I have a friend who is preparing to be a first time mamma. She sent me a Facebook message asking me to tell her what she will need that she doesn’t know she will need. After fat thumbing a long and grammar mistake ridden answer from my phone, I thought that was a great question that deserved an easier to read response. Here’s what I came up with.
This is the number 1 thing I can suggest. We used it for both kids every day for the first several months, and we would never have registered for it. We luckily got it from my friend who passed it down to me. It’s different than a boppy because it has a center and the center slopes inward. This is the perfect thing to lay your baby on until they start to roll over.
If you plan on breastfeeding, have a tube of this in your hospital bag or at least ready for you when you come home. Breastfeeding is easy when you get the hang of it, but this will help soothe and protect your nipples in the meantime.
These are helpful especially if you are building up a breast milk reserve for if/when you return back to work or a reserve in general. You can write the date on the top of the outside and pop it into the freezer.
I know there is a big movement towards cloth diapers, but I will say that these Huggies newborn swaddlers were so useful when I had my first baby. There is a yellow stripe down the front that turns blue when the diaper needs to be changed. When they are that little and when you aren’t experienced at changing diapers it can be hard to tell at first if they have gone or not. Pampers also has a version, but they are more expensive.
Take and Toss items are small plastic sippy cups, bowls, and utensils. These can’t be used until the baby is a little older. We like Take and Toss items because if we forget one somewhere, they are cheap enough that it’s not the end of the world. We also made our own baby food, and the small bowls were perfect containers for storing. Then as the kids got older these became great for on-the-go snacks to toss into the diaper bag.
You probably can still wear jewelry while babies are newborns, but they quickly move into the “reach for everything phase”. These necklaces and bracelets are made from silicone beads that are non-toxic and BPA free. Big bonuses are that they are dishwasher safe and made with a special clasp that will pop open without breaking if the bracelet or necklace is pulled on. So you can wear jewelry while your baby reaches for it and chews it without making you want to cuss because your favorite necklace is broken.
Cloth and board books
If you have kid books that are paper, I would keep those up high out of reach to take down when you read to your baby. Then have the cloth and board books at a lower level. Otherwise paper pages of beloved children’s books will be torn out, and the corners will be chewed off.
Snacks for dad at the hospital
Yes there is a cafeteria at the hospital, and yes visitors can bring the dad food. To be safe though go ahead and throw in some trail mix or hearty snacks in your hospital bag for dad. He may not want to leave your side and you may not know how long your labor will be.
Clothes sizes for the right seasons, and don’t buy baby blankets
This seems obvious but is worth mentioning. When registering for clothes think about what season it will be as your baby gets older. That way if they will be 6 months in July, you don’t have a bunch of sweaters. Also, people love to give baby blankets. You will get a million, so don’t buy any yourself.
Waist high dresser
To save us from having to get another piece of furniture and then figure out where to put it, we did not get a changing table. Instead we got a waist high dresser, put a changing pad on top, and then put the diapers and wipes in the top drawer. It’s worked like a dream.
Feel free to share with any expecting parents or add your suggestions in the comments!