Don’t make the same mistakes we did....consider purchasing these items before you have the baby. Some you may already have, some you may not know you needed and some you may just not have enough of! Read on to find out what we items we thought were so essential I now include them in all my baby shower gifts:
Not exactly rocket science here. Everyone knows you need diapers when you have a baby but what shocks every new mom and dad is exactly how many diapers you need. I have to admit that I did not believe people when they said they used 10-12 diapers a day. I mean really, how much can a little newborn pee and poop? Well, not only did our little newborn pee and poop at least once an hour, she also would not tolerate a wet diaper. So, yes, we went through between 10 and 12 diapers a day for quite a while. Think about how many diapers this means....a “jumbo” pack of diapers hold about 40 newborn diapers so that will last you oh, about three days! Stock up before the baby gets here....you can’t go wrong with this one.
2. Skull Caps.
Not a pretty name but a pretty useful item. You may also know them as simply infant caps. These are the stretchy cotton hats that fit snugly on a baby’s head. Our baby was born in the cooler weather so the doctor advised us to leave a hat on her head at all times. The place we all lose the most heat is through our heads so when you have a little baby, you must keep that head warm. The hospital will usually give you one or two of these little numbers but you’ll be amazed at how many you need. You’ll want a clean one on their head each day and night and you’ll also want to coordinate with all those adorable little outfits! (We can’t have baby’s hat not matching his blanket sleeper, now can we?)
3. Newborn Booties.
Those tiny little feet just don’t seem to fit in anything else. Newborn booties and socks are the best! They stay snug in place and keep the little toes warm. Perfect for any baby under about 9 pounds.
4. Newborn Clothes and Sleepers.
I had a shower (2, actually) before my baby was born and I did receive lots of adorable clothes and sleepers for my baby, not to mention all the wonderful gifts that were sent after she arrived. However, rarely did I have an outfit that she could fit in for the first four weeks. Now, you may have a baby bigger than mine but if you have a baby who is less than 9 pounds, you will need some newborn clothes. Not the 0-3 month kind.....those are meant to fit babies generally between 9 and 11 pounds. You will actually want to have a few things that fit comfortably....especially when they are sleeping when you do not want sleepers to be big (a problem, particularly with cotton sleepers, when you want them to be flame resistant). Yes, you can go out and purchase the newborn size after you know how big your baby is but also keep in mind that sometimes it is not an easy size to find.
5.Disposable changing pads.
Problem: Where to change the baby when you’re not near the changing table? Solution: Anywhere- with disposable changing pads! Actually, these don’t even have to be the disposable type, any type will do. These were immensely helpful when we wanted to do a quick diaper change on the bed or the couch and didn’t want to risk leakage or the sudden need of the baby to relieve herself once the diaper was off!
6. More Binkis.
We discovered that the two packs were just not enough because they WILL disappear. How a newborn who barely moves can lose so many pacifiers is beyond me but we went through them like water. Mind you, we were also the parents who said we weren’t going to use a pacifier. What changed our minds (from day one)? The fact that babies have an instinctual need to suck and the pacifier (or “Binki”, as we fondly refer to it) calms a baby almost instantly. It’s as close as you can get to magic.
7. Nasal Aspirators.
Another item that we never knew we needed. Okay, we knew we needed it but we didn’t know we needed so many. I highly recommend you have about four on hand. We kept one by the crib, one by the bassinet in our room, one downstairs and one in the diaper bag. You may think the nasal aspirator is just for clearing the baby’s nose but you can actually use these handy little things when the baby has too much phlegm in the mouth and let me tell you that there’s nothing like the panic you will feel when your baby wakes up gagging on phlegm! Keep these handy during feeding and sleeping....we used ours regularly.
8. Long-Sleeved Snap Shirts.
Or short-sleeved but the key here are the snaps. When baby comes home from the hospital, she still has a piece of umbilical cord attached to the naval, waiting to dry up and fall off. In the meantime, you want to be careful of this area and a great way to do that is to not have a one-piece bodysuit or undershirt that rubs against that area. Another beautiful bonus of the side-snap shirt is the ability to put it on without pulling it over your newborn’s head. It may look easy to dress a newborn but it most certainly wasn’t for us and the fewer items you have to pull over her head (which seems to be much bigger than the shirt openings), the better!
Lots and lots of washcloths....that’s what we go through everyday because washcloths aren’t just for washing! Washcloths became our “go to” item for drying off the baby’s butt during diapering, washing the baby’s face after eating and just about everything in-between. Lots and lots of washcloths.
10. Receiving Blankets.
It was suggested by our childbirth educator that we purchase a dozen receiving blankets. We did but what we never discussed was which type. You will quickly learn, as we did, that most babies LOVE to be swaddled. Receiving blankets are the standard for swaddling but not just any type of blanket will do. We found that thin, cotton blankets worked the best for securely wrapping the little bundle up. During the cold nights, we even doubled up on the blankets and sometimes topped her off with a fleece one (knowing she was tightly wrapped underneath). Those Northeast nights can get cold- and a loose blanket is a no-no. So, if you don’t want to do the laundry on a daily basis, stock up on those great cotton receiving blankets for nap time, nighttime, car seats, strollers and tummy time!