16 Things You Need for Baby … And 4 You Don’t | The Ultimate Baby Essentials List
As a mom to two little boys, one thing I’m always being asked by expectant mom friends is what they should add to their registries. I’ve been there, too, mouth agape in the aisles of Babies-R-Us, surrounded by piles of diapers and wipes warmers and bathing supplies and teething gel and… ugh! Cue the feelings of overwhelm that send us all screaming out the door and straight to the freezer for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. You have enough on your plate as a mom-to-be, (ahem… growing a human being!), so to make things simple, I’ve decided to share my Top 20 list of 16 Things You Need for Baby (and 4 You Don’t)
1. A 3-pack of Aden & Anais muslin swaddle blankets is a necessity! Having six blankets is even better–You’ll use them for everything: spit up clean-up when you’re out, swaddling, a nursing cover, a sun shade… They’re breathable, packable and in my opinion, indispensable.
2. Nobody tells you this but for the first month you should just use water instead of wipes to clean the baby, so you need a stash of large cotton pads or cheap washcloths, just for that first month.
3. Assuming you will be breast-feeding, you’ll need a breast pump & double hands-free breast pump bra. I always used to pump when doing my makeup, because you have highest milk supply in the morning. If you’re pumping, then the hands-free bra is a must because let me tell you, girl, pumping is boring and you’ll want your hands free.
4. You need something in which you can store the milk you pump! There are tons of options out there, so spend a little time cruising around on Amazon until you find a product that appeals to you.
5. Eventually in the first year you will need a swing, a baby gym/playmat, a bouncer/activity center and a walker. The baby only uses each for about two months but they are essential for each of those phases to keep them engaged. I recommend just borrowing these from a friend because the use is so low!
6. A rocking chair. I didn’t have one with Finn and it would have made my life easier. I got one the second time around and saved my life in the wee hours of the morning in that first year!
7. Pacifiers. I love Wubbanub.
8. Resinol is my swear-by diaper rash cream.
10. A carseat that snaps into your stroller. If your newborn is asleep, trust me you won’t want to wake them. Of course you only use it for the first 6 months or so but it can be a lifesaver. My last time around I used the Orbit Travel System, which is sleek looking & has an awesome stroller with an option kickboard attachment in case you have an older child, too.
11. Baby wrap or sling. When I lived in Hawaii, I learned from the new moms there to always be baby-wearing. Everywhere you went, women had their babies strapped to their front or back and just went on with their daily routine! It really makes so much sense.
12. Infant pain medication. there will be a day you need it and you will be too distraught to think straight so get a bottle of infant acetamenophen now when you have time to research and weigh your options. And pick up a thermometer for the same reasons.
14. You need a bunch of long thick pads for YOU for your first month post-partum. Its not pretty down there. Also I prefer nursing tanks or sports bras to traditional nursing bras, which frankly, kind of suck. Flowy, loose tops, (Anthropologie has great ones), are awesome to layer over a tank; then you can tuck your little one under there to eat and not have to adjust a cover or blanket when you’re out.
15. I like the Diaper Dekor Plus for a diaper pail.
16. Bonus item: A stash of your favorite wine. Trust me, there will be a day where the promise of a glass is the only thing that keeps you going.
And now, as promised, here are the 4 Things You DON’T Need for Baby:
1. A bottle sterilizer. Just throw them in the dishwasher or use extra hot water to clean them. Boom, done. What do you think moms did before this device existed? Why reinvent the wheel?
2. A wipe warmer or a bottle warmer. They get used to what you give them, so why make life more difficult for yourself? Both my kids are fine with cold wipes and cold milk, preventing 2am meltdowns (yours) when you are just too bleary-eyed to want to deal with an extra step in your routine.
3. Any baby clothes other than full-piece zip-up onesies for the first three months. They poop all over themselves so you won’t want to constantly be removing multiple pieces of tiny clothing. Don’t worry — friends and family love to buy all the cutesy stuff anyway, so you won’t be without those cute holiday Facebook photos!
4. A Pack-n-Play. People will swear you need one but I found that anywhere I would have taken one (traveling), hotels would provide a crib. I never used mine.
Obviously every mom is different and all of our ‘Must-Have’ lists are different, too! I’d love to hear from you about the items you did or did not find essential to your early days of becoming Mom!