Third trimester is here! Hurray! And now it's time to start getting ready for the baby. So I'm here to help. I created the following, The Best Newborn Essentials Guide to help you prepare and get organized for your baby while keeping them healthy.
It's good to keep in mind that what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream within seconds. And babies put everything in their mouths to chew and suck therefore swallowing whatever is in and on the material. We need to protect our little ones from as many toxins as possible. Babies and children are more susceptible to toxins (1)(2) because their organs are still growing and maturing. So it's best to invest in their health by buying safer and healthier products for them.
Newborn babies really need very little.
"A newborn baby has only three demands. Warmth in the arms of its mother. Food from her breasts. Security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three." — Grantly Dick-Reed (Grantly Dick-Read was a British obstetrician and a leading advocate of natural childbirth)
Lets get organized!
Here's what you'll need for your new bundle of joy...
Baby clothes come in different sizes:
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
What size should you buy? You won’t really know how big your baby will be until the day it is born. So it’s a good idea to have both newborn and 3 month sizes handy. Babies usually weigh 10 - 12 pounds when they are 1- 2 months old. Some babies are born big. Some of my moms have had 9 pounders!
You'll want to focus on buying baby clothes that are soft, breathable, roomy and comfortable. Newborn skin is very sensitive. It’s a good idea to buy 100% organic cotton and here is a blog on why. Top 10 Reasons To Buy Organic Cotton Clothing, Bedding, And Toys For Your Baby. But if 100% organic cotton is out of your price range, the next best thing is to buy 100% cotton.
Avoid clothing that has dangling strings, tassels, and ribbons because these are choking hazards.
- 4 - 7 one piece, stretchy (terry-cloth) sleepers. They have snaps or zippers down the front and all the way down to the leg. The benefit is that it will allow you to change your baby's clothes easily without pulling things over his/her head. Make sure whatever you buy opens easily at the bottom for diaper changes. (New moms swear by the ones with zippers!)
- 4 - 7 undershirts or onesies (mix of short sleeve and long sleeve (kimono style) and make sure they have plenty of room in the neck)
- 3 - 5 pairs of leggings or pull up pants (look for stretchy waistbands)
- 5 nightgowns (for use until the umbilical cord falls off)
- 2 - 4 newborn hats - make sure they are stretchy
- 4 - 8 pairs of socks or booties (to wear with nightgowns and outfits)
- 2 pairs of scratch mittens, to keep baby from scratching his/her sweet face
- 2 - 4 receiving blankets
- Burp cloths (cloth diapers work best and get a bunch cause babies spit up a lot)
As Baby Grows
- 4 rompers (snap at the crotch)
- 2 washable bibs
- 4 outfits for dressing up (optional)
- 2 hats: sun hat, lightweight with brim and a heavier ear covering hat for colder weather
- 2 cardigans or jackets for cold weather
- Bunting bag with attached mitts or snowsuit for cold weather
- 2 blankets, weight according to season
Should you wash your baby's clothes before he/she is born? YES. And remember that you and your partner will be holding your baby A LOT so you'll want to wash your clothes too, with non toxic, fragrance free, laundry detergent. Watch out for the dryer sheet....they are often loaded with fragrances.
Good brands of laundry detergent for infants and family:
- Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder
- Biokleen Laundry Liquid
- Eco Me Laundry Detergent
- Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus Free & Clear (great for whole family) This is what we use.
- Molly Sud's Cloth Diaper Laundry Powder
- Fit Organic Baby Laundry Detergent
- Honest Laundry Detergent
Environmental Working Group (EWG) just put out a Products For Baby Rating List. Least toxic to most toxic that you may want to checkout. Click here.
Organic Clothing Brands
Here is a fun little baby fact...An average baby will go through approximately 2,700 diapers a year. WOW! That's a lot of piss and poop!
Whether you use cloth or disposable or something in between (some diapers use a reusable cover with a disposable lining), your baby will probably go through 10 to 12 diapers a day at first, so plan accordingly. Cloth Diapers vs. Disposables: How and what to choose?
- 1 - 2 package of disposable diapers (newborn size) . Eco Diaper brands moms like are Honest Co., Seventh Generation, Earth's Best Tender Care Diapers, Bamboo Diapers. For a comparison of diapers click here. Make sure to shop around for best prices. Diapers add up.
- 3 dozen cloth diapers (I suggest a diaper service if you plan on using cloth diapers.) Here is a link comparing the different cloth diaper brands. Here's another comparison. Great info on the different types and how to use cloth diapers.
- Diaper pin, velcro or clips if using cloth diapers
- 5 - 7 waterproof diaper covers or consider all in one diapers
- Dirty diaper pail - diapers get stinky!!!
- Cotton balls, cotton swabs
- Baby wipes (I like the Seventh Generation, Honest Company, Nutra Care Baby Wipes and Earth’s Best Brands) For a complete list of the safest baby wipes click here.
*** Newborn baby's skin is super sensitive. For the first few weeks don’t use baby wipes. Buy a roll of very soft paper towels and cut into squares, have a bowl and a thermos with warm water by the changing table to clean baby with or use a washcloth (Charlie Banana) and warm water. Make sure to wash clothes in HOT water.
Homemade recipes from Healthy Child Healthy World
HOMEMADE BABY WIPES – BASIC
- Soft roll of paper towels (cut in half to make short rolls)
- 1/8 -1/4 cup castille soap (Dr. Bronner’s Unsented Baby Mild Castille Liquid Soap)
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup vegetable oil (ex. olive, almond, apricot, etc)
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 plastic or glass container that the roll will fit in
Cut roll in half and remove center cardboard. In container, mix liquid ingredients, and place half of roll in container, cut side down. Place on lid, seal tightly and tip upside down. To use, pull out from center.
NATURAL HERBAL HEALING WIPES
(from Pennie Mills, LMT)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups distilled water
- 1/4 cup Aloe Vera gel (keep ingredients simple and pure)
- 1 tablespoon Calendula oil
- 2 teaspoon castille soap - (Dr. Bronner’s Unsented Baby Mild Castille Liquid Soap)
- 2 to 3 drops tea tree oil (6 months and older)
- 2 to 3 drops lavender oil (6 months and older)
Mix solution together and repeat the steps for the “basic” baby wipes.
Calendula – Calendula is moisturizing and is known to help heal rashes, burns, scrapes and other skin irritations.
Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera gel is used for treating burns and rashes as well as moisturizing.
Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and is also a wonderful antiseptic oil.
Lavender – The aroma of lavender can help relax and ease tensions. It also helps promote healing of the skin.
- Diaper-rash cream (zinc-oxide type) - (I like Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Angel Baby Bottom Balm or Simply Soothing Rash Cream or Honest Co.) For a list of the safest diaper rash creams, click here .
- Black and white mobile to hang over changing table area. (great for distracting your baby)
- 4 waterproof pads for changing table - Firefly Diapers , Nature's Baby Blankets
- Changing pad - No-Compromise Organic Cotton Changing Pad, Oeuf Pure and Simple Contoured Changing Pad, Holy Lamb Organics wool changing pad
Supplies for breastfeeding
- Nursing pillow or extra pillow - Honest Nursing Pillow, Blessed Nest Organic Nesting Pillow, Nook Sleep Feeding Pillows, Bo Peep Nursing Pillow by Holy Lamb Organics, Organic Nursing Pillow by Purerest, Organic Cotton Nursing Pillow by Organic Caboose
- 6 burp clothes (cloth diapers work the best)
- Nursing bras (if buying before baby is born, buy one cup size larger than your pregnant bra size)
- Nursing pads for bras - Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads, Kiddo Care Bamboo Nursing Pads, TL Care Organic Cotton Nursing Pads
- Baby sling
- Nursing blouses and dresses
- Breast pump - Breast pumps can be as simple as a basic hand pump or as efficient as an electric model that allows you to pump from both breasts simultaneously. Hospital grade pumps work the best. Here are two great blogs to help you decide which one is right for you. How to Choose the Best Breast Pump. Some breast pumps moms like are Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump, Medela Lactina Select Hospital Grade Breast Pump, Hygeia and Spectra 1. Also keep in mind that some insurance companies will pay for a breast pump.
- Pumping bra - Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra
- Milk storage container - You can use small mason jars instead of plastic bags. They come in 4 oz and 8 oz sizes and they are extremely durable.
- Breast pads (disposable or washable)
- Nipple cream - Motherlove Nipple Cream, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Wholistic Beginning's Nipple Cream (email me at Andrea @WholisticBeginnings.com)
- Breast shields (only use if lactation specialist suggests using them. I did find a silicone based nipple shield called Tingxuan Shell Ultra-thin Silicone Nipple Shield. But I don't have any experience with it. Here is an article on the pros and cons of Nipple Shields.
- Hot/cold gel packs, can soothe swollen or sore breasts. I like the Earth Mama Angle Baby Boob Tubes.
- Nursing Cover or just use a light weight blanket.
- Hydrogels - Moms love these. - Ameda ComfortGel Hydrogel Pads
Supplies for formula feeding
- Formula (be sure to check expiration date and note the lot number in case of recalls). Consider buying organic formula like Baby’s Only Organic Formula (it says it’s for toddlers but it's okay for babies). Also check out Holle or Hipp formula from Germany. But beware because it can take up to a month to get Holle or Hipp Formula so plan ahead.
- Newborns usually start with the 4-ounce size, but you'll need some 8-ounce bottles as your child begins to drink larger amounts. You'll also need at least as many nipples as bottles (Silicone nipples are preferable and they come in different flow patterns.) Consider using glass bottles. This is the safest way to go because there is no plastic use, and there has been some recent questions about even BPA free plastic's safety. Glass bottle brands - Coddlelife, Born Free, Evenflo Classic Glass, Dr Brown’s, Lifefactory Glass, Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle, AVENT Natural Glass Bottle. Want to compare them? Here is some info on glass bottles Evenflo Classic Glass, Lifefactory Glass and Dr. Browns Glass, and one stainless, the Pura Kiki.
- Bottle brush - These are handy for thoroughly scrubbing small parts and crevices in bottles, bottle parts, and nipples.
- Nipple Brush - for washing nipples
- Insulated bottle holder for diaper bag
- 2 receiving blankets
- Two rubber-backed waterproof pads. Brands to consider - Non-Waterproof Crib Mattress Pad by Naturpedic.
- 3 crib or bassinet sheets
- Soft comforter
- Bassinet blankets, weight according to season
Please check out our blog on 7 Easy Tips on How to Create an Eco Friendly Nursery
Some places to buy organic bedding Organic Bedding:
- 1 plastic infant tub (or use a large dishpan in the sink, or take baby in the bath with you.) Brands to consider - Tummy Tub Naked 2 Position Collapsible Baby Bath Tub, Primo Ducky Bath, Prince Lionheart washPOD, Prince Lionheart Flexibath, Puj Tub
- 12 washcloths, not used on baby's bottom
- Baby soap and shampoo - Recommended brands - Dr. Bronner’s Unsented Baby Mild Castille Liquid Soap (Just so you know it’s not tear free. Bars available too) Honest Co Shampoo and body wash, Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash But for a list of safe baby washes and shampoo check out - EWG
- Baby soft-bristled hair brush
- 3 soft-hooded towels
- Crib and or Bassinet - For Bassinet, Cradle and/or Crib mattress (consider spending money on the non toxic brand) Naturepedic Crib- Cradle/Bassinet Mattresses. You can buy them here. White Lotus, Gardenia Valley Baby cradle - Cradle - Baby Bjorn
- Co-sleeper - Snuggle Me Organic Co-sleeper
- Changing table or padded work area - (see diaper section)
- Changing table covers
- Rocking Chair
- Baby sling or baby carrier - Baby Carrier Brands - Ergo Baby Organic, Moby Organic Wrap, New Native
- Car seat- Brand Recommendations - Britax and Clek have been proactively implementing policies to reduce hazards in their products while still meeting all safety standards. Checkout this guide or this one. Please read...What You Should Know About Fire Retardants In Car Seats.
- Car Seat head support - Dordor&Gorgor's Organic Cotton Newborn Infant Head Body Car Baby Seat Support Pillow
- Diaper bag
- Baby Swing - Brands recommended - Nuna LEAF
- Baby Bouncer - Brands recommended - BabyBjorn
- Baby monitor: belly armor smartNOVA
- High chair - Brands recommended - OXO Sprout Highchair , STOKE Trip Tapp, Fresco Chrome , Keekaroo Height Right High Chair, nuna ZAAZ
- Birth Ball for bouncing baby
- White noise machine
- Red light bulb for nightlight - there was a study done that red lights don't disturb the melatonin rhythm in the bodies much as regular blue light, light bulbs.
Baby soothers, toys and entertainment
- Pacifiers: Some babies love them, some don't. You don't have to use a pacifier but for some parents and babies, these soothers are an essential item. Babies love to suck. Natursutten Natural Rubber Pacifier, Orthodontic
- Books - Newborns love black and white books.
- Toys - Non toxic is best because babies like to suck, bite and chew on them. Stay away from toxic plastic toys especially made in China. Here are some good examples of fun non toxic toys.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies (for the first couple of months)
- Rectal thermometer
- Digital thermometer
- Antiseptic for cord - your midwife or doctor will make suggestions
- Cotton balls - cotton swabs
- Infant Acetaminophen
- Baby nail scissors or clippers and a nail file (newborns need their nails filed)
- Eye dropper or medicine spoon
- Nasal aspirator - BoogieBulb Cleanable and Reusable Baby Nasal Aspirator or NoseFrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator
- Vaporizer, type recommended by your doctor
- Colic Calm
- Gripe Water
- Happy Tummi Colic and Gas Relif
The Baby Book by W. Sears, M.D., M. Sears,RN, R. Sears, M.D., J. Sears, M.D. , Little Brown Co. New York , NY, 2003 Second Edition