Like many expectant moms, I was clueless when it came to selecting items for my baby shower registries. So I did what felt right: I waltzed through Target and scanned the the cutest outfits and shiniest infant toys. Lucky for me, I had several mom friends who kept me grounded and helped steer me in the right direction. Turns out, you need things like infant nail clippers, Boppys, and NoseFridas more than dozens of cute stuffed animals and glittery newborn tennis shoes.
Here’s my list of newborn must haves for my fellow unsuspecting moms-to-be:
- Burp cloths. Did you know it’s perfectly normal for your baby to spit up a dozen times a day? I sure didn’t. My daughter was known as a “happy spitter” — as in she would shoot you a big gummy grin as a river of milk poured out her mouth. To save your clothes (and furniture), have at least 10 burp cloths on hand — cloth diapers work great.
- Changing pad liners. There’s the changing pad, the changing pad cover and the life-altering changing pad liner. Because newborns tend to pee (or poop) the second their diaper is removed, it’s not uncommon for diaper changing to become a bigger mess than anticipated. These waterproof liners will control the overflow mess and help you avoid switching out the pad covers every single day.
- Nursing pads. Motherhood is a hot, wet mess. Extend the wear of your bras and shirts with absorbent nursing pads. These are especially helpful at night and for venturing outside the house when you don’t want the whole wide world to know you’re lactating.
- Sleep gowns. That adorable pajama set with 58 snaps won’t seem so cute or practical when it’s 3 a.m. and you’re changing a diaper in the dark. With quick diaper access, sleep gowns make your nocturnal routine significantly easier.
- Pacifier clips. If your baby takes a pacifier, he or she will drop it again and again and again, especially during the first few months of life. Clip the pacifier to your baby’s clothing to save yourself the trouble of ransacking your house (or car, public space, etc.) when the binky goes missing.
- Pacifier wipes. If you don’t have item no. 6 (or even if you do), pacifier wipes are great for when you’re out and about you don’t have the ability to easily clean a contaminated pacifier.
- Face and hand wipes. Again, these are great for on-the-go. When you need more than just a burp cloth, but you need something more gentle than a changing wipe, these soft wipes are effective and convenient.
- Velcro swaddle blanket. Not all of us are naturals when it comes to swaddling babies. Luckily, some genius invented the velcro swaddle blanket. Although these blankets have a tendency to look like baby straight jackets, they help babies feel snug, and enable them to sleep safely and soundly on their backs.
Whenever you enter a new phase of life, you don’t know what you don’t know. Early motherhood can feel like you’re wandering around in the dark, just hoping and praying you don’t stub a toe (literally and figuratively). Just remember this: when your veteran mom friends encourage you to scan the NoseFrida for your registry instead of the multi-layered, hot-pink tutu, it’s probably a good idea to listen to them.