sadly, the quality of the Target ones went down hill in 3 years. I still have my old ones and much prefer them. They would adjust more than the new ones. I have to buy the bigger size for the cup size but the straps are too long. Womp. I also bought 2 “nicer” ones this go round to wear out and about because it was so hot. I would actually wear a nursing bra under them for added support but still accessible. I am now wearing them under my sweaters and such to keep my belly warm when I am nursing and pumping. I usually wear them on top of a nursing bra again for more support. I then usually sleep in the same one from the day. I pretty much always have one on.
  2. Snap shirts – We didn’t use these as much this time. Oliver was kind of indifferent to being dressed. He either hated it in all forms or didn’t care. I passed over the snap shirts more often this time in favor of just a onesie.
  3. Swaddles – Still crucial. Oliver is still in one now. He didn’t roll early so he is still being burritoed.  I even tried the Miracle blanket but I don’t like it really. It never could get tight enough the way I did it.
  4. Cradle SwingCradle swing -YES! We even bought a second one in a bit of impulse buying at 10 one night when he wouldn’t sleep any other way. We had it in our room and then in his. I was great for when it just wanted to be walked to sleep. Also helped extend cat naps. If he woke up after 20 min, I just moved him there and he would sleep another hour or more.
  5. Water bottle – Still used all the time. THe Nalgene is still my favorite one for portability and being able to operate one handed.
  6. Angelcare Monitor – We haven’t really used this time but he isn’t belly sleeping yet. It will be on when that starts, I presume.  I do know we won’t use it for as long. Near the 1 year mark with Landon, I wanted to throw it out the window. He was moving too much and it would go off. Someone ::ahem:: (not me) was still terrified and insisted on using it.
  7. Cloth diapers – Still valid. This is all Oliver’s daycare uses for burp clothes. THOUSANDS of them. They have the best soak up for spit up.
  8. Baby carrier – This was even more crucial this time. Going out with Landon to the park, playdate, parade, walks, etc. I also knew that he would always sleep this way so he slept for meals, walks, me blogging and jiggling. Some say their babies hated carriers and I weep for them. I would have lost sanity long ago without one.
  9. White noise machine – Landon still uses his to this day. We actually have 4 going in the house at night. We have a ipod dock in the bathroom between them (pocket doors) to cut down on waking each other up. Oliver has a iPod dock in his room and then a small white noise machine in the corner of the crib with the heart beat. I don’t think he really needs that one but it does provide a nice night light!
  10. iTunes track of vacuum cleaner – Once again, I listened to hours of this bit I found a white noise app to be better this time around. I could switch the sound a bit when I was going nutty over the high pitch vacuum. It was also nice to put in the swing with him on the iPhone speaker.

A New Top 10 12

  1. Additional pumping parts – It seems pricey to buy a second set of everything but TOTALLY WORTH IT. Especially now with more meals at home and even more dishes  to wash, sometimes I want to be lazy. Also this allowed me to keep a set in the fridge at home and then a set to go to work without having to wash the second I got home. I would say register for multiple sets but you don’t know what size flange you need until you use one…so find that out and then order.
  2. A simple stand up mobile/gym. I stumbled onto this later than 3 months with Landon but ended up finding one at Walmart on clearance. Nothing fancy and be sure you can change out the objects in it. Our’s has 3 hooks that we rotate toys out of with the help of the little plastic rings. I liked this SO much more than the expensive play mats. For one, we don’t have a lot of room. Both boys have spent many hours on the padded ottoman in the living room. With this mobile, you could just place it over them when needed and then set off somewhere else. It wasn’t a big contraption. Save the money.
  3. A nice travel mug – or get used to cold coffee. I would make some and sip here and there when I had a free second. It was also nice so you weren’t risking spilling coffee on a feeding baby. I recommend the double walled metal ones from Starbucks. They are expensive but totally worth it. We are talking HOURS of hot coffee. Be sure to get one with a lid you can operate with one hand.
  4. Feeted pants – Baby socks are annoying. I do have some we like but feeted pants and sleepers are the way to go by far.
  5. Ear plugs – It took me years to get this with Landon. I had severe sleep anxiety. Even if he slept, I would lie awake waiting for him to wake up. Every toss and turn would wake me up. It sucked. This also was a result of a husband that wanted the monitor turned up. So I started wearing ear plugs. I can still hear if he baby cries but I just don’t hear all the rest of the grunting and moving around. Also helpful when you need to take a nap and remove yourself from chaos.
  6. Pumping bra – Hands free at it’s finest. I can’t even remember how I did it without it now. I have to recommend this one. I have a fancier one but it is too thick and complicated. Great gift for a mom that will pump in any capacity.
  7. A smart phone – One for ERRBODY. I needed it while nursing for entertainment. I needed it for white noise in a variety of places (car, swing, stroller). I needed one for the toddler to keep him entertained when playing zone defense. I needed it to look up crap all the time. Not sure how I would survive without it.
  8. Black out curtains – Both my boys were searching out light in the nursery to fight sleep. It was so aggrevating. Blackout curtains to the rescue. It also helps keep them asleep a little longer :).
  9. Lorex MonitorVideo monitor – I have talked about this before. Great for seeing what is going on without interrupting. I can see when he wakes up happy. I can see if he is free from the swaddle. I can see his face if he is going back to sleep or up for good. I wish we would have had it with Landon…I think he would have been sleeping through the night early if so.
  10. Netflix/Hulu Plus – We don’t have cable. We have AppleTV with both of these accounts. I could watch, pause, startover anything. I watched 3 seasons of That 70’s show while just nursing on maternity leave! When Kevin was home, we watched Scrubs. Glorious. It is also nice to have on demand watching for when you need to brainwash your toddler while you nurse the baby!
  11. Nice bottle bag – We have to take a bottle bag with Oliver to daycare. I used the same one with Landon. Trick is to buy a tall bag for when the bottles get bigger. This also applies to the bottle bag you take to work to pump. I need mine to hold 2 small bottles to pump into and then one large for collecting. Then I put the horns in the bag too to save on washing.
  12. Nice drying rack – Even with a baby who only takes usually 2 bottles a day, we still have lots to wash with pump parts and such. Get a nice rack. Soon it will be bottles and little food containers. Get one that takes up less space and still has a lot of spots. Think vertical.


Hopefully this helps someone out. I know there are a million of these suckers on the web. This was just our take on it.

Now a break down of helpful previous posts about newborns!

Welcome Oliver Daniel: A Birth Story

Welcome Landon Thomas!



Newborn Tip of the Week #3 {Babywearing}

Review: Brica Infant Comfort Canopy Car Seat Cover

New Mom Gifts

Baby Noises

Things I Love – Amazon Subscribe and Save


Things I Love – Pregtastic Podcasts

Things I love – Lorex Baby Monitor



Newborn Tip of the Week {Sleep Tip}

Infant Sleep

First Daze and Nightzzz: A Sleep Coach Interview

Tellin it like it is: CIO

Infant Nighttime Routine Win




When Breastfeeding Hits a Snag

Oliver Feeding Update

Newborn Tip of the Week #1

Newborn Tip of the Week #2 {Pumping}

Newborn Tip of the Week {Pumping Storage}

Pumping and the Working Mom


Let’s talk about boobs

Let’s hear it for the num nums!

Nipple Sandwiches


Babies are hard:

Mental Leap 1

Wonder Week 12: Transitions

Landon 2.0

I hate

Transitioning to Work

A little more than the blues

Let’s talk PPD {Part 1 of 2}

Let’s Talk PPD {Part 2 of 2}

Therapy writing

11 thoughts on “Newborn Survival Guide

  • November 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    YAY! Such a great list – THANKS! 🙂

  • November 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    So much of this stuff didn’t even exists when my kids were babies and they’re only 5 & 7. Next time around (if that happens) I’m totally getting the video baby monitor, not so I can sit there and make sure the kid is still breathing, but so I can look and see if they really need me or not…so I can sleep.

    Also, I relate to the sleep anxiety, you just lay there with your heart racing after hearing the smallest grunt.

  • November 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Love the idea of more pumping parts. Quick question… did you buy or rent a pump? If you purchased yours what type did you get. I have a Medella pump ‘n style that I used with my first but I’m hearing that renting a Symphony is the way to go. Especially for working moms that have to pump quickly on breaks. Thoughts?

    Such a great post and tons of info! Nice work putting this all together!

    • November 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      I did both. I have a pump and style I keep at work at the moment. Had it with Landon. I rented a Symphony on maternity leave and turn it in next week. I would recommend it for maternity leave hands down. Build your supply up more with it. It is NOT portable. I can’t imagine taking it to and from work. Right now I use it at night only and weekends. I can’t tell that it is getting much more than that pump and style at this point. My supply is pretty established. The symphony is also WAY quieter. Hope that answers the question

  • November 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Totally bookmarking this. I have a feeling I’m going to need it for referencing over the next couple of months!

  • November 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Couple of questions about the stuff on your list.

    Carriers: how many do you have? Which do you like and why?

    Monitor: Don’t you have a duel video monitor? How does it work with both boys? How do you know which camera the noise is coming from? What happens if they both cry at the same time?

    Sorry to bombard you with questions.

    • November 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Carriers: I have a Moby Wrap and an Ergo. I like both. The Ergo is way easier. Just snap and go. When he was a newborn, easily the best choice for me but now he is in a weird spot. He is too tall to “stand up” in it with my short body but not big enough to wrap his legs around me. I have been using he Moby lately because his feet can dangle more because of my proportions. It is also softer.

      Monitor: Yes. The Lorex can accomidate up to 4 cameras. Each boy has a camera. It will only keep the sound of one at the time…obviously. You can set it to rotate through the rooms and show a grid on the screen like that shot in the post. It just switches every few seconds. This is too annoying for night time but fine during the day or what not. At night we have the sound part of the angel care set up in Ollie’s room and listen for Landon on the video monitor. I can switch over the video to Oliver if needed. Right now we want to see if Landon is having a nose bleed more than a sleeping swaddled baby 🙂 We also have a small house and I can hear them cry out without the monitors honestly.

  • November 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Hi- re: pump parts…. You may already know this but Rex Hospital in Raleigh has a “maternity store” and they sell pump parts super cheap – or way cheaper than you can get them in the store. They also sell nursing bras, nipple shields, etc for much less than even Target.

    Unfortunately, my milk dried up after a month and I was left with a ton of pumping/nursing stuff – thankfully I sold some of it.

    • November 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Yes! I was in there a few days after Landon was born. I actually got my extra parts off amazon since I knew what I needed. There is also BF supplies available at WakeMed Cary in the gift shop. They carry a lot of that stuff as well.

  • December 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

    extra pumping parts!! yes!! and a pumping bra!! these two have made my life SOOO much easier!! and the blackout curtains–definitely!! i made some for K’s room with fabric, stitch witchery & an iron.

    i would add sleepers–i’m a lazy mom & real outfits are just too much work when he’s getting a fresh diaper every couple if hrs. i esp love the zip up ones–don’t know what i’ll do when he’s in a size when they stop making them!! 🙂

    • December 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

      I like sleepers too but I only have enough for nighttime rotation right now. Womp.


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