our top 18 items for the first 3 months

We've made it! Our baby girl turns three months old this week, and though bittersweet, it's been the most wonderful, tiring, fun, exciting, messy, joyful three months we've ever experienced. We've learned sooOOo0ooO0oo much to say the least. One thing: we didn't use a lot that we were gifted or purchased - OR - we needed a lot that we hadn't even thought of. I'll list some things we ended up not using at the very end, but I've compiled a list of our serious must-haves we've needed and used endlessly in the last three months, in no particular order.

1. Burp cloths - As an auntie/babysitter/nanny, I think I've only ever seen cloth diapers used as burp rags, so that's I automatically thought of when registering and preparing for our babe. We ordered these, then we had our baby, then we ordered ten more. They're organic, cheaper than actual "burp cloths" and theyre durable and spit up doesn't seep through. Seriously... Nora has been a happy spitter since the beginning. So. Much. Spit up. You can literally never have enough... these will probably be on my 6 month list too, because I'm still constantly using and washing these. We got a few packs of these ones, and have loved them: Gerber Organic Cloth Diaper
2. Diapers - Seventh Generation Free and Clear Diapers have been our absolute favorite since the beginning. So far we've used size newborn, one's and now two's. We've yet to find others that we like as much. From absorbency (I hate being able to smell pee through a diaper, and these are fantastic at keeping it all in the diaper), to being natural, and their price point for being what they are. We were gifted allllll the brands (Pampers, Honest, Huggies, Up&Up etc...) and seriously. I also definitely recommend having all sizes on hand. You never know how long your little babe will last in each size... it's always better to have more than not enough when it comes to diapers!
3. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump - Ha! This one is so funny to me, because I really didn't think I'd ever need this one. One day we were road tripping to a wedding four hours away, and I became painfully engorged but wouldn't have a chance to nurse Nora for quite a while. And even if I could, she'd get primarily fore milk, and I like to make sure she's getting enough hind milk (which is hard to ensure when you're engorged). Anyways, we literally called a Target that was on the way to our destination and I ran in, grabbed it (though it was totally cheaper on Amazon had I just gotten it earlier lol), and pumped in the car (all the praise hands because this brought so much relief). We travel a lot, and when working away from home and Nora, this hand pump is officially on my must-have list. Serious life saver, and I felt like I often got more milk from hand pumping.
4. Electric Breast Pump - I'd always heard Medela was the best brand, so that's just what I went with. I started pumping in the very first week, just to ensure my milk supply would keep up. I ended up having complications in the weeks thereafter, but still, having this pump helped tons. Be sure your flanges are the correct sizes for your breasts. If you're lopsided, you may even need two different sizes... which is 100% normal. Better fitting flanges = better pumping. A low-cost option (what we use) here, and a higher cost with a travel bag here. Both are the same, but if you work outside the home, the bag option would be great! I also HIGHLY recommend getting this pumping bra. My pumping life was changed when I got this!
5. Pacifiers (we call them chupie's or chupon's) - we tried all the brands. I was really hoping Nora would like the Natursutten brand, because they're all natural rubber and looked cute on my clips but, babies make up their own minds about these things haha. She disliked Soothies and the nuk styles as well. She ended up really loving these Avent Orthodontic & Freeflow pacifiers. Each baby is different, so I recommend trying out a few to see which they prefer. Here a the ones we tried, and some babies love: Natursutten, Soothie, NUK.

6. Stroller - We love ours so much! Let me tell you... I stroller shopped like crazy. I thought I knew what I wanted like 17 different times. We finally landed on the UppaBaby Cruz and we are so happy with our decision. Whenever we eventually have more kids, we will likely upgrade to the Vista, but chose to stick with the Cruz for now because our plan is to wait a few years, so we'd probably want the latest model when the time comes. I'm not a runner/jogger, and we live in midtown, so the wheels and everything are perfect for us. I also love that I can attach our carseat (with adaptors), and having the "toddler" seat facing us, and eventually just turn it around to face the world. All around, we love it. You can find the Cruz here, the Vista here, and some similar options: here, here, and here.

7. Bottles - We had a whirlwind first night after delivery, and ended up in the hospital without my baby for 12 hours. My wonderful mama stayed with our sweet brand new baby at our home, meaning I couldn't breastfeed her for 12 hours. I won't go into more detail about that situation, but it was an awful experience. Truly. In that time our babe obviously had to take a bottle, and she did so fantastically, and then breastfed like a champ as soon as I was home. We have continued to use these, as we didn't want to have any sort of reversal, and her refusing the bottle later on. She is still breastfed and taking the bottle. We've used Comotomo since the very beginning, and have never had any issues. Click here to find the ones we use, and some other popular brands can be found here and here.

8. Baby swing - We love the Rockaroo! Nora loved this the most in the first month. She fell asleep in it almost immediately. As she grew she didn't fall asleep as quickly, but she still loves it now. We have a small place and didn't want any sort of giant swing or bouncer, and the 4moms Rockaroo is the perfect thing for us. Compact, simple, and I'm sure we'll continue to get plenty of use out of this for the next few months. Click here, here and here for similar options.

9. The Ollie Swaddle - Life. Saver. We use this for every nap at home, and every single night. Nora has slept through the night since she was two weeks old, and we have never not used this swaddle. The few times we've tried getting her to nap or sleep without, we ended up giving ourselves a headache because she just sleeps so much better with it. Read their website. Read their story. These women are amazing, and have been such an advocate for sleep and answering questions and helping us out. Truly love the company, love the sleep we've gotten because of them, and the constant support we've received directly via Instagram and email conversations. Get yourself one or two or seven! Seriously. You can click here for 10% your entire order! 

10. Footed and mitten pjs - Baby nails grow so fast! And their feet get so cold. L'oved baby are our favorites as they are super soft and organic, but Old Navy also has some great sets. Simple but so needed. She sleeps in these every night, and during the colder days, wears all day as well! You can find our favorites here.

11. DockATot - So, I actually received this product in exchange for some good photos and a review. And honestly - we LOVE this and only wish we had gotten it from the very beginning. We co-slept with Nora in between us in the first month, and if we had this I think we would've slept a whole lot better and not been so nervous to have her in our bed. This is so great, because it's portable, washable, and it's own little bed-thing that keeps her feeling safe and cozy. We literally have her on the floor, in the crib, on our bed... she can be anywhere in this and be safe and comforted. Love it. We're hoping we can get the Grand size when she grows out of the Deluxe

12. Carriers - I wrote a post on baby wearing here. But what we have and have used endlessly are the Solly Baby Wrap, and the Sakura Bloom Sling. There are tooonnnnnssss of other brands and carriers. But whatever you choose to best fit your needs, you'll be happy you did. *Edit, we now also have Wildbird Slings and love them so much. If you're wanting a bigger type of ergonomic carrier, a few great options are here, here, and here. Enjoy babywearing! It's seriously the best!

13. Rock N Play - We ordered this on Amazon Prime out of desperation. We had a moses basket rocker that she never liked or used at the time. I wanted her to so badly because of the many uses a moses basket had, and hello, it's adorable, but she didn't like it ever (*edit: she did end up sleeping in moses basket later on, but the rock n play was a life saver). Then she had a week where she had hoooorrrrrendous acid reflux and I thought for sure she'd needed to be medicated or something. Thankfully, that wasn't the case and we found many other remedies and ways to help our sweet baby from being in pain. One was this rock n play, because it has an incline, keeping her more upright rather than flat on her back (helping digestion and keeping everything down rather than coming back up). This helped tons and though it's not the most aesthetically pleasing thing... it works and that's what matters. We never even put batteries in the buzzing thing... we just use it as a little bassinet. It folds and is perfectly portable. There are several different models, so a few at different price points are here, here and here

14. Sink bath - we loved our Puj! Nora was so cute in her sink baths haha. She's loved baths since her second week, when her cord fell off. She was born almost ten pounds and didn't really lose any weight, so she sadly grew out of this kinda fast, but really just because our girl is such a chunk. We'll keep this for our next for sure. It's super small and folds in half. Perfect for newborns and small babes! They also make this sink bath and we were gifted this Blooming Bath as well, which was plush and adorable! 

15. Infant Carseat - Just like the strollers, I searched and searched for the perfect carseat/carrier. Someone recommend Maxi Cosi and that's what ended up settling on! It's so plush and lightweight. She's super safe and cozy in her seat. A few other great infant carseat options: click here, here and here. Carseat safety is extremely important and can be a life or death situation if improperly buckled, strapped or installed. Please do all your research in carseat safety, and don't be afraid to lovingly and gently help other mamas who may not know. It's an important thing to understand, that not everyone realizes just how impactful one seemingly small look-over can be.

16. Play gym - Full disclosure, I also received store credit to Finn+Emma in exchange for photos and a review, and honestly, this is a great play gym. We have the same one pictured above (I'm sure you've seen Nora on my IG story a time or two with this). It's so lightweight, and easy to move from room to room. The birds are rattles so Nora loves hitting them! So fun to watch her play. I love that the toys are detachable, so I can snap onto the stroller or carseat handle. I could also purchase different attachable toys from their shop If I wanted to change things up. Each piece is 100% organic and all natural, so I don't have to worry about what's going in Nora's mouth. Plus, it isn't an obnoxious eye sore, so I can leave it out and not have to worry about my home feeling like baby things are taking over. Overall, this play gym is great!

17. Gripe Water - Literally. This stuff is a God-send. We use and go through this so fast. DJ is always amazed that after we give her a dose, we can hear her it working in her tummy, or watch her hiccups stop immediately. Get this stuff. You will be so happy you did! We also use the Mommy's Bliss probiotic. Shop around the Mommy's Bliss products on Amazon. We also have their 3-in-1 baby wash and sweet slumber cream. The best!

18. Muslin Swaddle Blankets - We have tons of these! You can never have too many. Lightweight but warm and cozy at the same time. Love! Here are a few of our favorites: one, two, three, four, fivesix.

We also use: white noise machine like this one or this one, disposable nursing pads (these are my favorite, but these and these are also great), this baby butter (I also used for sore nipples, and we've actually only ever used it for Nora's face rash... she hasn't had a diaper rash yet), and this and this pacifier clip.

Things we didn't buy or didn't use:  bouncer, jogger stroller, bottle warmer, wipes warmer, separate baby tub, tons and tons of clothes. We're already nearing 6-12 month clothes... babies grow SO fast! no need for crazy amounts of baby clothes. Cloth diapers - we honestly just couldn't afford the upfront cost and we received all diapers up to this point (and we still have a giant pile left) as gifts. We'll see what happens later on with cloth diapering, but as of now, we have two and they're still brand new haha. 

Our darling Nora Jane is growing so fast! Can't believe we've already compiled this list... and are entering our fourth month of her life outside the womb soon. What are some of your favorite must-haves for the 3-6 month stages? I'd love to hear! 


baby, baby + familyMary Salas