My New Baby Must Have Products

My new baby must have products| Smithsquad.com| With a small budget, large family, and tiny home I have to be rather minamilistic with new baby supplies

With only six weeks left until my due date I am thinking a lot about making sure I have everything that baby needs. Fitting a family of 8 in a 980 sq ft house is no easy task. I have to really focus on only bringing into the house things that will truly bless us and get used on a regular basis. I don’t have a baby nursery, or even much storage space for clothes and such. I definitely don’t have room for EVERY awesome baby furniture option out there. Here are a few of my baby must have products that are worth making room for.

Muslin Swaddle Blankets

New Baby Must Have Products- Muslin Swaddle Blankets | SmithSquad.com | What things are absolutely necessary on a tight budget or in a tiny space?

My mom introduced these muslin swaddle blankets to me a few babies ago. She runs the Show Care at Tuacahn Center for the Arts and uses them all the time. They are perfect for swaddling because they are larger than most receiving blankets and thin which makes it easier to get them tight. The are super easy to layer when you need a bit of warmth and make a great light blanket when it is warm. They are also great as a breastfeeding cover or spit-up cloth.

Breastfeeding Essentials

As a stay at home mom I usually can just feed at the breast. It is nice, however, to have the ability to leave daddy or the sitter with a bottle of milk so that I can get some much-needed mommy time off. My favorite Bottles are the Breastflow bottles by “The First Years”. They mimic the way that baby gets milk from the breast so that there aren’t as many issues with nipple rejection or confusion. For the last few babies I have only had a simple Madela Harmony hand pump. It is inexpensive and works beautifully, but can be quite tiring on the hand that’s pumping. It’s great for moms who only pump a few times a week. If you are pumping daily, especially if returning to work, then a double electric is the best choice. Most insurance companies will cover a great one now days, so make sure you check with them before buying one out-of-pocket! In the past I have used the Madela Pump in Style and loved it. This time around my insurance sent me a Hygeia pump. I’ve heard great things about it, and am excited to try it out. I have also heard great things about the Spectra S2. You will also need storage bags and breast pads as a breastfeeding mom. My favorite for both is Lansinoh (bags, pads). Last, but certainly not least it is important to have at least two comfortable supporting bras. My absolute favorite brand is Bravado. Bravado bras are super comfortable and very supportive without having underwire. I love that they have a little bit of stretch to them to accommodate for changing cup sizes between full and empty breasts.

Baby Carrier

New Baby Must Have Products- Baby carrier | SmithSquad.com
This is a kangaroo carry in a woven wrap, perfect for teeny newborns.

I am a huge fan of babywearing! I detest carrying around a car seat, and find strollers that are suitable for newborns bulky and inconvenient. My three favorites for the newborn stage are stretchy wraps (Moby, Boba), woven wraps (Dolcino, Ellaroo, Didymos, Storchenweige, and more), and ring slings (Maya, Becco). You can read my full post about babywearing benefits and carriers here.

Car Seat

It kind of goes without saying that a good car seat is necessary for any baby. Even if you don’t have your own car chances are your baby will be in a friend’s car or taxi and will need a suitable seat. Me personally I prefer to get a good convertible seat and skip the baby bucket seat altogether. They can go from rear facing as low as 5 lbs in infancy to belt positioning booster for your 100 lb child, so you won’t have to buy anything other than a simple no-back booster if needed when your child is older.  It just makes more sense from a financial perspective, and as stated above I don’t take the seat out of the car, so portability isn’t a concern. Many moms prefer to get a travel system that includes a stroller, car seat base and a detachable seat. If you don’t have the same negative feelings towards strollers and carrying seats that I do it is a great option.

Clothing

New Baby Must Have Products- Clothing |SmithSquad.com| bodysuits and footed jammies are all you really need
Babies spend 90% of their time in footed jammies or bodysuits.

I am very blessed to have been gifted plenty of adorable hand-me-downs from friends and family. Really though babies don’t need much at all in the way of clothing. If you are buying your own on a budget stick to the basics. Bodysuits and footed jammies are what my babies wear 90% of the time. Unless the girls are picking the outfit, then they end up in the most frilly and sparkly outfit that can be found! How many to buy depends on how much storage space you have and how often you want to wash. Most babies go through 1-2 outfits a day thanks to diaper leaks and spit-up. If you have a major spitter though, you may need a few more.

That’s it Folks!

Seriously, that is the end of my list. Everything else is just fluff. There are tons of nice to haves and adorable things that are fun to have, but if you’re really working with a minimum budget or tiny space I think you will do just fine with only the things on this list.

Do you think I forgot anything? What are your new baby must have products?

The Most Powerful Women in the World

Strong. Powerful. Leader. Brave. Confident. Ambitious. Assertive. Knowledgeable. Persistent.

When you read these words what type of woman comes to mind? Who do you picture? What does she do? How does she live? Where does she work? What does she wear?

Something like this perhaps?

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 3.27.11 PM

Let me tell you a little bit about the woman I see.

The woman I see is completely exhausted with dark circles under her eyes, but they are eyes full of hope, peace, and purpose. She is tired, sweaty, and her hair is rather disheveled. She didn’t have time to do her make-up this morning and her socks don’t even match. She’s probably in bed, though she way be walking or swaying to manage the pain she is feeling. Every few minutes she has to close her eyes and breathe deep, sometimes crying out in fear, pain, or frustration. She may be tempted with thoughts of quitting, turning back, regret. Despite this she moves forward with determination.

I see a woman in labor. I see the most powerful woman in the world. I see a mother.

You see I believe that often the most important work we can ever do as woman is within the walls of our own home. I believe there is nobility in motherhood, and it is never more apparent than in those few hours when a woman works so hard to bring a precious spirit into this mortal life.

Motherhood is an eternal partnership with God. For nine beautiful months a woman is able to be a full partner with God in the work of creation. She is creating life. It is only through her intense sacrifice that a new child is able to take its first breath. It is through her pain and hard work that a new story is begun. In that moment she is able to taste just a small sliver of what Christ has given us, new life, as she provides a waiting spirit with a new life of its own.

Birth Photography Atlanta|Winder|Georgia
Baby #7 only a few minutes old, hadn’t even cut the cord yet.

I can not witness a birth without tears. In those few precious moments the boundary between our world and God’s is so thin. I can feel the presence of angels bearing up that woman and applauding her for the work she is doing. It is truly the work of salvation. It is a beautiful moment. It is life. It is hope. It is the promise of new beginnings. Nothing can compare with that moment when as a mother you first look into the eyes of that child that you gave birth to. From my first to my 7th the emotions only deepened and grew.

The miracle is every bit as beautiful if you journey starts or ends with adoption or infertility. The sacrifice is every bit as real. The desire and the love do not diminish. Every woman is a mother, whether she has given birth or not, if it is the role that she desires for herself.

Life is a miracle and it happened, dear mothers, because we were willing to make the sacrifice. It is the most noble work in the world. You are strong, powerful, brave, confident, persistent, and absolutely amazing!