May 13, 2011

Top 5 things for baby's first month

1. Play-yard with changing station
We got our play-yard (Graco pack 'n play) used from a co-worker for $15, and we are so glad we did. It came with a change station attachment and little compartments for holding diapers, diaper rash cream, nail clippers, and a built in compartment for wipes. Some parents use the play-yard as a bed for the baby, and we probably eventually will too, but for the first month, we used the "bed" area to store everything from extra clothes, diapers, burp cloths, cloth diapers, etc. The play-yard is a great investment since when the baby gets older, he can use it as a crib and a play pen. It's also collapsible and semi-easily movable from room to room. Graco is the preferred brand for play-yards, and it can last easily up to a few years! Many parents tell me that it's worth it even if you buy new.

2. Swaddle blankets (and lots of them)
Babies love that warm cozy feeling when they are all wrapped up, it makes them feel like they are still in mommy's tummy. We loved "The Happiest Baby on the Block" method of 5 S's, (Swaddling, Sh-ing, Swaying, Side-lying, and Sucking), with swaddling being the first and foremost in achieving baby comfort. And yes, you will need lots of them. We went through probably 5 blankets in one day, and were scrambling to do laundry. Between spit-up, pees and poos, you'll be grabbing for the nearest sheet or towel before you know it. It doesn't hurt to have extra. We love the Hudson Baby Organic Blanket , its super soft (100% organic cotton), stretchy (great for a nice tight swaddle), and a nice big size (40 x 40 inches). Now that our baby is 2 months old and 22.5 inches long, he still fits inside the blanket comfortably. The other blankets that we got were 30x30 inches, and now that he's bigger, his little feet are sticking out. I would recommend at least 8 cotton blankets, and 1 fleece blanket for extra warmth (especially if your baby is coming in colder months). If you're new at the art of swaddling, you can try getting swaddle blankets with Velcro such as the SwaddleMe or Miracle Blanket. However, these are more expensive and less versatile, they are definitely worth adding to your registry though.

3. Baby nail clippers
Some parents like to give babies little gloves to wear to prevent them from scratching their face with their new sharp nails. While the gloves are extremely cute, I found that they came off so often and soon I gave up trying to put them on all the time. With Micah, he would only scratch himself when he was frustrated or crying. So as long as we kept him fed and happy, he rarely scratched his face. However, baby nail clippers are a must, Micah's nails grew so fast I had to cut them at least once a week. Although he rarely scratched himself, I would know that he needs some grooming when he would cling on to my chest (ow!). The toe nails are less of an issue, I only cut them twice so far, so that's about once per month. Micah was born with long finger nails, since my water broke early, I always wondered if he scratched and broke the amniotic sac, is it possible? Too bad nail clippers don't work in-utero.

4. Snuggle Nest
Before the baby was born, we asked ourselves and asked our friends to try to decide on the sleeping arrangement with baby. We have a king size bed and wanted to co-sleep, but we were worried that one of us would squish the baby while we're sleeping or the like. The Snuggle Nest is great at keeping adult body parts away from the baby. It's sturdy enough that it won't be nudged away or flipped over. The bonus is a little LED light near the baby's head for some extra lighting during the midnight feedings. We got ours for $20 off Craig's List, new ones are listed for around $50. Micah is still using it now that he's 2 months old, but he's definitely filling up more of it. Our plan is to have him sleep on it until 3 month, and then try to move him to the play-yard which is also in our room. Maybe we will try him in the actual crib at 6 months in his own room, we'll see. Oh, and we prefer the version without the netting near the feet area, I heard that the netting just gets in the way when trying to get the baby out while you're lying down in the middle of the night.

5. Overbed Table
There were a few things I missed about the hospital after coming home, one was the nurse call button, another one was the overbed table thingy. Unfortunately I couldn't find the nurse call button on Amazon, but this table was available for about $40. It came in really handy when I was feeding the baby and couldn't reach far for my glass of water, or when the night stand filled up with too many books, snacks, towels, random things. This table will make you feel like a queen when you have access to food and drink you need while doing the hard work of feeding and caring for your newborn.


  1. Nice post. I have about 1 miracle blanket and 3 swaddle ones. I did check out the receiving blankets that were cotton, they seemed too thin for winter.

    I am also bit scared of using nail clippers. Have you tried filing the nails with baby emery boards?

  2. Thanks Preeti! I agree the cotton receiving blankets might be not warm enough for winter, especially for a newborn. We also have this one which is also organic, but is double thick, meaning: two layers of cotton. This particular one is a bit smaller though, For even more warmth, you can try a fleece blanket such as this one. Or a Halo Fleece Sleepsack is great too!

    Usually what I do is wait until the baby is sleeping, and then use the nail clippers. Because the nail clippers tend to leave the nails sharp, I use emery boards to finish up. Unless you intend to file the baby's nails everyday, it would be difficult to keep up with the nail growth... they grow fast! And emery boards are kinda slow.


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