You’ve probably seen in books and magazines the lists of things you “MUST HAVE!”, well most of it’s crap. All your baby truly needs are a clean butt, food, a safe place to sleep, and lots of love. If you give them all those then you’re golden! However, there are a few things you can have along the journey to make things easier and then there are the space wasters. Here is my list of things you must have, AND the leave ’em behinds.
Save your Money on:
Diaper Wipe Warmers. Sure some people may use them, and like them but what do you think is going to happen when you get your baby used to having them warm all the time and they you have to change their butt at a rest stop or McDonalds? Do you think your baby will appreciate a cold wipe when they are used to toasty warm wipes? Plus after a month you will most likely stop filling it, it will gather dust and you will have a hard time selling it at your annual spring yard sale because no grandma is going to buy it when they probably didn’t even use baby wipes for their kids. Rant over.
A Big Fancy Diaper Bag.
Diaper bags are nice to have, but after a while you will just toss a few diapers of each size, a sandwich bag of wipes, and some snacks in your purse. You have enough to do and carry without adding a huge diaper bag. I suggest using a bag from Lily Jade or something similar. A bag with lots of pockets and comfortable straps. Use it as your purse/family bag.
10,000,000 baby books. From the website of Better Brains for Babies – ”A child’s specific experiences determine which connections are strengthened and expanded, and which connections are eliminated. Connections that are used repeatedly become stronger. Connections that are not used are eventually lost to pruning. Repetition is important because it provides the child with multiple opportunities to strengthen connections. It also is important that experiences be enriching. A child should be exposed regularly to experiences that are a little bit new and different. These experiences should be challenging, but not overwhelming, just a step beyond what he can already do.”
Keeping it to 10 books or less is probably best at first and add new titles as they grow. Buy classics and titles that go along with their interests to keep attention piqued.
If they really enjoy a title then write fun memories in the intro page or margins and give it to them when they are older. What better gift at their high school graduation or as a gift to their own babies later!
Baby Shoes and Fancy Hats.
They are frickin’ adorable, right?!? But unless your child is getting professional pictures done or meeting Great-great Grandma, you’ll never even put them on. One of each would be plenty. Buy a tan or white and you’ll be good.
Expensive Tummy Time Gadgets.
Your baby needs tummy time. It is essential to proper neck and back muscle growth. What they don,t need is for you to go out and buy tummy time tools. You can use a rolled up towel, a soft pillow, or even lay them across your knees. I like to lay on my back and put her on my chest so we are face to face. All my kids have done that with me for tummy time and they also get to interact with me that way.
ALWAYS supervise your child during tummy time if they cannot lift their heads properly as they can suffocate.
Baby Monitor with a TV screen.
Yes its techie and fun to see your baby but haven’t you seen enough scary movies to know that you shouldn’t have one? Plus I have found that the less techie monitors that focus on longer range are more efficient. My husband and I like to spend time outside and around the bonfire at night and if you can hear your baby you will enjoy their nap time that much more!
Tons of Pregnancy, Breast Feeding, and Parenting books.
Read Reviews online, ask your mom friends, or whatever research tool you use to figure out the one that will best work for you. For pregnancy the classic What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I like the La Leche League’s Womanly Art of Breastfeeding . And the coolest parenting book ever by Heather Shumaker, It’s OK to Go Up the Slide. Borrow them from the library or a girlfriend because I promise after the first kid you’ll never read them again.
The Things You NEED to Get Right Away!
A double stroller.
As soon as you know you are going to have 2 kids, it’s a need for sure. I waited until the 3rd came along and realized I needed it in my life sooner. You will feel more sane when your small kids are strapped in and secure and in the same place.
This may not seem important with your first child because you never want to stop holding them. When the second and third and so on come along and you need to switch over the laundry or your baby just won’t let you put them down regardless of the things on your to-do list. The baby backpacks or wraps such as the Moby or Tulas will allow your baby to be near to your chest while allowing your hands to be free to tackle your day.
Moms get busy. Mom brain is a thing, unfortunately making little details hard to remember. My oldest is barely 4 but I have a hard time remembering when he started walking, or that his daddy made him laugh by making weird faces at 7 months old but he did. I wrote it down in my journal and now I’ll be able to give him more info on his development when he wants it later. My favorite are the kind that are a 5 year, 1 a day entry fill ins. they ask for questions about the things you do as a family or what your kids are into. It’s fun to look back from the year before and see your child’s differences.
These things are handy for their obvious purchasing purpose of propping your baby for breast-feeding, but they’re awesome for much more. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve crashed out on the couch and there’s my boppy pillow ready and waiting. They are great for snuggling when you are dog tired. Plus they are pretty handy at propping baby so they can watch you fold your giant heaping pile of laundry.
Stock in Diapers.
When you are registering for your baby shower just keep in mind that the purpose is to allow your family to help you get the things you need. Diapers. Get diapers! Register for at least 3 packs of size 1’s, 5 size 2’s and a few packs of each size up to 5’s. If you are going to use cloth diapers then you will need diaper shells, liners, inserts, and multiple sizes. I personally loved our G diapers that we bought on walmart.com. You are going to use more than you think you will and you’ll wish you asked for less frou-frou items and more diapers.
An external photo storage device.
For Christmas my husband bought me a terabyte hard drive for my pictures and within 4 years its full. If you are like me and take tons of pictures it will come in handy. Plus when you want to go print pictures you can just bring it with you.
No. I Undestand that this isn’t something you can just buy on Amazon, maybe on Ebay, but not really. Most of my friends dont have kids. In fact a few have decided they never want kids, and I fully support them. However if makes it difficult when its time to make plans and I dont have a babysitter. When I am able to get a sitter I love to hang out but sometimes its nice to have people who don’t mind going to the playground to watch kids play or going to eat ice cream in the park. Mom friends aren’t always easy to find since you are crazy busy and distracted. Facebook groups are a great resource for connecting with others. Also try to reach out to those you may have worked with in the past or old classmates. Chances are there is someone out there living the mom life who would love to hang out and get coffee with you.
As with all things, the more pressure you put on yourself to be perfect takes away from the effort you’ll be able to give to trying. You’ll never be a perfect mom. They don’t exist. Your baby needs to be clean, safe, and loved. Keep is simple Mama. Grab a glass of wine and start collecting those diapers. Lots of love to you and your littles ??