Before I brought Grayson home I did my research on what essential items I would need for a brand new baby. I was lucky and got most of what I needed at my showers, and the rest we stocked up before he made his arrival. However, now that he's here, I've learned that each baby is totally different, and some of the essentials aren't quite so important...and other things are an absolute MUST. Here are a few of the things that I highly recommend investing in before you bring baby home.
- Swaddle Sacks
I suggest stocking up with several of these. There are a few different choices for types of sacks/blankets, and as the baby grows you'll discover their needs will change. When he was itty bitty we really liked the Summer Infant SwaddleMe, and now that he's getting bigger we put him in the Halo SleepSacks with his arms out.
Keep in mind, you might get a little backed up on laundry...babies have a way of doing that to you. Babies also have a way of pooping, peeing, or spitting up on things every day. So I would have at least 3-5 of these on hand, because they truly are lifesavers. Grayson is just now outgrowing the need to be swaddled for sleep at night at three months old. If he ever wasn't swaddled before, his little arms would just flail around and keep him up...miserable for all of us!
- Baby Swing
I think just about anyone out there would agree that a swing is a must have. The first month or so we honestly didn't use it a ton and I was worried that it would go to waste. He just seemed so tiny in there, and he never really settled in and got comfy. But now, this thing is just about the only way I can get anything done around here. We have the Graco DuetConnect Swing + Bouncer and we love it. Grayson will settle into this thing and nap for a couple of hours in the afternoons. It plays music, swings, and vibrates. I wish I had an adult version of this thing.
- Diaper Genie
Good Lord Almighty, I had no idea the amount of diaper waste we would have. I considered doing cloth diapers for a hot minute, but decided it just isn't for me (I wish it was, I think it's a noble thing to do). But since we just use regular diapers, we have like, hundreds of those things to toss. It's so nice to have this sitting right next to his Pack n' Play, where we change the majority of his diapers, and I imagine it keeps the house from smelling quite unpleasant.
- Pack 'n Play
We have the Pack n' Play Playard with Newborn Napper and it has been a worthy investment. We have put this thing to good use in the first three months, and I'm pretty sure it will continue to be something we use daily. When G was teeny tiny and we weren't putting him in the swing, he napped in the little napper almost every day. The changing table was also used multiple times a day.
We have this sitting in our living room, where we spend most of our time, and it seriously gets used more than anything else we have. Now that he's bigger we've taken out the napper and the changing table and he just lays inside for diaper changes and naps. We also packed it up and took it to Oklahoma when we went to visit and he slept in it at night with no issues. Highly recommend something like this!
Save Your Money:
- Bottles (if you're breastfeeding)
I spent so much time picking out the perfect bottle....and I still have yet to use them. I got a few Medela bottles with my pumps, and since that is what I pump into and what I store my milk in, that's what he eats out of on the rare occasion that he gets a bottle. He is not a picky baby, so he took those just fine. All of the others I got are literally going to waste and taking up valuable cabinet space.
- Tons of Adorable Outfits
This one makes me sad. Grayson has several things that he never got the chance to wear, because honestly, there just was no need to put him into a super cute outfit. We didn't go anywhere for the first six weeks or so really, so he spent all of his time in onesies. The little pants and shoes and everything are so cute, but for us, they just didn't fit with what we had going on. And now, it's over 100 outside here in Texas. I would feel bad if I put him in layers of clothes and shoes...we still pretty much stick with a cute collared onesie for our outings. Next baby, I'll plan for lots of cute outfits starting around two or three months I think.
There are a million other things that are valuable to have and make life easier for you and baby, but most of them are somewhat common sense. These are my personal "must haves" that I don't think I could have survived without. It's seriously amazing how much little babies need AND how much space their stuff takes up. I'm already trying to convince Arsen we need a bigger house ;) Good thing they're so darn cute, right?