My wonderful friend is about to have her first baby. Unlike so many others I know, this friend is grounded and practical about baby items.
For the most part, so was I. My husband and I did not register for a whole lot. We bought loads of comfy sleepers, a pack n play, a car seat, and a baby carrier at garage sales.
There is nothing wrong with getting all of those things brand new if you so choose. You will have to have a car seat no matter what.
Our crib was second-hand. It had been used by an older couple for their grandkids. Now our fourth baby is sleeping in that very crib. Registering for a fancy expensive crib did not register for us! Also, we thought of our friends and what they might be able to afford and kept our registry simple and full of smaller items.
However, due to lack of experience with actual live babies, we went in unprepared. I’m here to tell you this so listen up. Babies are simple. They need to be held, loved, kept clean and warm, and loved and spoiled some more.
There are many times in my life where I reflect on how the Native Americans lived. When I do that, I realize there are many things I can live without. They carried their babies everywhere, kept them warm, and kept them close.
This made me chuckle. Just imagine Mary. No diapers, not butt cream, no baby kit. We have it so good today.
The List of Baby Shower Must Haves
- Burp Clothes – lots of burp clothes. Guess what? Babies spit up. At least, mine did! I was shocked when # 4 gave me mostly dry burps. Get a lot and if your baby spits up a lot, burn them and get new ones for the next kid. I was so frugal we reused the same ones for 3 kids and at that point I had to toss them and start new for #4.
- Loads of butt cream. When you pick your favorite kind be it Desitin, Healing Balm, or Beaudreaux’s Butt Paste, go big on quantity. If your baby starts eating solids, gets a cold, or cut teeth, most likely some kind of diaper rash will follow.
- DIAPERS!!!! After four kids, I’ve learned folks generally like a diaper shower. It’s easy to pick out a bag or box of diapers. And you will use a lot of diapers. If you are going to use cloth diapers, consider doing just a cloth diaper shower as they cost a lot more up front, but save thousands in the end. Most likely, each guest will be willing to buy one or two cloth diaper covers with inserts.
- Soft, comfy, easy to fasten sleepers or onesies. Ask yourself this question. “Does my soft, tiny newborn really want to wear a stiff collared dress with a giant bow on her head?” Does your itty bitty son really want to wear trousers, a stiff shirt, and bow tie? No, probably not, but he is at your mercy. So please, have mercy and let your baby be comfortable in soft clothing. On average, my firstborn was changed 4 times a day due to severe acid reflux. I was very happy we had all those sleepers from garage sales.
- Blankets. Blankets, especially swaddling blankies, are so important for newborns in any kind of weather. They are skinny and can’t hold heat. Plus, think about it, they just came out of a super warm, tight, cozy environment. Swaddle them up!
- Baby Kit – consisting of tiny nail trimmers, a thermometer, and some sort of snot sucker. I LOVE the Nose Frieda. I wish I’d had it for all of my babies. Nothing is poked up the tiny nostril and it’s easy to clean. Kind of gross to use, mentally, but brilliant, just brilliant.
If those are the only items on your registry, you’ll be prepared to bring your newborn home from the hospital, unless you have him at home.
There are two things I personally would not have wanted to live without with my babies. I don’t believe them to be absolutely necessary like the items above, but I needed them. One is a nursing pillow like a Boppy or Brest Friend and the other is a good sling or wrap.
After four babies, I have an Infantino carrier, a ring sling, an infinity style sling(very simple), a Moby wrap (love it in cold weather), the front pack my mom used when I was a baby, and a khaki front pack that my husband uses because “it’s more manly.” I have used every single one of the carriers and loved them all.