You try to turn and run, but you can't because it's an entrance only door. You stand there looking lost and panicked until some teenage dude who has NO idea what he's talking about comes and thrusts a list in your hand with "MUST HAVES FOR BABY." You look at the list and feel that you might need to run out and buy a lottery ticket in order to try and pay for all the new items you MUST buy. Isn't there another way?! Oh but there is, dear first time momma!
We have become so commercialized that we've forgotten it really doesn't take a whole lot to have a baby. I'm here to tell you, aside from a whole lot of love, there's really only a FEW things you'll NEED.
- Diapers-It doesn't matter what kind of diapering you plan to use. You're going to need some! Start with newborn sizes, but know those little suckers will grow out of that size in a hot minute! Wanna use cloth? More power to you, sister. Don't ask me about that though because I have NO experience! Ha! We always used Pampers Swaddlers until around size three where we switch to Target brand.
- Burp Rags-My favorite are the really thinish cloth diapers. They work the best. There's also some by Gerber that I like that are a little thinner than a washcloth. They come in a package of about 8 and are always great to have for the diaper bag. No matter what you plan to feed the little dear, you can bet at one time or another it's going to come back up. They also make a great nose wiper for cold season. So much softer than tissue.
- Diaper Bag-Get one that can double as a purse. Put two changes of clothes for baby, 4 diapers, wipes, and at least 2 burp rags. I also include nursing pads for me and any other feminine products I might need. I've used all brands of bags, and don't really have a favorite. I do like materials that will wipe clean instead of it being machine washable just because it seems easier to keep clean in the long run.
- Carrier Carseat-Again, I don't have a favorite brand when it comes to these, but I have a LOT of friends who are hard core over one brand or another. My priority has always been that it's something that is safe, that I can carry without killing myself, and that is comfortable enough that the baby will sit in it without fussing the entire time. Again, if you have a baby and a vehicle, you'll HAVE to have a carseat.
- Carrier-Do yourself and your baby a favor and go get yourself a baby carrier. It doesn't matter what brand you chose. What matters is how you feel wearing it. I love the Moby, but there are some who hate it! The key is going into the store and trying them on so that you find one that you love.
- Stroller-I rarely used a stroller in the first year just because I mostly wore our babies, but you might want one especially if you do a lot of shopping. Be sure to get one that matches up with your carrier so you can pull the carrier right out of the car and into the stroller without much fuss.
- Pack-and play(AKA Playpen)-They make these things in several varieties. My favorite is the kind with the bassinet(bed for tiny babies) insert. You can use it right after baby is born, then take it out and still have a safe place for baby to sleep for however long you need it. Our two youngest spent several months in these because we have a two story house with bedrooms FULL of siblings. You can also use it later when you need a good place for baby to play. I've used mine up to two years or so with toys when I need to do something and can't keep a constant watch.
- Bouncy seat/swing-they make a LOT of different combos, but I like a bouncy seat and a small travel size swing. Know that these are NOT a MUST MUST have, but you'll probably be glad you have one or the other. I used my bouncy seat on the counter while I was making dinner. Only for non-mobile babies. The mobile ones will figure out how to break free and be jumping of the counter! Ha!
- Swaddle blanket-I like the kind with Velcro, but Manly is good at the foldable kind. Get at lease two because you'll want to be able to wash them every now and then. My favorite are Aden and Anais. They're a little pricey, but look for them secondhand.