17 Tips for Calming a Fussy Baby (0-3 Months)

Being up in the night with a fussy baby is quite possibly one of the most emotional times of a new mother’s life. As a parent, you want to figure out why your baby is fussy, or inconsolable, or screaming at the top of her lungs, and no, there is no such thing as colic. After raising four children, I most certainly do not have all of the answers. All that I know is what worked for me, what didn’t work for me, and what I learned along the way. Here are the things that have helped us to calm our fussy (or inconsolable or screaming) newborns. I hope that some of them are helpful to you!

1. Nursing

This one is so basic and so obvious, but I just had to put it first because breastfeeding has always been my number one go-to method for soothing a fussy newborn. As my babies have gotten older, some have liked to be nursed to sleep and some have not, but they would all nurse to sleep when they were newborns, and I think that this is a pretty universal thing. I have always nursed my babies on demand, so I totally feel like a human pacifier, but this way, not only are their bellies full, they are soothed as well.

2. Comfortable Baby

When my babies are fussy, the first thing I do is make sure they are not too warm or too cold. Babies typically need to dress in one more layer than we do to keep warm. So if you’re hanging out in a t-shirt, your baby will probably want something long sleeved. I typically like to keep my babies a little under-dressed, however, so that I can wrap them up in one of my homemade silky blankets!

Next, there are all kinds of little things that might be bothering your baby like: a little hair wrapped tightly around a finger, a tag rubbing the wrong way, or a diaper accidentally put on too tight. When my babies have been fussy, I always give them a physical once over to make sure their discomfort isn’t coming from some quick physical fix.

3. Water Drop Trick

I learned this little trick from my most recent midwife, Laurie Zoyiopoulos, who learned it from some of her Amish clients. When the Amish are dealing with a fussy newborn, they simply give him a little bit of water, and it calms him down right away. Maybe it’s because the colostrum just isn’t satisfying enough, or maybe it helps to soothe an upset tummy, but for whatever reason, this trick really really works! When Julian would get really fussy and nothing else would soothe him, I would give him a little dropper of water, and he would calm right down. My husband really appreciated knowing this trick as well!

4. Gassy Baby

Many times, babies 0-3 months cry because of gas pains. In addition to having to use their entire digestive system for the first time, they might have gas and not be able to get rid of it. This can make for a very fussy and inconsolable baby! If your baby is gassy, it might help to gently rub her tummy, pump her legs (from a straight position to pushed right into his stomach), or do bicycle legs to get the gas out. You might like to try the Windi if you’re really desperate, although I tried it, it was weird, and it didn’t really work, but hey, you might get lucky! And although burping gas is different from intestinal gas, I’m going to go ahead give a little reminder about burping after every feeding. (Something I only remember as I am being puked on!)

5. Colic Calm

Colic Calm is a homeopathic oral remedy designed to help with colic, stomach pains, reflux, and gas. It is made with charcoal, so don’t be surprised by the black color (or your baby’s black poop). I wouldn’t say that this was a miracle worker or anything, but when I was overtired and up in the night with a fussy newborn and out of ideas for how to calm him down, it really helped me out. The sweet taste seemed to shock him out of crying for a bit anyways which gave me time to try another strategy to calm him down, and it did seem to settle his tummy a bit. Hyland’s Colic tablets work pretty well too.

6. Overtired Baby

I totally had the misconception with our firstborn Ruby that if I kept her up more during the day, she would sleep better at night, but that was absolutely not the case! Babies don’t develop their circadian rhythms (when they can differentiate between day and night) until 4-6 weeks, so until that happens, you just have to be prepared for them to be awake in the night. The best rule of thumb to remember with babies and sleep is that the more they sleep, the better they’ll sleep. Don’t try to put them on any schedule. Just feed them on demand and let them sleep when they want to sleep. Look for signs of them being tired and help them to fall asleep before they get overtired. Also, know that little babies will probably not be able to stay awake for more than an hour and a half at a time, and never ever wake a sleeping baby!

7. Harvey Karp’s “Happiest Baby

In his book and videoThe Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Harvey Karp explains how the best way to calm your newborn and get her to sleep is by re-creating the noises, movement, and snug environment of the womb. (Check out this old grainy video to see the basic ideas.)

  • Swaddle: These cloths are great for swaddling, but really any receiving blanket will do. (Just make sure that you are following the guidelines for the new swaddle that keep the legs more free so that your baby doesn’t get hip dysplasia. Watch this video to see the proper way to swaddle.)
  • Side or Stomach Position: Because of the newer recommendations to have babies sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS, stomach sleeping isn’t really done as much as it used to be. I agree that newborns can’t move their heads and so if they fall asleep on their stomachs and their airways are restricted, it could be fatal, but another reason the stomach sleeping isn’t recommended is because they sleep soooooooo deeply this way and a lighter sleeping baby has less chance of SIDS. Harvey Karp advises that you use this strategy while holding the baby to help her fall asleep, but then place her on her back to lie her down. The side lying position is perfect for nursing.
  • Shushing: A harsh shushing sound mimics the sound of your blood flow that your baby heard in the womb. This is why using a box fan for white noise is so great, but if you need to take things to the next level, this shushing technique is really cool and my favorite one of the bunch. Basically, you get really close to the baby’s ear and make a shushing sound as loud as you can and for as long as you can. Because doing this repeatedly will make a person pass out, it’s nice to have some back up and take turns. My husband and I used this all the time with our firstborn and intermittently with the others.
  • Swinging: When you were pregnant, did you notice how your baby would always sleep when you were out and about and moving around, but then would wake up as soon as you settled down for the night? If you can recreate the swaying, swinging motion that your baby got used to in the womb, he will feel right at home and hopefully settle down. I find it’s best to get really creative with this until you find a swinging motion that your baby really likes. I got the best workout with my third child, Ophelia, because she really liked this crazy swinging, dipping, slow-slow-quick-quick, small step-large step, swing high-swing low movement.
  • Sucking: Sucking releases oxytocin (the bonding hormone) in both the mother and the baby, which is nature’s way of rewarding them for breastfeeding. In between feedings, newborns might also enjoy sucking on your pinkie (nail side down). I would avoid using a pacifier for the first few weeks because it can create nipple confusion and make breastfeeding more difficult (trust me!), but once breastfeeding is established, pacifiers are just fine. There is no evidence that pacifiers affect baby teeth and they have actually been proven to reduce SIDS. Just look for some that are BPA free.

8. Keep Moving

Each of our babies has had a different method of movement that they have enjoyed, and I think it had to do not only with their personalities, but our home size (we’ve moved a lot), my energy level, who else was around, etc. With Ruby being our first, we were able to put her in a wrap or in the stroller and go for long walks. With Elliot, we took turns bouncing him on our exercise ball. Ophelia liked to be upright and perched on my shoulder as I would walk laps around the house, or she liked it when I danced. And then with Julian, it was back to the exercise ball. Basically, you’ll have to experiment with a lot of different methods of movement to get things just right, but when you find that “sweet spot”, you’ll know it! (If you get too tired holding them, a nice swing like this or this or a vibrating bassinet like this can be really helpful too.)

9. Soothing Atmosphere

It helps to have an environment that exudes calm with soft lighting, soft music, and soft voices. I like playing my Pandora station on shuffle with the Enya, Sigur Ros, Ambient Music, and Joshua Radin. It is definitely worth the $30/year subscription to have this be ad free. Then, I like to turn the volume off and play any kind of music on itunes with the visualizer turned on. The visuals are very mesmerizing and every one of our kids have enjoyed watching them as they fell asleep. I also really like all of the Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions. In addition, I always have the white noise of a box fan in every room that the baby could be sleeping in. It sounds very “womb-like”.

As for lighting, red lights are the best because they keep the pupils from dilating which allows your baby to remain in a sleepy state while allowing you to see. Something like this salt lamp or this tree lamp (we unscrew the other bulbs so only the reddish lights are on) would be perfect. The soft glow of a fireplace in the winter is great too!

10. The Power of Touch

Every one of our babies has seemed to have different preferences for touch, but they have all loved head and face rubs. When they start to get sleepy, I’ll gently run my fingers along the bridge of their nose and gently over their eyes as I tenderly encourage them to close. Kind of like in this video, although it’s never worked this perfectly for me! They have all also loved it when I’ve rubbed their heads. Some babies have enjoyed infant massages too.

We took Julian to get some cranial sacral therapy (which is a light touch method of massage that helps to align the body, specifically the central nervous system) when he was a few weeks old to see if it would help with his tongue tie (it didn’t), but it made him the the super chillest baby afterwards. Going through the birth canal or being delivered by cesarean can misalign a baby’s delicate structure and cranial sacral therapy helps to realign everything. I highly recommend this procedure for every baby after birth! Just ask a local chiropractor for a referral.

11. Check Your Diet

Whatever you eat, your baby eats too. Whenever she was in your womb, your baby had the placenta to filter your food. Now things are entering her little body with it’s immature digestive system, and she can’t process things like you can. I mean, for the most part, she got used to whatever diet you consumed while pregnant, so most of the foods you ate then should be okay now. But there are two things you really need to watch out for during the first three months and that’s coffee and alcohol. Your baby can’t really process either of these. If you comb the Internet, you’ll find articles saying that they do affect babies or they don’t, and most say that they are okay in moderation, but I’ll tell you that in my experience, I have found it is best to avoid them completely for the first 5-6 months.

When we had our 6 week check up for Ophelia with our midwife, Sarah Badger, and I told her that I was going through a “witching hour” with her every night at the same time, she started asking me about my diet. Then, she told me about coffee’s half life and how babies weren’t good at processing caffeine. So I cut the coffee and switched to teccino, and it was like a miracle. After a few days, her nightly fussiness completely stopped. I was able to pick up the coffee again (in moderation) when she was about 4-5 months old.

12. What Babies’ Cries Mean

With her photographic memory, years as an opera singer, and experience as a mother, Priscilla Dunstan has figured out how to decipher the meaning of babies’ cries from 0-3 months. Now, keep in mind that by the time a baby is crying, you’ve already missed the other cues showing you what the baby needed, but this is great as a kind of “last resort”. Watch her entire video with examples on Oprah here.

The five sounds in the Dunstan Baby Language are:

• “Neh” – meaning, “I’m hungry”
• “Owh” – meaning, “I’m tired”
• “Heh” – meaning, “I’m uncomfortable”
• “Eairh” – meaning, “I have lower gas”
• “Eh” – meaning, “I need to burp”

13. Keep Calm

When you’re super duper tired and more than anything in the world, you just want to lay your head down on your soft pillow and drift off to sleep, that is of course the time when your little one is going to want to be awake for a couple of hours. So, rather than let yourself get mad or frustrated about it, just know that it’s going to happen, and give your self something exciting to look forward to (besides of course being up with your most precious angel).

After every baby, I’ve been able to indulge in my “guilty pleasure” shows that my husband would never in a million years want to watch with me (although if he’s up in the night with me, he will). After Ruby was born, I watched just about all ten seasons of America’s Next Top Model and quite a few seasons of Gossip Girl. After Elliot was born, it was Jersey Shore. After Ophelia was born, I watched a lot of documentaries and made posters about health and nutrition to display my learning around the house. (What can I say? I got really ambitious!) And after Julian was born, I totally got into Reign and, of course, some late night blogging.

I would also make sure to always have some Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips on hand to snack on and a kombucha, or maybe I would grab a few freshly baked cookies and a big glass or milk, or maybe even some yummy tea or teccino with heavy cream…any little treat that would make me happy! When I do these things, I actually start to look forward to this special and sacred time. The house is quiet, everyone else is asleep, there is no work to be done, and I get to bond with my precious little baby while doing something that I love, what could be better?

14. Rotate Strategies

I think one of the most important things to remember when dealing with a fussy baby is to keep trying something new. Not right away, of course, you want to give each technique a chance to work, but if after a bit of time, your baby is still fussy, then try something else. The worst thing to do is to get in a rut where you keep doing the same things over and over even though they’re not working. Even if it’s as simple as switching from one side to the other during breastfeeding or going from bouncing on the exercise ball to dancing. Just keep trying something new until you find one or two things that you can rotate back and forth with creating sort of a predictable pattern. You kind of need to let your mind zone out a bit and follow through with these strategies even after your baby has calmed down. Keep moving, or rocking, or bouncing until you KNOW that your little one is asleep or at least really calmed down.

15. Know When to Take a Break

There WILL come a time, at some point, that you feel like you have reached your wit’s end. It will be after you are so tired that you just can’t keep your eyes open anymore, and before you know it you’ll be bawling like a little baby yourself (or about to and holding it in like a champ), and then you’ll just start asking your baby, “Why? Why won’t you sleep???” And when you feel yourself getting frustrated and angry, you need to know that it’s okay to take a minute to collect yourself. Set the baby down somewhere safe (crib, changing table, floor), and just walk away for a minute. Maybe your loving spouse is there and can hold the baby for you while you get some fresh air and take a few big breaths. It’s okay if he cries for a minute. You’re going to be right back.

There, now that you’ve had just a minute away, you can come back and look at your poor sweet babe, who in all honesty is suffering way more than you are. He needs you and yes, it’s overwhelming, and frustrating, and scary, and all of those things wrapped into one, but you can do this. You were made to do this.

16. Make a Plan

If things are just not working, it’s very helpful to be able to talk to someone about exactly what you are going through. Sometimes it just feels good to vent a little, and sometimes when you hear yourself talk, it helps you to figure out a solution. If you can identify one little thing that you can change or do differently, it will give you hope that you won’t have to go through a tough night like that again. I mean, chances are that you will, but if you keep making a plan, at least you won’t fall into the rut where you, “keep doing things exactly the same and expect different results”.

Even if your budget is tight, if buying something on Amazon like this baby swingMoby wrapNose Frida, or Colic Calm, will make you feel better, do it. It’s worth it. Having hope is an amazing thing. It keeps you from slipping into depression, and a happy momma is a good momma.

17. Is There Another Problem?

Sometimes a tongue tie or a lip tie can be causing breastfeeding problems. Check out my blog: How to Identify and Deal with Lip Tie and Tongue Tie to see how this dealing with this helped us. You also could be dealing with thrush. Check out my blog: How to Identify and Treat Oral Thrush in Babies. There can also be a myriad of other problems, and I know that you won’t rest (literally) until you find the answer! Feel free to message me, and maybe I can be a good sounding board for you while you try to get to the bottom of this.

In Conclusion

With our firstborn, Ruby, we actually called 911 once when she wouldn’t stop crying for four hours straight. We tried calling our pediatrician whose answering machine said to call 911 if we couldn’t get through to him and there was an urgent concern, which there was, and so we did. So, then came the sirens, the fire truck, and four fully clad firefighters barging into our little one bedroom condo on the third floor. Of course, from the complete shock of it all, Ruby stopped crying as soon as they approached her. I could tell one of the firefighters was holding back a laugh when he questioned, “First time parents?” Oh boy!

We’ve come a long way since then in the last five years, and if we had known then what we know now, I’ll bet we could have eliminated a lot of tears…on both ends! Some might say that the right of passage for new parents is to forge through it alone and figure things out for themselves, but if I had known someone who had raised four happy healthy babies that were all alive and well when I was figuring things out with Ruby, I would have loved to have heard her tips and tricks! There is a big difference between “I know best.” and “This is what has worked for me.” I hope that as mothers (and fathers), we can share the things that work best for us and create a community of support that transcends all other differences as we embark on this wonderful journey of parenthood…together.

Everything You'll Need for a New Baby

Everything You’ll Need for a New Baby

This is the most comprehensive list of baby items that you’ll ever need! If you’re pregnant, thinking about being pregnant, attending someone’s baby shower and looking for a cool gift, or just browsing to get ideas, you’ll want to check out this list and share it with everyone you know!

During the time that each of our four children have been babies, these have been the products that we have loved the most. I am listing all of these products new, but I have been able to find many if not most of these items at garage sales and thrift stores or received them as gifts. I definitely recommend having a list somewhere where you can keep track of what you want so you can keep your eye out for good deals.

Before you go too far, you might want to start a baby registry (Create an Amazon Baby Registry) or join Amazon Mom which is basically like Amazon Prime, but better (Try Amazon Mom for Free), and then you can create a wish list if you’re not quite ready for a baby registry.

Sleeping

  • Crib – This is what I have always dreamed of getting, but we never had to buy a crib new. For our first baby, we got a really nice portable crib for a baby shower gift, but it didn’t make the move, so for babies #3 and #4 we got a thrift store crib and a Craig’s List crib for less than $30/ea. I know some people are really paranoid about cribs, but we co-sleep for quite awhile, and then we keep them in the crib in our room so we’re always really close. We also found some really good mattresses at thrift stores for about $10 each, but you can buy a great one new here. The cool thing about crib mattresses is that they’re the same size as toddler bed mattresses, so keep that in mind when you’re purchasing one (make sure it’s waterproof).
  • Co-Sleeper – I absolutely loved this for our first born! Ruby slept in one of these until she outgrew it at about 8 months old. It made it so easy to roll over and nurse her whenever she needed me throughout the night. Our second born didn’t really care for it; he just wanted to be held. By the time we got to babies #3 and #4, we just had a mattress on the floor, so we couldn’t have used it even if we wanted to.
  • Big Swing – This has come in so handy for every single baby. The first 6 months are so crazy with sleep, and I like having a place where I know my little one can always fall asleep. (I make sure this swing is set up near a bed where I can sleep too!) We have purchased two of these. The first one from someone on Craig’s List and it was perfect. The second one we got new and the motor was so loud that we weren’t able to keep it in our bedroom. I’ve linked to a similar swing with better reviews. Just make sure whatever big swing you get has an AC adapter or you will spend a fortune on batteries (not to mention the frustration of running out of batteries at 2 a.m. when you finally got your little one to sleep).
  • Portable Swing – This swing is an absolute must! We have used this swing more than anything else. You can easily move it from room to room and babies love to fall asleep in it.
  • Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper – If I could only recommend one sleeping aid, it would be this. New babies tend to spit up a lot and the upward position on this is great for preventing that and is especially good for babies with reflux issues. I love putting my baby down for naps in this sleeper because it helps him to stay asleep for long periods of time. He also likes hanging out in this while awake and then will drift off to sleep when tired.
  • Mobile – I did a ton of research to find the best mobiles and this was the one we chose for our first baby, and we are still using it today with our fourth child. I currently have it on the diaper changing table because it provides a nice distraction. We also really liked this mobile.
  • Pack ‘n Play – When our firstborn outgrew her co-sleeper, we put her in a Pack n’ Play until she graduated to a toddler bed. It makes a great portable bed anywhere we’ve gone. We found ours at a garage sale for $10, but I love the one I’ve linked to because it has a top insert for newborns that would make a great bassinet.
  • Crib Sheets – Keep in mind that you will use these as your children transition to toddler beds. I just found mine at thrift stores, garage sales, and our local grocery store, but you can find some good organic ones too. You’ll also want a basic waterproof mattress pad or an organic one.
  • Monitors – This basic model has worked wonderfully for us for all four of our children, but if you’re looking for something more high tech, this video monitor works great.

Furniture

  • Changing Table – We didn’t actually get one of these until our fourth baby. We just put a changing pad on top of a dresser or changed them on the bed. (Our fourth baby is the only who hasn’t rolled off from a tall surface while being changed!) We found one like this at a garage sale for $15. You’ll also want some of these changing pad covers.
  • Dresser – Once again, this is something we found used, but I think it’s really important to have a nice little place to store all of your baby’s things, and you’ll appreciate having it as they get older.
  • Diaper Pail – This is the diaper pail we have, but I actually just use it for my cloth wipes. Because we have two in diapers, I need a bigger pail that doesn’t get filled up every day, so I just have this garbage can with a removable lid. I don’t think you need any special Diaper Genie to hold diapers. Yes, it stinks when you open the can, so don’t put it in your kitchen or living room and you’ll be fine. (But if you need to do that for some reason, get one of these.)

Diapers

  • Disposable Diapers – Ok, so I tried cloth diapers for awhile, and it was going great until we had two kids, and I just didn’t have the time. (And actually, we did disposables when she was a newborn, at night, and when we traveled…) The notion is that cloth diapers are better for the environment and save you money, but with the extra electricity and water used from washing cloth diapers, it seems like the carbon footprint is pretty comparable (unless you’re washing diapers by hand that is, then you go mama!). Also, cloth diapers need to be changed immediately or they will lead to diaper rashes, that and the extra time of washing them made me decide that the money saved wasn’t as valuable as my time and piece of mind.
    • Pampers Baby Dry Swaddlers are my favorite newborn diaper.
    • Pampers Baby Dry Size 1 are my favorite after that. I have tried other brands and the cheapest store brand, and nothing works as good as these. If you’re trying to save money though, Luvs really aren’t too bad.
  • Cloth Diapers – When we used cloth diapers, I loved our Fuzzi Bunz, but I’ve also researched every other brand.
  • Wipes – You can certainly buy disposable wipes, but I’ve found that it’s much better for our babies and our budget to use cloth wipes and make my own diaper wipe solution (or you could buy this).
  • Diaper Bag – Most diaper bags have little handles, but I love being able to sling mine over my shoulder when I’m carrying a hundred other things. Once again, we found ours at a thrift store, but I’ve linked to the basic idea I’m talking about.

Breastfeeding

  • Rocking Chair – I got a rocking chair like this at a garage sale, and it is AMAZING when I pair it with this foot stool. The way that it rocks with big swooping up and down motions is very soothing for babies, more so than a gliding rocking chair, which doesn’t really rock so much as just goes back and forth, but is still pretty dang comfortable.
  • Salt Lamp – When you’re up to nurse in the night, it is nice to have a soft glowing light that’s red to help you see what you’re doing. The red light ensures that the pupils don’t dilate and is perfect for keeping both mom and baby in a state of semi sleep.
  • Basket – I really love having a table set up near my nursing chair that has everything I may need while breastfeeding. I make sure to keep a full water bottle, my breast pump, burp cloths, Nosefrida, any of my baby calming supplies, fingernail clippers, reading material, lip balm, my cell phone, and anything else I might need while nursing!
  • Boppy – I love using a bobby to help me get my newborns correctly positioned for breastfeeding. Make sure you get a cover too so you can take it off and wash it when it gets covered with spit up.
  • My Breast Friend – I never did get one of these, but I recently saw one at a friend’s house. She loved it, and I thought it looked really cool.
  • Breast Pump – I have exclusively breast fed all of my babies, and this breast pump has helped me at every stage. It got me through the first few days when I couldn’t get my newborn to feed (and used these droppers to feed them), it provided relief when I had plugged ducts and mastitis, it helped me to make a bottle or two so we could have a date night, and it helped me provide milk for my babies when I was working full time for a bit. I had mine given to me by a friend, and just like with every other expensive baby thing, everyone says you should not use someone else’s breast pump, but I think that’s hogwash. If you’re really worried about hygiene, you can buy new parts. This little breast pump is a cheaper alternative, and this hands-free pumping bra is something I wish I would’ve had! When I was working, I used these milk storage bags to freeze my milk, but if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t freeze my milk. The living enzymes won’t survive the freezing process and the plastic will leech into the milk. Live and learn I guess.
  • Bottles – I have researched many types of bottles, and these seemed to be the best. We have loved them and have used them (when we needed a bottle) for every child. If I had to do it all over again, however, I would buy these glass bottles. Don’t forget a bottle brush!
  • Nipple Cream – This is great for sore or cracked nipples, but you can just rub a little breast milk on them and let them get some air, and it should do the trick too.
  • Nursing Bra – I love this bra because it is so easy to unlatch and nurse anywhere and the foam inserts hide my nipples! You might like a nighttime nursing bra to wear to bed too, but I just put a belly band over my breasts, not for the support (I have pretty small breasts), but because my nipples were so sensitive and I didn’t like wearing just a t-shirt anymore.
  • Nursing Tank Tops – If you think you’ll ever nurse in front of another human being that doesn’t want to see your sagging stomach skin while you lift up your shirt to nurse, you’ll want one (or two or ten) of these. They are also great for covering up your butt crack when you bend over and can double as a bra too.
  • *Check out my blog: 12 Breastfeeding Tips to Read Before You Give Birth for more helpful information about breastfeeding.

Baby Toiletries

  • Diaper Rash Cream – I have tried so many different diaper rash cream products, and nothing, and I mean nothing, even comes close to how amazing this is.
  • Body Wash – Babies don’t need to be washed that often, but when they do, this is the best product I’ve found for the job. This bar version works just as well.
  • Baby Oil – This oil is great for a million reasons. I love using it to make my own diaper wipe solution, to put on my babies’ heads to get rid of cradle cap, to put on their butts before meconium poops to make them easier to clean, and to rub into any dry areas. Extra virgin olive oil works just as well too.
  • Lotion – When babies get dry skin, this is great to have. But if I had to pick lotion or oil, I would pick the oil.
  • Weleda Starter Kit – This is a great kit to get you started to see if you’ll really like these products. (It also makes a great gift!)
  • Bag Balm – This is also great for a million reasons. Plus, I just like using it for lip balm, although nothing really compares to my homemade lip balm.
  • Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment – This is the best and most healing lotion ever. It’s great for when you need a super duper moisturizer.
  • Nail Clippers – You really only need to file your baby’s nails at first, and in the beginning, they’ll usually just kind of peel off, but eventually, you’ll want to be able to cut those little daggers!
  • Comb and Brush – The soft brush is so gentle for your baby’s head and the comb is great for getting rid of cradle cap!
  • Nosefrida – Forget using a bulb syringe, this thing is the BEST! You’ll also want to get some saline mist.
  • Colic Calm – I found this with my fourth newborn, and it really worked great on those late nights when he was fussy and nothing else seemed to calm him down. These work well too. *Check out my blog about how to calm a fussy baby here
  • Teething – You won’t need these items right away, but you’ll be happy to have them on hand when the time comes. Check out my blog: How to Relieve Teething Pain.

Clothing and Blankets

  • Onsies – If it’s spring or summer, you’ll be needing a lot of these! Here’s some basic ones for girls and some basic ones for boys.
  • Footie Pants – I hate putting socks on newborns. This is a great alternative. 🙂
  • Sleep Sack – This is just the best for sleepwear. Here’s one for girls too.
  • Swaddler – This swaddle blanket is great to put over a onsie for babies who like to be swaddled to sleep.
  • Sleeper – My fall and winter babies pretty much live in these. Here’s some for girls and some for boys. Trust me, you want the zippers on these things!
  • Socks – If the socks are too tight, they’ll leave marks on chubby little ankles, and that can’t be too comfortable!
  • Hand Socks – Some babies scratch their faces with their sharp little claws, and these are great, but regular socks work just as well.
  • Bibs – The bibs with the velcro in the back can sometimes scratch your little ones’ neck. I never thought I would rave about a bib, but these bibs are absolutely the best! They are great for clean up little spit ups and for drool.
  • Swaddling Blankets – Some of my babies have loved being swaddled, and some don’t. Just make sure when you swaddle, you’re giving the legs room to move around so you don’t cause hip dysplasia. I love these swaddling blankets because they’re really big, they’re breathable, and they’re soft.
  • Receiving Blanket –  These are kind of nice to have around for a spare burp cloth, swaddler, or blanket. Here’s a nice organic version, but gosh that’s expensive!
  • Silky Blanket – I like going to the fabric store and picking out the best and silkiest fabric and then making my own silky blankets for my babies, but if I had to buy one, this looks pretty good, and so does this one. I carry my baby around with his silky, nurse him with him wrapped up in it, use it to stroke his face and shield his eyes as he falls asleep in my arms, and lay him down with it for naps or at night so he is always near something that smells like me and is comforting.
  • Special Blanket – If you don’t (gasp) like silkies, something like this would be good too.
  • Lovie – If you’re not comfortable leaving your baby with a bigger blanket, you can leave them with a little lovie while they nap so they’re not totally alone.
  • Burp Cloths – Prefold and birdseye diapers work great as burp cloths too. Just make sure you have enough to put EVERYWHERE you might sit with the baby.

Out and About

  • Infant Car Seat – Having a removable car seat is so convenient for when your little one falls asleep while out and about. This is good until they are 6 months old or 22 lbs and 29 in., but well worth the investment in my opinion. You’ll probably also want a mirror like this to keep tabs on your little one and some window shades.
  • Car Seat – After they outgrow the infant car seat, you’ll need to upgrade. I recommend something like this because it can be converted to accommodate children from 20-100 lbs.
  • Stroller – This stroller is great because it fits with the infant car seat. We still have our Graco stroller from our first baby and we use it all the time.
  • Ergo – I have tried many different different carriers and I love, love, LOVE my Ergo! It is so comfortable to wear, it DOES NOT hurt my back, and I love having my baby snuggled up close facing me. It’s best suited for babies 4 months and older, but you can use the infant insert to accommodate your little one. You’ll want to stay away from the front facing carriers (for extended use anyways) because they can lead to hip dysplasia. I know people who really like the Boba carrier too.
  • Moby Wrap – It’s a little tricky to figure out how to use one of these, but this video will help! I LOVE using my Moby wrap for my little newborn babies until they are 3 months or so. It’s great to be able to keep them close while you want to have two hands free to do a few things around the house.

Things That Hold Babies or Playthings

  • Activity Mat – This can be packed up and moved anywhere easily, and all of our babies have loved it. It’s easy to store away. You can lay a baby on it starting at any age.
  • Bouncy Chair – Now, this isn’t really necessary, but it sure is nice to have a fun little place for your baby to bounce and play while you fold laundry or something. This one is fun too.
  • Activity Center – As soon as your baby can support himself (about 3 months), he’ll love being entertained in this activity center.
  • Bumpo – You won’t really need this until your baby is a little older, but we have loved using this with every single baby except our fourth (I’m not really sure why, too busy moving around I guess). It’s a great way to get babies in a sitting position when they’re not quite ready to sit on their own.
  • Door Jumper – Babies aren’t really ready for this until 6 months or so, but it is a great way for them to jump and move around while you get dinner ready.
  • Jumperoo – If you don’t have a good door frame to use, or if you have more floor space, this jumperoo is a great way for babies to entertain themselves.
  • High Chair – Our babies haven’t really been ready for a high chair until 6-8 months, but hey, you’ll use it sooner than you think! I really like how versatile this one is. And don’t forget silverware and a sippy cup. We try to buy most of our dishware glass, like these little glass plates and bowls, but sometimes some BPA free plastic does the trick too.

Toys

  • Whoozit – This little toy has been a favorite of all of our children, and we love taking it with us when we travel. We have also loved this larger sized Woozit.
  • Floor Mirror – This is so wonderful for when babies start doing tummy time.
  • Manhattan Toy Winkle – All of my babies have loved this because it is easy to grab onto, hold, and chew.
  • Jacques the Peacock – This is a great take-a-long toy with lots to keep a little one busy.
  • Ziggles – This is another cute take-a-long toy that is very cute.
  • Sophie the Giraffe Teether – I love how easy this is for little ones to grab and it’s such a fun teething toy.
  • Baby’s First Blocks and Rings – These are totally classic toys that you’ve just got to have!
  • Bath Letters – These are probably one of the most used toys we have, and they really help with teaching letters!
  • Wrist Rattles – I don’t know if these are more fun for the babies or the parents!
  • Wooden Teether – My friend hand makes these and they are really cool!

Books

Best Books to Read Before You Have a Baby

Postpartum

  • Bellefit Corset – This corset helped me to heal my diastis recti after baby number three, and I’m currently using it now to heal after baby number four.
  • After Ease – After baby number three, I was completely floored by the afterpains. I got some of this after baby number four, that a heating pad, and bouncing on an exercise ball really helped.
  • Postnatal Rescue – This is a very gradual workout that will ease you back into shape.
  • Comfortable (non maternity) Pants – You won’t fit into your regular pants for awhile and you’ll totally wear your maternity clothes for awhile, but it’s nice to have something comfortable that’s not maternity pants after awhile.

Things You Don’t Need

  • Everything on This List – You most certainly don’t need all of this stuff before the baby is born, and not all of these items are necessary. You have to pick and choose the things that are most important based on your lifestyle, your budget, your space, and your individual needs.
  • Everything New – I think the benefit of having a list such as this is that it enables you to keep an eye out for bargains and deals. Just knowing what you need can also help you to be better at saying no to impulse buys.
  • Baby Food Maker – Just use a blender, pre-chew the food, or cut it up into small enough bites.
  • Baby Bath – Just take the baby into the bath with you. It’s much easier, your baby will be more comforted with you nearby, and you can nurse if he or she gets fussy. You also don’t need special baby towels or wash cloths, but hey, get them if you must!
  • Outlet Covers – Outlets are only dangerous if a baby is sticking a metal knife into them. If you see them doing this, I think it would be better to tell them no or use some form of distraction. I also don’t think you need cabinet safety locks, toilet seat lock, or baby gates, but now that I’ve mentioned these items, you’re probably just going to get them anyways.
  • Bottle Rack – Unless you’re formula feeding, then you probably do.
  • Wipe Warmer – You might still like one, but this is something we never got and never missed.

Make a Registry

If you haven’t done so already, now might be a good time to make a baby registry. If you make one through this link, I will get a $5 referral fee, so thanks! Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Amazon Mom

If you’re a mom, grandparent, or caretaker, you try Amazon Mom for free for one month. So check out the following link below to help yourself and give me a small referral fee! Try Amazon Mom for Free

*If you’re looking for the best items to support your pregnancy, check out my blog: Best Pregnancy Items