I'm very conscious of what I put on and in my kids' little bodies, and whenever possible, I opt for natural products. The Earth Mama Angel Baby line is 100% natural. I discovered it with their Third Trimester Tea (yummy!) and went on to order these two products, both of which are wonderful. The bottom balm is cloth diaper safe, which is neccessary for us, smells divine, and works beautifully - a thin coating between diaper changes keeps Cole's teeny bum healthy and rash free. The nipple butter blows any other product I've tried out of the water - waaaay better than the lanolin-based creams I used the first time around, and being all natural (and vegan, to boot!), you don't have to worry about wiping it off before nursing, or about baby ingesting any of the ingredients.
Speaking of natural products - the California Baby line is another of my absolute favorites. Cole is having some skin issues, which are common for newborns as their hormones get all adjusted post-birth. He's got some crazy combination skin happening - oily and dry all at the same time. The calendula bodywash is super gentle and non-irritating, and the cream is soothing and hydrating on all his dry patches. I use both of these products on myself and Jake as well and love them!
Even if you're breastfeeding, odds are you'll need a pump of some sort - to relieve engorgement, or pump when you're away from baby, build up a freezer stash, etc. I have a double electric pump that I purchased when I returned to work after having my first, and it will be my go-to again this time for use at work. But here at home, I find myself reaching for my manual pump almost every time. It's so quick and easy to use, and I'm finding I actually pump more with it than my electric. It's quiet and not dependent on batteries or a wall charger. I love it, and for the price (retails around $35-$40 depending on where you purchase it), you can't beat it.
And speaking of nursing - another must have are breast pads. Especially in the early days, there's a lot of leakage happening and no one needs that. Last time, I used disposable nursing pads, but along with my transition to cloth diapers and wipes, I opted for the reusable route this time. These Bamboobies pads are amazing - the daytime ones are super soft and thin but still get the job done, and the nighttime ones are so absorbent and feel wonderful next to your skin.
Ok, ok, one more nursing must-have! Good nursing bras are a breastfeeding mama's best friend. This is my new favorite - it's the "Stella" by Bravado for Target. Smooth, seamless, soft, stretchy and supportive, plus easy to use. It's a winner all around!
My first baby was born in the summer - a whole different ball game than a winter baby! Around here it's been cold, and by cold, I mean absolutely ARCTIC in the weeks since Cole was born. That's why fleece sleepers are at the top of my newborn must-have list. They are so easy to get on and off, so plush and cozy, and keep baby warm from head (well, neck, technically) to toe. I wish I had a million of them, because there's no real end to this Alaskan weather in sight.
And last but not least, a treat for mama and baby - a glider and ottoman set. I had an upholstered rocking chair in Jake's nursery, and it was a very pretty chair, but it was not cut out for nursing. No lumbar support, the back wasn't high enough to rest my head on, and it moved all over the place when you rocked it. My parents gifted me with this set for Christmas, and it's like a little vacation every night when I nurse the baby before he goes to bed. It's likely the first time I've been able to put my feet up all day, and the nursery is quiet and dark and we're snuggled up together...I'm not going to lie, I often doze a bit myself while he finishes up his bedtime snack :)
So there's all the "Crap for Kids" that has propelled me through the newborn haze. The list of essentials will surely change as he grows so stay tuned for an update!