The day you find out you are expecting your head starts spinning about everything you need and everything that needs to be done before baby arrives. It can quickly become overwhelming.
But have no fear, there are plenty of mom’s around here that can point you in the right direction, mom’s that have had a kid or two or more. Every mom will have a different opinion on what you need and what you don’t, and you will come to your own conclusions once you get into the groove of having your little one around.
But here you are, looking for my opinion.
After having two boys and not wanting to be inundated with baby stuff, these are the things that I have found essential to having a new baby around. My boys are both extremely different from the other, some items were used more than others for each child but I’d choose to have these items all again.
Duh! This one is a no brainer. If your baby is going to be 8+ pounds, you may want to skip out on the newborn and go right to size 1. It may take you some time to figure out what brand fits your baby the best and works the best with your budget. Luvs and Pampers are my favorites.
When baby is getting up to eat every couple hours, its extremely convenient to have baby close. Not to mention to get as much sleep as possible when baby is sleeping, keep baby close. If you decide to co-sleep, do some research on how to do it safely – there is no judgement from me. You gotta do what you gotta do to get some sleep.
Pump, nursing bra, breast pads and Lanolin. I was a breastfeeding mama, if you are not – skip this part. A pump is necessary if you want some freedom from baby. It is also nice to have in the beginning when you are engorged and want to some pressure off. A nursing bra makes life so much easier, not only do they make your boob so much more accessible, but they are super comfortable too which is nice in the beginning when you feel like you have two watermelons on your chest. Breast pads are necessary unless you want wet spots on your shirts all day, every day. I recommend breathable cotton reusable ones, just make sure you get a few pairs or you will be doing laundry every couple hours. Disposables get expensive, but they are convenient to have some around for when you are out and about. Your nipples will be sore and cracked and most likely bleeding. You will want something to sooth them – lanolin works like magic, but my favorite is coconut oil.
And make sure they are newborn nipples or the let down will be too fast and they will choke and make a mess. You may need to try different bottles until you find one they like, so don’t commit to a bunch of one brand until you know baby will take them.
You can either do one of those cool zip up swaddles or a good ol’ gauze blanket. I liked the gauze blankets, they are light weight and inexpensive, plus you could have it as loose or tight as the baby likes. Neither of my boys liked those zip up swaddles and I didn’t like the idea of zipping my baby up in a straight jacket, but some people swear by them. You can give them both a try pretty inexpensively – but the gauze blankets can be used so many different ways.
Ok, some babes are not paci fans, and sometimes it just takes them a bit to get the hang of it. But when all baby wants to do is suck they really save your nipples (just make sure you have a good latch down pat first before you offer a paci). They don’t always like the first one you try, but if you are willing to do a little pacifier shopping, you can normally find one that each baby likes. My boys like two different brands, which makes it easy on knowing whose bink is whose but it also doesn’t allow for you to just pop the closest bink into their mouth.
With my first I used it to sit on because my tail bone was very badly bruised but with my second I used it to nurse so that I could use my hands for other things, like blogging hehe ? It’s also great for tummy time and propping baby up when they can hold their bottle.
Baby’s can’t regulate their temperature for a while and their toes can get cold easily. So an easy way to help keep their temperature regulated is by keeping socks and hats handy. I have this thing for little tiny baby socks and loved trying out different socks. One of my boys like the thicker, softer ones and one liked the thinner, cotton ones.
Things are messy at first. Ok, ok – they are messy always, but you get used to it. Spit up, learning to nurse, your uncontrolable let down. Burp cloths are such a help to clean up any mess that is going on at the moment.
Another no brainer. You HAVE to have one of these in order to bring your baby home. I did a lot of research and ended up with this one. Two kids later it’s held up and is in excellent shape and I have had no problems.
There are so many different options for these. Use what best suits your space. Bathing your newborn is terrifying and having a baby bath tub is helpful because it allows you to rest your baby in a little bit of water while you wash them. You could easily have someone else help and hold the baby in the sink or tub while you wash too, but wet soapy babies are slippery.
It’s nice to be able to put baby down to do things like shower or pee. Something that moves or rocks or vibrates can be soothing for baby. My oldest LOVED the glider, while my youngest liked the Rock n Play. It can be overwhelming to pick one and hard to know which one your baby will like. Honestly, we added one of each type of chair/rocker to our registry and just left it up to those that sent gifts. We used what we got and both babes lived and found which they preferred out of what we had to offer. So don’t stress about it, but it is nice to have something they can sit in.
Do you already have little ones? What did you find useful? Sign up for our email list to get a super helpful Mom Life Planner!