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It can be hard to know what items to get for baby and what items you can happily give a miss on. Here are my recommendations. All of these are available on Amazon:
Biodegradable baby wipes
Healthy for baby's skin and healthy for the planet, these WaterWipes are compostable, plant-based and biodegradable. They're also hypoallergenic and unscented, so they're ideal for sensitive newborn skin.
Munchkin baby bottle drying rack and bottle brush
I wish I'd known about this earlier! We always had our clean baby bottles sitting out to dry, and they took up so much valuable countertop space. Now this problem is solved with the Munchkin baby bottle drying rack which also includes 2 bottle brushes.
You just use it on the countertop or any other water-safe surface. Just place baby bottles and the bottle nipples on the prongs, and voila! You've opened up precious countertop space for other uses, while safely and hygienically providing a place for the bottles to dry.
Baby safety gate with no-tool install
You need to get safety gates before baby can crawl. Even though that seems a long way off now, you don't want to be caught out. I love this easy install gate from Safety 1st - it fits openings between 29 and 47 inches of width. Best of all, it requires no tools to install, because who has time for that?! However, please be aware that this product's safety information says clearly that it should never be used at the top of the stairs. But for anywhere else in the house, it's the ideal choice for its ease of installation.
Organic cotton baby sleepsack for swaddle transition
When baby is outgrowing swaddling but not yet old enough to use a blanket safely, this organic cotton unisex baby sleepsack from Burt's Bees is the best bet for keeping baby snug and warm.
I personally liked having 2 or 3 which I could change out if one got spit-up on it in the middle of the night, for example. This particular model comes in a choice of 3 sizes and several different adorable patterns.
Please note - this cotton product is great if it's summer or you keep your home at a medium temperature, but if it's winter or your home tends to be cold, then you may prefer this microfleece sleepsack from Halo instead. The microfleece gives added warmth and if baby's diaper leaks then the microfleece wicks the water away and your baby doesn't get cold like he or she would in cotton.
Manual breast pump for when you can't use an electric pump
This Haakaa manual breast pump does not need any electricity or tubes to work and fits easily in your handbag. It's perfect if you need to pump while out and about when you don't have access to a space with electricity.
However, be aware suction-based pumps like this one aren't always as effective as electric pumps, so it's best to use this as a convenient addition to an electric pump. Keep it in your on-the-go bag for times when you're out and about without access to your electric pump. This manual pump may not be the best pump to use as your only pump unless you're exclusively breastfeeding and just need something for those rare occasions.
Portable white noise machine for baby for sleeping
To help baby get to sleep, try this compact portable soothing white noise machine from Yogasleep. It's quite small; you can attach it to baby's carrier, although it works equally well attached to baby's crib in the nursery. It has volume control, so you can gradually go to lower volumes over time when you're looking for baby to go to sleep without help.
The 3 different types of gentle sound that you can pick from allows you to figure out what what works best for your baby. It also has a small built-in amber LED night light.
Breastmilk storage bags
These breastmilk storage bags from well-known brand Lansinoh allow you to store pumped milk in the fridge or the freezer for baby to have later. The bags have an easy write label so you can put the date and time on it. They also show approximate volume measurements as well, so you'll know at a glance how much is in there. If you have a Lansinoh brand pump you'll be able to pump directly into these bags.
However, if you have another brand of pump, it may not work well with this type of bag. Lansinoh does make an adapter that you can purchase separately which is compatible with most other major brands of pump, but it's an extra expense so you may be best sticking with whatever bags your current pump uses (Medela storage bags are here).