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Recommended Gifts - Newborns & Infants

Shopping List for Your New Baby

I'm often asked by new parents what to buy before the baby arrives. I truly believe that 99% of what your baby needs is YOU. Your arms, your breasts, your warmth, your voice, your presence. Sure, a few blankets depending on the weather, and diapers but really, much of what is promoted to parents before they have a baby is completely unnecessary.

However, there are some items now available to parents that make life happier all around. Baby carriers like wraps and slings promote bonding and allow you to use your hands while still holding your baby securely. Nursing pillows make it easier to begin the breastfeeding relationship without hunching over and giving yourself a neck ache.  Some strollers and car seats are better than others, if you need a stroller or car seat. And probiotics may even help with colic!

So I'm a huge fan of anything that makes it easier to meet your baby’s needs, and your own. Since you won't be shopping with a newborn, you do want the necessities in advance. Here's my short list:

ESSENTIAL:

  • Diapers -  The rule of thumb is ten diapers/day. Wondering about cloth vs disposable? Disposables are more expensive over time and experts agree that they're worse for the environment. Cloth can be used for more than one child, and are much easier to use than they used to be. However, many parents say they just aren't absorbent enough to keep their baby comfortable all night, so some parents still use disposables at night.  Here's a link to a forum at Mothering.com that has many links within it to start you on your decision-making journey:  http://www.mothering.com/community/t/244102/making-a-diaper-choice-cloth-vs-disposable.
  • Infant car seat if you will be taking baby home in a car. You might consider one that converts to a stroller so you don't wake your sleeping baby
  • Sling, Wrap or other baby carrier - Essential. I recommend the Moby wrap, below, but here's a great forum at Mothering as you start thinking about which is best for you: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1297854/baby-carriers-wraps-slings.  You can even make your own!
  • Changing pad - You don't need anything fancy. You can fold up washable baby blankets and toss them in the wash every day.
  • Either washcloths or newborn wipes.
  • Undershirts or onesies, socks, hats.
  • Baby gowns with the opening at the feet are so easy for dressing newborns.
  • Blankets- Several receiving blankets & a warmer one.
  • Diaper bag - You can use anything, including an old backpack, but internal pockets are really helpful to stay organized.
  • Salve to prevent cracked nipples. Lansinoh is great, cheap & readily available (below), or go organic with Earth Mama Angel Baby. Many moms swear by Motherlove Nipple Cream, which is petroleum-free and can be used on baby's skin as well as yours.
  • Nursing bras and nursing clothes/nightgown so that you can nurse easily. Other nursing apparel is great but you can buy it later. 
  • Reuteri infant drops made by Biogaia (Probiotics to prevent colic)
  • Swaddle blanket- Swaddling keeps the newborn feeling more like she felt in utero, meaning held and cushioned. Otherwise, babies often startle easily, wave their arms around, and wake themselves up. You can use a receiving blanket, but a swaddling blanket makes it easier.

NICE TO HAVE:

  • Nursing pillow - Makes getting started with breastfeeding much easier.
  • Glider (or other comfortable rocker)-- not a necessity but oh so comfortable and smooth for nursing baby. BUT if you have an older child, I strongly advise that while that child is awake you nurse on the couch or in a big chair where all three of you can fit. Less sibling rivalry!
  • Baby bag (instead of snowsuit/coat)
  • Breast pump and bottles to express milk if you'll be giving bottles.
  • Baby monitor
  • Stroller
  • Infant "bouncy" seat (a place to put the baby down so she can watch safely while you cook or whatever.)
  • Baby bath tub- Bathing with baby is great.  Especially good to nurse in tub. Nylon/mesh sling is good if you won’t be bathing with baby.
  • Fan for the baby's room. New research shows that circulating air can reduce the incidence of SIDS.
  • Humidifier to keep the air moist in the winter.

Family Bed Co-Sleeping Pad

I think this bolster is essential for cosleeping.  Keeps baby safely on Mom's side of the bed for nighttime nursing, without any risk of falling off.  This also lets parents stay covered under their blankets, without covering the baby.  Also lets you cosleep with a second child on the other side of you.  The pillow can also double as a body pillow during pregnancy.  Highly recommended.


 

Sleep Soother - Whisbear Baby Sound Machine

Like most sleep soothers, this one emits the white noise that research shows is soothing to babies. And like most soothers, this one operates for 40 minutes and then switches off to save the battery. But some sleep soothers actually wake the baby when they go silent because of the change in sound. With this soother, if the baby wakes again, the sound goes on for an additional 20 minutes, which helps the baby go back to sleep. You can also adjust the sound volume. Cuddly plush with rustling ears. Safely attach it to a crib, car seat or stroller with securely sewn in magnets. One drawback -- it doesn't have a heartbeat or music, only the white noise.

Moby Wrap 100% Cotton Solid Baby Carrier

Why is the Moby such a highly rated baby carrier?

  • Uses the entire back and shoulders to the distribute weight
  • Wide piece of fabric to wrap over both shoulders
  • Keeps baby warm while freeing both hands
  • Develops a strong and secure attachment to parents
  • Can be used for a preemie to 35 pounds child

Simplisse Gia Nursing Pillow

  • First-of-its-kind patented design by a lactation consultant - holds baby's head up higher for better digestion
  • Easy to switch sides, unlike some pillows
  • Thick-to-thin design to grow with baby for virtually limitless nursing positions
  • Shell is anti-microbial and resistant to spills, stains and odors, quilted down-like 100% cotton shell
  • Machine wash and dry/retains shape throughout washing, use with or without covers/covers sold separately
  • Offers multiple sitting and propping positions for baby,

Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil for Infant Massage

Calendula Baby Oil is naturally effective and helps add silky softness to a gentle infant massage. Extra moisturizing for dry skin and top of baby’s head too, if it’s dry and scaly. Calendula-infused grape seed baby oil blend moisturizes dry skin and scalp, with virtually no scent and without artificial fragrance or nut oils. Because baby skin comes out all-natural - let’s keep it that way!

HALO Newborn Micro-Fleece Sleepsack Swaddle

Swaddling keeps the newborn feeling more like she felt in utero, meaning held and cushioned. Otherwise, babies often startle easily, wave their arms around, and wake themselves up. You can use a receiving blanket, but a swaddling blanket makes it easier, especially for big babies. This sleepsack also keeps the baby warm so you don't have to use blankets, which are a suffocation hazard.

Lamaze Activity Toy, Freddie the Firefly

Perfect for hanging over the car seat to keep your baby happy while you drive. Designed by child development experts from Yale University, this plush toy offers visual, auditory and tactile interest. Sorry, can only be shipped within the US.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin

Don't let the discomfort of sore nipples interrupt your nursing relationship. Liquid gold for breastfeeding mothers! Soothes, heals and protects dry, cracked nipples and other skin. Start using before delivery to condition skin (and great for stretchmarks, too.)

  • Endorsed in the US by LaLeche League International.
  • Safe for baby. Lansinoh does not have to be removed prior to breastfeeding.
  • Pure, hypoallergenic and completely natural.
  • Product of the United Kingdom.

Motherlove Nipple Cream

  • All natural herbal salve quickly relieves the discomfort of sore, cracked nursing nipples
  • All ingredients are safe for ingestion, so it does not need to be washed off prior to breastfeeding baby
  • Made with 100% certified organic ingredients
  • Nipple Cream also serves as an excellent diaper rash ointment

Stomp Rocket Dueling Rockets

This special Stomp Rocket with Dueling Base lets 2 kids (or a grownup and child!) launch air rockets at the same time, so you can see whose goes higher! Better yet, estimate how high each one went and add them together, for a score that's higher when you work together! Great for year round fun to get kids away from screen time, play with outdoor toys, and move their bodies.

Weighted Lap Pad

This 2lb Lap Pad helps your kids stay calm and less anxious.

  • Compact size makes it easy to carry with kids to many off-site locations and school
  • Helps kids stay focused in class
  • Used on lap or on the shoulders for a gentle hug, help kids feel secure, grounded, and safe
  • Weighted lap pads have been proven useful as a calming tool for individuals with sensory issues

Totem: the Feel-Good Game

Foster and strengthen positive relationships between family members by playing a conversation card game that encourages kids to see themselves from a growth mindset.

  • Great self-esteem activity.
  • Bonding experience for siblings.
  • Helps children talk about things that challenge them in a way that feels safe and fun.
  • A way to develop your mindfulness by simply being in the present moment feeling all these good vibes about your unique talents.
  • Not all serious -- fun and engaging for all ages!
  • Age 7 to adult.

Outdoor Toddler Scavenger Hunt Cooperative Card Game at The Park

A perfect first game for little ones! Toddler Scavenger Hunt Cards contain 20 double-sided sturdy cards that provide simple, satisfying questions and prompts to guide your toddler. Playing with the cards builds vocabulary and increases confidence and encourages toddlers to explore the world around them.

  • Tap into your child’s natural curiosity about the world around them by exploring it together with this game! Playing with the Toddler Scavenger Hunt cards will increase your toddler’s observational skills and expand their learning. A cooperative game that both you and your child can enjoy together.

The Floor is Lava - Interactive Game for Kids and Adults

The Floor is Lava! is a game where players must imagine the floor is molten hot lava while spinning the color wheel to jump to the right foam pieces to reach safety. The Floor is Lava! is a family game that promotes physical activity, an active imagination, and engaging excitement for kids and adults. Perfect family activity for moving your body inside or out!

  • This game gets children jumping, leaping, playing, and improving their strength, conditioning, balance, and endurance! 
  • Each of these cushioned, durable, slip-resistant foam stepping stones can be used during outdoor parties or indoor sleepovers.

Grateful Together: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Their Parents

It isn’t always easy for kids and parents to talk. This shared, back-and-forth journal inspires communication and gratitude, doing surprising and wonderful things to strengthen the bond between any child and their caregiver.

  • There’s a huge range of activities and prompts that don’t repeat, so each entry reveals something different.

Our Sharing Journal: Journal Notebook for Kids and Parents

In a little as 5 minutes a day, both parents and kids can enjoy this simple and fun journal. This journal is sure to get you and your kids laughing, doodling (every page has space for drawing) and connecting like never before.

Playfoam

Preschoolers are free to express their creativity, with squishy, squashy Playfoam that never dries out! Just squish up the Playfoam, shape it however you like, then squash it back down and start all over again.

  • Non-Toxic, safe and fun sensory play

Bluetooth Shower Speaker

If you have a teen who listens constantly to music, giving them this iFox iF012 Bluetooth Shower Speaker will earn you coolest parent status. Wireless and Certified Waterproof, it pairs easily to all your bluetooth devices, so your teen can stream their music from their phone and listen while they're in the shower. Given how much time some teens spend in the bathroom, that's a big plus.

  • Fully Submersible and 100% Waterproof (IP67 certified)
  • Excellent, loud HD sound with an impressive 5 watts of power
  • Connects to all Bluetooth Devices in less that 6 seconds
  • Up to 10hrs playing time before recharging
  • Dedicated suction cup included (detachable) & Carabiner Hook
  • Built-in-Mic for hands free calls
  • 33ft wide Bluetooth range
  • Pairs easily to any bluetooth devices such as phones, tablets, computer, radio

Monkey Noodle Stretchy String Fidget

Stretch, pull, twirl, wrap and squeeze the Monkey Noodles - then watch them bounce back to their original shape! They're perfect for sensory and tactile stimulation.

Balance Stepping Stones

10 Soft and Durable Stones that encourage early learning and physical activity.

  • Develop balancing skills while jumping from stone to stone, playing play hot lava or crocodiles in the water.
  • Create a new obstacle playground everyday
  • Can be used indoors or out!
  • 2019 TOY OF THE YEAR AWARD for excellence by Creative Child Magazine
  • May slip on some floors - consider adding grips to bottom if you find them too slippery.

Magic Doodle Mat

This extra large water drawing doodling mat encourages hours of creative expression!

  • Fill the magic pen with clean water and draw on the magic drawing mat. After 3-10 minutes, it magically disappears, and kid can doodle on it over and over again.

Indoor Scooter Board

Work on balance and coordination while having fun with this scooter board for kids! Children will have fun building motor skills inside and out. Safe to use inside on a rainy day or outside on pavement. 

Sensory Stepping Balance Buckets

This Stepping Balance Buckets Set includes 6 buckets for kids to play alone or together. Inspiring children to jump, stretch and balance for full-body exercise, this set promotes gross motor skills, balance and coordination through physical activity. It also encourages important social skills when playing with others.

  • Each oversized bucket provides ample room for stepping.
  • Can create a complex obstacle course for loads of fun.

 

Crocodile Hop Floor Game

This floor game can be used for individuals or as a group to get their bodies moving, build skills and have fun!

  • Reinforces a range of early learning skills: color and shape recognition, numbers and counting (1-10), problem solving and gross motor skills
  • Helps children practice following simple directions

Indoor Swing & Ring Combo

This swing and ring combo generates tons of indoor fun for kids! Snow, rain or shine - Be active all the time!

  • Attaches in your doorway
  • Includes trapeze bar & gymnastic rings combo and rope swing.

NinjaLine Intro Kit

Encourage your kids to be physically active while having a great time!

  • Ninja Training with seven obstacles including: a three piece 10" x 2.5" nylon rope knows, two piece 16" monkey bar holds with triangle safety carabiners, and two gymnastics rings with textured finish
  • Hang Slackline webbing between two posts or healthy trees

Sensory Swing

This sensory swing can be installed indoors or outdoors for use with children or adults. This swing is awesome for sensory seeking children or adults, can accommodate a wide range of body shapes and sizes, and helps with balance & motor skills. Gives kids of all ages a safe place to self regulate. Easy to install with a drill and a stud/joist finder. 

  • Swinging is a way to help with brain development, bring calm and peace or just to entertain.
  • Stretchy & comfortable, this snuggles kids with a deep, enjoyable pressure.
  • Easy to get in & out of.
  • Works for preschoolers through teens, up to 200 pounds.

LCD Writing Tablet

Encourage endless creativity in your kids with this writing and drawing pad! Erase and start again or lock the screen so there's no accidental deletion. A great way to be creative without wasting paper!

Kids' Toy Storage Organizer

An organized play area makes it easier for kids to choose which toys to play with and can lead to a more peaceful family dynamic! This toy storage can make organizing your child's toys easy to do and easy for them to see and choose the toy they want to play with.

  • Removable toy storage bins for playtime and easy clean up
  • Easy to assemble toy organizer