There are so many emotions that come with the realization that you will soon have a baby! It’s the beginning of a beautiful adventure, one that will bring its lot of questions, fears and uncertainties. It’s also no secret that we live in a society that reassures itself with material things. Therefore, it’s a bit unnerving when you look up all the things you’ll need for a newborn baby!
- “Of course you’ll need this and this, and don’t forget this because the baby won’t be safe if he doesn’t have it!”
I can assure you that Laurie & I have asked our friends and families all the questions and we’ve researched alternatives and formed our own opinion on what it is we need. Because the list got very long, very quickly and everyone had such distinctive views and opinions.
There are many lifestyle choices and schools of thought out there. The most important part is to focus on yourself and forget all the noise around you for a while! Yes, there are items on that list that are crucial to have, and that is when our families and loved ones will want to spoil us, but let’s not forget that all this little being will need over and above anything else is our love and comfort.
Taking the time to ground ourselves, to get a massage, to meditate, to do yoga and to eat well is what matters most during this time! We also both wrote a lot in our pregnancy journals where all our emotions, experiences and evolutions have been noted. I’ll want to create a space for a welcome ceremony for our baby during my baby shower! (can you feel the esoteric side of me coming out?)
Anyhow, enough chit-chat, here is the list of essentials we’ve compiled after going through all the suggestions we received!
We also tried to prioritize local and eco-friendly companies. There are so many here in Québec that make the most beautiful items for little ones!
- Comfy pyjamas (We adore the Zak & Zoé sleepers and these organic cotton ones) These coton organic one from H&M
- Bibs (We chose the Bouton Jaune ones)
- A few hats (Zak & Zoé, Bouton Jaune or Grandma’s knitted ones ;) )
- Mits & slippers (Zak & Zoé, Bouton Jaune or Little Yogi)
- Blankets & swaddling blankets
- Quilts (Bouton Jaune or Coton piqué)
- A bed (We liked the minimalist Ikea version which has a grow-with-me option, we found it used)
- A mattress & mattress cover (make sure you choose a mattress that does not contain any harmful chemicals, and see if there is a soy foam option, and organic cotton covers)
- Linens (we selected our from Bouton Jaune, which are made of organic cotton)
- A lot of tiny cloths (available in our online shop)
- Natural soap bars (we will all be using the same ones as a family) from the Savonnerie des Diligence
- Natural baby care products - We love Souris Verte (made in Quebec)
- Protecting cream (Énamour) and Liniment (available in bulk Les produits de maya)*** Beware of commercial products which contain toxic scents and other chemicals.
- A good baby carrier. Make sure you take the time to try them out! We chose the Tula carrier and the Baby Beluga (a wonderful company from Canada, it's a soft bamboo baby carrier use for the first months)
- Reusable diapers (thank you to Fabienne from Looma for the helpful tips! *We will talk more on this later ;) (Everything can be found second-hand, just make sure they are still in good shape)
- A few disposable diapers and wipes for the first few weeks. We opted for the brand Parasol, whom have no harmful ingredients in them.
- Car seat
- A «Petit Coulou» car seat cover if you have a winter baby (easy to find second-hand)
- Stroller (this is a bit more touchy, we definitely need to be advised more on this depending on everybody’s needs, but again they can be found second-hand)
- Breast pump (ask around your friends and family, buy second-hand or rent them at the pharmacy)
- Bottles (We opted for glass bottles)
- Washable breastfeeding pads
- Milk savers (Apparently, these are very useful…!!)
- Natural rubber pacifiers (Hevea)
- Breastfeeding cushion made with buckwheat hull (Thanks to Maovic :)
- Changing table mattress (also found second-hand!) and we found some lovely vintage changing tables/dressers
- Snuggle me organic . It's not a must have, but we found it to be very handy in the first few weeks! Maybe borrow it from a friend or buy it used?
- Comfy, gender neutral clothes that will be used again for other children we might have. The Internet has so many second-hand clothes outlets (Marketplace Facebook) that are still in great shape! If not, there are many thrift stores, here are a few: Boomerang Kids, Univers Kids dépôt, etc. We also love all the cotton/linen items made by Petites Natures and Little Yogi (Grow-with-me items)
- A bouncer (We both found this one from Babybjorn second-hand, it’s easy to fold and does not need any batteries)
- Portable bassinet (This is optional, I found mine at an antique store for 25$ and Laurie will get the family bassinet which was also used for her boyfriend when he was a baby)
- *Monitors (I opted not to have any, my apartment is quite small! But if I feel the need to get one down the line, I will find it second hand)
- *Diaper bag (We both decided to use our backpacks and just add wet bag and bags as we go, as well as a waterproof quilt to change diapers.)
- A handmade teddy, made right here in Montreal by the company Ouistine, and with recycled materials (also because they are so darn cute!)
If people have run out of ideas on what it is they can offer, ask for gift cards, or money to set aside for future purchases and outings!
We chose our baby books, to keep up with the souvenirs/memories: (Tout petit) Toi
- Ask for homemade meals or gift-cards from a caterer
- Gift-card for a Thalasso bath session for baby
- An osteopathy session for baby
- A massage for mommy
- An Ayurvedic cooking class for momma (online – Maternité Sacrée)
- Help with chores around the house
This shelf was made by Il était une fois
I’ve probably forgotten something, but it’s a good start! We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the Internet is packed with second-hand options; therefore the opportunity to purchase something we need later on will always be there.
Also, it’s a great idea to ask your friends and family if they can lend you something for the baby while it needs it, I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to do so.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed and start getting every little product available! But we are keeping cool, trying to minimize by choosing quality items and encouraging local companies:)!
Ps. We used Babylist to make our lists, it’s easy, and you can add personal notes along the way.
Visit our blog : Top 5 of our must-have eco-friendly products
Our favourite shops :
Boutique Méchant Loup (en ligne)
Written by Stephanie Mandrea and Laurie Barrette
Edited in August 26th 2020