Six Essentials That Will Save Your Sanity in Early Parenthood

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the thousands of items that you can put on your baby registry. You may wonder whether you’ll even use half of it. Many items will be trial and error and you won’t know whether or not you need it until the baby comes. But when you’re in the early days of parenthood, you’ll want items at your disposal that will make your life easier. Wondering what they are? Look no further, these six items will save your sanity. 


1. Baby carrier

This is at the tippy-top of my list. It never occurred to me to wear my baby until I saw someone do it on social media. I’m glad I happened to be scrolling my phone that day. When I first started wearing my baby as a newborn, I felt so much freedom. I could go for walks, have my morning coffee, read, clean the house… the list goes on, hands free!  Not to mention, I didn’t need to worry about rocking her to sleep because folding just a few towels was enough to send her to dreamland. You can either use a carrier or a wrap, whatever is your style. For me, I wanted to be able to buckle and go. I used the ErgoBaby Embrace Newborn Carrier.


2. Stroller

This is on everyone’s list but needs an honorable mention. For me, my stroller was a way for me to check off multiple boxes and get some “me time.” I was able to get outside, get some exercise/movement, eat snacks, read, listen to music, whatever I wanted to do. All while my baby napped or happily looked around at the trees. Get a good stroller with cup holders for you and lots of undercarriage basket space. I used the Mockingbird stroller.     


3. Grab-and-go high protein snacks and water bottle

As a new parent, you’re going to be sleep deprived. The last thing you also want to be is malnourished and dehydrated. It’s hard to cook all of the time and often, you’re on borrowed time in terms of your baby’s needs and schedule. I would always make sure I kept protein bars or easy calorie-dense snack bars like Clif Bars on hand. In terms of the water bottle, you need to stay hydrated; fill, drink, refill, repeat.


4. Portable bassinet

Trust me on this one. In the early days, you’ll want to have a few options for baby’s sleep, if possible. I live in a townhouse with stairs, so the Graco Pack n Play was my best friend and saved me from having to go up and down the stairs all day. Portable bassinets also come in handy when you want to put the baby down to sleep but also want to be close by to check on them. If you’re not able to have multiple bassinets do yourself a favor and get one with wheels so that you can transport it! 


5. Comfortable feeding pillow

Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you’ll be feeding around the clock. You deserve to be comfortable while doing so. Everyone told me to get the Boppy pillow for feedings. I did not find the C-shape of it to be comfortable. It felt awkward and was really cumbersome to use with the rocking chair in the nursery. A friend of mine gave me a DocATot La Maman Wedge Nursing Pillow and it saved my life and arms during feedings. It’s crescent-shaped and provided the perfect amount of support.


6. A play mat or gym

This gave me a new lease on life and unlocked a new level of motherhood for me. Being able to place my baby down in her gym or on her play mat with some activities or toys felt freeing from having to hold her 100% of the time. I could place her in a safe place on her gym/mat and either play with her or do things around the house, such as cook, clean, or shower if it was just the two of us. Just be sure to keep an eye on your baby and be mindful when they start to roll! There are a ton of options out there; the brand we used was Infantino


The early days of parenthood can be daunting, especially for new parents. I hope this list is helpful and at least some of these items help you on your new journey. You’ve got this!


Author/Guest Blogger: Melina R. Bowdwin

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