If you Google or Pinterest search for "newborn must haves" or registry ideas/suggestions, you will find literally hundreds, if not thousands of things you "need" before you bring your baby home, and hundreds more things you "need" to get through the first year with your new babe. I'm gonna simplify all this for you right now and give you a very short list of the things you actually need for your baby.
I want to start off by saying that this post is 100% affiliate free, so every single thing I'm saying is based on my own experience and I'm not making a cent off any of this. I remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed by all the things we "needed" to have a happy, healthy baby when I was starting our registry with Connor. My first registry looked a lot like this:
Looking back at that list now, it seems absolutely insane. I'm grateful that I didn't get half of that crap because I never would have used it. Some of it we used with Connor, then attempted to reuse with Kylar but he didn't like it, or it was too much of a pain in the ass to deal with, or it was just HUGE and we didn't have room for it. Some of my favorite baby items are things I bought for myself or won in Facebook giveaways after both the boys were born.
As previously stated, I'm a pretty casual and laid-back momma. However, I didn't know that would be the case before Connor was born. I assumed I'd be like my mom and sister: hyper away of germs. Turns out, I am aware of germs, but when Connor was born we had 2 dogs. Germs were just going to happen. I couldn't protect my kids from germs and keep my sanity, so I chose sanity. I received 2 shopping cart seat covers. I've literally never used them. I wore my babies when they were too little to sit in the cart, and by the time they were bigger enough to ride, I really wasn't all that concerned about grocery cart germs. Maybe I should be, but there are much bigger threats out there, so I'm not wasting my energy on this one.
I consider myself more of a "baby veteran" now, 2 boys later, and I know what I actually need to have a baby in this house. I know that I'm never going to remember to turn on a mobile. I know that there's no point in buying a bassinet if they're only going to sleep in it for a couple months and then move into a crib. Just put them in the crib from the start. We removed one side of the crib and kept it flush to the side of our bed for the first several months of their lives.
I know that the hospital will send me home with their awesome nose sucker (aka aspirator) so I don't need to waste money on one. I know that the nurses will happily teach you to swaddle a baby, so I don't need to buy the fancy Velcro blankets. I did win one of those while I was pregnant with Kylar. Tried it, couldn't figure out how to work it properly, donated it and went back to the DIY swaddle.
Bouncers and jumpers are not the same thing. My kids loved both, but we didn't spend tons on them. We got them as hand-me-downs or at resale shops, used them for 4-6 months then turned around and sold them to other new parents. Babies are only babies for a very short time, so you really don't need to spend a crap load on "baby items" that you'll only use for a couple months.
Bare minimum necessities:
What we actually used
I did receive a lot of really amazing products as part of the wee Spring Parent Panel, including my favorite breast pump and this kick ass video monitor. While I love these items, I was perfectly content with the simpler versions that we'd gotten before Connor was even born.
I highly recommend getting at least two waterproof mattress covers, because you aren't going to wait to worry about that when your baby soaks through the sheets spitting up in the middle of the night. I double layered the beds: 1 waterproof sheet, 1 crib sheet, 1 waterproof sheet, 1 crib sheet. That way, I could just strip off the dirty layer and he'd already have a clean layer waiting. No one wants to deal with making the bed at 3 am after your little love blew out the diaper, or gave back all the formula or milk you just gave them. Nah, just strip and go back to sleep. Deal with the mess in the morning.
Get your daily Nerdy fix by following us on Instagram
Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community