Baby Stuff: What you really need…and what you can live without

When we were pregnant, my husband and I were somehow able to walk into large, daunting stores like Babies R Us and Target with our tunnel vision goggles firmly in place.  We always had a list or items in mind that we deemed “necessary”, and we stuck to them.  Ironically, those same goggles always malfunction at Costco – funny how that works…

Anyway, our innate need to nurture our young can often lead us to think “Baby knee pads – why didn’t they have those when we were kids?” or “Wipe warmer? Genius!”  Well, from my three-month experience, my hands work just fine to warm up the wipes, and to this day, I never remember having skinned knees from my early crawling days, and if I did, they must not have caused too much physical or psychological damage.

Now, if you’re not on a budget, by all means, go hog wild if you so feel inclined.  However, if you’re like us, focused-shopping is mandatory.  This includes finding items that are not only necessary, but also have some longevity.  So, without further adieu, here is my personal list of necessary items for the first few months of life:

1.  Crib/Cradle/Bassinet/Pack ‘n’ Playwe opted for the Pack ‘n’ Play since it doubles as a bassinet and a play pen for when she’s older.  She also has a crib which she will sleep in more once she outgrows the PnP.

2. Car Seatthis is required if you’re like most Americans and use a vehicle to get from point A to point B.  Again, we opted for a seat that holds up to 35 lbs so we can get some good miles out of it (pun intended).

3.  Stroller we did a little splurging here and got a jogging stroller since I like to jog.

4. Baby Carrier – now, some may not think this is a necessary item, but when you’re a busy-bee like me and you have a baby who likes to tag along, this is the perfect solution without the bulkiness of a stroller.  Besides, most babies love to be close.

5. Bobby Pillow – this is perfect for feeding, tummy time and sitting up.  D loves her boppy.

6. Bathtub/Bathing Supplies – we got a cheap, yet very functional, plastic tub at IKEA (sorry, no naked baby photos).

7.  Books – D has many books and she loves to listen to me read to her.  Our favorites right now are Pajama Time, Goodnight Moon, Playtime and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

8.  The Essentials – diapers, wipes, rash ointment, nose sucker, nail trimmer, shampoo, soap, thermometer, etc.

9. Clothes – we have a closet PACKED with clothes and we only bought a couple onesies.  Trust me when I say, people will buy them or hand them down to you!

10.  Receiving Blankets – we use these for everything – swaddling, wiping her nose, burp cloth, pillow, peek-a-boo accomplice…

11.  Pump/Bottles – these are essential for working moms like me who still want to provide breastmilk for their babies.

12.  Pacifier – this is not for everyone, but if your baby has a strong need to suck, as mine does, it will save you – in more ways than one!

Of course, we have items that I would not add to the necessity list (see the comment above regarding hand-me-downs), but these items are ones I wouldn’t want to go without.  Since most young babies are only awake for about 2 hours at a time, this gives us enough time to eat and play a little before the eyes start to roll back in the head.  D is perfectly happy just “talking” with us, dancing around the living room and watching me point out her facial features.  We’re enjoying the relatively material-free days while we have them.

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