Kat’s Top 10 Baby Stuff

I’m so happy that so many of my friends, neighbors, and family are having children—many for the first time! I’ll often be asked what baby essentials they should look for or register for, so much so, that I just give them this handy dandy list!

  1. Pre-folded cloth diapers as burp cloths! You may get some from the hospital, and you will be hooked. If your baby ends up being soothed by only pacifiers (as Lily was), binkies will tie for #1.
  2. Portable changing kit. Still have and use ours on a daily basis. I’ve never used a changing table, and have known ONE person out of 30 who has utilized one as much as I use the floor. Onesies in a variety of sizes tie for #2. Babies grow out of clothes and they don’t last long with all the stains possible, but onesies last longer, can be layered or worn just by themselves so they last all season as long as baby fits. If you don’t get enough of them at your shower, definitely an essential.
  3. Some kind of bedtime routine. Every baby I’ve cared for has loved swings. We didn’t use our swing for very long (maybe 3-4 months), but it was invaluable for getting a little break or trying to rock her to sleep initially. We didn’t use any white noise machines, but I did end up singing or using Pandora and rocking a lot. We’re definitely a rocking chair family. Some babies HAVE to be swaddled, and others like Lily can’t stand blankets so you’ll just have to see!
  4. Bibs. Seriously. They will be used for a long time. Preferably darker colors for easy washing and no stress about stains. Skip the terry-cloth ones. My Mom got us a pack of 10 normal cloth bibs that are easily replaced, but bibs come in wipeable, “catch-all”, disposable, and fancy versions if you like.
  5. Baby bath tub. Lily still loves it for Princess bubble baths (but she’s tiny), so if they still fit, it’s easy to empty and fill rather than using the entire tub. We got the kind of bath tub that comes with an infant option that you can remove once they get too big for it. If you’re not good with gauging temperature, get one of those little plastic duckies that has a little HOT warning on the bottom so you don’t burn baby.
  6. Stuff for when baby is sick. Thermometer, since it can be scary the first time baby has a fever and you need to know their temperature to decide when to call Mom or a doctor, or try to bring their fever down. Little cloths you can keep wet and put on their head to cool them down. A humidifier helped Lily sleep through the night when she was congested or not feeling well, but this won’t be an essential unless you are like me and want to bawl every time you hear baby having a hard time breathing.
  7. Stuff for on the go. I’ve had a nice shoulder diaper bag that I carried a TON of stuff in as a newbie mom when I felt I needed to carry everything, but in hindsight I don’t think it’s necessary once you figure out what the essentials are. Now I only carry the minimum in a little backpack that’s gender neutral so Jer can use it, too. You’ll probably want to carry travel-size wipes and hand sanitizer.
  8. Hygiene kit. Go for a kit rather than individual items, it should have everything you need including a hairbrush, comb, nose sucker (they hate it), nail stuff, and your first toothbrush. You will want baby nail clippers, since they are much smaller and gentler for TEENY baby fingers. Baby q-tips might be a good extra for cleaning their ears.
  9. Stroller. If you can carry baby in a little sling or holder when they’re really little and not take them outside shopping when it’s winter, then you can skip getting the expensive stroller and go for a little umbrella or basic stroller that doesn’t need to attach a car seat to it. We’ve had both, and used the expensive one a total of TWO times. Our little $20 umbrella stroller has served us well for over 2 years, takes up minimal space in our trunk, and doesn’t give us a hernia when we try to fold it up! Great for when they’re little but old enough to keep their heads up.
  10. Bottles. Great for on the go, they come in age-appropriate sizes and are absolute essentials if you pump or use formula, especially when baby is weening off breast milk. Even if you end up nursing for a long time, bottles are great for when they’re too little for cups or are learning how to suck from a straw.

You asked about…

Books: There’s definitely an “age appropriate” thing where they won’t be able to sit through a whole book or aren’t interested, but then all of a sudden they can’t get enough of it. Lily’s favorites when she was an infant were books that had music, made sounds, or she could put it in her mouth. When she first got interested in reading: “Pat The Bunny”, “Where’s Baby’s Belly Button”, “Brown Bear Brown Bear”, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, and any book that had a baby in it. We have a book that has pictures of babies from around the world, and that was one of her favorites. If we weren’t sure about a book, we’d borrow it from the library first and see how she liked it before we went out and bought our own 😉 Now we know she loves Little Miss Spider and Madeline.

DVDs: Lily’s nanny loved showing her the little Einstein songs from the DVDs, or the little Beethoven songs when she was very young. We tried to read to her rather than show her DVDs, so she’s just now discovering movies and is hooked on anything animated. Cars was fun the first 30 or so times, but I recommend Finding Nemo or any of your personal favorites and just kind of seeing what they like. Lily’s new favorite changes weekly; last week was Dumbo, this week is the 70’s version of Charlotte’s Webb. The library also comes in handy when you need a switch in movies!

Baby Food: We have a Beaba Babycook that I bought almost-new off ksl for like $30. It’s awesome! Freezes well and makes a lot, and it was a great investment as long as you make something you’ve already had baby try and know they will eat. I’ve boxed it, but if you’d like to try or borrow it let me know when it comes time!

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