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I wanted to take a minute to say that these posts are by no means meant to come across as Super Mom posts. For someone that loves to be prepared and feel like things are under control then I hope they will be helpful. But some people thrive on spontanaity and have those fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants personalities; very free-spirited, and I never want to make someone feel like they are failures or don't have it all together like I do. (cough, choke, spit...ahem...) :)
I am a planner. A huge planner. I think it has something to do with my needing to feel in control of everything, but regardless of the reason, I love to plan things. I'm not always so great on the follow through, but if all else fails, at least I have a plan :)
So while there are plenty of lists to be found online about what you need to have on hand for a baby, this is my list of essentials. It's what I've figured out works for us after seven children. And it falls into the whole Preparing for Baby series by being what I like to have accomplished around twenty weeks or so. Well, the clothes and bedding part. The equipment can wait, especially if it's a first baby and you're going to be having a shower.
These are the things I have found to be actually used and needed. But, for example, I don't do baby bows or shoes. If you do, then you will want to add those to your list. On the otherhand, I do gas drops like they are liquid gold and use the bouncy seat extensively. If you're a sling kind of gal, then you may not need the bouncy seat. If you cloth diaper, you will definitely want to add those to the list. (And by the way, cloth diapering falls into the Super Mom category. Yet another reason why I am not in that category.)
Baby Clothes You Actually Need~
*Lots of pajamas. I personally like Gymboree and Gap sleepers and two piece pajama sets, but I buy them off ebay. Babies spit up and their diapers leak a lot, so you will want extra. My babies live in pajamas the first two months of their life. I like to get cute ones that are perfectly acceptable to take them out in. I like to make sure my babies stay warm, so I don't typically do onesies until they are older. Again, that's me, but other than a couple of going out outfits we just do cute pajamas. But make sure you have a lot, unless you want to be doing a lot of laundry. I have had several late spring/summer babies and I still find that 90% of the time I use long sleeved pajamas. Some lists will point out convenience issues of zippers vs gowns vs pants, etc. Honestly, I buy what I think is cute and deal with it. It's not that hard to slide baby legs in and out of pajamas. Six month olds, well, that can be a little trickier :)
*Two or three "dress up" outfits. For church, going out, whatever. But they don't need a lot. I mean, feel free to have as many as you want, but they don't actually need that many. I just like to buy the cute pajamas since that's what I see them in most of the time.
*Socks. If you use them.
That's really about it in the clothing department. Though with the state of my brain I'm probably missing something glaringly obvious, like underwear. Except that babies don't need underwear. Though for baby girls a few cute diaper covers could definitely be in order.
*Five or six blankets. Not huge blankets, but just regular blankets. I tend (again) to like Gymboree and Gap blankets (again, off ebay mostly.) They are thicker and more substantial than receiving blankets, but not huge. Great for swaddling, covering up while nursing, laying flat to change a diaper, burping etc. Due to the whole spit up/diaper issue previously mentioned you'll probably want a handful.
*A few burp cloths. I don't use these a whole lot, I tend to just use the blanket, but my fabulous sister in law makes super cute ones and uses them a lot, so again, your mileage may vary. (I know, I know. I'm supposed to be telling you what you actually need but some of these things just aren't scientific.)
*Whatever you plan to use in the crib or bassinet. We use a (generously sized) bassinet for the first six months. This could be a bumper, quilt, etc. I don't necessarily think this has to be done by twenty weeks either, but for lack of a better place to put it, here it is.
*I like to have one super soft snuggly blanket for those first few weeks :)
*You may want a nursing cover. I personally don't use them as I feel like I might as well wear a sign that says, "Hey, I'm nursing over here!" But a lot of people really like them. I prefer to just use a blanket.
*The Miracle Blanket. The best swaddling blanket, hands down. If you can get past feeling like you're mummifying your baby or putting them in a straight jacket. Haven absolutely loved his. We had three or four once we realized he practically lived in them. Grace didn't really care for being swaddled, so you may want just one to start out until you figure out if your baby likes to be swaddled.
*A bouncy seat. If I could only have one thing it would be a bouncy seat. They are easily portable, the baby can sleep in them, and well, they're bouncy. Our babies like them. A lot.
*A swing. Some babies like them, some not so much. But we typically use one quite a bit.
*A baby carrier. I'm not so much a sling or carrier person so much at first, though they can come in quite handy at the beginning when you're going out and don't want everyone breathing on your baby. Once older, for me, the ergo is indispensable. But in the beginning I mostly
*Infant seat and stroller. Not that I needed to mention it, but for the sake of being thorough, here it is on the list.
* Bassinet. We co-sleep a little in the interest of training the baby to recognize night as night (the best to do this is by sleeping and nursing while lying down at night in my opinion) but I put baby in the bassinet right next to the bed at every possible opportunity. The bassinet stays by our bed for a few weeks, then moves into the baby's room. Which at our house happens to be our large, vented, walk in closet :)
*Pack n Play. Not absolutely necessary, but great for having another place for them to learn to play when they're older.
*Exersaucer. Around 4ish months our babies have all loved their exersaucer.
*Play mat. Really comes chronologically before the exersaucer, but it's too much work to change it at this point. Our babies love and use their play mats.
*Bumbo seat. How I wish they had these when my older kids were babies. They are so much fun. And if you have super squishy babies like me, they look super cute all squished into them. We also use them for bathtime once they outgrow the baby bathtub. (Which isn't on my list of necessary items since we just kind of dunk and go.) But if you use the bumbo seat in the bath, obviously stay with your baby just in case it floats up. Which has only happened to us once. But I don't really need to tell you to stay with your baby in the bath anyway. Obviously.
*High chair. We prefer those booster kind of seats that attach to an actual chair so we can just slide it under the table. And they're portable and can be used on the ground as well so they're great for going to the park, church meals, relatives, etc.
*There are plenty of other things you may need; such as a baby gate for stairs, outlet plugs, etc. but that's not really the point of this list so you'll have to find that info somewhere else. Sorry. I've got
That's all I've got for now. I guess if I figure out something I've left out I can always add it later. Feel free to leave a comment on what your most used and indispensable baby items are! And if you read on facebook, leave your comment on the blog so my non-facebook friends can see what you love!