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Obviously, it’s absolutely normal to worry about keeping your baby healthy. The worry can get to you even more if you’re a first-time mom! But as someone who struggles with anxiety as it is, I wanted to spend time when I was pregnant preparing myself with baby gear created specifically to relieve these common anxieties. If something can help you feel more calm as you navigate life with a newborn, why not, right?
Products for You & Your New Baby (When You Have Anxiety)
All of that said, you also don’t want to be so prepared that you make yourself more stressed and crazy than necessary! Based on my research, there are definitely a handful of products that can do this. Personally, I avoided those.
Products aside, I’ve learned another lesson that has seriously helped my new mom anxiety: you can’t let every opinion that comes your way cloud your judgement or feed your anxiety. Trust your gut, have a few mama friends to chat with, and when in doubt, check in with a pediatrician you vibe with and trust. (Fun fact: we switched pediatricians for Skylar after about six weeks. I’m glad we listened to our hearts on that one!)
Anxiety during my pregnancy:
Whether or not you generally experience anxiety, it’s unlikely you wouldn’t have at least some of it during pregnancy. It’s natural! There are so many what-ifs, so many changes, and so many unknowns… and — let’s be honest — there’s so much to do! As beautiful as pregnancy is, it comes with its own set of challenges. It’s okay to feel both grateful and nervous.
As someone with generalized anxiety (major worrier, party of one!), anxiety was something I thought about a lot pre-baby and during my pregnancy. Some days, my mind was running in circles. There were other days when I knew to trust my body, but my mind had a harder time doing so. And there were still other days when my thoughts just simply overwhelmed me! Take shopping and ordering furniture for Skylar’s room, for example. It was SO exciting, but completely anxiety-ridden for me at the same time.
Here’s the thing, though: stress really needs to be reduced for a growing baby. There’s actual science behind it! So shortly after I found out I was pregnant, my therapist and I decided that I needed to create an invisible bubble around the baby and me — a bubble that negative thoughts or thoughts that were just too much could essentially bounce off. I focused my mind on doing this and we did visualizations around it. With practice, I learned to literally not let those thoughts in my bubble.
Is it possible that the bubble trick was so effective during pregnancy because I was more concerned for my baby than for myself? Sure! But reminding myself of the bubble around us when the thoughts arose, then breathing and channeling love, warmth, and light to my womb really helped calm me down when I was anxious. Even now, it’s a great tool to have in my toolbox. I hope this helps you, no matter what stage of life you’re in!
Chalk it up to changing hormones, but I’ve actually been pretty relaxed since Skylar was born. My anxiety is chiller than usual! I’ve had moments of overwhelm and my fair share of all-the-feelings (looking at you, that first day venturing out solo with the babe!), but perhaps my preparation (more below!) and my focus on being a calming presence for Skye has helped calm me down.
Here are some products that have given me peace of mind:
Note: See my full, up-to-date, registry post here.
A breathable mattress
I was deciding between Holy Lamb Organics, Newton Baby, Naturepedic, Ouef, and LifeKind, and ultimately narrowed it down to Newton Baby or Naturepedic after a lot of research. I went with Newton Baby, since it’s super breathable. The core of the non-toxic Newton mattress is made from a patented Wovenaire technology that’s 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer, so your baby can literally breathe right through it. It’s been shown to reduce the risk of suffocation and CO2 rebreathing and doesn’t contain any foam, adhesives, springs or glue. It’s even recyclable! We’ll use a breathable cotton muslin sheet until Skye is 1! This will ensure that air flow is not hindered for her.
Get 20% off with this link (not sponsored, just received a code when I shopped!)
Note: This mattress is extremely breathable, but it’s still important to follow the most up-to-date advice for safe sleeping for babies. That looks like no pillow, no blankets, no bumper guards, and a tight-fitting sheet, with baby on her back, not stomach. The Newton mattress is there for peace of mind!
I wanted a monitor that moves, has night vision, has a monitor I can use in the house, and can also connect to my phone. As long as we’re nearby, I am now comfortable with having the monitor on just to hear her, but for mega peace of mind, I suggest opting for a good monitor that allows you to access, track, and change settings. I settled on this Motorola Halo+, which has an app and a monitor. Ut has great quality, night vision, and everything I wanted in a baby monitor.
A rectal thermometer and an electric forehead thermometer
Clearly, the forehead is easier, but checking the accuracy to confirm can be helpful!
This Electric Nail Trimmer
I weirdly had a lot of anxiety thinking about cutting our girl’s nails and cutting her skin by accident. I love this nail trimmer. It can’t get her skin, there are different attachments for different ages, and she doesn’t mind me using it!
A Water Thermometer
My friend Cassy said she thought this was silly when her husband purchased it, but then ended up using it all the time! When I showed it to Mike, he was excited because his baths are often too hot and then he feels a little funky (LOL!). I’m happy we had this early on so I could be sure Skye’s baths were a good temperature for her those first few baths until I got the hang of things!
A Stash of Breast Milk, or Formula
I understand creating this stash may not be possible for all, but I started out having on hand a formula I researched in case we needed it. Then, started to build a stash of breastmilk in my freezer once she was born. I had a rough first week out of the hospital and had to make a quick visit back to the ER five days after we got home. After this experience, I knew I needed that peace of mind that if I needed to go somewhere, we’d have milk if need be!
- See this post for how to get a breast pump for free through insurance, and which I chose.
- I use these breast milk storage bags.
- I use these organizers for our freezer.
P.S. If you don’t use the formula, you can always donate it!
Safe baby products for skin, bath time, etc.
Since learning about various industries, I have truly cared about the products I use on my own skin, in my home, and for my family. You can read my thoughts on fragrance here, on deodorant here, and cleaning supplies here. Now more than ever, I wanted to make sure I had products I could feel good about using for our newborn baby.
- Baby Wash & Baby Bar Soap: Baby wash is amazing and will last forever. I really like the goat milk bar when her skin seems sensitive. I’m switching off between the two.
- Baby Oil 1
- Baby Balm & Baby Protective Balm: Using both and loving. I switch off.
- Baby Powder: Great for if you need to remove moisture (think in-between rolls)
- Diaper Cream: A MUST. Heals it so quick.
- Tubby Todd Ointment: Ordered this after hearing great things for Cradle Cap and dry patches and after just a few days, I saw a MAJOR difference. I love this product.
A homemade baby safety and health basket
In our home we have a designated baby health bin in the linen closet with anything we may need. We may never need to use half of it, but it gives me peace of mind knowing I have everything.
- In my ‘kit’ I have various over-the-counter baby medications: I have products from Little Remedies, Mommy’s Bliss, Zarbee’s, Maty’s
- Medicine dispenser
- Supplements: Vitamin D drops, Probiotic drops
- NoseFrida Snot Sucker
- BabyFrida Windii
- Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer
- Thermometers (see above)
- Nail Trimmer (see above)
Being on-the-go ready
Leaving the house solo (for the first time 0r in general), can be a lot to handle. I made sure I knew how to fold up our stroller, use the car seat, and had my diaper bag packed with all the essentials. I also now keep a handy first-aid kit in my trunk, because why not, right?
- Diaper Bag
- Changing pad (my diaper bag came with one)
- Honest Diapers
- Ubbi On The Go Refill Bags
- Diaper Cream + Mini Tubby Todd Ointment
- Organic Burp Cloths
- Hand Sanitizer
- Babyganics All Purpose Surface Wipes
- Swaddle Blanket/Regular Blanket
- A change of clothes for baby: Usually just have a sleep onesie packed!
- Hushh Portable White Noise/an app on my phone called Guva that you can play (or record) shushes, other songs, noises, etc., and can set a timer! It’s $7.99 to upgrade for all the features. I actually use it all the time.
- Pacifier, if using
- A toy or two
- An extra top for mom
- Anything for bottle-feeding if doing so!
- A snack for mom!
While we’re talking about things that aren’t products but have still helped me fight anxiety…
- Apps: I have loved having a few apps handy to help me (help her) through leaps, changes, milestones, and more.
- Classes: Infant CPR and other classes helped us feel confident going into baby life.
- Chats with Mama friends: This isn’t a product, but it’s still super important and has helped with my anxiety a lot.
- Your pediatrician on speed dial!
Stay up to date with modern safety advice. Things change so quickly when it comes to advice about how to avoid health and safety hazards for your baby. Your well-intentioned family members may offer advice that is from decades ago. Sure, it worked for them, but we know better now, and our standards have changed. A good source of this information is your pediatrician’s office, which should be giving you paperwork with each visit with modern best practices.
Go to a certified passenger safety technician to learn how to install your infant car seat properly. You can also check out https://thecarseatlady.com to educate yourself on important safety advice about strapping in your child from their newborn through toddler years.
Products that can cause more anxiety:
In my experience, these produce more anxiety because of potentially inaccurate information or too much data. (Yes, there is such a thing as too much information!)
- Owelet Sock Monitor: Knowing these are often inaccurate or send random notifications when nothing is wrong was enough for me to know it was going to cause more anxiety than needed! Though some of you said this helped your anxiety, this is where you need to know yourself! This was not the right fit for our family.
- Less is MORE: For me, the thought of using more products and having to wean the baby of them felt daunting. Especially after our hospital experience and having to wean the nipple shield off the bat. I knew the swaddle was going to be a transition at some point and I didn’t want a ton more. So for me, that was saying no to the Snoo Bassinet, not pushing the pacifier if she wasn’t into it, wipe warmers, and things like that! So the less is more approach personally gave me less anxiety thinking ahead!