Today’s post is about what you really need to have in the house when your baby is born – because it’s really not that much. And getting your house baby-ready, especially for a first-time parent can be really stressful. Am I right?
(Y’all, I know I promised I would post about my experience with delayed postpartum depression today, but as it turns out I recently had a doctor’s appointment and am going through some tests to see if we can get to the bottom of some things. So before I spill my guts (which I promise I will!) I want to make sure I have all the facts straight.)
A few days ago one of my favorite blogs had a post titled The 15 Things Every New Parent Needs. I can’t tell you how many lists like this I read when I was pregnant. And they all just made my heart race and basically made me worry that I was going to ruin my baby by not having the right stroller, diapers or burp cloths. This actually makes me smile now. I stressed over burp cloths. Really? But it’s these lists – (that are put together to help you) – that make things even more stressful for some people – like me. In the defense of the post from cupcakes and cashmere that I mention above, Emily does say in her opening paragraph that the post is a roundup of her favorite things. But – that damn title. If crazy me was flashed back to when I was pregnant for the first time time, I’m sure I’d freak out about not having everything on the list that EVERY NEW PARENT NEEDS.
Guys, all you really need in the beginning is below. And even if you don’t have all of these things – guess what? YOU’RE GOING TO BE OK! I PROMISE!
- Bassinet if you’re going to have the baby in the room with you. I know plenty of people who put their baby in the crib the first night they were home.
- Car Seat
- Burp Cloths
- Your boobs or bottles and formula
- Some onesies and a few articles of clothing
Everything else you can get over time. AND IT WILL BE OK! I know, I know registering is SO overwhelming. I had many heart attacks and was so worried we would be completely unprepared when we brought Isla home. Plus, because I’m superstitious, we had NOTHING in the apartment before we brought her home except the car seat. So just think – if you’re reading this and planning on having a baby shower, you will be LIGHT YEARS ahead of where we were– and we ended up being JUST FINE.
We did register; we just didn’t release our registry until after Isla was born. Just know that once you’re finished with the registry it will be a huge relief. It took us about 6 weeks to get the registry to where wanted it (and we did a minimalist registry!) so don’t panic – take time! Also, you can continue to register for stuff after the baby comes. This is something I wish we did. We realized things we needed and instead of adding them to registry, we ended up going and getting them ourselves. And then we heard from people there was nothing left on our registry. Oh well.
If you’re interested, here are details on what we ended up with – but remember. Every baby is different. What works for one, might not work for others. People will tell you there are certain things you have to have – like a swing. Guess what – Isla HATED the swing. Basically, it’s a lot of trial and error. So subscribe to the fact that you’ll be testing stuff out that might not work and you might go through a few things (especially during your quest for the “magic seat” – a magic place to put your baby down for a few minutes and not have her cry hysterically the minute she is out of your arms). And that’s OK! Buybuy Baby has a great return policy. That swing we bought – we used it for a few days – broke it down (kept ALL OF THE PLASTIC AND CARDBOARD AND LITTLE PIECES) took it back and said, “Once we built it we realized we didn’t have room.” They didn’t ask us a single question.
- Clothes: DO NOT REGISTER FOR CLOTHES! People get you so many things and babies grow so fast. Just have a few onesies and a few outfits at home and THAT’S IT. Let everyone else bring you clothes. We didn’t even know the sex of Isla before she was born and she now has more clothes than I do.
- Changing table: We don’t have room for one, so we are just using a changing pad on our dining room table. Thanks, New York City!
- Bottles– We went through a few different bottles – first Medela bottles, then Gerber bottles. We settled on Joovy Boob, which Isla likes best. Honestly, bottles are tricky. Just like so many other things that have to do with babies.
- Crib – Y’all, it’s gonna sound ridiculous. But we have a crib on wheels due to the fact that we live in a one-bedroom apartment in NYC. We put Isla to bed in our room, and then when we are ready to go to sleep we roll her into the hallway. It’s all class around our apartment. We have the Stokke Sleepi Crib/Bed that will grow with Isla. For now, we just roll her around in it.
- Swaddle blankets– We used the Moms on Call swaddle blanket when Isla was first born. It’s tough to get the hang of at first (here’s a youtube video) but it’s super snug and worked best for her. Once she got a little older we started using the Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle. It’s super easy to use.
- Bathtubs– Check out this video from “Moms on Call“. You might want to consider just going straight to the tub – I know a lot of people that do it. We got this Summer Infant Bath Sling, which was great. But looking back, I should have just gone for the whale tub, which we grows with the baby. We weren’t sure about space, so we forwent the tub. We were wrong.
- Burp cloths– I almost had a heart attack when I saw that some of the burp cloths that came “highly recommended” were $10 a pop. WHAT? No f’ing way was I registering for that. I called my mom wondering what happened to those white burp cloths we had when I was a baby – turns out they were cloth diapers. $12 for a pack of 10. Done and done.
- Medela Easy Expression Hands-Free Bustier (fancy name for a hands-free pumping bra) – Gals, being able to get shit done while you pump is amazing. Getting things done on maternity leave means rocking your newborn while she cries and you pump. Or checking your email for a quick second while you’re milking yourself. If you’re pumping when you go back to work, this really is great. You can type on your computer while on a conference call and hum everyone to sleep with the gentle sounds of the pump. And yes, I pumped on conference calls. When the boobs are barking, you answer.
- Bouncy Seat/Rocker/Swing– This is trial and error. A swing didn’t work for Isla. When she was three weeks old my friend’s parents sent us the My Little Lamb Infant Seat – IT WAS A MIRACLE WORKER FOR ISLA. I say that in caps lock because remember, every baby is different! We also have the Rock ‘n Play, which some people swear by. It’s great because it folds up nicely, but Isla has to be in the mood for it. We decided to keep it because it’s nice to have something to put friends babies in when they come over.
- Pack and Play– We registered and received the Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Playard, which is SICKLY expensive, but it only weighs 11lbs and is easy to tote around. We have used it a few times and for us, it is worth it.
- Stroller – We have the Bugaboo Cameleon3 Complete Stroller set that my cousin had and she sent us. It’s also ridiculously expensive and not easy to collapse, but it was a free really fancy stroller, so we took it and were very thankful. Isla really liked the bassinet, so that’s what I strolled her in for the most part before we brought her upright (she’s growing too fast!). Also, the bassinet from the Bugaboo is what we had her in before we moved her into her crib. No need to get ANOTHER bassinet). Look – it’s a stroller. It’s a necessity. Go to BuyBuy Baby and test some things out. See what seems right for not only your baby, but your budget.
- Car Seat – We have the Chico Key Fit 30 car seat and it’s GREAT. Most of my friends have this car seat. We also have the Keyfit Caddy which is AWESOME for when we are traveling or hopping in a cab. It’s super simple to click the car seat into, so simple to collapse and very light weight, so when I’m by myself getting in and out of a cab I’m not struggling with the stroller base. It will be nice too when we fly to not have to lug the giant stroller with us. I recommend checking it out. It’s not meant to be a full-time stroller, so you still need something else. At first Neil and I thought this would be a surplus item, but I’m glad we listened to my friends who really pushed it.
- Diaper Pail– Apparently there are diaper pails that need special diaper pail bags. So, you know, trash bags that are a cool $10 more expensive than what you would normally get. We found the Ubbi Diaper Pail, which uses normal tall kitchen trash bags so we aren’t having to special order or buy “diaper pail bags”…ugh, give me a break with this stuff.
- Gift Cards – I felt weird about doing this at first, but it was nice to register for gift cards instead of registering for stuff we didn’t need quite yet. A lot of people will just register for the whole kit and caboodle right away (stuff through one year) but we don’t have room for it.
And that’s all I got – because anything more gets too overwhelming. If you have any questions on specifics for baby registries or just what to have in general when your baby comes home, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.