These 19+ newborn baby tips will save you some serious stress and time!
Living in the north means that when the season changes, so do ALL the clothes and gear – and I’m finding alot of newborn stuff that somehow missed last years season change purge!
We have alot of change going on around here – the girls have finally moved out of our room, each kid now has their own “gear rack”, we’re building a new climbing wall, and so much more…
We were so busy this summer that alot of cleaning and organizing sort of fell to the way side. I had to go through a ton of drawers today, and sort of reminisced at the overflow of muslins, tiny tiny baby mocassins, and tiny diapers that had fallen behind things!
Some of these baby things I absolutely loved – some of them I think I purchased because all those “must have” baby registry things suggested I needed it or else I’d fail somehow!
It’s so easy to get caught up in buying cute stuff, and tons of those little newborn onsies (that they are only in for like a month!) and now that I look back at it, there’s a couple of “hacks” I could have told myself that would have saved alot of money!
So hopefully you are reading this BEFORE your baby has arrived, or perhaps they just arrived and you forgot to buy some things, and are wondering what you actually need!
Here’s my list of newborn hacks I wish I would have known!
P.S. I wanted to let you know that I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will get a small commission (at not extra cost to you) should you purchase anything through my links!
The muslins are cute, but if you plan on swaddling, buy a darn velcro one!
I can’t tell you how many cute muslins I received (I counted at least 12 today!) that I had practiced diligently with on a baby doll. They looked so adorable all wrapped up in their cute woodland critters muslin!
But let me tell you… when the real baby comes, and it’s 1 in the morning after a crazy poop diaper you don’t have the time or energy to fumble with that cute thing. Or to have them escape out of it (because each tiny baby somehow manages to houdini out) half way through their nap then wake up freaking out!
No. Time. For. That!
The velcro swaddles come in multiple sizes, are super snug, and ensure you don’t swaddle them wrong! It turns out you can actually swaddle their hips too tight and impact the development of that area!!
There are amazing “transition swaddles” that come with removable arm attachments so that the switch from full swaddle to “sack” isn’t so rough! I absolutely loved them, and I wish I would have done that with my first! We got so frustrated with trying to get the muslin swaddle to stay that we just didn’t use it. And I believe if we had he would have slept ALOT better (all babies love that comfy cozy womb feeling!).
With my twins, we decided to work smart and not hard and ordered the peapod style swaddle for birth, then velcros and transitions!
Speaking of saving time over being cute – DO NOT BUY BUTTONS!
Zippers are th way to go when it comes to PJs. Buttons are fine for day time clothes when you have the light, time and energy to deal with it.
But at night after a diaper change or feed, you’re just trying to get that baby ready for bed again as soon as possible before they “fully wake up”.
The more time you fiddle with the buttons, the more time they have to come to and become much harder to put back to sleep!
My husband got so frustrated with them one night that he straight said that we are done with these (all our button long onsies) and we promptly donated them.
BTW, I highly encourage buying used for most things!
Save money and buy some used stuff
I don’t expect the first time parent to listen to this (I didn’t either!) because it’s way too exciting buying everything for this little bundle of love.
BUT, if you don’t mind saving serious amounts of money, go to a nice 2nd hand store (I personally love “Once Upon a Child”) and buy used!
Most 1 year and under items are only in used for 2-3 months. And at 15 dollars a pop for things like long onsies or special clothes, you can save some money and buy them used!
In our local Once Upon a Child they actually have One Dollar Onsie Days! They are the short ones, but I do stock up on those because it’s nice to have plenty in the car, the diaper bag, and buy the bed for emergency blow outs!
You could use that extra money to buy special outfits or other baby gear you find you need!
Download the wonder weeks app
With babies, it feels like sleep and naps and whatever else will be AMAZING for a week! And you’ll think you have it figured out, and wonder why the other moms are struggling so hard with getting their babies to sleep through the night, eat new food, take good naps… then BAM!
Everything is lost, they don’t sleep good anymore, and you’re all of a sudden “eats everything” baby only wants fruit!
With my first, I assumed I messed up somewhere! Things were going so good – what in the world did I do to mess up what we had going?
With my twins, I had heard of this app and decided to try it.
HOLY cow was it peace of mind!
This app tells you when “wonder weeks” are happening, meaning massive development that will cause your baby to be fussy or all of a sudden perceive things different.
That peace of mind was especially helpful in predicting the clingy phase! That time when your baby is cool with anyone holding them, then all of a sudden ONLY mom (or dad!) can feed them, or can never leave their site!
I highly recommend it!
Start some sort of sleep association/routine early
No, I’m not talking about sleep training! I’m talking about, from the time they are born, always trying to do similar things.
That might be a book and a song, or a cuddle and nurse…
It’s not recommended to bring “stuffies” or blankies in bed before a year (though you can make your own choice, mine did have a small stuff at around 9 months) but you can still cuddle with them with it!
This is super helpful to help them associate the stuffy with you, and it might help them should they need help at night, or you decide to co sleep and transition them eventually.
When babies are young, they don’t have a schedule, no matter how much you force it. But you can do the same thing every night so they eventually learn ” When A B and C happens, that means bed happens!”
That SERIOUSLY helps as they get older!
My son was a nightmare with this – my twins were 100 times easier because I didn’t have the luxury of napping with them when they napped. So every nap was in their bed! We co slept, and this made that transition to their own beds at night way easier since they were already napping in their own bed during the day (and we had a routine of sorts!)
Speaking of sleep… buy an owlet (or some kind of movement monitor!)
Holy cow, that was one of THE BEST purchases I have ever made in my life, and probably one of the best newborn tips I can give you – the gift of restful sleep!
Again, my son didn’t have one, but since the twins had a rough start, we decided to make the investment and buy them each an owlet for use during naps and night time.
I was so scared at the beginning with my first – I was scared of SIDs, scared of some undiagnosed medical condition popping up at night and I couldn’t help him…
But the owlet helps with all of the night time worry! It monitors their oxygen and heart rate, and alerts both your phone and the devices base should anything go below a set level!
They wore theirs from 0-6 months, and it was so nice knowing they were OK so that I could actually get some rest!
P.S. It is a little pricey. If you can’t afford it, trying looking into the “Knox Blocks” Foundation. They gift owlets to families in need! I know a couple of moms on my NICU FB page have gotten one!
Also, if it just isn’t in the cards for you the Snuza is an alternative. It doesn’t monitor heart or oxygen rate, but it does monitor movement by being clipped to baby’s diaper.
I had this for my son, and it was great for as long as he stayed sleeping on his back!
Get a rechargeable baby monitor
We made the mistake of buying one that takes batteries… and holy cow, that things eats up triple As like none other!
We use the monitor alot when we’re camping so that we are able to hear what’s going on in our camper when we’re hanging out by the fire or whatever.
I used to have an amazing rechargeable monitor that got destroyed during a long trip, but it was so nice to be able to clip it to my pants if I wanted to do some yard work outside, or if I wanted to listen to loud music..
Just make sure to get one that can at least work without being plugged in!
Use a nail file to trim baby’s nails instead of clippers
It is SCARY clipping nails so tiny! Even though they do sell tiny little baby nail clippers, those things are really hard to use and see what’s going on!
Once they start moving around, it becomes even harder! Unless you get them to fall asleep in your lap, AND they are a deep sleeper and don’t wake up after being messed with…
It’s just way easier and safer to use a nail file to trim their nails!
You can hurt them that way, and their nails are so tiny this goes pretty darn fast!
Don’t buy too many “newborn” onsies
This of course will vary by baby’s size, but in general, babies will grow out of those suckers after 1-2 months!
I know there are A TON of adorable onsies, but try and get a variety of sizes so you’re set and ready for a while!
I honestly think 12 onesies are fine!
This is with doing laundry every 3 days – I just assume I might use up to 2 a day, and that leaves 2 extra for blowouts!
That also leaves extra to store in the car and diaper bag for on the go messes!
Have a place to store clothes that are too small
Don’t be like me and keep stuffing the things that are too small in the back of the drawer.
Or throwing them into a seldom used nook between a couch and a table!
Get a bin, label it something like “0-6 months (something that will be easy to organize or resell later on) and put it all in there!
You know how I mentioned finding random little things earlier everywhere?
My son is 3, and my twins are 16 months… I shouldn’t still be finding newborn socks, 3 months pants and things everywhere!
I did eventually get with the game, and made two bins for the two different age groups for my kids clothes.
Now it will be way easier come garage sale or donate time to get rid of it all!
Don’t be afraid to see a lactation consultant
Don’t stress so much about your supply that you inadvertently lose it!
If you are unsure if you’re baby is getting enough milk, or if you just want to see that you’re doing everything right, your hospital will likely have a resident lactation consultant to help you out!
They can weigh your baby before and after feedings with a super precise scale so that they can see if your baby ate an adequate amount.
Lactation consultants can also check for things like lip tie, tongue tie, flat nipples, and more issues that you might not have known about!
P.S. If you do plan on breastfeeding or pumping, don’t forget to stay organized should your supply drop
So most of my breastfeeding information, once I left the hospital, ended up being on random pieces of paper or half heartedly entered into phone apps I always forgot to update.
I’m a paper person – I always prefer a book over a kindle, to take notes on a notepad when I’m brainstorming as opposed to typing… so I wanted something nice for my pumping and breastfeeding sessions!
Whenever my supply dipped, I needed to power pump as well as keep track of what my numbers were. I also got tired of googling what should be basic information! The result of all this is below!
This free breastfeeding printable set includes
- A pumping log with spaces to note how much you pumped frome each side (which could be subbed for minutes on each side for breastfeeding mamas) + more
- The power pumping schedule (with a checkbox chart so you know how many sessions you’ve completed)
- Weekly Milk Boosting food guide and water tracker
- The moist and chocolatey lactation cookie recipe I used to nurse my twins for over a year
- A quick reference guide on safe milk storage!
But also don’t be afraid to supplement or formula feed if necessary!
I know a lot of moms top priority is to breastfeed… but sometimes that just doesn’t work!
I breastfed my son for 18 months and only weaned because my doctor told me to due to the risks of a twin pregnancy.
I tried the same thing with my twins and was in tears at around 6 months because it felt like I was attached to the pump and that they were always hungry.
Yes, they were getting straight breast milk. But in return, they were getting a stressed mama, my son was getting no time with me, and my husband was getting the worst of everything at the end of the night.
I finally went to the store, after much research, and bought some formula.
There’s so much pressure nowadays to breastfeed, that it got into my head and I almost cried buying it.
But HOLY COW my stress levels dropped immediately once I was able to supplement with 1 or 2 formula bottles while I worked on my supply (check out how I did that here!)
If you choose to formula feed, save your sanity and buy a Brezza
Do you wonder how you’ll get a perfect warm bottle in the middle of the night with the correct measurement of formula before your little one freaks out too much?
I did! When I stopped breastfeeding at night, I wondered how in the world would I get the “on demand” milk they were used to when they breastfed.
In steps the Brezza!
Think a Keurig for formula! This baby keeps a reservoir of perfect warm water and at the push of a button, mixes your formula of choice and creates whatever size bottle you want (2-10 ounces!)
This was a life saver at night!
I heard about it from my friends who formula fed their babies (she planned to breastfeed and tried harder than anyone I knew, but unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards due to medical reasons) and I was in love with it!
Buy a baby carrier of sorts if you plan on getting anything done
Being outdoorsy people before my son was born, we had already purchased a hiking backpack and front carrier.
I think I used it almost as much at home as we did outside!
Trying to cram all your chores into the small, sporadic naps a baby takes in the beginning is beyond stressful.
I know everyone says to “sleep when the baby sleeps” but for me, a messy house makes me feel even worse!
I’d rather clean while wearing the baby so that when they sleep I can relax and watch a show or something!
Just a warning – babies won’t have good enough head control at the start to go into a backpack style carrier. I loved the ergo with the newborn insert, and when it was time, transitioned to the backpack because I found it easier to do dishes and things without a baby taking up half my arm / work space!
Here are some baby wraps that are perfect for that newborn stage!
Get doubles of items you’ll use a lot
I know it sounds petty now, but when you’re in the trenches of babyhood, it will be nice not to have to lug your boppy from one room to the other!
I had a boppy in my bedroom for night time feeds, and a second boppy in the living room where we hung out most of the day.
Some other duplicates you might like to keep on hand are
- Bottles and nipples
- Special loveys
- Medical stuff like nose suckers, thermometers (those somehow get lost easy in my house)
Have an extra set of YOUR OWN clothes while out and about!
It is common advice to have extra baby clothes everywhere, but don’t forget about yourself!
I have had to frantically clean poop off my sleeves and pee off my pants! I honestly never knew how far poop could go, and even girls can sometimes get pee pretty far!
If you tend to wear darker clothes it won’t be seen as easy, but the smell will likely still be there!
Everyone will likely understand because you know… you’re a mom.. but you don’t have to be OK with that if you don’t want to!
Upgrade your typical baby medical set
You know what comes in those perfectly packaged sets – a bulb nose sucker, a thermometer with a tiny tiny end and little nail clippers!
Instead, opt for the following
- A Nose Frida – You might be grossed out at first (you are using your own sucking power to pull the boogies out!) but I have used this for 3 babies and never once gotten a mouth full of gross. Instead, with the Nose Frida, I’ve been able to have way better control of how much suction I am using, and seeing if I am actually getting anything out. It’s also easier to tell if their nose is stopped up or not because when you suck, you can feel if something is blocking the airflow or if all is clear!
- An instant-read thermometer – I had the most difficult time getting a squirming, sick baby to stay still long enough to get a temperature check under the arm. I much preferred to use one of the instant read thermometers that just scans the forehead temp! Don’t forget to convert that temperature to their ACTUAL (rectal is thought to be the most accurate, so if you check their temp under their arm, in the ear, or on their head you need to double check what that means!) This chart was handy for knowing what their temperature was depending on where I took it!
Be ready for when teething starts
Babies can actually start “teething” WAY before those teeth ever come!
You’ll have a nap schedule down, they finally play by themselves… then it hits.
Now they fuss all day (which I get!), don’t want to be put down, and you feel awful because how awful they feel!
Make sure to have some teething remedies on hand!
My girls love the following for teething
- Teething crackers
- “Suckies” – They are netted sucker type things you can put frozen fruit in so that it numbs their gums AND taste good!
- Teething toys that have a freezable liquid in them so that you can freeze it and babies can chew on it while also providing relief for their gums!
You DON’T need to wash your baby every day!
In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, 2 to 3 times a week is fine!
Don’t forget that until your baby’s umbilical cord falls off at around 2 or 3 weeks, sponge baths only!
I know some people include a bath as part of the bed time routine… but holy cow, that’s a long routine!
I prefer to keep the bath as something fun, and not spend half an hour each night bathing them!
To each their own of course. My good friend still bathes each of her two kids every single night!
Do you have any baby tips you wish you would have known looking back?
Honestly, I’ll probably add to this post as I keep going through things! Next year we’re having our big garage sale of all the one year and under stuff.
After I’m done crying (OK, actually I probably won’t. I’m not going to be someone who misses the baby stage all that much… I like potty trained talking kiddos a little better!) I will add anything awesome I forgot to this list!
Hey mama! You might also be interested in reading these baby and pregnancy articles too!
- 5 Natural Methods to Start Labor that many moms agree on!
- If you plan on being a SAHM, find out how to beat the mom burn out!
- If your baby might be coming home on oxygen, it might be scary BUT find out how we made at home oxygen work for 2 months at home!
- Is your family an outdoorsy, camping family like us? Then you may want to check out these camping baby must haves to have a stress free, post baby camping trip!
- Plan on breastfeeding? It’s not as easy as such a natural act would imply! Find out these 21 solutions to common breastfeeding issues!
- Is it now a couple months post baby, and your tummy still looks the same? Do you have alot of indigestion or back ache? Then this might be what’s going on with your stomach post baby!