It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the "must-have" recommendations for your new baby. It could cost a small fortune to equip your little one with all of these items, not to mention the amount of space required to store everything.
Instead of falling into this trap of baby consumerism, we recommend you focus on the essentials. Below is our list of the top 10 things we view as true must haves, culled from our years in the trenches of mothering newborns.
- A portable, easy-to-use, rear-facing car seat. This is a must have! In fact, you won't even be able to leave the hospital without a proper car seat that you can demonstrate you know how to use. This is an item that you will use A LOT, and you need to be comfortable with the mechanics of getting baby in and out and strapping into and out of the car. Definitely, spend some time testing out various options!
- A safe place to put the baby for play time. Whether you opt for a bouncy seat, a bean bag-style lounger, a floor play mat, a jumper, or something else, you'll definitely want at least one "safe play time" location on hand for baby. When trying to select which one or two you really want, think about where and when you'll use them as well as how long you want to be able to use them.
- A stylish and comfortable baby carrier. Trust us...hands free time is as much of a necessity for moms as a happy and safe baby is. When you can combine the two you've got a winner for sure. That's exactly what you'll get with a carrier. Test out some different options though so that you can find the one that will be most comfortable for both you and dad to wear without adding any additional physical stressors to your body. Also, be sure to consider how long you'll want to use the carrier and make sure your carrier of choice will work for that time frame.
- Diapering necessities, including diapers, wipes, and rash cream. This is a no-brainer. Stock up before the baby's born, and then stock up again once you figure out which items are best for your unique baby.
- Cozy and safe day-to-night outfits and sleepsacks. You'll find that the outfits you choose day in and day out are those that are easy to take on and off, easy to wash, and cozy for the baby. A lot of times, the baby will spend most of the day in what you'd traditionally consider pajamas. Seeing as how much time baby will spend sleeping, this only makes sense! Tealbee sleepsacks are the perfect option for your newborn's daily, day-to-night wear.
- A perfect place to sleep. At this age, you've got lots of sleep options for baby - from bassinets to Moses baskets to cribs, and several other choices in between. Which one you choose is really a personal preference. With luck, baby's sleep habits will coincide with your choice! See our articles here about baby's sleep!
- Extra bottles. Even if you plan to breastfeed exclusively, having some extra bottles on hand is imperative because you just never know what's going to happen. You don't ever want to be in a situation where mom is running late from an appointment, the baby is fussy and hungry, and dad is left without options because he can't find a bottle to feed the baby that emergency pumped milk that's been hanging out in your freezer!
- Comfort items, including at least a spare or two. You'll quickly realize which items baby uses to comfort him or herself. It could be a pacifier, the silky smooth corner of a special blanket, a teething ring, or a little stuffed animal. That item will then become one of the most important things in your life! Misplacing it will cause all kinds of heartache for both you and baby. Make sure you have a spare available, just in case.
- An abundance of onesies. This is one of those items that baby will wear every day. It's also one of the items that will take the most abuse and likely require frequent changes after blow outs or spit up instances. Unless you plan to stay on top of the laundry every single day, you'll want a good supply of these.
- Blankets, burp cloths, and bibs. Just like onesies, these are items that you'll go through quickly as they'll require a lot of laundering while also saving other loads of laundry. You'll use each of these at various times to protect baby's clothes, your clothes, and your furniture and flooring.
We hope this list helps you get prepared for baby without going overboard. Did we forget anything that you'd consider essential?