After I did my Ultimate List of Baby Stuff you DON’T Need post, several people mentioned I should also do a list of the stuff you DO need. That really got me thinking. What would I consider to be a necessity? I will tell you one thing…this list is about half the size of the list I was working with while I was preparing for Asher Wade’s arrival. I thought I needed so much stuff, but turns out, babies really don’t need much at all! In fact, I learned really quickly that all he really needed were boobs, diapers, warm jammies and a safe place to put him when I wasn’t holding him (you know, when I needed to pee or shower or something equally selfish). So maybe this list will help some of y’all expecting mamas and daddies out there. I know it probably won’t, because if you are anything like I me, you’ll still go out and buy everything, because gosh darn it, that baby is going to NEED that fancy schmancy whirlpool bath tub with the different water temperatures and multiple jet speeds. It’s ok. I understand. However, maybe try to use this as a starting point and add to as needed.
- Infant car seat. They won’t let you leave the hospital without it. Needs to be in good shape, up-to-date and rear facing. I personally would not skimp on this. It’s your brand new baby, in a car, on a busy road, with wackos driving on said busy road. Don’t mess around with this.
- A snap n’ go stroller, or something easily accessible and light weight that you can stick the infant car seat in for quick
liquorgrocery store runs. If the baby falls asleep in the car seat, you may not want to wake them up when you get to your destination. If AW was awake upon arriving, I’d put him in my sling, but we still used the snap n’ go regularly.
- For me personally, a jogging stroller (with an adapter for the infant car seat) was also a necessity because I walked/ran with him daily. Our BOB is still the main stroller we use and definitely worth the money in my opinion.
- Sling, wrap, soft carrier, or if you are like me, all three. Seriously though…AW wanted to be held 24/7 and I don’t know what I would have done without my collection. I even rigged them so that he could nurse while in them. This made my life much easier and freed up my hands to do other things (like use the remote to change between Keeping up with the Kardashians and Real Housewives).
- Diapers. Lots and lots of diapers. Here’s the thing though…buy a few different sizes since you won’t know if you are giving birth to a 5 pounder or a 10 (Lord help you) pounder. Several people told us not to even buy newborn size diapers because their kid outgrew them so fast, but that was not the case for us. AW was born at just over 7 lbs and when we left the hospital he was under that. We were in newborn diapers for several weeks and had to go buy a few more cases pretty soon after coming home.
- Wipes. Lots and lots of wipes. Don’t skimp on the wipes. Also, and y’all know I am all about some all-natural, eco-friendly and chemical free baby products, but I would not recommend the natural brands when it comes to wipes. I found they ripped easily and were kind of rough on his newborn skin. If chemicals mean it gets the poo off with one gentle swipe on the rear, then so be it. We liked Pampers Sensitive.
- Wipes warmer. I know you’re probably thinking that this hardly seems like a necessity, but this is my list, and for us, it was one. AW screamed.bloody.murder whenever we did diaper changes, but after we started using warm wipes, it got a lot better. I just don’t think he enjoyed the cold wipe on his bare butt. Plus, for some reason a warm wipe cleaned the poo up quicker. I think it kind of, umm, softened (TMI?) the poo and it wiped off much easier. Win-win.
- Velcro swaddlers. We bought all of these beautiful organic muslin blankets that we planned to swaddle with, but AW busted out of those faster than Rosie O’Donnell in skinny jeans. Once we started using the velcro swaddles, he stayed secure and slept better, and that’s really all you want as a new parent. We used the Summer Infant brand.
- Footed jammies, preferably the ones where the hands fold down so you don’t also need those goofy mittens that don’t stay on anyways, and preferably ones with zippers so you don’t have to mess with a bunch of snaps. You may also want some cotton onesies, depending on what time of the year your baby is born. Again, have a variety of sizes. We had to go out and buy a bunch of newborn sized outfits because we didn’t realize how small he would actually be. Also a couple of hats if you have a winter baby.
- A few high contrast picture books and rattles or toys he/she can hold. Don’t go crazy. Babies don’t really care about toys, but they do like to look at colors and shake things.
- Burp cloths and bibs. We loved the pre-fold cloth diapers. Keep them scattered all over the house. We actually had little “stations” throughout the house. At each station I’d have a basket with diapers, wipes, burp cloths and diaper cream. This way we were ready for action no matter where we were.
- Somewhere for the baby to sleep. This could be a crib, a pack n’ play, a co-sleeper, or maybe you just plan to bed share (although I imagine you will want some sort of baby bed at some point). You’ll also need a few sheets and maybe a waterproof mattress pad. Let me share my trick…layer 3-4 sheets on the mattress. Then when (not if, but when) your baby has a poop explosion or throws up in the middle of the night, you should hopefully only have to pull off the soiled top sheet and have a fresh one already on there.
- Video monitor. When we moved AW in to his room, this gave me peace of mind. I loved being able to see him. We kept the camera close enough so I could literally see his chest rise and fall. I can’t even tell you how many times I would check for that steady breathing during the night, but at least it was better than trudging up the stairs multiple times.
- Baby swing. This was pretty much the only place AW would nap if I wasn’t holding him, or he wasn’t in a carrier. He would also sit in it for 20 minutes or so every morning while I got dressed.
- Infant nail clippers. Ugh, I hate doing this, but it needs to be done, lest your baby look like Linda Blair circa The Exorcist.
- Nose Freida a/k/a the snot sucker. Works so much better than that bulb syringe thingy. We liked Boogie Wipes too.
- Thermometer. We used the old-fashioned rectal one when he was an infant, and now we use and love the digital one that goes in his ear and gives you a reading in a couple of seconds.
- Infant Tylenol, infant ibuprofen (6+ months), children’s Zyrtec, Aquafor, infant probiotic (we liked Gerber Soothe Drops) and Colic Calm are all in our medicine cabinet and all used as needed. We also use a humidifier in his room when he’s sick and find it helps a lot. Also have vaseline on hand as their umbilical cord clamp is healing. We used a lot of Vaseline after AW’s circumcision too.
- Infant body wash/shampoo. We like the Baby Aveeno and California Baby brands. Those scents will forever be etched in my brain and immediately flood me with the warm and fuzzies.
- You may want a diaper bag, but I honestly just threw everything in my purse. If you want to be really smart and savvy, this is how I convinced Matt that I needed the large LV Neverfull…I explained that it doubled as my purse AND the diaper bag;)
- Small fan to use for white noise. A bed time necessity for us. The few times the power has gone out, we’ve rushed in to the nursery with our “sleep fan” app already going on our iPhone, praying that the sudden quietness did not wake him already.
- If you plan to bottle feed, then obviously you will need several bottles (I’d think at least 10, unless you want to spend a lot of time washing throughout the day) and probably a few different brands until you figure out which one your baby takes best. Slow flow nipples are needed as well.
- If you plan to breastfeed, here are my essentials: Boppy, lanolin, washable cotton breast pads, a big water bottle that you can refill throughout the day, a good electric breast pump if you plan to go back to work or be away from your baby for extended periods or if you just want to have a break for one of the night feedings and let dad do a bottle, spare parts for your breast pump especially if you are going back to work so you don’t have to wash the parts every single time, a pumping bra so you can play on your phone rather than holding the cone things on your boobs, breast milk storage bags, and a list of other breastfeeding moms you can quickly text/call at 3 in the morning when your baby is screaming and won’t latch and your boobs are on fire and you think you might crawl in a dark closet and never come out again (been there).
- As baby gets older, a few other things I will mention are a high chair, exersaucer or activity gym, lightweight umbrella stroller (much lighter than the BOB and good to keep in the car for quick errands), convertible car seat, ride-on toy, baby gates, sippy cups (we liked the Nuk brand) and pretty much anything that lights up.
- And just for mom (post delivery)….Dermaplast, spray water bottle, Tuck’s pads, the biggest maxi pads you can find (if you don’t feel like you are wearing a diaper, they’re not big enough), cotton granny panties, grab n’ go snacks (I was a fan of Clif bars and Greek yogurt), comfy pajamas that have easy access for feedings, a support system, a lot of grace and a lot of patience.
Did I miss anything? Anyone else have some necessities??