So, before I get to the list of things you really need, I first want to give you a few rules to consider while you await the little ones arrival.
Rule #1: Relax, you will be amazing parents. And all the questions that are stirring around in your mind, well, don't worry, time will answer them.
Rule #2: Realize that you don't really need a lot of stuff. Some of it is nice, but when the baby is first born all she/he needs is mommy, mommy's milk, diapers, blankets, simple clothing, and a place to sleep.
Rule #3: If you are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you feel you need, or don't really know what to try, consider buying second hand at stores like "Kid to Kid", or on sites like craigslist. Also, reach out to friends and family to share baby items. Often we can't predict what we need since our personalities and the babies personalities sometimes decide that for us. Some babies love swings, some babies don't. Some babies like to be rocked, some don't. Some mothers swear by slings, and some babies can't stand them. And the list goes on and on. So, maybe try things out before buying them new.
Rule #4: Keep in mind all the free samples you will be receiving. Use the samples and see what products you like before you buy more. I bought stuff with the mentality of wanting to feel prepared. But in all reality that idea is just a myth. Monet ended up being allergic to the big bottle of lotion I purchased for her. I should have just used the samples and bough more after I realized what I liked.
Rule #5: If you think dual purpose for some of these items, it may help to eliminate needing so much stuff. For example, you don't need a co-sleeper and a pack-n-play. A lot of the pack-n-plays are set up to also be used as co-sleepers or bassinets. Another dual purpose item for us was using receiving blankets as burp cloths (once they got dirty, obviously they went straight to the hamper).
Rule #6: KEEP ALL RECEIPTS AND DON'T THROW AWAY PACKAGING UNTIL YOU ARE SURE YOU PLAN TO USE AND KEEP THE ITEMS! I wanted to get the baby's room perfectly put away so I often took things out of their packaging assuming I would use them. In hind sight, this was a huge mistake. Can you imagine if we had a boy and not a girl like we had planned? Once Monet arrived, I then realized all the stuff we didn't need, and I wished I could have exchanged those opened unwanted items for things we actually needed.
Click on the Target's baby registry checklist link to find a very detailed list of items superstores like Target recommend you get. I'm going to take their recommended list and personalize it some with the experience I have had with being a mom.
This is a product made by Safety1st, it's called the Ultimate 30-piece Nursery Collection. Thirty! This is actually a pretty great kit, better than most I've seen, and yet at the same time it's a great example of a product most parents think they need, but in all reality don't. I have not found myself using hardly any of the items that are offered in this kit.
(Note: I'll talk more about specific product brands and make a few recommendations tomorrow.)
Here's a generous yet practical list of what you need...
- crib mattress
- waterproof fitted mattress pad (2)
- fitted crib sheets (2)
- blankets (3)
- changing table
- waterproof changing pad cover (2)
- changing table pad
- baby monitor
- boppy with cover
- white noise player or music player
- bodysuits (6)
- sleepwear (3)
- booties/socks (4-5 pair)
- receiving blankets (3-6)
- swaddle blanket
- infant or convertible car seats
- extra base for infant car seat (if multiple people will be driving baby around on a regular basis)
- diaper bag
- stroller or travel system
- infant carrier or sling
- baby swing
- few simple toys
- bottles, bpa free (2-4)
- bottle nipples, bpa free (size 0 for infant and size 1or 2 for when they get older)
- pacifiers, bpa free (2)
- dishwasher basket
- breast pump
- nursing accessories (pads, cream & storage bags)
- bibs (3)
- burp cloths (6-8)
- diaper rash cream
- infant bathtub chair that collapses
- baby wash/shampoo
- rectal thermometer
- baby tylenol
- stain remover
- gift cards, gift cards, gift cards...
So what did I forget? I would love to hear from other mothers, fathers, grandparents... what would you recommend all new parents must have?