Mobiles, bouncy seats, swings, activity centers, car seats, rocking chairs, loungers, tummy-time mats—I think it’s kind of funny that the smaller the baby is, the more equipment your teeny bundle of joy seems to “need.”
But before you go crazy with the registry scanner gun, consider this: the new addition might not want to be swayed to sleep by a battery-operated device, might choose to sleep on you rather than the crib at first, and likely will prefer to hear the beating of your heart over whatever version of Brahms’ Lullaby that the latest and greatest mobile is playing these days.
Here’s what you really need to bring home for baby:
-A safe home (smokers, take it outside, please)
-A safe place for baby to sleep (I’d go for a bassinet first before you invest in the big, expensive crib)
-A soothing cream to protect baby’s skin in between diaper changes—Alba Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly is a good everyday lotion, but if a rash occurs, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste will become your new best friend
-Receiving blankets for swaddling
-Things to make your life easier if you’re nursing, including cream for sore nipples, pads for leakage (Lansinoh’s disposable nursing pads are my favorite, or if you prefer washable, Avent makes nice ones), a pillow to prop up baby and a lightweight blanket or shawl you can use to nurse in public, if you’d prefer a little privacy
-A little baby bathtub, towels and some gentle body wash and shampoo—California Baby Calming Shampoo and Bodywash is really great for newborns and older babies with sensitive skin
-A gentle detergent for washing baby’s clothes—I like Babyganics Loads of Love, which is fragrance-free
-A baby monitor if the baby will ever be outside of immediate earshot
Oh, sure—you’ll want and need other stuff, too! You’ll probably end up buying or borrowing a baby sling or carrier…you’ll most certainly want a stroller, too, and a changing table and a comfy chair where you can rock baby and read Good Night Moon and play, “This Little Piggie” and peek-a-boo.
But give yourself a little time to find out what kind of baby you have and what kind of mommy you are going to be before you buy out the nearest baby warehouse.
Because—as you’ll soon discover—babies are full of surprises.
Jorie Mark is the Editorial Manager of Vitacost.com and mother to three children, ages 2 to 9.