9 years ago, when I had my first baby, I felt like I needed to buy EVERY little gadget on the market, or I won’t be prepared. Now that I’ve got 3 kids under my belt, I’ve taken a chill pill and realized that you really don’t need a ton when you’re baby is born. Of course there are a TON of options out there to make being a new mother a LOT easier, but not everyone has a ton of money to drop on some gadget that you will realistically only use for a couple months, so I’ve compiled a very SHORT list of the things you ACTUALLY need for your first born, to help you relax a little. Because, if you’re anything like I was 9 years ago, you need a reality check!
- Diapers and Wipes- No matter the type, cloth or disposable, you’re going to need something to catch that stuff. It’s a necessity really. On that note, don’t buy more than one newborn pack, those little babies can grow really quickly, and you don’t want to be stuck with a ton of diapers that you can only use for a couple weeks.
- Bottles- I’ve nursed each of my babies, but I still believe in feeding the baby a bottle every once in a while. Breastfeeding wasn’t/ isn’t that easy for me, and I’ve always needed to supplement a little in the beginning to make sure my babies are getting enough food. It’s also comforting to know that, in an emergency, my baby can be left with another adult and will accept a bottle.
- Formula- Even mom’s that are nursing might want to have some formula in the house. I like to buy the single serving packets, that way I can slip a few in my diaper bag for emergencies without having to pack a huge canister. It’s also great to have the smaller size, because you have to use the cans within 30 days of opening, and if you’re nursing, you won’t need that much.
- Nipple cream (if you plan on breastfeeding)- Like I said before, nursing isn’t that easy, but nipple cream helps a LOT. It helps to soothe sore cracked nipples, and you’ll be grateful you have it. Pack it in your hospital bag.
- Breast Pads- You’ll definitely want these if you’re nursing. There’s nothing like waking up in a pool of your own breast milk…not cozy my friends!
- Breast Pump- Some insurances will cover this cost. You can also rent one from the hospital. I invested in a good one with my first baby and it’s still working like a champ. I just replace the tubing with each baby. These are great to have, and can be very helpful to help unclog milk ducts.
- Newborn Clothes- Babies are messy, and sometimes they need to be changed multiple times a day. I prefer soft pajamas for newborns, since they like to be cuddled all day. They don’t need anything fancy!
- Swaddling Blankets- I love giving my babies a tight swaddle! Make sure you have a few soft and thin blankets that you can wrap your baby in. They don’t need to be bulky! Especially for the summer time!
- Car Seat- You can’t leave the hospital without one!
- Bassinet or Crib- I like having my baby in the room with me for the first couple of months, so I don’t have to walk very far to get them each time they need to eat. I NEED as much sleep as possible, and having the baby nearby seems to be really helpful for me, so I just put the port-a-crib in my room until they baby starts to go more than 3 hours between each meal.
- Baby wash & lotion- No one likes a stinky baby! And did I mention? Babies are messy!
Simple right?! You might be thinking, “What about binkies, baby monitors, strollers, etc…” But remember, these are just the essentials! Usually the hospital provides you with a binky for your baby and the booger extractor (I know it’s called a bulb syringe, but I like booger extractor better). You don’t REALLY need a monitor. I’ve personally never used one. You don’t REALLY NEED a diaper genie, sure they’re nice to have to keep the scent out, but you’ll survive without one. You don’t REALLY NEED a stroller right away, but most car seats come in a travel system so you could do that if you can afford it. You don’t REALLY NEED an expensive changing table. A changing pad or a rag works just fine. You don’t REALLY NEED a bottle cleaner. A dishwasher or your two hands work just fine. A formula warmer might be convenient if you’re bottle feeding, but you don’t REALLY NEED it. I could go on and on. I guess my main point is, get the essentials first and then decide if you need to purchase anything else to make your life easier. No need to break the bank. Having a baby is expensive enough already! What do you think? Did I miss any essentials? Jessica:)