Hi, I’m Olivia Roach – a first time mom who stays home with my five-month-old son, Ford! Being a new mom has changed so many things for me; my priorities have totally shifted. My blog, Emerald & Onyx, which once took up a lot of my time, has now taken a back seat to my new role as mom. Each day is so different, and I am grateful to stay home and care for my son. But, being a new mom can be hard, and some days I think I’m doing it all wrong. Other days, I feel like superwoman and have it all figured out. There is so much pressure for moms to get it right and have it all together. The reality is, sometimes I don’t, and that’s ok! I’ve learned to go with my gut, trust what’s in my heart, and not let the pressures of society influence how I raise my son.
My mom wrote me a letter after Ford was born, and she said, “Take one day and one moment at a time. You’ve got this!” That has stuck with me ever since. As a first-time mom who needs so many things (in addition to diapers and wipes), these are the items I use every day and couldn’t live without:
This pump has been amazing for me because it closely resembles the feeling of nursing. For a first-time mom, pumping and nursing is a whole new experience and feeling that takes time to get used to. During my time in the hospital after giving birth, I used the Medela Symphony pump, which I had equal output with, but for me, the Spectra felt more comfortable. I also liked how two flange sizes were included and worked better for my body. A nice feature that I love about the Spectra S2 is the built-in light, which has made pumping at night less disruptive.
Vava Night Light
This night light is ideal for middle of the night feedings, wake ups, etc. There is nothing worse than being half asleep and having to turn on a bright overhead light. The Vava Night Light taps on to a dim setting and can be tapped multiple times to change brightness and set to a variety of warm or cool colors. The Vava also has a setting to stay on for an hour and shut off automatically. It is under $20 and the perfect bedside table must-have. This is also great for when Ford gets older as he can use it as a night light.
We absolutely love our DockATot and use it constantly! The sides allow for a safe space that your baby can lay in while you run to the bathroom or brush your teeth! It’s easy to move from room to room and is a great item to travel with! I love that the cover is removable and washable. Now that Ford is five months old and getting a bit more active, he lays in it and plays with toys all the time!
A must-have for breastfeeding moms! You may want to freeze milk so your little one can be bottle fed on days you need a breastfeeding break. It’s also great to have frozen milk for a day you’re away from the home and need dad to be there for a feeding! Additionally, it is convenient for anyone heading back to work and leaving milk with a childcare provider. I love these storage bags because they lay flat and allow you to store so much more in the freezer versus using a container.
Skip Hop Activity Center
This activity center can be used for many years. It transitions from a sit, swivel, bounce and play, to a cruise and interact table, and lastly, to a play table that can also be used for crafting and mealtime. This is a major bang for your buck because it’s three items in one! Products that adapt as your child grows are the must-haves in my book. We absolutely love this for Ford’s playing and exploration. He loves all the little toys that clip on the side, as well as the piano that can be used with hands or feet! This is a great way for your baby to get his or her energy out and work on hand eye coordination.
Hands down, this is our most utilized item of all. It is the absolute perfect item for every baby. It’s a safe space where your baby can rest and play while you do whatever you need to! I use this in the kitchen while making meals, unloading the dishwasher, and Ford even uses it in bathroom when I take a shower. I also love how portable it is. It folds so thin it can go anywhere. We added the play bar when he was three months old, which was a great way to keep him occupied and have something to play with and explore. I love that this can be used in three different reclining positions and can be used up to the age of two.
The Ollie Swaddle
This swaddle is a game changer! The material is soft and stretchy, so it allows you to get a very snug fit when needed. I love that it has three points of Velcro, which allows for the correct pressure at the right spot on your baby’s body. Plus, it keeps them more comfortable and allows movement where developmentally needed. The inside is a soft semi fleece material, so it’s great for baby to sleep with a light cotton onesie, or even just in a diaper.
Boon Grass Drying Set
This is the perfect new mom item because not only do pumps have a lot of little parts, but so do bottles. The grass patch is the perfect way to keep all things baby in one place for drying. We use it for pump parts, pacifiers, bottle parts, and now bowls and spoons since Ford is trying purées! It’s the perfect size and is under $30!
Lovevery Play Gym
The Lovevery Play Gym is another win for growing with your baby. It starts out as a play mat, which is great for back play or tummy time and comes with a set of cards that are perfect for visual learning; there are black and white images, a set of body part images, and two mirrored cards. There are also different areas of the play mat that have stages of exploration, including learning to focus, exploring colors, how things feel, making sounds, and hiding and finding.
Additionally, the play mat comes with a book that gives examples of how you can play with your child based on their age. I loved this because as a new mom, I didn’t know what Ford would like to do, or what we should be practicing. There is also a book that explains what milestones they will experience based on age. One last thing I love is the cover it comes with to create a little tent! We haven’t tried ours yet, but plan to use this as a fun space to snuggle up with a book when Ford masters sitting up!
I know it sounds weird, but I am telling you this is so convenient! You will never have diaper cream on your hands again! Trust me, this is a must-have because it makes diapering so easy! The cream stays on the spatula, you wipe it on baby’s bum, suction it to the table, close up diaper, and you are good to go! I love that it allows you to have two free, clean hands and can be rinsed off or wiped with a diaper wipe for easy clean up! The smaller one is ideal for your diaper bag and has a travel case for storage!
Being a first time mom is tough. There is something new to learn every day. A happy baby that’s thriving is the end goal, but these 10 items may make it all a little easier.
Guest post written by Olivia Roach, first-time mom and online influencer and writer of her blog, Emerald & Onyx.