New Moms – What do you REALLY need?

Vector illustration in Neutral design for baby shower party

Literally the moment I found out I was pregnant, my mind began spinning about all of the things I would need to bring home a baby: Crib, diapers, monitors, wipes, toys, blankets, swing, bottles, playmat, porta crib – I would of course also need a car seat, car mat, hand vac for car clean up…my list was about 250 items long and I hadn’t even gotten to strollers (yes – plural!  Light duty stroller, running stroller, off road stroller….right???  right???).  Um, no.  Let me tell you ladies a little secret – you need diapers, wipes, crib, some onesies, a car seat and a thermometer (which, if you’re lucky, will collect dust in your medicine cabinet) .  Period.  

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When you really get down to basics, that’s it.  The baby industry has followed the wedding industry in the never ending list of “Must haves” and OMG if you don’t have IT ALL you are The.  Worst.  Mom.  Ever.  EVER!  

By the time I brought home my first baby, a little boy, my house was FULL of every gadget from every baby aisle within a 50 mile radius of my house – not to mention what was bought online and gifted to me by my amazing friends and family.  One would think, upon stepping through my front door, that I was running a Big Box Black Market Baby Shop out of my living room.  Fast forward 3 months and I had used, being generous, about 1/16th of everything I had been hoarding the previous 9.  

Here’s THE LIST.  THIS is what you need.  If you find yourself buying little itty bitty jean overalls and teeny tiny rain boots – BACK AWAY FROM THE SHELF….run, do not walk (ok, waddle…) and remind yourself of THE LIST:

  1. Diapers:  I have always used Pampers Swaddlers.  That is what they gave me in the hospital and I never strayed.  Buy one or two packs of Newborn and that’s it.  They grow THAT fast.

  1. Wipes: Both of my kids (I now have a son (5) and a daughter (3)) were painfully sensitive to ANYthing scented.  When water wipes came out I was convinced my nursery was bugged and the universe heard my incessant complaining about EVERYTHING BEING SCENTED.  I have these things stuck everywhere: house, car, office…because here is the thing…babies and kids do not get any less messy as they get bigger.  You know what DOES get bigger?  The messes.  Make these your new paper towel.  You won’t regret it.

  1. Crib: Full confession – with my son I bought a crib that weighed about 897 pounds and would survive the armageddon.  Over.  Kill.  This crib is PERFECT, comes in a variety of colors and won’t break your back when you move it to clean.

  1. Onesies: There is a sure fire way to out other moms who want you to go insane.  These are the ladies who buy you ANYTHING that snaps or buttons.  Picture yourself at 2am running on 45 minutes of sleep over 48 hours, and you are trying to snap up 87 tiny little snaps on a screaming, wiggling baby – IN THE DARK.  Buy ONLY onesies and jammies that ZIP.  You can thank me later.

  1. Car Seat: If you want to blow a wad of cash – you can certainly do it on your car seat.  When I was doing research, I saw car seats (JUST the seat, mind you) that were $800 and up.  Please note this is an item that is going to be covered in food, vomit, poop, milk, etc.  In order for a car seat to be sold, it HAS to meet or exceed federal ASTM and JPMA safety standards – so paying a fair price for a car seat does not make you an unsafe mom, recklessly putting your baby’s safety at risk.  I ended up with this car seat + base combo and it survived two babies and has since been donated to a mom friend – looks brand new!

  1. Baby Thermometer:  I send all the mom juju into the universe in hopes anyone reading this will never have to use a baby thermometer – alas, babies do get sick.  We are of course talking about tiny creatures who both HAVE to touch everything and cannot keep their hands out of their mouths.  We all make the effort to sanitize constantly – you are never going to catch 100% of the world’s germs – hence, the thermometer.  Even though digital thermometers have become increasingly more popular, I still recommend a more traditional thermometer for a more accurate reading.  This is a good convo to have with your pediatrician.  I used the FridaBaby 3-in-1 ONLY for rectal when my babies were under 3 months, then bought a new one to use as they got older and would leave the thing with their mouth :/ Cuz, yuck. 

There it is.  There is THE LIST.  I know so many of you are thinking – what about a stroller? What about a bouncy?  What about….??  But, but…my baby loved the {insert something someone could not live without here}.  Sure, all nice things to have, and you will undoubtedly find things that are your own saviors.  However, pragmatically speaking, THE LIST consists of NEEDS – if I were to write a blurb about WANTS – you’d all end up with a Black Market Big Box store in your living rooms.

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