As a first time parent there are almost a zillion questions to wonder about; Do I have what it takes to be a parent? Can I really function on no sleep? What will I need to care for a newborn? You can literally drive yourself crazy with anticipation and worry. However, one of the things I always hear people say, is, “Do you have everything you need for the baby?” Well, I’m here to tell you if you’ve got food, shelter, clothing, diapers, and lots of love, then you do have everything you NEED to take care of a new baby. I know you might be thinking, “Wait, you’ll need a swing for sure!” or, “There’s no way I could have made it without my high chair.” Honestly, I feel that way too, but in reality those are the things that make caring for a baby easier, not doable. Children have grown up since the beginning of time without having those things. With that being said, there are plenty of items on the market that make parenting in today’s world much easier. As baby begins to grow and especially when she becomes mobile, you’ll find yourself “needing” more items to care for her. I’ve compiled a list of my “Must Haves” for baby. Again, I want to reiterate that these are the things I’ve found most useful in my experience. They are not requirements; you can raise your baby just as well without them.
• Gowns – These make the zillion diaper changes you do a day much easier. Lift the gown up, change the diaper, lower gown. Voila!
• Sleepers that zip up – These are especially appreciated when baby decides she wants to flip over mid clothing change. Just zip up and you’re done. It’s not nearly as easy with sleepers that button down.
• A swing – My swing was literally a life saver for me. In the first few months, it was the only way I could get anything done. If I needed to make dinner, the swing could keep her happy and usually rock her right to sleep in no time.
• Teething tablets – I will forever swear by Hyland’s teething tablets. When Lilly is having a lot of pain with her teeth, three tablets dissolved under her tongue will turn our whole world around.
• Hooded towels – I love being able to wrap my freshly clean baby in a hooded towel to dry. The convenience of the hood is that it keeps baby warmer.
• Jumperoo – These are the way to go for a baby who loves to stand but still needs assistance. Lilly’s jumperoo provides endless entertainment for her.
• Gripe Water- This stuff is miracle liquid in a bottle for a baby with a gassy stomach. Also, it’s like a magic potion for hiccups. It takes those suckers right away!
• Boudreaux’s butt paste – Butt paste puts Desitin to shame in my opinion. One use of the butt paste and diaper rash is almost completely cleared.
• A good breast pump for breastfeeding Moms – This is one of those things you don’t want to go cheap on. Cheap breast pumps just do not work. This is obviously not a must have item if you are planning to feed solely from the breast, but if you ever wish to pump your milk and feed it via bottle, you’ll be glad to have a nice one of these.
• Swaddle Me’s – Newborn babies prefer to be wrapped up tight as that’s what they’re used to from their time spent in the womb. Swaddle Me’s make swaddling a billion times easier. They take away the aggravation of baby coming unwrapped and the blanket being balled up. If your baby doesn’t prefer to be swaddled, then sleep sacks are the way to go. They allow baby to move about freely, but take away the risk of suffocation from a blanket.
• White onesies and socks – I think white onesies and socks are a necessity because they go with everything! Lilly has a drawer full of multicolored socks and onesies that she’s never worn because they just didn’t match anything.
• A nice car seat – This is the main item that I suggest not going for the cheapest thing you can find on. You’ll need a seat that fully supports baby’s head. Be sure to check out ratings before making this purchase.
• Saline drops and a cool mist Humidifier- Your baby will get sick. Despite your best efforts, it’s going to happen eventually. They will get a cold and you won’t believe they’re capable of producing so much mucus. Unfortunately, there is not a single cold medicine that’s safe for a baby under two. So your pediatrician will tell you to use saline drops as needed in the baby’s nose and suction out the mucus with an aspirator and to leave a humidifier running at night in baby’s room. When that time comes, you’ll be glad to already have these things on hand.
• A Blender- If you’re going to make your own baby food, then you’ll need a good blender to do so. I have the Baby Bullet and personally, love it.
• A large diaper bag- You’ll need a bag large enough to take the whole house with you. Ok, not literally, but close. You’ll need one large enough for plenty of diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, snacks, medicines, a change of clothes, etc.
Again, these are just the things that have proven to be very important to me. Many parents stress out about having everything just perfect for the baby’s arrival. I’m guilty of that too, but honestly if you’ve got the basic necessities and a whole lot of love to give, your baby will thrive.