Anyone who’s ever created a baby registry knows just how overwhelming it can be. Stores will give you a checklist of everything you “need,” but there are a lot of “nice-to-haves” and a lot of items that are a real waste of money on there. In addition to a car seat, stroller and crib, here is my list of essential items that helped us survive the newborn phase.
- Infant bouncer(s) – You need somewhere to put your baby down while tending to other things. I keep one similar to the Ingenuity SmartBounce Automatic Bouncer in the bathroom and a Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play in the kitchen. It’s really convenient to have more than one so you’re not constantly lugging one around the house.
- Infant swing – These can have a lot of bells and whistles on them from music and mobiles to various types of swinging and vibrating motions. We have the Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Cradle and Swing and I love it! Both babies slept in this at night for their first few months.
- Tula Carrier – Check out my previous post to see how much I love my Tula. I can’t live without it!
- Aden + Anais blankets – I always saw people with these muslin blankets when Luke was a baby. They’re a tad pricier than other receiving blankets ($34.99 for 4 compared to $18.99 for Carter’s 4-pack of receiving blankets) but they have so much more to offer! Because they are breathable, they are perfect for swaddling. I’ve also found them to be useful as a nursing cover.
- Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump and Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping bra – You’ll need some relief in the early days when your milk comes in. The convenience of an electric double pump along with a hands-free bra makes pumping easy and allows you to multitask. Pumps are typically covered by your insurance company, which is nice since they are $250+ in stores.
- Video monitor – This is another big ticket item, but it’s a “must” because it really gives you peace of mind and a chance to relax. Look for one that has a movable camera.
- Diaper bag – I’m on diaper bag #3 and it’s the Skip Hop Forma Backpack. What I love about this one is that it has a specific place for everything, so you’re never left searching what feels like an endless pit for a pacifier.
- Diapers and wipes – This is a given. One tip: don’t stock up on sizes newborn and 1. If your babies are anything like mine, they’ll only spend a couple weeks in each size.
- Boppy Nursing Pillow – I got a lot more use out of my Boppy as an infant positioner during playtime rather than using it while nursing. You can lay your baby on his or her back or use it to prop him or her up during tummy time.
- Bathtub and toiletries – From flowers in the sink to tubs that double as a scale, there are a lot of inventive ways to bathe your baby. I like my Fisher-Price one, similar to this one, because it grows with baby. As for toiletries, we like Aveeno for soap and lotion. Nail clippers are a must because their little nails grow overnight. You’ll also want a nasal aspirator, or what we call the “boogie snatcher” to get out any nasal congestion. You can usually bring one of these home from the hospital with you, or I’ve recently learned about the Nose Frida, which some of my friends can’t live without.
- Play mat – Your baby doesn’t really need toys for his or her first three months other than a fun place to lay down. Our Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Delux Gym is perfect with music, lights and lots of animals for baby to look at.
- Pacifiers – I was hesitant to use pacifiers with my first born because I was sure that it would ruin our breastfeeding relationship. As a result he never took a pacifier and was tough to soothe. This time, I stocked up on GumDrop Orthodontic 0-6m Pacifiers and Eli loves them!
Whew! That was a lot! What did I leave off? Do you have any other items on your “must-have” list?