There are times after paying bills and getting the essentials it feels like all I have left are my two cents. A quick online search or any conversation with someone that has children will produce a long list of “must haves” and “must do’s” for a new baby. What you need in a hospital bag for mom and dad (glad I didn’t have to pack one of those), what you have to have on hand for baby, what you need for mom post delivery, what you need for dad and other children. It seems like everything on these lists need to be purchased, especially if this is baby 1. It’s never ending and even the short lists are anything but short. I don’t know if people get carried away because everything is so tiny or they like to shop or just what it is. But when your pocket book only gives you two cents, you start to see what the essentials really are. Even if there is more than a few penny’s, it doesn’t mean you have to spend them all.
My best friend is due to have their first baby and she asked me what I thought the “must haves” are. I gave her a reply of “Hmm. Eh nothing much.” I know this can be a rather discouraging answer to a new mother, but really there is not much that one has to have for a baby. Mostly it’s attention, patience, time and work that is a must have; it’s not all sorts of gadgets, toys, and so on.
My “Material Must Have” lists are pretty short. There is enough to do that I see no reason to make anything more complicated than necessary
For New Baby:
-Receiving Blankets ( a few, they get soiled quickly)
-Sleepers or Onsies ( a few, depending on the season, these also soil quickly)
-Baby Powder (cornstarch works just the same)
-Diaper Rash Ointment
-A place to sleep ( crib, cradle or pack-n-play, you only need one to get started)
-Car Seat Cover/Snow Suit (depending on the season or where you are this may or may not be necessary)
Helpful but Optional Items:
-Monitor, if baby will be sleeping where you can not hear when they wake up
-Baby bath tub, they are nice but a towel in the kitchen sink works just as well
-Baby Swing or some sort of Baby Seat so baby isn’t laying on the floor when you can’t hold them. They can be laid in their “bed” in place of this too.
For Baby 2 +
Go through what you used from the previous baby, assuming care was taken with what you already have there shouldn’t be much that is needed right away. Baby 1 was born mid-summer and Baby 2 was due mid-winter so we needed a few long sleeved pieces and pants.
That’s about it.
This time around because we didn’t have to get much for new stuff we were able to purchase a few “optional items”.
-A second (cheep) Monitor, as baby 2 will be sleeping in our room, we need to know who is awake at nap time.
–Cradle– Baby 1 slept in a Pack-n-Play in our room at the old house, our room isn’t big enough to set that up in the new house and we don’t want to disrupt Baby 1 during the night so a cradle was picked up.
I am all about second-hand and hand-me-downs, especially when it comes to children’s stuff. They grow out of everything so fast, I see no reason to spend so much extra for a new tag. I tried to get things that could be for either sex the first time around so when the second came we were ready no matter which they were.
As with everything there are a few acceptations. We picked out a brand new sleeper set for Baby 1, it was my favorite and when he out grew it, I put it in a keepsake box that I started for him. Baby 2 also got their brand new outfit too. Little things like that I find important. It doesn’t amount to much but it is something that years down the road, hopefully, they will find special.
–Bra Pads, these are a number one on my “need” list. I never knew they existed before Baby 1 and wish I would have known before baby came. I learned very quickly, but it would have been nice to have them on hand.
–Super Absorbent Pads, something that is not talked about at our house, it’s personal. They are necessary though.
-A Set (or a few sets) of Extra Comfortable Clothes, for the first few days (or week) after delivery it’s really nice to be able to wear something a little too big and extra comfy and not leave the house. You’re going to be tired adjusting to the “new baby” schedule, you might as well be comfortable. (this also something you already have on hand, just set them out of “lazy” access)
Helpful but Optional Items:
By now I am going to assume that most of the male readers have left the page, Ladies these are something to print and give to your husband as an obvious hint.
–Epsom Salt, this does wonders in a hot bath. I splurged this time and bought a few extra’s for a bath tea that I will swear by. Recipe found here. I use Epsom salt in place of sea salt if that’s what is on hand.
–A “Granny” Style Night Gown, honestly that’s about all I have anymore, Grandma got that right too. It may not be sexy but it will be so comfortable it won’t matter. (There are some pretty cute ones out there too)
-Fluffy Bathrobe, if mom doesn’t have a cozy, fluffy bathrobe, think about getting one. This is most certainly an unnecessary extra, but I can tell you, in the middle of the night it is really nice to put that on for rocking/feeding baby. Our Little Boy now tries to wrap himself in mine when he wakes in the night. It’s almost like a security blanket of sorts it seems.
*Husbands* -If mom already has one have it washed and ready for her right after baby arrives. Little things make a big difference.
That’s all. The simpler things are kept the easier it is as far as I’m concerned.