There’s something about new moms that I just love. They’re ready and willing to tell you everything—and, if you’re smart, your ears will perk up. Sometimes the advice doesn’t jive with the way you want to raise your kid(s), so you treat it like a buffet of baby information, placing on your parenting plate only what you’d like to digest. But that wasn’t the case when I recently met Nasiba Adilova, a mom of two with one on the way, and she told me about her newborn must-haves.
I instantly vibed with Adilova, a fashionable, petite blonde, at a recent event for The Tot, the shopping and advice site she co-founded in 2016. Because The Tot was born out of her desire to reveal her baby-safe findings to her friends—which then blossomed into a .com that now houses a hybrid of content (written by real moms and certified experts) and the chicest, most curated eco-conscious e-comm you’ve ever seen—I listened up.
Turns out a lot of moms tap this Russian-born, Dallas resident for recos—even Kim Kardashian West turned to her before Chicago was born. For KKW, Adilova suggested items like a Monte Como Glider (“It’s my favorite glider made out of clean, non-toxic materials,” she says), as well as the Jenny Walker The Modern Gent Bassinet (a “chic changing table and bed”). “I always give the same advice, but of course the recommendations change due to new products that come out,” she says.
When it came to my needs, she started with the basics:
1. Swaddles, bibs, burp and wash cloths.
“These are all staples, and you need a lot of them,” she says. “So I buy in bundles because I don’t want to have to wait for more to be washed. I’m also a big fan of everything organic—clothing, detergent, products. I also don’t use anything super cute, because [babies] spit up everywhere, and breastmilk has colostrum in it and stains everything yellow. I really like 12 12, Cam Cam Copenhagen, and Kyte, which we sell on the site.” She suggests bringing swaddles, onesies, a hat, and a blanket to the hospital, since you know they’re thoroughly washed with the detergent you want them washed in. This is important if you’re only using fragrance-free soap, for example, to clean your baby’s laundry.
“I’m big on glass and silicone versus plastic,” she says. “Get as many glass bottles as you can—I like the Natursutton glass bottles, but for silicone, I love Comotomo, which have a round-shaped top to mimic a woman’s breast.” She also likes a metal brand called Pure, and I’ve been told Dr. Brown’s glass bottles are good—so I registered for all of the above. (My husband might have to move out, we have so much stuff!)
Breastmilk storage bags and bottle wipes are two other life-savers; it’s obvious why storage bags are important, but the wipes (Adilova likes the ones from Medela) shave off time when you’re trying to clean a bottle on the go. You can also rub down your pump parts with them.
Apparently the best pacifiers are the ones your baby won’t spit out. Adilova says she likes rubber pacifiers from brands like Natursutton. I’ve also heard the glow-in-the-dark ones by MAM are amazing, especially when you’re trying to find them in the dark without waking your little one. I registered for both.
4. Car seat.
Adiolva specifically loves the Doona for city dwellers, since it has wheels and you can push it around like a stroller, but she also recommends the Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat if you own a vehicle. Regardless of the one I choose, it’s important to read the reviews and also make sure it doesn’t weigh a zillion pounds, since you’ll have to haul them to and from the car (unless you live in the suburbs, which I don’t…yet).
Again, it’s all about convenience with your baby’s new ride. Adilova advises looking for something compact and easy to push around. The Bugaboo Bee is small and perfect for newborns, and a stroller called Pockit is great for when they’re six months. I went with the Bugaboo Fox and will try out this new foldable one from Colugo.
6. Cribs and changing tables.
Adilova recommends looking for items with the clean seal. So I got a changing table and crib with a Greenguard Gold Certification, meaning it’s made with nontoxic paint and finishes. For the insert on my changing table, she suggests the Nook, which has a textured pattern that allows air to flow in case your baby rolls over onto his or her stomach for a few seconds. There’s also the Keekaroo, which is squishy and peanut-shaped.
A few of Adiolva’s recommendations: the Halo and BabyBay, especially since I live in a NYC apartment, but she also loves the Jenny Walker bassinet, which she turned KKW onto. Thankfully, I have my cousin’s Halo as a backup, but I’m going to use the SNOO (Beyoncé’s choice of bassinet, designed by genius Dr. Harvey Karp, an ex-pediatrician of 30 years, along with other smarties at MIT). It helps the baby self-soothe with built-in white noise and rocking motion technology that intensifies as he or she cries louder. Even better, while it’s on the pricier side (up to $1,000) the brand’s coming out with a rental service that breaks down the price to $4 a day—less than your daily Starbucks habit. For an hour or more of sleep a day, I’d say it’s worth it.
8. Glider or rocking chair.
While Adilova is a fan of the Monte glider, my mom already generously ordered one from Pottery Barn, which was sweet, so that’s the one we’ll use.
9. Diapers and wipes.
These, obviously, aren’t optional. Adilova loves the Bambo brand, since they’re plain white and work well. Other moms I trust, like Eva Chen (she also the author of Juno Valentine And The Magical Shoes), have raved about Earth’s Best, Honest, and Pamper’s Plus (Pamper’s version of a healthier diaper with fewer chemicals). My cousin also urged me to get an OXO wipes dispenser, because apparently when you pull out one wipe, four others come with it, and this contraption has a weight in it that allows only one to dispense at a time. Genius. Oh, also, fragrance-free wipes all day, every day—wiping scented products across your baby’s new skin may cause irritation.
10. Baby products, toys, and tubs.
Speaking of insanely fragranced products, since Adilova is all about organic everything, she suggests organic baby bath products as well. Brands like Erbaviva (their formulas legit smell like you’re at the spa—your newborn will love them, and you’ll enjoy the calming scents of organic lavender and chamomile, too). I’ve also been told Babyganics offers up clean ingredients at a low price point.
For bath toys, she loves these rubber ones from Hevea: “I don’t recommend ones with a hole in the bottom, since water can get in and create mold.”
As far as tubs go, she’s into the Boon Naked Collapsible Bathtub and the Stokke Flexi Bath, since they both collapse down and don’t take up a ton of room.
11. Play gym.
“A play gym is another thing you need as a new mom,” Adilova says. “One that I like is called Clover and Birch, which has wood and the other is called Love Every, which has flaps on the side that house little activities built-in.”
12. Necessities for new moms.
This includes but is not limited to the following MUST-HAVES (I’m told):
Pumps. She suggests Medela’s hospital-grade version: “It helps get the milk out fast, and you can buy or rent it,” she says. Chen raves about the Spectra S1, since it has a rechargeable battery, making it great for flights.
Nipple cream and shields. “Nipple cream is a must. I only use organic, and you’ll need four or five sets of nipple shields,” Adiolva says. “Just know that your nipple cannot touch any part of the shield—adhere it to the areola instead, so that it isn’t touching your actual nipple.” Got it.
Oh, and to soothe your nipples post-feeding, many moms told me to get Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads—apparently they’re life-changing.
Nursing bras. Adilova likes Medela nursing bras, but I’ve also heard great things about Bravado, Boob Design, Motherhood Maternity, and ThirdLove. Even H&M makes them, so there’s a price point for just about everyone. Or, you can be extra (glam) and use a Versace bra, like Rachel McAdams.
Adiolva also says I have to get the FridaBaby Fridet MomWasher, a squirt bottle for your vagina postpartum that’s way better than the hospital’s version, according to her, that can make the post-delivery healing process quicker, cleaner, and easier. She also suggests grabbing the granny panty underwear with stretchable sides from the hospital, because no undergarment will be comfortable to you, and you can’t find this exact kind anywhere else. She’s right—literally SO many moms have told me the same thing, so I’m gonna listen. Finally, witch hazel pads can be super soothing and help with healing the area down there.
Whew! That was a lot, but hopefully you don’t feel overwhelmed. I did at first, but with these basics, Adiolva reassured me that I’d be good to go. So I registered for and received a majority of her exact recommendations—or versions close to her suggestions—and feel pretty prepared for my Jan. 20 due date. And now maybe you do, too, if you’re a new mom-to-be. At the very least, you have a professionally curated list from an ultra-chic mama, which should help relieve some of the pressure—especially since the goal is NOT to feel overwhelmed during an amazing time like this.
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