Wondering what you really need to get ready to bring home a baby? Here is a list of 10 Must Have Items for Your Baby Registry. I suggest these because they were used so much in my house during our child’s first year that I cannot imagine living without them!
#10 A Backpack Diaper Bag
Two straps, one for each shoulder! Holding a wiggly baby and trying to keep a 1-strap bag around your shoulder can be a hopeless task. We love how our backpack-style diaper bag works. And when you pick out the backpack, I recommend having Dad give his input. Some Daddies, as wonderful as they are with their children, just do not want to carry a hot pink backpack with them everywhere they go. We chose a nice red bag that works with our son and will work well if we ever have a daughter. We looked at several options and I asked my husband which bag he would be willing to carry. We still use the one he picked out and it works great for us.
#9 A Great Laundry Detergent
Just find one you like that works. I use this recipe and make my own ($30 gives me a one year supply of detergent and this stuff gets out baby food and stains like magic!)
#8 A Pack and Play (PnP)
We found our PnP to be extremely useful at home and while traveling or visiting with friends for more than a few hours. Because our family has a large and overly helpful dog who frequently trips over us, a safe play space is very valuable when I need to unload groceries or if I am making dinner. If you have a two-story house, a PnP gives your child a place to rest without Momma having to climb stairs. In the first few weeks, as we established a feeding and sleeping routine, we found the newborn napper attachment that came with ours to be an easy way to let baby safely sleep in our room. This saved a delirious Mom many zombie-like steps when it was time for the 2 a.m. feeding! We also travel quite frequently, so having a bed that folds up easily and is familiar to our son helps tremendously.
#7 Onesies Galore!
Here’s a tip: just start buying a onesie each time you go to the store while you’re pregnant, especially in the 0-6 month size. Babies produce many liquids and solids that seep onto clothes faster than you can stop them, so wardrobe changes will be necessary — multiples times some days! Then, right around six months, babies will start to incorporate solids into their diets, which can lead to a whole new round of clothing stains. Stock up on those onesies and you can spread out your laundry washing days a bit more (leaving more time to snuggle your sweet babe!). Plus, an extra layer will sometimes stop a diaper overflow and preserve that cute outfit you wanted baby in for the day.
#6 Baskets. Lots of Baskets.
As I write this I am thinking about how I need to order even more baskets! The dollar store can be the most budget-friendly route if you just need baskets now, or you can invest in the nice canvas baskets that may last a little longer (provided your toddler learns to handle them gently!). Getting toys out of sight was my biggest sanity saver at the end of the day. Tripping over one more toy could really be the straw that broke Momma camel’s back at the end of a bad day. Get your baskets and pick those toys up!
My favorite baby shower trend right now is when I am asked to bring a book instead of a card. It’s such a fun way to build a new baby’s library! Be sure to write a note that will be an added treasure each time the book is read. We look in the front of all of our books and talk about our wonderful friends and family who picked out each of our books. I find that my toddler really enjoys reading and some days, it’s the only way I can get him to sit still for more than five minutes!
#4 A Good Carrier
Especially when babies are tiny, a good carrier is a lifesaver. While I loved having my son in December because it gave me a great excuse to hibernate at home all winter, it did mean spending a lot of time staring at our same four walls — walls that seemed dirtier every day! A carrier allowed me to get work done around the house while still snuggling and talking with my baby. There are brands and styles that fit everyone differently, so consider borrowing a friend’s before you make your final purchase.
#3 An Activity Gym
My son basically spent months 2-6 under an activity gym. We used ours for tummy time, for time spent on Mommy’s lap looking at the hanging toys, for time spent lying on the floor together, and for baby practicing playing alone for a few minutes at a time while I watched from outside the door. These mats have multiple features that allow babies to explore different textures and fabrics, look at themselves in a mirror, grasp toys, and many other developmental milestones.
#2 A Good Stroller
A stroller is an absolute necessity for our family. A great jogging stroller allows me to get a nice run in with a baby who is comfortable, while also helping us to maneuver in gravel parking lots, through a grassy field at the park, or on most terrains. Our family loves being outdoors and walks have always been a sweet time of reconnecting and holding hands with my husband, so a stroller is an absolute must. We use ours so much that my son now climbs into his stroller to sit — just for fun. It provides a new vantage point and a nice recharging spot for him, so we take full advantage of his love of the stroller. He has definitely conned me into taking an extra walk several times this summer because he loves his stroller so much. Everyone wins!
#1 A Baby Seat
A seat of some sort, whether a Bumbo, a bouncy seat, or a swing will be extremely helpful before your baby is mobile! Our son actually loved his bath seat so much we carried it all over the house. He spent hours watching Mommy do laundry, prepare meals, dust, and complete all sorts of household chores from his bath seat. Whether your baby is content to sit on her own or requires physical touch every waking moment, there will come a time when baby needs to be put down for a minute. You will need both hands to pour the spaghetti water into the colander or you may want to use the bathroom without holding a baby from time to time. And believe it or not, you will need to take a shower every once in a while! Using two hands will be a luxury some days, but eating dinner with two hands is a blessing at any stage of motherhood!
Images via Shutterstock