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Life-changing First Time Mom Must Haves!

There are two types of Moms out there: the kind that when they find out they’re expecting a new bundle of joy go out of their way to do extensive research on every item they add to their registry, and only have the best of the best — Then there’s Moms like me.

I was the Mom that was convinced that my baby didn’t need brand new everything, and definitely didn’t need that Halo Sleep Sack (not even sponsored, just that much of a life saver. seriously.) But once our bundle of joy came home for that first night of the rest of our lives, I quickly realized there were a few things I could have done differently.

Here’s what I’m doing different this pregnancy (and what I wish I did the first time!)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you I will earn commission on any links you click through and purchase. However please note that I would never suggest an item I haven’t personally used, unless noted otherwise.

Photo by Freestocks by Unsplash

For starters, this pregnancy is already very different from the first in terms of circumstance. When I found out I was pregnant with Scott, we were renting an apartment and Evan and I both were working 40+ hours a week.

This second pregnancy though, we’re stationed at my parents house (long story on that one), and I haven’t worked a single minute of the whole 15 weeks. Two very different situations, and two very different pregnancies.

Now, I’m fully aware that not every Mom can afford to stay at home, and that is a blessing I count every day. But what I’ve learned so far is that in that first trimester, especially with the morning sickness, is that you need to allow yourself time to take a break.

Time to shut out the world, take a shower, and go to bed at 4pm. Luckily, Evan has been a TREMENDOUS help for both pregnancies, but this time around he’s not only helped me out when I’m bent over in the bathroom for the fourth time that day; but stepping up and doing most of the work with Scott (Our little one).

Having a strong support system is something that I’m blessed to have, and I wish that every young, old, or in-between mom has hers, too. Motherhood is hard, and the first thing I’ve done this time around is allowed myself the room to be imperfectly human. How freeing is that?

In between trying to be a perfect Mom and being a frugal one, I decided to plunge into second hand shopping.

I got a majority of Scotts 0-3 month clothing for less than $50, but I quickly realized that at that rate I should have gotten fewer, higher-end pieces than 100+ worn out pieces. Now, I’m totally not saying you can’t be frugal and go second hand shopping (literally 90% of my clothes are thrifted), but I am highly suggesting to keep your item count under 30 for 0-3 month, and even 3-6 month clothing. Scott had SO many pieces of clothing that I would no more say “wow, how have you never worn this yet?” and it would be too small!

Luckily I had a friend who had a Son a few months after I had Scott, so it worked out nicely when she needed some clothing and I had more than enough to pass off. Score! My suggestion to you would be to keep it simple with 5-10 onesies, 5-10 footed pajamas, 5 or so pairs of pants or shorts depending on the season, and 5-10 pairs of socks with the same print/color.

When it came to sleeping arrangements, I knew I wanted him safely next to me in our room.

I decided that a bassinet would be our best bet, and I went through all the options at Target. This one moves, this one makes sounds, oooo this one swivels! But once I realized that they can get extremely pricey, I opted to see if I could score a gently used one online. A few days later I had an $80 second hand bassinet, complete with a mobile. What else could my baby want?

Fast forward to that first night home, and Scott had a burning hatred for that bassinet. Not to mention I didn’t realize quite how long my baby would be compared to this extremely narrow, short bassinet. (Just first time mom things, I guess. Oops!) After trying night after night for the first week (which felt more like 10 years with all the sleep deprivation and night feeds), we gave in and decided to slide him in bed with us one night.

After doing loads and loads of research, and having a few Postpartum panic attacks, I splurged and got this must have. I honestly do not know what I would have done without it, and am beyond thankful I gave in and purchased it. I may even get the next size up as a lounger for the floor of his pack-n-play.

With this second Babe, I’m pretty sure we’re going to try our hand at a bassinet again. I’ve been looking into this one, so wish me luck when the time comes! My suggestion for you: If you’re going to splurge on anything, invest in a quality, safe sleep area for your little one… and do your research! No two crib mattresses are made the same.

As for odds and ends that I love, there’s a few!

When I was getting the finishes touches to Scotts things, I had this idea I stole off of Pinterest that I would put diapers and wipes randomly around the house where I thought that they would be used. In hindsight that was a great idea, except for the fact that I would forget where I had put them, or I would take the wipes from one area and move them to the next. (If you think that Pregnancy Brain stops after the baby is born: prepare for Mom Brain… Yikes.)

I would defiantly suggest getting a diaper organizer and a good diaper pail, as that’s what I’m going to be doing this time. Using the changing table was unrealistic, and having a few diapers here and there with random baby wipe containers became very chaotic very quickly. Plus most diaper organizers have a nice little handle so you can tote it from room to room with ease.

Another thing that no one prepared me for is that nursing is no joke. I had planned on breast feeding Scott, but didn’t purchase boatloads of nursing bras, nursing tank tops, or even nipple cream. In my new Mom bliss I had this naive idea that breast feeding is just between my baby and I, and that I didn’t need all these extra fancy gadgets. Hakka, who? I didn’t even stock up on breast milk storage bags, or nursing pads (which even if you’re choosing to not BF, get nursing pads. They saved my life… and a few good tee shirts.)

This time around I’m stocking up on all things breastfeeding, as well as taking advantage of pumping before the baby comes — a trick I was only informed of about two days prior to going into labor. A nice checklist for a new mom would be a good breast pump, either a hand pump or a Hakka (I’ve only used a hand pump, but have heard amazing things about the Hakka: plus its cheaper!), a non-toxic nipple cream, nursing pads, storage bags, a nursing pillow for when your arms are exhausted at 2am, a surplus of tight fitting nursing bras (These were a life saver when I had engorgements), nipple shields (a life saver for women with inverted nipples, larger breasts, or a coping with mastitis), and a support system ready to cheer you on when your little one doesn’t latch perfectly time after time again.

As Scott as now six months old, and I still don’t have any less anxiety about putting him down for naps: I wish I had invested in an owlet sleep sock. They’re on the pricey side, but I would have loved to have that peace of mind sooner on knowing that he was doing okay. The Owlet Sleep Sock tracks baby’s heart rate as well as oxygen levels, and even tracks baby’s sleep! An added bonus is that you can download their app and have all that information ready at your finger tips in a moments notice. The sleep sock will alert you if baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels drop, which in turn helps prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

However, if you’re not convinced, and just want a safe and secure baby monitor that will do this trick, I currently use this Motorola Video Monitor with two way interaction, that lets you talk to baby through a built in speaker. Plus the viewing screen (that’s connected via bluetooth so it’s harder to hack!) will even tell you the temperature in the room. It’s worth the money, and I seriously cannot say enough good things about it. Not to mention its not a small fortune, and that’s my favorite part!

Aside from things that I felt like I did wrong or could have done differently, keep in mind that your pregnancy will be nothing like mine: and that’s okay! If you want to go second hand and hand-me-downs for every item, go ahead! Or if you prefer brand new, that works too. This list is simply things that I’ve learned along the way, and hope can help you make more guided, knowledgeable choices of your own. In the end I hope you get a healthy little bundle of love, and that’s all that matters. 🙂



Follow my travels on Pinterest, or look at cute photos of my Kid and life on the ‘Gram.

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