With all my pregnancies I spent HOURS researching what I would need. There are so many articles and tips about the things you will need for a baby. The usual sleepers, a crib, diaper bag, stroller… (thank you Captain Obvious) and the things that aren’t necessary. This list is a little different; it is a list of things that aren’t exactly a necessity but will make your life 100% easier then not having them at all. Some of these things I had right out of the hospital and others are things I came to realize would be worth spending the money on. All of them are things I can not imagine getting to today without.
1. Fold over mitt sleepers – A baby’s nails are like teeny tiny razor blades, and they always seem to scratch up their face with them. Sure you could get the scratch mittens, but you’ll constantly be putting them back on (and sometimes even trying to find where one fell off.) Its much easier to just get the footed sleepers that have fold over mittens built right in. Most of Carters newborn sized cotton sleepers have them. Bonus points if you can get ones that zip up because you will save about 2 hours a day not having to do up snaps a bajillion times.
2. Bottle Sterilizer – Unless you are going to exclusively breast feed, a bottle sterilizer is a must. If you are going to pump at all you will need it to sterilize your pumping equipment. You might think you can just toss it all in a boiling pot of water each time, but trust me you will be constantly sterilizing things all day; and at one point your new mom brain will probably forget about it, and it will all burn and stick to the bottom of the pot (but that is a story for another day my friends) Save yourself the hassle and the money of replacing your expensive pumping parts, and just invest in a bottle sterilizer. Toss all your stuff inside, turn it on and it will auto shut off when it’s done. Easy.
3. Comfortable Glider – I’ve seen so many lists of things you don’t need to waste money on for a baby, and more often then not it includes a glider. This is BULLSHIT. If you are like me and you are terrified of co-sleeping because you think you are going to roll on, or trap your baby under your blankets, then get one. Make sure it’s insanely comfortable (I recommend a wingback so it has a little nook to rest your head) because it will be your bed. I can’t even tell you the countless amount of hours I have spend rocking my boys in their chairs, or the amount of times I have fallen asleep in holding them and woke up hours later. If you have room for it, I also recommend getting an ottoman to go with it so you have somewhere to put your feet up!
4. Diaper bag organizer – While some diaper bags do come with some pockets and compartments, you will be filling it up with so much stuff that it will literally just turn into Mary Poppins bag… a bottomless pit of things. Sometimes you’ll pull out something that was buried so deep you forgot you had it, other times you will be digging around trying to find your wipes while holding you baby with the other hand on a change table. A diaper bag organizer makes everything so much easier. It is an insert that slides inside the main compartment of your DB and is filled with pockets and compartments for everything you need. You can easily pull it out and open it up even further for even easier access to what you need. The best part is, it allows you to turn ANY bag into a functional diaper bag, and easily, pull it out and slide everything you need into another style of bag to match any outfit!
5. HydraSense Baby Nasal Care – Babies get sick, they get colds and congestion just like the rest of us. Think about how uncomfortable and awful it is when you’re congested and can’t breathe out your nose; and imagine not having the luxury of blowing your nose to clear it. That is how your baby suffers. It makes them especially fussy when they are hungry, because they can’t breathe when they try to eat. And they have a hard time falling asleep when they are tired as well. They HydraSense Baby Nasal Care lets you literally suck out all your baby’s congestion, clearing their nasal passages to breath easier. Yes. Fucking Disgusting. Thinking about it probably makes you want to vomit. When I was first told I was going to have to do this, I was like “sorry you want me to do WHAT?!” “No thanks, send him back” But trust me, there is something oddly satisfying about seeing how much shit actually comes out of there. And don’t worry there is a filter so nothing will end up in your mouth. And after your baby will eat and sleep SO much better.
6. Wipes warmer – This is another one of those things that is on all the list of “baby items you don’t need”. Sure you don’t NEED one, but it sure makes diaper changes easier. Imagine you were all cuddled up warm and cozy, and then someone puts a cold wet wipe on your ass, would you like it, probably not. I had one at the house, and I never had an issue changing diapers. It wasn’t until we went up to the cottage for the first time with Parker that I really noticed the difference that it made. Every diaper change involved crying and squirming. So yes, while a wipes warmer might not be an essential baby item, it is one that is appreciated by your baby.
7. Mamaroo – Want to do have a shower, have a few sips of hot coffee, put away the dishes, try to cook something that isn’t a microwave meal… you need one of these. While baby wearing is great, there are some things you just can’t do with a baby strapped to your chest. The Mamaroo can literally act like a second set of hands for a few minutes while you take care of some stuff! Mine even kept my boys happy when all they wanted to do was be held and walked around, and I just needed to sit down and take a breather. (It’s surprising how heavy 10-15 pounds can get after holding it for some time.)
8. Velcro Swaddles – Not all swaddle blankets are created equally, and unless you are a nurse in the neonatal unit, you will need the perfect amount of material to baby ratio to get that thing snug. And if you have a squirmy baby, like both mine were… then forget it. Make your life easier and get some Velcro swaddles, wrap one side firmly over the other, attach the Velcro and put them to bed without having to worry about them breaking out of the swaddle and startling awake, or ending up with it over their face.
9. Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium – If there is one baby item I would recommend to everyone, it is this. I buy one for every baby shower I go to. I actually have 4 of these things; one for each of the boys at the house, and one for each of them at the cottage. When they are newborn the music and lights are usually enough to distract them as they fall asleep. As they grow and learn how to turn it on for themselves they can turn it on in the middle of the night and get back to sleep without your help. Parker even used to turn his on in the morning and listen to it quietly for half an hour, giving us a little extra time to sleep. Wilder does the same thing now only Parker is up so there is no sleeping in. They are also super durable, Parker still has the same one I got him when he was born, and it still works just as great despite hours and hours of use! (And yes at 3 he still likes to listen to his music to fall asleep)
10. Newborn washcloths – These are great, they’re thin and super soft. They great for getting into the baby’s tiny nooks and crannies to get them dry, as well as for drying baby’s soft little hair on their delicate head. BUT this is not the reason they are on this list, if you have a BOY keep a stack of these at your change station. Otherwise they WILL pee on you, and laugh about it. Forget the “pee-pee teepees”, I had them and yes they are super cute (mine had little wiener dogs on them and everything) but babies squirm, (especially during diaper changes) and mine always just fell off and I got sprayed anyways. That is when I found another solution; the newborn washcloths worked perfectly, I just draped them over his little friend, and they absorbed any accidents, then I tossed them into the laundry which was conveniently right next to the change station. Hassel Free!
So that is my list of 10 things that aren’t exactly a necessity when having a baby, but they sure as hell will make your life a whole lot easier! Are there any products you can’t imagine getting through the first year of a new baby without? Let me know in the comments!