I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I wasted pouring over a registry list for my first child. How the hell was I supposed to know what I needed? I’d never had a baby before.
I ended up with a bunch of stuff I never used, a bunch of clothes I threw away and several trips to the store for things I realized I really needed. Obviously not all babies are the same, which is why you should never stock up on a ton of things you’re not even sure your baby will like. For example, I have about eight gorgeous swaddling blankets and neither of my kids has any interest in being wrapped. Don’t even get me started on how many outfits I’ve thrown out.
Here’s some of the stuff I really did use:
1. NoseFrida, The Snotsucker
It sounds gross – and it is. There’s nothing particularly enjoyable about extracting snot from your infant’s nose, but as a new mom “breathing” may be one of the things that is high on your list of priorities for baby. Those suction things that look like little turkey basters are worthless. You’ll always be afraid you’re sticking it too far up her nose and you’ll be convinced (rightfully so) that you’ll never be able to clean it right.
Okay, so this isn’t just for breastfeeding mothers. It makes feeding more comfortable whether you are doing it with breast or bottle. It’s also an awesome pillow, a comfy floor cushion, and a lap desk for your computer. We never stopped using this thing between children. The Boppy rocks.
3. Bouncer/ Swing/ Somewhere to put the damn baby
Guess what? Occasionally you’ll want to put your baby down and you’ll need somewhere to do it. I love bouncers and rockers that move with the baby’s movement. You can strap the baby in and not have to worry about her rolling over onto her face or having to lay her down flat all of the time. This is the one my lovely co-worker Eve Vawter bought me. I love it.
4. Cloth Diapers
No, I do not use cloth diapers, but I am seriously impressed by those who do. I did order some cloth diapers though, because they have so many uses and they are dirt cheap. I use them predominantly as burp cloths, but they can also be used to clean up vomit, as kitchen towels, to polish furniture and in a pinch as table linens (kidding, kidding).
5. Manual Breast Pump
So, my super fancy, $400 breast pump broke a few weeks ago. Yes, it was awesome to have one, but to be honest I found the tubes and cords and necessity to be near an electrical outlet pretty annoying. I bought a manual breast pump last week, and you know what? It works great. It’s small, it’s easy to use and it yields just as much milk as my electric one did because I never used both pumps at once. If you can’t afford a fancy electric pump – don’t sweat it. This one was $30, easy to carry along with you, and works amazingly. Don’t forget to read the directions.
6. Cheap Onesies
Don’t register for baby clothes. Save up the registry items for the stuff you really need, then head to Target and by a few packs of these onesies – short, long-sleeved, and sleep – and call it a day. Most people can skip the newborn size. Infant clothes are adorable and you’ll probably want to buy a lot of cutesy little outfits, but honestly that cute or kitschy stuff isn’t always comfortable. These onesies are 100 percent cotton, comfortable and cheap. Trust me.
7. Diaper Genie
I know people who think the Diaper Genie is the worst invention, ever. They probably don’t live in the city. If you live in the city and it’s a pain in the neck to get to your outdoor trash cans, then the diaper genie is a must. You can not imagine the stench that comes out of your adorable little bundle of joy. A diaper that has been sitting around for a few hours is truly disgusting and needs to be contained. Buy the Genie.
8. Sound Machine
It’s great to get young babies used to background noise. If you have a light-sleeper on your hands, the sounds the machine makes will muffle the sounds of the rest of the house and you won’t have to walk around on your tippy toes when your child naps – like some kind of cat-burglar asshole. This one also projects a light show on the ceiling that kids love.
Nipple confusion? Whatever. Have them on hand. Buy a few different kinds. You will be in desperate need of a mute button at times – and these work.
10. Tylenol, Advil, Homeopathic Teething Ointment, Thermometer
Have this stuff stocked in your medicine cabinet. You don’t want to be caught without it when you need it. Make sure you ask your doctor at every visit what the correct dosage is for your infant, because it is never listed on the bottles for children under two.