The week before my daughter was born, I was in full-on panic mode. Did I have all the baby registry essentials I needed? Were the blankets clean? Were the clothes organized? Was everything wiped and properly sanitized? By the time my water broke, I thought I was prepared. The garage was clean. The sheets were ready and even my baseboards were sparkling. Instead, I found myself hungry, experiencing a major burp cloth shortage and out of bottles.
Fortunately, I had friends and family who had baby experience and brought me bouquets of burp cloths, boxes of granola bars, and plenty of new baby checklist essentials. And when number two rolls on out, I’ll be prepared. But for you new parents and for those of you looking for great shower gifts, here are 10 baby registry essentials a new moms and dads can’t have too many of.
#1: Burp cloths
These handy essentials are good for catching and wiping up spit up, drool, or for tucking under your baby’s chin to catch milk dribbles. I even know a mom who uses them as impromptu breastfeeding covers. And don’t think you can get away with just two or five, these things get nasty fast. And no one likes doing laundry. Stock up. You’ll need them.
#2: Long-sleeved bodysuits with mittens
Despite being a spring baby, these were all my daughter wore for the first 5 months of her life. Babies get cold fast and long-sleeved onesies are perfect for layering or just wearing out and about with a pair of pants, or no pants as is often the case. The mittens were handy for warming up her little newborn phalanges.
#3: Knit pants
Great for slipping on over a onesie when it’s time to go out in public or when chubby baby thighs start feeling a little chilly, knit pants are staple of any newborn wardrobe. They mix and match well with onesies and often come with adorable ruffles on the butt. Make sure you get enough to stash some in the diaper bag, some in the dresser, and some around the house.
#4: Footie pajamas
Also known as sleep and plays, or footie onesies, footie pajamas are the lifeblood of every new baby’s wardrobe. Babies can sleep in them, play in them, and you can layer them with onesies for cooler days and nights. Get enough so mama doesn’t have to do laundry.
#5: Granola bars
My first day home from the hospital, a friend brought me two boxes of granola bars. I didn’t think anything of it, until my husband went back to work the next week and I was all alone with the baby for the first time. Those granola bars were the only thing I ate most days and I loved that they were delicious, filling and healthier than eating reheated tater tot casserole for the fifteenth time. Acceptable substitutes include dried fruit, nuts, trail mix.
#6: Gift cards for food
Stock up on gift cards to your favorite restaurants and drive thru places. Gift cards will help you save money in that strapped-for-cash maternity leave time period and give mom and dad a much needed dinner or lunch break. Some days, that gift card to Sonic was the only reason my baby and I got to leave the house.
#7: Gas drops
Nothing is worse than an inconsolable infant, except for an inconsolable infant at four in the morning. Stock up on gas drops for baby to help ease big ear drums and little tummies. It’s a win for everyone. Mylicon or Little Tummy’s are good brands. Also, it doesn’t hurt to throw in some infant Tylenol and a snot sucker.
#8: Diapers and wipes
When it comes to baby bums, don’t mess around. Even if you are doing cloth diapers, no parent can ever have too many diapers and wipes. It’s physically impossible. So stock up, stock up some more, and then add them to your registry to ensure you get even more.
#9: Towels and washcloths
Babies basically wallow in their own juices all day. And a nice bath, especially before bedtime can soothe a tired infant. Stock up on nice thick towels and washcloths. Add in some Johnson and Johnson’s bedtime bath shampoo and lotion and you have yourself a recipe for a happy, sweet smelling baby.
#10: Sheets and waterproof mattress covers
Because scrubbing poop stains and sopping up pee leaks sucks, waterproof mattress covers are a must. Get plenty, so you can do a quick mattress change without worrying about the next laundry cycle. Having plenty of sheets and mattress covers makes poop explosions just a little less panic inducing and that is a good thing.
These must-haves will get you through the first challenging weeks.
By Lyz Lenz
To be sure to have everything ready for when your newborn arrives, start your baby registry and get a Free Welcome Box!