So you’re pregnant for the first time. You think registering for a baby shower is going to be great, right? Well I’m going to be the first to admit it: I thought I knew what I ‘needed;’ but experience has taught me something entirely different. I thought I needed to have the crib put together and the nursery painted. I spent hours and hours organizing his clothes and his changing table. In truth? I changed him on the changing table once. ONCE. Cause it turns out you can change a baby anywhere. The easiest place? On the floor of the living room. It’s just easy to set him down, take off the diaper real fast and put a new one on. Taking him all the way upstairs to his changing table? That wasn’t going to happen.
But you’ll figure that out. In time.
Another thing I didn’t take into consideration is that there are plenty of ‘Must-Haves’ that I didn’t realize were essential in our day-to-day lives. Some of these items were gifted to me without them being on my registry; others were acquired the hard way — with blood, sweat, and lots of tears (let’s face it — mostly tears).
1. Munchkin Easy-Close Safety Gate // Sure, your child won’t be able to walk right away. But it happens before you know it. Bonus of having it at the beginning? If you have pets, it will keep them away from you when you have visitors coming by (visitors + new baby + pets wanting attention = the worst).
2. aden + anais Burpy Bibs // These burp cloths double as bibs that are perfect for nursing and bottle feeding! They are soft and hold up after many, many washings. We had two of these bibs — one for immediate use and the other was usually in the wash. We still use these on occasion, but they are much harder to clean with solids versus liquids.
3. Summer Infant Tiny Diner // This was one of those things I received as a gift and thought “Really?” But it has been a lifesaver! Having a baby/toddler has not slowed us down and we still find ourselves going out for lunch & dinner semi-frequently. We just put him in his high chair, put the tiny diner mat on the table (it stays secure with suction cups), and eat! It wipes clean so it doesn’t make a mess in my bag; and then I throw it into the dishwasher. We get asked about it all the time in public. Lifesavers!
4. Floating Bath Thermometer // I underestimated the anxiety how difficult it would be to figure out the ideal bath temperature. It turns out I like really hot showers/baths; and Chad prefers them way cool. So that little green “perfect temp” light is a lifesaver!
5. Bath Support Sling // Space is a huge commodity in our house. I just couldn’t justify purchasing a giant plastic tub — we would have no place to store it! So I went out on a limb and registered for this item without any advice from anyone. And it has worked perfectly for us. First we used it in the kitchen sink. It just fit right in! Let’s the water run over him and the mesh sling is perfect for getting him acclimated to the bath water. Bonus? It fits perfectly in the bathtub sideways… for those first few months of baths in the tub, this is how we did it.
6. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow // This nursing pillow is the most highly recommended by lactation consultants. I had a lot of trouble nursing. The boppy didn’t really help because it’s not made for a child to lay on his side on the pillow itself; but this flat pillow has a headrest and a space in it for the baby to comfortably lay. Save your money on the others; this is the only nursing pillow you need!
7. Day Dreamer Infant Lounger // The only way Ari would sleep. Also known as the most expensive piece of foam I hope to ever own. But colicky babies prefer to be held while they sleep (and scream); and that’s because they should be sleeping on an angle. And this provides the perfect angle, the perfect support, and safety straps to make sure your child stays in place. So register for it and pray someone buys you one.
8. J.J. Cole Bibs // Some of the wipeable bibs can be so stiff from the plastic that they just aren’t even practical. These bibs are not at all like that. They’re completely practical, wipeable, and easy. Sometimes you get what you pay for!