I get this question asked a lot by my friends, my now pregnant sister, and even followers on our IG.
You may or not agree with me but these 5 things have been extremely helpful for me that have no other help, other than my husband when he is not at work. There are a lot more things I bought but never used, and some I used later on, but these 5 things are what helped during the Newborn stage (up to 3m), and even longer. Needless to say, none of this is sponsored, but just my pure and honest advice. So here they are:
1) Bassinet/next-to-me crib: This has been crucial for us. Our son slept in a bassinet in our room until he was about 6 months old actually. If you are petrified (like I was) about your baby breathing and just making sure they are ok, but you are also scared of rolling over the baby in your bed, then this is for you. We used the Chico next2me crib, there are many other options, some cheaper, some more expensive, but this had good reviews. Link of amazon below: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chicco-Next2me-Side-Sleeping-Crib/dp/B00HHPLYHE
2) Baby sitter: We used the Babybjörn baby sitter, but I think most brands would do. This is very useful when you need to go to the toilet, or just need 5 mins to yourself while you know your baby is in a safe place. It has a rocking movement as well. So my son enjoyed some naps there while my husband and I had lunch/dinner more than once. Link to the babysitter: https://www.babybjorn.se/babysittrar/babysitter-balance-soft/
3) Swaddle blankets: These are so important to make them feel comforted and relaxed since these are meant to resemble a mother's womb. We used them religiously to snuggle our baby during naps and also for bedtime sleep.
4) White noise machine: Same reason as to why swaddling is crucial, and that is because its extremely soothing for newborns. You can choose from different sounds, for example heartbeat to remind them of the sound of your heartbeat, there are even ''womb'' like sounds, light music, etc. These we also used very much and still use to date, to put him to sleep. Our white noise machine also serves as a night lamp and has little stars that our now 9 month old son loves to see in the roof.
5) Last but not least, our Babybjörn carrier. Again, I think most brands would do, but this is the one we bought after some research, and we loved. It freed my tired arms to do something else during my days other than carrying my son.
I have some tips though. Unless you have an extremely little baby, its probably not worth it to go with their model ''Mini'', but rather go directly to either the model Move or One. The reason why I feel that, is because our son was born on the heavier side so we were able to use the ''Mini'' for maybe a couple of weeks before he was too heavy for it. Then we bought the ''Move'' which we loved because of the back support (see pic below) which trust me is needed when you are carrying around 6-10 kilos most of your day (now 13 kgs :') ). Lastly we purchase their model ''One'' which claims to be the ''Only one'' you need. We purchased it because its the one you can actually convert into a back carrier, not only front like the Mini or the Move. And since our little (not so little) son has always been heavy, we wanted to have the option of carrying him in the back. If you need to buy just one though, I would recommend the ''Move'' for back support, or the ''One'' if you would like the option of having your baby in the front or in the back.
And with this I conclude my top 5 essentials list. Of course there are other things related to breastfeeding that I could not live without then (or now), but that its in my previous blog post.
Hope you find this useful,