Friday, January 24, 2014

Take It or Leave It: What You Really Need to Have for Baby

With baby #2's arrival quickly approaching (12 weeks from today or less) I thought it might be a good time to do a post about all the baby essentials I've loved and the ones you can definitely live without.  I know as a first time mom (FTM) there are so many baby products out there and you end up thinking that maybe you really do need them all; but, TRUST ME ON THIS, you really don't.  So let's do a rundown!

  • Bottles (get one or two of a few different kinds because different babies like different things).  Even if you plan on breastfeeding I'd encourage you to have a few on hand because chances are at some point you'll use them.
  • Somewhere for the little one to sleep.  We used a pack and play with a bassinet for Squishy until she was old enough to be in her own room in a crib.  That's the plan for this little one too.
  • Carseat.  Now here you have two options. You can start with an infant carrier and then transition to a convertible or start with a convertible.  I chose the former.  I so appreciated being able to move Squishy from car to house to stroller to shopping cart without waking her.  Even though we moved her to a convertible by five months I still plan to use the carrier with this new little one.
  • Diapers and wipes.  Self explanatory.  If it's not, I'm concerned for you.
  • Onesies, sleepers and blankets.  Let's be real.  Babies are tiny little blobs at first.  They do not need to be trendy.  They will just spit up on everything.  Plus, everyone else will buy the fancy clothes.  Trust me on this.
  • Burp rags.  I highly, highly recommend getting the bar style rags.  Those babies can sop up a lot of liquid.  They may not be as cute as the ones your friend embroidered for you (which you'll still use) but they are a lot more absorbent. 
  • A diaper bag or even a purse that you aren't overly attached to.  Remember, at some point there will be blow out or vomit covered clothes going in there and you don't want to ruin an expensive handbag.  Even if you put those clothes in a plastic bag you will always flashback to what's been in the diaper bag before.  I had a petunia pickle bottom with Squishy but this baby I've switched to a Vera Bradley Baby Bag because it's both washable and cute.  
  • Stroller.  If you can spend the money on the one you really want.  Also think about where you live.  We started out with a Graco travel system but those tires were no bueno on our semi-rural roads without sidewalks.  Squishy felt every bump.  I wish I'd planned ahead a little more on that one.
  • A good breast pump.  Chances are you'll need it at some point.  Also check in with your insurance as many (in the US at least) cover all or a good portion of them.
Now these are some things you don't need but that I loved and found invaluable
  •  A carrier.  Wearing Squishy made chores, grocery shopping, trips to Disneyland, and walks so much easier in the beginning.  She slept.  I got things done.  I had both a Moby and a Babyhawk.  I will use both with #2 but prefer the Babyhawk.
  • A rock and play.  I set that sucker up in the living room and that's where she napped for the first six months.  It was lovely.
  • A nose frieda.  Don't side eye me like that.  I know what you're thinking.  It's something along the lines of HELL NO!!  First of all I promise no boogers get in your mouth.  Second, it works ten times better than the mold infested bulb syringe.  Third, you'll thank me when baby has their first bad cold.  That's when hubby and I changed our tunes.
  • A changing table.  I don't really think they are necessary; but, they are definitely a huge help and it's nice not having to bend over all the time.
  • Diaper genie.  Because of smells.
Shenanigans (or things that are totally just a trap)
  • Wipes warmer.  Nope. Just don't.  It's a trap.  Wipes aren't as cold as you might think and when you've conditioned your baby to have a constantly warm tushy you're going to get some glares when you change them in public and they're screaming bloody murder because the wipes from the diaper bag are just a few degrees off.  Just no.
  • Diaper genie refills.  Not necessary.  Bags work just as good.  You're welcome
  • A bottle warmer.  It's really not necessary.  Room temperature bottles work fine too.  If you're really determined, there is a much cheaper solution.  THIS  A hot pot works just as well and it's what we used when we bothered to heat a bottle.  Plug it in, wait for it to get warm and then pop the bottle in the warm water until it's heated enough. I just saved you $10.  
Of course there are tons of other baby products out there and you'll find what works for your family.  This is what worked for mine.  If you have any questions about a specific product and what I think about it or anything like that (doesn't need to be one I listed) just leave a comment and I'll be happy to give you my take on it if I have one.

I'll leave you with one last bit of advice...

If you really, really want things from your registry for your shower do not announce gender until after the shower or during.  If people know the gender they will largely ignore your registry and get clothes.  It's just what happens.  Even if you don't announce gender you'll get some gender neutral clothes but they'll get more stuff off your registry too.  Also don't register for clothes.  They just take up space and will be purchased no matter what. :)