Tiny Baby Month One Must-Haves

Day 4: My shorts are pants!
Where did that tiny baby go?
Little J just reached the one-month mark! He's now got the chubbiest cheeks and his neck has disappeared. If I didn't have photos to prove it, it'd be hard to believe that he used to be a tiny baby. Despite my doctor warning me that I should be induced before the baby got too big, J came out at 5.64 pounds (2.64 kg) and 20.47 inches (52 cm). My cousin's preemie even weighed more at birth than J did!

A lot of shopping guides I found online were really helpful for coming up with a preliminary must-buy list before J was born, but what I couldn't find was help finding things that fit or worked for our tiny baby. I can't be the only mom who has adorably petite babies, right? If you're expecting a tiny baby, I hope this list helps you. Pass it on!

1) Huggies Ultra Newborn
We were given a lot of diapers from many different brands so we actually had a chance to try and to compare them. And while Papa Bear will argue that a diaper is a diaper is a diaper, the Huggies newborn size fit our tiny baby the best from day zero. A snugger fit means less risk of leakage out the back and sides, something you don't want to deal with when you're sleep-deprived (well, really, ever).

2) H&M, Cotton On, and St. Patrick clothes
While J couldn't fit into clothes labeled "new baby," "newborn," and "0-3" from Mothercare (which has discontinued it's tiny baby/preemie line locally), Luvable Friends, and some local brands, we had a few onesies from H&M, Cotton On, and St. Patrick (my favorite local baby clothes brand) that fit better and didn't make us feel like he'd get lost in them. Cotton On clothes come in cute modern designs and I like that they have tops and pajamas with side snaps or zippers rather than annoying side ties. H&M and St. Patrick designs are more basic but are softer and feel gentler on newborn skin, being 100% cotton (you can go organic for both brands as well).

Mom-to-Mom Tip: Buy just enough for the hospital stay and a maybe a week's worth. J was already a kilo heavier by his two-week check-up.

3) Hush-Hush mittens (and booties)
FYI, Tiny hands come with freakishly long nails. Did they not tell you that at birthing class? I was shocked when I found this out with my first baby. To keep them covered up before you muster up the courage to cut them, you need mittens that stay on. Yeah, they're not just an accessory for baby's OOTD. A few that we bought from other brands kept slipping off—so frustrating when you're breastfeeding and don't have a free hand to pick it up before the talons come dangerously close to swiping his cute little cheek. We liked this drawstring type, which can can be tightened, better than the elastic type, which also tends to get stretched out with use.

4) Baby K'Tan sling
Tiny babies love being worn—it's as close as they can get to being back in the tummy, so essential for the fourth trimester transition. Plus, kangaroo care (wearing babies skin-to-skin) while babywearing has been shown to help tiny babies and preemies grow. I wore J from day 1 at the hospital. My K'Tan's soft material kept him cozy and warm, while Papa Bear's Breeze model (which has a mesh side) keeps him cool when they go for walks around the neighborhood. Wearing him and keeping him close to me also allowed us to take him with us while we ran errands—I could breastfeed him discreetly and keep him shielded from outside elements (and curious onlookers at the mall).

5) Halo Sleepsack Swaddle
If you want to get any sleep at all for the first few nights, the swaddle is your best friend. Being out of the womb is a rough reality that newborn's are just learning to accept and a swaddle helps with that transition. True story: after Little J's first round of routine vaccinations at the hospital, Papa Bear put J back into his Sleepsack and he immediately stopped crying and went back to sleep. He must have felt so safe and happy to be warm again. Thank you, Halo! The best part? The large hook-and-loop (what we call "Velcro") area in the swaddling wings lets you adjust the snugness, even for a tiny baby. J was a few ounces shy of the 6 lb. lower weight range, but we were  still able to wrap him comfortably and tightly in the newborn size.

(Hush-Hush and St. Patrick are available at SM Department Stores. Huggies is available at leading supermarkets and department stores.)