IN THE SPRING OF 2010, I DISCOVERED I WAS PREGNANT.
Having been actively trying for months and suffering multiple miscarriages along the way, it was a moment of mixed feelings. Worry, excitement, and the sigh of “FINALLY”. Only, once we realized this was actually happening, like, REALLY happening… it was like when you’re sitting in a drive through FOR EVER. You wait in a HUUUUGE line to order then sit there for like 10 minutes watching snails go faster than you. But, once you get to the window all frustrated and starving, you realize you have no idea how much money to give them, your wallet is buried under a ton of stuff in your purse which is in the back seat under everyone’s coats and they’re looking at you like you just pushed the slo-mo button on their afternoon.
Oops. So, basically; “Yay! We’re finally here! Oh crap, now what??”
So, we began the arduous, overwhelming process of preparing our lives, our home and our worlds for a baby. My husband and I had both been the youngest in our families, so the only infant/baby/child experience we had from watching our siblings with their children. TOTALLY DIFFERENT, btw – just so you know.
So, being the person I am, I began prepping. I researched countless baby websites and used my almost-done psych degree for everything from choosing colors to devices and using my ultra-geek lifestyle to fill in the rest. Looking at stores, seeing what other moms were doing and reading a ton, I tried to formulate my plan in accomplishing something entirely unique, cutting edge and classic all at once. I considered room themes & color preferences, how I wanted baby’s room to look, feel, smell, the total experience and since we had just bought a house and were redecorating, it was a perfect time to start from the ground up.
I also considered what needs I would have as a mom. Feeding, carrying, strolling, sun, holidays, safety, sickness, comfort… so many things to think about!
There were about ten THOUSAND things I wanted and built killer wish lists on all kinds of online websites and retail companies for everything I’d been told I needed.I say it like that because… well, that’s what happens, right? You get talked at, momsplained, convinced that what someone else needed is what YOU need and you’re going to fail as a parent without that thing. Naturally, I thought I must have ALL THE THINGS.
Guess what? I totally didn’t need all the things.
Now they’re a bit older, I have a bit more of an “arial view” perspective. When I go to the baby stores, I see the new batch of moms to be with that same glazed look in their eyes I remember so well… scanning gun in hand, staring at the isles with no idea what to do next but thinking, “well that looks fancy/practical/useful/cheap, let’s get that one”. Now, I’m not to momsplain to you, I’m just going to share my experiences and what I learned. The “BBN” (before baby need) vs “ABR” (after baby reality). With that, let’s get started! Oh, btw – I don’t have any affiliation with any of the companies and products I am about to mention. I’m not getting paid to support or critique them, it’s really just my opinion/review to help you out.
BBN: We MUST have a high chair!
ABR: We were given a gorgeous high chair for our baby shower and didn’t even open the box till the baby was almost 8 months old. Baby was exclusively breastfed till 1 year. We opened the high chair box finally just because it sounded like fun one day to let him sit with us at dinner.
Bottom line; You won’t need a high chair till at least 6-8 months down the road, so it’s not an immediate need.
BBN: We NEED a pack and play!
ABR: Yes. You do. Really… but choose wisely. You want a pack and play that is easy to put up and take down and is easy to carry and store. Bonus if you can open it with one hand.
Bottom line; Get it, have it beforehand and know before the baby is born how to set it up.
BBN: I need a fancy diaper bag!
ABR: I need a diaper bag that won’t break, is easy to carry and isn’t a THOUSAND pounds before there’s even anything in it.
You will want a diaper bag you don’t hate. Make sure it has room for all your normal purse stuff too, so you don’t have to carry both. You don’t need a thousand dollar diaper bag, just one that won’t fall apart in 3 months of heavy duty use. In fact, it may be more prudent to get one that isn’t terribly expensive in case you try it out and utterly hate it and can’t replace it because you already spent too much on it. I used a military ammo bag for mine and it was the BEST EVER. There were tons of pockets, every single thing had a dedicated place and it was light, durable and washable. It also makes you look like a bad*ss. Some parents like to have two diaper bags for mom and dad, but then you either have to switch out all the things or buy duplicates so you don’t have to do that. It’s easier to just get one that works for everyone.
Bottom line; There are hundreds of options. try them out before you buy and really consider your personal, family needs above fashion.
BBN: We MUST have Baby Monitors!
ABR: Yeah, you really do. Even if you are a co-sleeping family like we were, you still want baby monitors for times when baby is napping and you are out gardening or in the other room for any reason. You want your eyes on that baby prize at all times? Get a monitor. My recommendation is to get the ones with the high def video feeds via wifi and if you can find a version that has a motion sensor, even better to help calm your mama anxiety. The one I had is pretty primitive now, but 7 years ago, it was the bees knees. It had a hand held video remote thing that I could put in my pocket and carry with me up to 100 feet away. Now they make them so they just feed directly into an app on your phone, but some are concerned about the fact that the wifi can be tapped by strangers, so do your research on that.
BBN: What if my baby stops breathing and I don’t even notice becuase I’m not holding him?? I need a heartbeat monitor!
ABR: Yes. Get it. I’d have had it if they’d existed back then. There are tons of them on the market now, but the one I have researched and like the best is by a company called Owlet.
Bottom Line; Many parents think this is not necessary. For me, it would have been a game changer. Do your research and figure out what will work best for you. If it’s something you can live without, so be it… I lived without it, but I wish I’d had it.
BBN: Bouncy seats are moderately necessary, a fun extra if you have the space/money.
ABR: Bouncy seats are a GODSEND and everyone should have at least 2. Bouncy seats provide a hands-free option for mom for things like showers, cooking, or just generally doing things that are more easily done without a baby in your arms. I used to take the baby into the bathroom with me when I showered and set him up in his bouncy seat so I didn’t have to worry about what he was getting up to while I was in there. It solved the issue of “mom never gets a shower” entirely. baby could play happily in the baby seat, mom gets shower time. Win – win!
Bottom line; You could totally get use out of having one.
BBN: Baby swings are okay, but they take up a lot of room – I want to baby-wear anyway, so I probably don’t need one.
ABR: Baby swings are amazing. They provide excellent opportunities for baby to get a new kind of stimulation that is super good for them. It also gives them a place to be quiet and peaceful, most offer musical and light show options to both calm and excite depending on the setting.
Bottom line; swings can be a fun play place AND a calming nap-time place. I highly recommend them!
BBN: Cradles are beautiful! I want one for my baby so we can pretend it’s Victorian England!
ABR: Cradles are, indeed, beautiful. They also take up about 1/4 of a baby’s bedroom sq footage and can be insanely cumbersome. If you have a crib, you really don’t need a cradle ALSO. Unless your cradle is in YOUR room and you are using it more like a bassinet/co-sleeper/side-car thing. In which case, I’d recommend exactly that; a co-sleeper bassinet. We had an amazing one that offered a beautiful, victorian cradle-style, covered bassinet but also had the modern edge of a removable bassinet that could be placed on the bed with us or pushed up right against the bed next to me like a side-car.
Bottom line; A cradle is amazing if you have the space, but if not – a co-sleeper bassinet is a spectacular addition. It allows baby to be in her own space either right next to your bed or even in bed, between you safely depending on how you have it set up. it’s also awesome because it’s got wheels and you can roll it from one room to another.
BBN: I want a beautiful, vintage rocking chair in the baby’s room!
ABR: Grandma’s rocking chair IS beautiful, but not very functional for breastfeeding or soothing colicky babies and are usually pretty uncomfortable. Also, they squeak and creak and wake up the baby when you move or try and get up. The more “vintage” they are, the more squeaky they are.
Bottom line; A nursing chair is essential. Make sure you are comfortable in it before you buy it. I had one that was awesome to look at, so I bought it online… only to get it home, set up and realize it wasn’t very comfortable. I had to add pillows to mine to make it sit-able for more than a few minutes and when you are in the middle of a marathon nursing session for hours at a time, you really do need a chair you can do that in without your butt going numb and your neck hurting. Find one that offers a foot rest that can be raised to elevate your feet, too. I had to prop my feet up with pillows postpartum so they didn’t swell. It was really awkward on the tiny foot rest and traded it in for an end table instead about a month in. Also, finding a chair that has silent rocking/swivel technology is pretty necessary when you’re trying really hard to get baby to sleep at 3am. Make sure the warrantee is good, too. Mine had to be returned/replaced once.
BBN: Blankets! Blankets for days! I needs all the blankets!
ABR: That may actually be true, but chances are you don’t need 30 of each kind. Here’s what I found: Swaddling blankets, burp clothes, light muslin blankets for hot days and car rides/sunshade over the car seat and stroller are all great. The muslin ones are awesome because they’re super light and can be smooshed tiny to save space for other things in the bag. Have some that you can keep in the house, stored in the car, one in the bag… just in case Burp cloths are important if you have a baby that spits up a lot. If you don’t, they’re kind of just a waste of space. Start out with maybe a pack of 5 and then see how often you actually USE them before you go getting a year’s supply. Some babies HATE to be swaddled, so don’t spend $100 on fancy swaddling blankets if you don’t know if that’s even going to be a thing you do. Get three, see how it goes, go from there. You will need a few warm blankets for cooler nights and days if you live in the chilly parts of the world, especially in the car since you can’t really bundle up baby in the car seat. We had an entire drawer of blankets we never used and I just finally gave most of them away – nearly brand new.
BBN: I need to see the baby in the car at all times, but do I really need a giant one with all these electronics on it?
ABR: Yep, you sure do. Get a mirror that lets you see her face and body from your driver’s seat will give you a lot of peace of mind on the road. Why? Because when they are rear-facing, you can’t see them when you turn your head. If they’re sleeping, you want to know they’re breathing. So get one that is big enough to not just see baby’s face, but their whole body, too. That way you can see if their little chests are rising and falling like they’re supposed to. But why all the extra stuff?? As baby gets older, they begin to get more interactive and a mirror with lights, sound or toys to pull on can be super helpful for car rides when baby is upset.
Bottom line; They’re really helpful. I’d recommend it.
BBN: I must have the latest, pediatrician/dentist recommended pacifiers!
ABR: I wanted the kind that had the thermometer in it and the kind with the stuffed animals because they were super cute. I totally thought I needed it. Turns out, nope. Totally didn’t. Pacifiers are totally not necessary and whether or not you even use it will depend ENTIRELY upon the baby’s preference and medical/breastfeeding situation, so really, maybe get 1 or 2 of the kind you have researched and chosen, but know that you may never actually use it. (And that’s a good thing!!) The recommendation is to not even begin to introduce them until the baby is fully acclimated to the breast and has no issues, (between 3-4 months old) as not to contribute to nipple confusion. So it’s not something you’ll need right away to be sure. Also remember; pacifiers were invented to replace the mother’s breast, not the other way around. YOU are not a “human pacifier”, a pacifier is a “mother’s comfort substitute”. That being said; for car rides, trips with grandma or daddy, times when mom not around and baby needs to be soothed, it can be really helpful – after the appropriate age.
Bottom line; Sometimes it’s nice to have one, but it’s not a need. Use it responsibly and make sure it’s the right size for your baby – they come in infant up through toddler sizes and it will make a difference.
BBN: Breast pumps! Bottles! YES! NEED THOSE!
ABR: Yes, yes you do. Yes, even if you are going to exclusively breastfeed, you will still need a pump. Why? Because even if you are a stay at home mom and plan to never use bottles, you will still want to store your milk that will come in waves… painful, aching waves. You will need to release the pressure of milk flow, help build up your supply by draining the breasts as often as possible (especially when you have massive flow after birth and baby’s tummy is the size of a dime) and store it for that “just in case” moment. What if you need to go to the doctor and baby stays with grandma? What if you have a date night and baby is hungry while you’re gone? What if you end up on a medication that doesn’t let you breastfeed for 5 days? Even if you are exclusively breastfeeding, there are TONS of reasons why stored breastmilk is valuable. Stored breastmilk can mean the difference between continuing a baby’s best nutrition or having to supplement with formula. So, pump, mamas. Pump and store as much as you can.
BBN: Bottles! I have JUST the one picked out!
ABR: Yes, get them – but know that baby is the one who decides which one you use – or if you even GET to use one at all. My son refused the bottle. ANY bottle. ANY nipple, ANY style, ANY size. I spent hundreds of dollars trying to find just the right one, something he’d actually take to… He just said no, no, no all the way. We ended up exclusively breastfeeding till he was old enough for a cup and other types of liquids because he refused milk in any form other than the breast.
Bottom line, don’t get your heart set on a bottle till baby is here and have a few options to see what he/she likes the best. If you plan to pump and do bottle feeding or storing breastmilk to bottle, I’d highly recommend the Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding kit
. You pump directly into the sterile things bags that go directly onto your bottle tops so there’s no transfer, no extra mess, no extra dishes, less opportunity for cross-contamination or germs in general. This came out when my daughter was 2 and I WISHED it had been around even just a year earlier. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure you get the proper size/flow nipple for your baby. They come in different flow speeds and strengths depending on the age of the baby. Too slow and it could cause baby to not even want a bottle at all. Too fast and it could choke the baby.
BBN: Thermometers! NEED at least 2!
ABR: Yes, get them. What kind you get is entirely up to you. I preferred a temporal thermometer because you could slide it across baby’s forehead while they’re sleeping and they don’t have to wake up for it. There’s also that new thing
that’s all tech-savvy and awesome – I totally want one. You put it on the baby and it links to an app on your phone so that if the temp goes above normal it alerts you. I’d suggest both.
BBN: Do I *REALLY* need a humidifer?
ABR: You don’t, until you do… then you’ll REALLY need one, asap, that minute and my guess is you won’t want to have to do your research on that to choose one while baby is suffering from respiratory discomfort and you’ll just grab the cheapest one at the store and rush home to use it.
Bottom line; Yeah – get it ahead of time. I suggest the Crane
. I saw a demonstration by their company at a mom convention and it convinced me it was the absolute best choice out there right now.
BBN: I need a mountain of daipers! I need to be able to build a fortress from the boxes of stored diapers!
ABR: Toooootally true. Diapering, however, can be a really personal choice and often up to the baby not the parents. We went through 4 different brands before we found one that didn’t give my daughter a rash and then, eventually, we moved to cloth. When trying to decide what you want for people to bring to your shower, maybe request a box of each so you can get an idea of which you prefer. If you’re into the idea of cloth, start that process by building your collection early. It can be expensive. I preferred the Charlie Banana brand, but when you decide what you like, make sure it’s a company that has accessories that are easily found. Some are online only, others can be found at Target. I didn’t start out wanting to be a “cloth diaper” kind of mom, but both of mine ended up in cloth because of allergies and sensitive skin. You do what you must.
Bottom line; try out as many kinds as possible. Don’t be ashamed if the baby prefers Huggies over Honest Baby or cloth. Do what’s best for baby, not the “mom brigade”.
BBN; UV protection! My baby’s perfect skin must never see daylight!
ABR: Okay, so that’s not entirely realistic, but it IS super important. Putting UV hats, shirts, pants and such on your registry is a good idea. When you live somewhere that’s sunny 80% of the time year round and you are outdoors a lot, it becomes a necessity. Before baby, you may not notice how much sun you get, but you will once you have a baby who is too little for sunblock. Once sunblock IS possible, check first – do a swab test on baby to make sure they don’t react. Sunblock can be irritating to skin sometimes and cause a lot of problems. The worst thing is to discover that when you’re out somewhere, in the sun, while baby’s face is literally burning- not becuase of the sun, but because of the sunblock. That happened to us, so learn from my error and make sure you test it ahead of time. We found that the only kind we could use was the super organic, safe, basic kind with no fragrance or additives. Sometimes we have to go fancy becuase it’s the only option.
Bottom line; UV clothing, blanket and screen options are something I absolutely would have put in the registry if I’d thought about it. Once sunblock is possible, research, test and verify before going out.
BBN: A diaper genie, or, something like it, is a must have!
ABR: Well, hold on now… this depends entirely upon what method of diapering you end up using. If you are using disposable, then yes – something like this is amazingly helpful to cut down on trips to the outdoor trash, overall smell problems in your home and nursery space and can really make life more simple. There’s a few brands out there now… some with better “scent lock” tech than the basic diaper genie of a decade ago, but do your research and decide what works best for you. Some folks have opted for a more natural approach to diaper disposal, which is great if that suits your lifestyle.
Bottom line; I loved mine, some prefer not to use them. It’s entirely up to you.
BBN: Soap! Lotion! Cream! Powder! NEED ALL THE THINGS!
ABR: Meh… Don’t invest too much in creams, bath supplies, lotions, etc., honestly… baby’s skin has a mind of its own and even if YOU might like a certain brand, that doesn’t mean baby’s skin is gonna. Baby’s skin ain’t gonna care if your bath soap is made by the fairy queen’s handmaidens on the full moon under the stars with the nectar of roses grown by the goddess of love, herself. It still may make baby break out in hives. I’d recommend the travel size of a few of the things you are most interested in just so you have some on hand, see what works and go with that. Same with powder – I preferred one, but baby preferred another. Our favorites for diaper rash were plain Aquafor and Caldesene powder with zinc oxide. It’s the powder in the pink bottle and it’s like $5 at the drug store. For stronger formulas when break-outs happened because their skin would react to soaps and diapers, we had to go prescription strength anyway, so we stayed as basic as possible. None of the fancy, organic brands worked for us.
BBN: Books! I must have a thousand books to read to my child in the womb and every day after until they can do it themselves!
ABR: Books are nice. You may even read them occasionally. Building a library is never, ever a bad decision… just know that you may not actually get to read them or have time to even think about that till they are a bit older. If you take a minute to create the baby’s library, it’s okay. There are things you NEED and there are things you really want to have. Baby library is a want to have. Get a handful of books, story books, board books, etc., but know that board books won’t be a thing you can even use till the baby is at least 5 months old, so you’ve got some time. For the earlier months, I recommend the fabric and squish black, white and red books meant to help develop baby’s eyesight and serve more like rattles than actual books. THOSE are the most functional in the beginning.
Bottom line; books are a need- you just may not need them all right away. You can take your time on this one.
BBN: Strollers! I must have the one I saw in that baby magazine with all the things and the speakers and the cup holder and the fancy wheels!
ABR: Strollers are a must have. Yes, absolutely true – but whether or not you really need the one that has all the extra things and the fancy extras is going to be dependent upon your personal needs. If you are a runner, get one you can use while doing that. If your family hikes, get one that can do that. If you are going to the store and that’s all, probably don’t really need one. If you go to Disneyland, you’ll want one with a lot of extra basket space and a long visor or a place to hook up the extra one, at least one cup holder and easy to put up and take down again. Consider quality, how many years you will have it, how fast your baby grows and where you go most often and make your decisions accordingly. Test drive them, with weight in the seats, one handed, around corners and through tight spaces. Which one works best? Get that one.
Bottom line; Fashion is nice, function is better.
BBN: Crib! Baby has to sleep somewhere! Fancy, pretty, wrought iron, canopy baby crib! Yes!
ABR: Yes, and if you plan to sleep train and teach baby to sleep in their own room from the beginning, a crib is a great idea. If you don’t… if you are co-sleeping, bassinet/side-car sleeping, a crib is kind of pointless unless you are using it for storage of stuffed toys. I wanted a round, wrought-iron canopy baby crib until I discovered they were thousands of dollars. My point is, we all have big dreams of what baby’s room will look like, but we never really know until we get in the trenches of parenthood and figure out what is realistic for us.
My post-baby recommendation; Invest in a convertible crib that can turn into a toddler bed so you don’t completely waste your money if the baby never sleeps one single night in their own rooms. Both of mine slept in their cribs for naps, but never at night. My son slept in his pack and play at the foot of our bed for the first 2 months, or pushed up next to me so I could put my hand on him any time he stirred. As he got older, we put his toddler bed next to ours in that “side car” style. When I had my daughter, she slept in a co-sleeper bassinet next to my bed for the first 3 months, occasionally in her bed, but not usually the whole night.
Oh, and the other thing- A crib is only half the battle with this one – you have to pick a mattress, too. Consider safety, allergens, comfort, all that stuff needs to be thought about when making that choice. Don’t just pick the one that sounds fancy or is cheapest. It’s a serious decision that a lot of parents completely forget about.
Bottom line: this is another one of those “baby will decide” situations. Some people spend THOUSANDS of dollars on cribs that hardly ever get used. Some spend $50 on a used model that works great and gets used every day. You’ll have to just decide what is most important… but you may not even use it at first, so if you don’t have it by the time baby is here – don’t feel bad.
BBN: Nursing tools/accessories can be a “as needed” purchase along the way.
ABR: Nope. You need this stuff asap. Along with a breast pump, you need things to help make your life easier in this department. You are beginning a new career as the soul source of a human’s nutrition for a year or longer and it’s important to have all the tools you can get to be as successful as possible. Medela is the preferred brand for most things in this department, especially if you need nipple shields, soft shells, pump tools, etc., but there are other brands that have amazing products, too. I like anything made by the Earth Mama
company for teas, salves, baby and mama wellness of any kind. For cooling and soothing the breasts, I loved the fabric/reusable breast pads that I could put on under or inside of my nursing bras and tanks. Bamboobies
is another great company for breastfeeding needs with a lot of options at reasonable prices. When I had mastitis, I got a set that had the warming beads inside. You put it in the microwave, warmed it up, then put them on the breast inside the bra/tank and instant warm relief. AAAAHHHHMazing. There are a TON of these on the market. Find what works best for you. If you get a disposable version of a breast pad, make sure it’s not with a material that can stick to the nipple. That is MISERABLE.
Bottom line; Don’t settle on breastfeeding tools and care supplies. Get the good stuff. There are a lot of places you can use discount/cheaper versions of things but in this department, it’s worth the money to get the stuff that helps create a happy, comfortable and joyful experience for you and baby.
Okay, so now I’m going to deviate from the format to just list off a bunch of things. I’ll either tell you if I found them helpful or not.
Washcloths – Not helpful. Extra laundry. Waste of space, bacteria collectors.
Bath toys- Not necessary till they are around 5-6 months old. Make sure you don’t get the kind that squish water out – those are bacteria farms. Also, most squishy bath toys contain bpa.
Basic grooming kit – TOTALLY helpful. Nail cutter/files, soft bristle brushes, combs, all necessary.
White noise machine – Helpful if it’s a small hand-held or clip on type that you can wear while holding the baby or clip to a car seat. They have apps for this for your phone, but it can be cumbersome holding it while nursing or trying to get baby to sleep. A clip on kind is easier.
Baby bottle/food accessories sterilizers – YES. They are super helpful. If you don’t have a dish washer that has a “sanitize” mode, and even if you do and want that extra assurance, the tools to help clean and sanitize your baby’s feeding tools and accessories can be really amazing. My preference were the Medela sterilizer bags. It’s super easy – you add a little water, put in your things, close it up and then put it in the microwave. It steams the stuff in the bag, sterilizing it!! Amazingly convenient and easy.
Wipes – Have a bunch on hand ahead of time. You’ll need these from the beginning and you’ll run out faster than you think. I loved the “one and done” wipes since they felt like they created less waste, but they are a little rougher, so they irritated baby’s skin. You may need to try a few different brands before you figure out what works best for you and baby. If you prefer the natural option of reusable wipes and you are using cloth diapers, be sure you have your lined laundry bags specifically for this purpose alone available from the beginning and know how to use them, wash them, and dry them so they stay nice longer.
Crib bumpers – I loved the ones I got, but they’re not necessary ahead of time because baby can’t really even move for the first 2 months. Many parents avoid them entirely because of danger warnings from suffocation, but companies have modified the product to accommodate this dangerous reality and they can be really helpful, eventually. Once they do begin to move around, I found them helpful to avoid noggins getting bonked and feet getting caught between bars. I used THESE
and felt completely confident in the baby’s safety and comfort.
Breastfeeding cover – Yes, totally helpful. Get it early, some mamas like to use it in the hospital so they don’t have to stop feeding when people come visit. Personally, I totally don’t care who watches me feed my baby, but if you do, get one. Or two.
Layettes/plain baby onesies – YES. Get a bunch. All sizes, many of each. Sleepers, long sleeve, short sleeve, warm weather, cold weather, have a few of each – at least. Onesies are so fun and can be a fun way to express yourself and your baby. Have fun with the fact that they will probably spend most of their first 6 months in them and get creative! Tons of companies offer personalized or “word tee” style onesies with cartoon characters, pop culture, science, political references, all of that. Find what works and have fun.
Wipe warmers – Dude, no. Stupid waste of money and counter space. Seriously.
Baby mittens – Yes. Get them. A pair in every color. Babies can cut up their faces with their tiny razor, kitten-like claw nails and it’s just awful. They also like to squeeze the breast while nursing and that can be a bit uncomfortable, so mittens are helpful and important.
Baby shoes – Meh – not necessary before they can walk. They’re just for fashion. Hard soles can hurt feet, go with soft, slipper style shoes if anything.
Baby socks – YES. TOTALLY necessary, just remember they’ll probably get pulled off a lot, so buy them in bulk.
Baby hats – Totally necessary. Babies get cold easier than we do, even in warmer weather when you are comfy, baby may be chilly. Hats are great. Light weight, cotton beanie style hats are perfect. It’s also a fun way to express your/baby’s style.
Baby detergent – Many parents prefer to use special detergent for baby’s clothes and diapers. The preference of most parents is a company called “Dreft” and can be found in every baby store and baby isle anywhere. There are more natural options if you would rather go that route, so research and figure out what works for you. Some babies are VERY sensitive to scents and soaps, so be on the look out for reactions and be ready to change your brand at a moment’s notice.
Night lights – Meh, a lamp on a nightstand works just as well. There ARE some cool night lights out there, though – not a “need” but a fun and (mostly) inexpensive addition.
Baby wearing carrier – If you plan to baby wear, plan to get a carrier right away. The earlier you start, the more successful at it you will be and the more baby will take to the experience. There are a TON of brands and styles. I went through 4 different, very expensive styles before I found one that worked; the Ergo was the only one that was comfortable for me. You won’t know till you try it. Try them on in a store that lets you wear them for a bit and see what works for you but know that even then, you really won’t know if it works for you until you’re wearing it with baby and out in it for a while.
Boppy Pillow (or other brand equivalent) – Totally amazing, you absolutely need one. It makes baby’s entire feeding experience so much easier and more comfortable. There is a brand that they used in the baby wellness center after I had my baby that I wish I’d gotten but I already had a Boppy, but since then they have developed a ton of other styles. I think if I were to start over, I’d try this one
, or something like it.
Bibs – Yes, actually bibs are important. I didn’t think they were then I wished I’d had some, so I got like 15. Babies drool A LOT. Even if it’s not a “feeding bib” they still need them to protect their clothing and prevent it from getting all wet with drool and spit up. Having baby wear one at all times can prevent multiple clothing changes are are totally useful.
Essential oils – There are some amazing things that can be done with oils for mama and baby. I WISH I had oils when I was pregnant and my littles were tiny… but here are my warnings: Don’t EVER buy oils from stores or off Amazon. Buy them from a trusted rep or consultant who can help you verify that each and every product offered is safe, pure, therapeutic grade. Have them show you the proof that each oil has the science and documentation to back all that up and is willing to teach you exactly how to use them safely. Never use essential oils without the training or without someone who has that training.
Okay, I think I’ve covered absolutely everything, but if you have actually gotten to the bottom of this and think there’s something I left out, please post it in the comments!