Stocking the Perfect Nursery

Although we did stock up on a lot more things for Liam’s nursery, these are our favorites out of everything we’ve tried so far (the list will most likely be updated as Liam grows and we try out more products).

We try to aim for as many natural/organic products as possible and do a lot of research to see whether or not products are worth buying. Here are our top products/items so far:

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We love these! With 99.9% water (and 0.01% fruit extract), these are simple wipes that are perfect for a newborn’s sensitive skin. We were originally using Honest wipes but weren’t impressed with how dry they were and how much we needed to scrub to clean Liam’s messes. These wipes are relatively inexpensive, are nice and moist, and it’s awesome to know that they won’t give Liam rashes.


We’ve been using this detergent to wash anything from bed linens to onesies to wash cloths and burp rags. It works great on anything and sells for a great price on Amazon (for really big messes we also scrub a little bit of water and baking soda on stains… No complaints!)


Liam had a few scratches on his face right after he was born. The doctor on call at the hospital told us that since newborn nails were so flimsy, we could bend them back and the sharp tips would fall off… I nodded my head but couldn’t help but cringe at the idea of doing that! Baby emory boards work great. As your newborn breastfeeds or drinks his bottle (when he is nice and calm), file his nails down just enough so he can’t hurt his pretty little face.


Normal saline (also referred to as physiological saline) is 0.85% Sodium Chloride solution made in water. My mom brought these individual packets to New York from the Caribbean because they are impossible to find in the U.S. They are amazing to clean a newborn’s nose, but also the gunk that sometimes settles around a newborn’s eyes.


Favorite shampoo/body wash ever… Not only does it have a nice foaming texture, but it also has a very light fragrance that we just love. I’m a fan of this brand and their attempt to make their products as gentle and natural as possible.


After each bath, we lather Liam up with this lotion. It is very rich and helped get rid of his flaky skin (common in newborns) and doesn’t smell strongly at all, which is great. Perfect for everyday use! We also love the Burt’s Bees diaper cream: it is rich and lathers on super thick… perfect to get rid of a little diaper rash! Babyganics and Burt’s Bees are two fantastic brands for babies and I recommend stocking up on their products.


These are my favorite blankets by far! Totally worth the steep price. They get softer with every wash and are large enough to be used for swaddling and everyday comfort.


I was lucky enough to get a free breast pump through my insurance. Although I am exclusively breastfeeding, I’ve been pumping an hour after each session and getting about 2 oz (the plan is to freeze a few bottles for September, when I go back to work.) Although a newborn does a much better job draining a breast than a pump, it is nice to be able to stock up, just in case.


Since I’ve started using a breast pump, I’ve had to sterilize the parts daily after each use. This sterilizer is super quick (about 10 minutes to fully sanitize) and has lots of room to fit bottles and parts.


This Mustela no rinse cleanser is amazing. It smells delicious and is perfect for a quick cleanup (whether for the face, body, or diaper area) when you don’t have time for a bath (or in the morning for a quick clean). It does not contain any parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol which is fantastic as well.


When I was pregnant, I saw a lot of positive reviews about gripe water. I decided to buy it a few days ago when shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I have to say that for gas pain, it works pretty well. Within minutes, Liam went from red in the face sobbing to calm… The great thing about gripe water is that it is a natural alternative to Simethicone (found in other types of gas relief/colic medication) and is made up of entirely natural, herbal ingredients. It can even be used up to 6 times in a 24 hour period. Not a “magical” product, but it can offer some temporary relief for sure.


Because Liam is exclusively breastfed, our pediatrician asked that we give him Vitamin D drops. The one she recommended had artificial flavors, so we went to our local pharmacy and found this one… which has a natural lemon flavor. We felt better about giving him his daily drop!


When we spoke to our pediatrician about Liam’s gas pain, she mentioned these drops which are meant for the breastfed baby. The daily use of probiotic drops helps strengthen a newborn’s system in developing and building healthy bacteria. Since we’ve been using them, I have to admit that Liam has been sleeping a lot better at night… Hopefully this will continue to be the case!


Cradle cap is never fun… yellow, bumpy, flaky… When our pediatrician mentioned the Mustela products above (a brand we already tried and loved), we immediately ordered them on Amazon. Well guess what? A week later, no more cradle cap. Nothing. All we did was use the shampoo every day for a week, then applied the cream and brushed his hair afterwards. You rinse/cleanse his scalp in the morning and voila! Such an easy fix.

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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