This is the second installment in a series dedicated to informing you, a newly pregnant mom. When I first discovered I was pregnant I was overwhelmed by the amount of information and opinions about everything to do with pregnancy and parenting. This series is to give you an intro to the top topics of interest and send you out to do more research with confidence.
During the course of my pregnancy, I was constantly asked by well-meaning family and friends, “What do you need?” “What don’t you have yet?” I was easily overwhelmed, hello hormones, and often had no idea how to answer. What did I need?
Now that my babe is a whopping 10 months, I have a much better grasp on the baby products that really have proved invaluable. This list will differ for each parent, but the following should be a good starting point.
Plastic diaper covers: Yes, even if you’re not using cloth diapers. The reason is that these babies can be put on over any type of diaper to safeguard against blow outs (especially handy while travelling.)
Sling/moby/ergo/backpack: Maybe one of both. I have a sling and a back carrier and use them every day to free up my hands and give my arms a break. Look for a babywearing group in your area or online to help you get comfortable with your carrier.
Diaper bag (plus an extra one in the car that stays packed.): I use a backpack as my diaper bag/purse and keep a small, old duffle bag in the car packed up in case I ever forget my main bag. Don’t forget to include a change of clothes for baby and yourself in the bag in the car.
Teething tablets: I go back and forth on homeopathic remedies, but dang if these don’t work. A few nights ago my son was up crying in the middle of the night, didn’t want to nurse, so I popped two in his mouth and he was out in minutes. (It doesn’t work like this every time, unfortunately.)
Swing: Despite living in a 500-square-foot apartment when our son was a newborn, we made room for a swing/bouncer and it was a good choice. The motion was enough to keep him asleep so my husband and I could sit on the couch or clean up together.
Jogging stroller: I scored mine for $50 on CraigsList and love, love, love it. Even if you don’t use it for jogging, I’d advise getting a jogging version because they have sturdier wheels.
Car seat: Goes without saying. Look for one that has a high rear-facing weight limit.
Lansinoh: The best thing to smooth onto sore nipples, chapped lips, elbows (the list goes on.) And don’t worry, the lanolin is 100% natural and safe to be in baby’s mouth.
The number for a local La Leche League leader: Find your local group and don’t hesitate to call or, if they have a Facebook group, post a question about breastfeeding, local doctors, mothering… you name it.
Plain cloth diapers: I don’t use them as diapers (maybe in the summer) but I use these for everything: burp cloths, wash cloths, rolled up and tucked under my breast (in the early days of nursing), makeshift bib.
Sack dress for easy diapering: When your little one is pumping out three or more diapers a day, undoing clips and zippers becomes way more work than you’d think.
Bath tub mat: My son quickly outgrew the bath tub contraption we originally bought and I’ve come to the conclusion that a soft mat is all you need.
Quiet toys for church, meetings, funerals, bed time, etc.: It’s amazing how loud children’s toys (even non-electronic) can be when you’re in a quiet place. My favorite are cloth books and stuffed animals.
High chair: This was another CraigsList score for us and a daily workhorse. Remember to look for high chairs that are washable with no fabric for staining.