As an almost-second-time-around parent I feel like I have a good grasp on what you REALLY need for that new baby. Those registry lists created by big box baby stores are a gimmick to get you and your relatives to buy totally unnecessary items for the baby. I’m not going to tell you what products suck (those tiny swaddling blankets that are made of flannel? They feel gross after one wash and are way too small) but I will tell you what I love. I’m just keeping it real. Also, no one is paying me for this post but someone should.
MUST HAVES FOR THE NEW BABY – let’s kick this out in list form!
- Boppy. If you are nursing you need this pillow. There are other brands and similar types of products (which I didn’t try) but this thing rules. It basically makes nursing a tiny baby so much more comfortable and you could use it as a cushion to prop up the kiddo once he/she is old enough to support his/her head. Also, they come in super fun prints. Buy two covers because you will get milk or diaper blowout on the cover at some point. Or Dr. Pepper (mine, not hers). Good rule of thumb on any baby item? GET TWO. One of them will always be in the washing machine or dishwasher.
- BIG swaddling blankets. Don’t get those cheapy ones either. Get the big ol’ muslin ones. There are a few companies out there that make these but the most popular is Aden + Anais. If you’re a label whore get these. They’re about $10-15 per blanket. Worth it. They’re soft and make a good nursing cover. They’re good for warm weather too since they’re super light and airy.
- Carseat. You can’t take your baby anywhere without a carseat so get one. They all pass the same safety tests so there’s no need to spend $800 on a carseat unless you really want to. Make sure it’s properly installed and all that jazz.
- Onesies. Your newborn will LIVE in onesies. Don’t bother dressing up your new little doll if you’re just going to be chilling at home all day. Cute ensembles are for photographs and church. But for the love of deity of your choice, please make sure your baby has on socks/hat/whatever is seasonally appropriate when you leave the house. Otherwise, some old lady will give you the stink-eye about your poor and helpless sock-less baby.
- Baby carrier. Wear that baby! Trust me on this one. Get a Moby, Ergo, Baby Bjorn, whatever. Get one and you’ll be able to get shit done around the house. If you’re nursing I recommend the Moby because you can totally nurse your kidlet while he/she is snuggled up in the wrap. I swear. It takes some practice but once you guys get the hang of it it will change your life. Ever nursed a baby while vacuuming? This lady has.
- Breast pads. If you’re nursing you need these. You will leak EVERYWHERE at first, especially at night. Even if you co-sleep and your baby has unlimited access, you will leak. Eventually, your breasts figure it out and your supply adjusts but at first? You’re a dairy cow. Get the washable bamboo ones. They’re soft and absorbent and better for the environment than that papery ones. Get a few pairs of these.
Obviously, I’m assuming that you’re a crunchy ol’ hippie who co-sleeps so I didn’t mention a crib. We will be getting a crib for naps and when/if the baby outgrows co-sleeping but it’s not essential in our house. If it will be part of your routine, put it on the list. I suggest getting at least two sets of sheets. Skip on the cutesy overpriced matching bedding. Get some cool stuff to mix and match. Besides, the only thing your crib needs is a sheet. Newborns don’t need pillows or blankets, and there’s still a debate about the efficacy and safety of crib bumpers. Do your research on this one.
And now we move on to SHIT THAT YOU SHOULD NOT SPEND YOUR MONEY ON:
- Changing pad mattress that you put on top of a changing table/dresser. You know where you will change 90% of the diapers? On your couch. That’s where you’ll be 90% of your time anyway. Lay a blanket or towel down, change the diaper, move on.
- Bottle/pacifier sterilizer. Germs are good, people! And babies have killer immune systems. You know what kills germs? Boiling water. It’s free, too.
- Diaper wipe warmer. Your kid can handle a cool swipe on the ass.
- Huge, expensive bouncy/exersaucer/swing/whatevers. Buy a used one, wipe it down, BAM. Don’t spend $100+ on something your kid will use for just a few months.
- Shoes. As in, real shoes. Your newborn can’t walk anyway and real shoes are actually kind of uncomfortable on the little one’s feet. Get crib shoes, or the shoes with the cloth/suede soles. The baby will still look cute, I promise.
- Baby food maker. You don’t need a special appliance to make baby food. Take a banana, peel it, cut it up into little pieces, give to baby. Want to make pureed food? Steam it in your microwave, mash it with a fork or mixer, let it cool down, give to baby.
- Diaper bag. When you leave the house you will need to carry some baby stuff with you but I suggest using a handbag. Just because a bag is marketed for carrying diapers doesn’t mean it’s the only kind of bag that can do it. Get a cool handbag that you like and put your kid’s stuff in it.
- Crib mobile. Your baby does exactly ONE thing in his/her crib- sleep. Would you want to wake up in the middle of the night and see some shit spinning around above your head when your eyes can barely focus on it? No mobile. Hang one where the kiddo can actually enjoy it if you absolutely have to get one.
I’m sure that there’s a lot more to add to the second list (and some of you may have more to add to the top list!). Leave a comment and share what you could or couldn’t live without when you had a newborn.
P.S. Any place where you see a link is just me courteously sharing product information with you since none of the links are affiliated. Like I said before, I’m not getting compensated in any way for this post.