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My days of having a new baby in our house are coming to an end with my youngest just turning 19 months. So when a friend recently had her first baby and asked me what she should really put on her registry, I asked her to send me her list so I could make some suggestions.
I laughed when I saw some of the same items that I once had on my own registry. Items that loved ones bought but were never actually used. Items like baby oil, baby wipe warmers, pacifier wipes, and the horribly smelling diaper pail.
It’s a rite of passage for all new mothers. We all believe the baby stores when they tell us that these items are “essential” and that our parenting will be incomplete without them.
I can remember convincing my husband that if we didn’t get a certain kind of stroller that our daughter would be destined to get scoliosis.
However, none of that is true. In actuality, I believe you only need the following items to enter the world of parenting prepared.
1. Milk – whether it is breast-milk or formula, this is the only form of food your child will consume in the first six months of their life. Don’t start stocking up on Puffs, or pureed peaches, you have a world of milk feedings to do before then.
2. Diapers and wipes – Unless your baby is truly premature, I would skip right to size 1 diapers and avoid paying the extra money for the newborn size. If you notice, the weight on the package is applicable for newborns.
3. Crib/bassinet – keep it simple – a mattress, mattress pad cover and sheet. Don’t fall for the crib sets because they actually are SIDS risks.
4. Baby carrying device – Bjorns, wraps, sling carriers – these things are a life-saver. They give you the ability to have your arms free and also, babies tend to love that close to the chest bonding.
5. Snap & Go stroller – I can’t say enough about these strollers. They make your life so much easier because you can just snap the car seat carrier right into them. Now you can actually transition a sleeping baby from the car to the stroller without them waking. You will understand soon how necessary to your sanity that will be.
6. Swaddles – A baby typically likes to be wrapped tightly and feel like they are back in the womb. Plus, their poor little reflexes are all wild and they often get surprised by them and wake themselves up. By having them swaddled, you can limit that and add some important sleep hours to all of your lives.
7. A really comfortable rocking chair – Take your time with this one. Find a chair that lets you put your head back easily, one that rocks without creaking, and one that you can imagine spending hours in. Because you will be.
8. Boppy pillows – I thought that a regular pillow would work just as well. I was wrong. These things fit perfectly around your waist and make feeding of any kind so much easier. We actually ended up getting two of them – one for upstairs and one for downstairs. There was one anytime then that we needed it.
There you go. Eight items to make your parenting experience start right. And yes, there are other items that can provide ease as well, things like bouncy chairs and eventually high chairs. However, when you are starting parenthood you don’t need to buy everything at once. Though, try telling that to a 9 month pregnant woman in the throes of nesting. I’m guessing she’ll have every item on her registry bought and ready to go weeks before the baby is actually born. At least, I know I did.
Danielle Herzog is married and a mother to two children. Read her every Wednesday on momaha.
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