**UPDATE** Blame it on the pregnant brain, but after an entire day of having this blog post up, I realized that I only really listed nine items instead of ten. Whoops! Oh well, I guess I’m efficient. :) Keeping the title the same because really, this is too funny. And a little embarrassing. But mostly funny.**
I’m all about the babies these days. I suppose it’s somewhat natural, given that I’m officially full-term and down to weekly appointments with my OB. Hearing that I’m already a little dilated and effaced (TMI? too bad!) was not super concerning, but it was enough of a wake up call for my husband and I to say “Yeah, we should probably get a hospital bag prepped.”
I am excited to meet #2…everyone in our family is. We still have a busy week or so left before I feel like things will finally calm down, and I do wonder if she’ll decide to wait until then or make an appearance early. While I know that babies come in their own time, I remember it was down to the wire with B…I was trying to wrap up a really crazy project at work and when I finally felt like I was in a good place to leave it, I went into labor the next day. So, who knows? This time, I feel marginally more prepared in that I am not super concerned about having everything we need right off the bat. My husband might disagree with me on that, since he is constantly fielding my questions on when our last minute projects (uh, like getting the nursery in order) will be done. But really, when it comes to the essentials, I am grateful that I at least have an idea of what I need in the first couple of weeks.
I’ve compiled a list of items that I think are important to have during those first few months of life, for both baby and for me, and thought I would share it with you. Chances are you are pregnant (I know there are a few pregnant mamas out there reading this), or you know someone who is! These make for great baby shower gifts if you are looking to do something unique (which is another blog post I have in the works, btw).
Disclaimer: Like any list I post, these are totally based on my own experience and personal preference. I would love to hear anyone else’s additions, especially since I need to go out and buy most of these before #2 arrives!! Also, I linked up the products below to Target or Amazon because that’s where I shop (like, all the time). I’m sure you can find similar items elsewhere, but if you’re noticing a bias…it’s because there is one.
10 (just kidding, 9) THINGS FOR BABY
- Burp cloths: You can never have enough burp cloths. It helps to have some that are a little thicker and bigger than your average Gerber burp cloth, too, because you never know when you might be stuck with baby who spits up a lot. I really like THESE ONES because they seem to be the perfect size and thickness.
- Assortment of wipes: B had really, really sensitive skin, and we were not prepared for it at all. I just assumed that the Pampers Sensitive brand would do the trick! New babies need diaper changes ALL THE TIME, and the constant wiping and pooping and wiping again can really irritate their skin. We switched to just plain cloths and water for a really long time, but honestly if you don’t have a sink nearby it can get really tedious. I would recommend buying a couple different brands just in case. Best case scenario is your baby’s skin is super awesome and doesn’t care which brand you use. We swear by the HONEST COMPANY wipes and have been using them for about a year. They are literally the ONLY wipes out there that don’t irritate B’s skin.
- A&D or Destin: This one may matter if your baby has a skin irritation, but I would suggest just picking one and sticking to it. Switching back and forth between the two never seemed to be as effective for us. We prefer the A&D ORIGINAL DIAPER RASH brand, because it is clear and doesn’t leave residue on B’s bottom like the creams sometimes do.
- Gripe Water: B really struggled with acid reflux for the first six months and gripe water was so helpful for us because they calmed her stomach instantly. I think it’s basically like baby Tums (though not Tums, just something that calms the stomach down). We liked using THIS BRAND.
- Soft blanket: Chances are you’ll get more soft blankets than you know what to do with, but there’s something to be said for SUPER soft blankets that make mom and baby happy. I can’t find the exact ones that we use, but THIS SET is pretty similar to the very first one we received from our neighbors when B was born. I’m not joking, she still sleeps with that blanket today.
- Cotton hat (newborn and bigger): You just never know how big your baby is going to be, or how fast they are going to grow. With fall coming up, I would just recommend having a couple of different sizes of hats ready to go. It’s just helpful to have them handy when you want to go on a quick errand or walk around the neighborhood. THESE ONES are great.
- SwaddleMe: If you are an expert swaddler, or love the challenge of swaddling a screaming newborn, I applaud you and you can move to the next item. If not, I have to tell ya that SwaddleMe’s saved my sanity. You literally plop the baby in, velcro a few times and call it good. B was never really interested in swaddling to begin with, but it is always helpful to have one available because…again…you just never know what your baby is going to be like. We used THESE ONES for a little while. Also, side note, when searching on Amazon the site pointed me to THIS INFO about SwaddleMe. Apparently they have a new look, so check it out if you’re interested.
- Sophie the Giraffe: Your newborn will not care about Sophie the Giraffe for a couple of months, but the minute their little gums start prepping for teeth to cut through, this teether/toy is awesome. It is the most amazing, addicting thing ever for those first few months of teething. Not sure why, but I’m chalking it up to magic. And maybe something with the French manufacturing. Regardless, I highly recommend it. You can find her HERE.
- Curved changing pad: Again, this won’t come into play until your baby starts rolling over. Once they do start rolling over, though, it is all over for you. I had a flat changing pad with B and am convinced that if I had a curved changing pad it would have been a heck of a lot harder for her to get on her tummy during diaper changes. While it won’t completely solve the issue, since you’re going to get a changing pad anyway I just recommend saving yourself a headache and getting the curved one. HERE’S ONE that I added to my own registry for #2. Also, fabric changing pad covers? Totally unnecessary. It took two projectile poops for me to realize it and I never used one again. Just keep the pad wiped clean and you’ll be fine.
BONUS! 5 THINGS FOR MOM (because you need to take care of yourself, too)
- New underwear: Don’t get excited before reading this, everyone. Not to scare any expecting moms out there, but a lot goes into pushing a baby out of your you-know-what and your body will need some time to recover. That recovery will also most likely include ice packs, huge pads and witch hazel. I don’t know about you, but there’s no way my pre-pregnancy underwear would be able to withstand all that. Do yourself a favor and buy some nice old fashioned underwear, maybe a size bigger than you would normally wear. Don’t go overboard, though, just remember that your hips are currently as wide as they possible could be and they’ll move back over time.
- Nice smelling body wash/shampoo: You will need to take a shower, for hygiene and personal sanity purposes. Take the time to invest in some special shampoo and body wash, because you deserve a little treat. If you really feel like going crazy, throw in some special lotion, too. Really, it’s the little things that make all the difference. I’m not being sarcastic.
- Lanolin (aka nipple cream): This was hands down the best and most thoughtful thing I have ever received at a baby shower. Getting the hang of breastfeeding is definitely a process, and while it sucks at first (no pun intended, well, maybe a little) once you get past the initial “WTF is happening” it can be really special and rewarding. Nipple cream was a huge lifesaver for me and curbed a lot of pain. I recommend THIS BRAND.
- Books/laptop/tablet: Let’s face it…for the first couple months of life your baby will be eating, sleeping, pooping and repeating. Constantly. There were times when I felt like my only purpose was to be a milk-producing machine, which is true to an extent. Staring out B’s bedroom window I found myself pining for some sort of interaction with the outside world and alas, my love for Pinterest and blog reading was born. It made me feel somewhat normal, like a functioning adult again. I’ve known some women who pray for special intentions while their little one is nursing, which is so wonderful. Others might enjoy reading books, which I might end up doing with #2 as well. Regardless, finding something to help you pass the time while nursing might be beneficial.
- Tissues: As if going through a significant physical change isn’t enough, there is also a pretty big shift in your hormones as your body re-adjusts to not having another life living inside you. Oh, and the fact that you are now responsible for this little life you are holding. Kind of tugs at the heartstrings. I was not prepared for this hormonal shift, at least not as well as I thought I would be. I’d recommend having tissues handy, just in case you shed a tear or two. No one will judge you, and it is totally understandable. It also just sucks if you’re crying while nursing a baby and not able to get up to blow your nose. I’m totally speaking from experience.
P.S. Don’t forget to give yourself a lot of self-love and patience. Becoming a mom is an incredible, life-changing thing. Be kind to yourself and remember you are an amazing human being.
Hope this list helps some! Let me know if I missed anything. :)
Love from a fellow mom,