Second Time Mom’s Must Have List for Babies & New Parents – Registry List & Gift Guide for New Moms & Baby Showers

I now have a 3.5 month old and a 2.5 year old, and somewhere, in the quiet hours of the night, I was pinned with my shiny pin of Veteran Parent. It means I have survived enough same-time meltdowns, spit up on shirt, hair pulling, public blowouts, charming coos, and gummy baby smiles to have a legit idea of what it means to go through 2 under 2. I pass on this knowledge to you, dear reader, who is either a terrified new parent or friend/relative of a terrified new parent, well-meaning in your quest to get the goods that make baby-rearing a bit easier. These products have been endorsed not once, but twice, by said Veteran Mommy. You may notice that a lot of this stuff is not necessarily “Cute” — but it is useful. Very useful. You or they will get lots of cute baby clothes, and it’s fun and fine to include something adorable, but also get them something useful. Something like this, or something almost as useful as a hot, fresh meal delivered to new parents. (If you don’t cook, order them takeout or pick up a pizza. It’s the very best thing you can bring new parents, other than coffee or diapers.)

All of these items are available on Amazon Prime, because #freeshipping, and if you’re a new parent who hasn’t slept in 48 hours, the thought of going into public is a big fat nope. Enjoy!

Rock n’ Play

We loved this for Holly because it’s easy to move from room to room and baby sleeps great in it thanks to the snug/cuddling sensation. For Hadley it was a must-have as she was diagnosed with reflux and needed to sleep upright. She slept in this the first 2.5 months of her life and now we have an extra in our bedroom for when we’re hanging out in there, in addition to the one in the living room. You can even splurge and get one that rocks automagically!

SwaddleMe Swaddle Pouches

Swaddling saves your life the first few weeks ‘cuz babies want to feel like they’re snug in Mama’s womb. I like these ones because you might have a baby Houdini who tries to break free, and the velcro keeps them wrapped up like a bangin’ barbacoa burrito. Plus they come in cute patterns — buy the multi pack or at least two because trust that your little bundle of joy will spit up, pee, poop…and if you don’t, you’ll be frantically trying to wash the dirty one before bed time.

Dapple Bottle Soap

This stuff rocks because normal dish soap doesn’t do as good of a job getting milk film off bottles, and breast milk can be oily due to its high fat content. It also is made of more natural ingredients, safer for babe’s gentle biome.

Honest Baby Bottom Spray

There’s one day going to be a diaper that makes you gag, and a good chance it’s going to be a “13-wipe situation”, as my husband lovingly dubbed it. This stuff helps: Look for it at Target – it seems to go out of stock a lot on Amazon.

Angel Baby Bottom Balm

I’m a huge fan of Earth Mama and this stuff has been awesome for two babies with sensitive skin and excemza. I even use it for my excemza. If you’re nursing, you also should try the nipple butter.

Medela Quick Clean Wipes

Cleaning pump parts is a pain in the ass. (Pumping in general is a pain in the ass. You’ll never feel more like a cow on a production line than when you have plastic tubes and flanges pulling at your anatomy.) This makes cleaning the parts less tedious and saves you time.

Lansinoh 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pearls

Boobs hurt from nursing. It is an unfortunate fact of life. These can be warmed up or frozen, whichever suits you as your lady lumps throb.


Spa Silk Burp Cloths

Babies are gross – good thing they are so adorable. These are my favorite burp cloths because they absorb well and are super soft. You’ll notice some well meaning people get you the cute flannel kind that don’t absorb for crap. Use these and be grateful that projectile spit rocket landed on this and not your sweater (I mean, not like it matters when you haven’t showered in three days… but you know!)

Cradle Cap Comb 

Hopefully you won’t need this – but if your kids grow scales on their head like my serpentine babies, you’ll want this. Warning; it is disgusting and weirdly satisfying to use. I’m not going to go into details. But it does help, a lot, along with my favorite “smells like an old lady perfume but in a weirdly good way” baby wash, Mustela.

Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit

You’ll want to buy this just because your baby looks like it’s wearing a sumo suit, but basically this is a puffy marshmallow suit that keeps your kiddo warm, snug, and unable to move like a spastic starfish. Once your kid begins rolling you can no longer swaddle, and you’ll want to keep your blessed four hour stretch — so enter the Merlin. We got the gender neutral yellow and are big fans.

*These links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase, I receive a few pennies. I have two kids to send to college. Feel free to shop to your heart’s content 😉

Alyssa’s 5 New Mom Must Haves For First Weeks With Baby


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Having a baby is super fun, because not only are you obviously excited about the joy of having your little one earthside, you get to stroll the aisles of stores with impossibly itty bitty versions of human clothes, like little socks that make you turn into a giggling, cooing, baby-like version of yourself. We were incredibly blessed to have several baby showers, and we received TONS of stuff that has made our arrival into parenthood just a bit easier. However! As massive life changes are, you can never be 100% prepared, and we found our Amazon account burgeoning with frantic middle of the night purchases (thank you, same day shipping.) As I have several friends due to deliver in the next few months, I wanted to share some things that got us through the first few weeks and are still going strong after month one. This could be helpful as well if you’re picking out baby shower gifts, etc. In full disclosure these are affiliate links, so if you happen to click or buy something, I’ll make a few pennies and go buy myself a Porsche. Or not. 😉

  1.  The Breast Friend Nursing Pillow

Breastfeeding has been tough. I naively didn’t do much research on the subject, assuming once baby arrived she’d open her mouth and milk would flow freely. Not so much, especially when you have a few hormonal disorders that make milk production challenging. This pillow was recommended to me by my friend who’s also a new mom, and it is WORTH EVERY PENNY. It clips around your waist, essentially providing a table top for baby to rest on that’s perfectly aligned with your chestal region. We even use it when bottle-feeding, and Dad likes to use it too. It comes in all kinds of cute colors and designs and has a machine washable cover because babies and boobies are messy.

2. Motherlove More Milk Special Blend

As I mentioned, my PCOS and thyroid conditions mean the dairy fairy isn’t visiting as often as I would like. I am meeting regularly with a lactation consultant, and she started me on this herbal blend to help make more milk. It works! It tastes yucky, so dilute it with a shot glass of cranberry juice (fun to shoot in front of unsuspecting visitors who look on horrified, wondering if new motherhood really IS going as well as you say), or you can order the pill version. There’s all kinds of things you can try to help you make more milk like Mother’s Milk Tea or Lactation Cookies, but this stuff does a pretty good job and is quick n’ easy.

3. Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets

Before I was initiated into the cult of motherhood, I scoffed at the price tag on these. Sure, I thought, they’re soft and trendy and have cute prints, but what’s the big deal? Well, here’s the big deal. They honestly get softer with every wash, and once you’ve mastered the art of the swaddle, you’ll learn that it’s an ancient magical technique that turns your wriggling, screaming baby into a marshmallow of soft contentedness. We have eight of these and they’re in constant rotation of use in our house, as the material stretches enough to not squeeze baby like a boa constrictor, but it keeps them wrapped up like cooing little mummies. LOVE them – 1,400 awesome Amazon reviews don’t lie.

4) Bath Sponge

We had several bathing contraptions for the bambina, ranging from a fancy sling with multiple upright positions to a miniature bath tub, to a spongy ring with a built in pillow and straps. Well, every single one of those has been ixnayed in favor of a plain old sponge, baby sized. For a mere $7, you can stick this thing in the sink or bring it into the bath tub with you and baby. It’s just cushy enough to hold up their little bums, but light enough for you to float them gently down the river of your bathtub in your hands like a raft.  You can get these at any baby store (ours is actually whale shaped and was $6 from Buy Buy Baby). I’m sure we’ll use the fancy bathing contraptions when she’s bigger, but for now, the sponge is the way to go.

5) Gowns

I have learned in the short month I’ve been a parent that onesies with snaps are the devil when it’s 3:00 a.m. and you’re trying to dress a screaming baby. It’s all about zippers down one leg, or even better, the baby gown. We had two of these on hand and in the first week of Holly’s life, ordered four more. These are super easy to put baby in, and to just pull up to change diapers. They also have the rollover cuff so if you have a baby scissorhands, they can’t scratch their darling little face (we have a baby scissorhands.) Worth it. Get a few! Also, who doesn’t look darling in a miniature night gown?

So that’s that! Honorable mentions go to Gas Drops and Gripe Water for fussiness, the Munchkin Latch bottle (doesn’t leak nearly as much as others and helps our girl switch easily between bottle and breast),  connecting rings for baby hands to grasp, the Baby Bjorn WE Carrier (she’s in it and nuzzled against me as I type!), and the Simple Wishes L-Plus Hands Free Pumping Bra.

Looking for other recommendations and insight? These two bloggers helped me out a lot on my pregnancy journey: KJPugs and What I Run Into. Every baby and parent is different, but I hope this helps some of you out as my fellow bloggers helped me!

Till next time — got any must haves to share with me? Let me know in the comments!