Monday, March 19, 2012

What do you really need?

Hello Pinterest friends!
This list has been updated in a new post.
I can't believe this, but it's been almost 4 years since this original post was created!
We're currently pregnant with our third child. As we've grown and matured as parents, our perspective on parenting has changed drastically, making this post officially outdated. :)

^ ^   read above   ^ ^

Okay so I saw something on pinterest that said, "10 things you DON'T need for baby". I'm nosey, so of course I was interested even though I've already gone through the baby process and pretty much know what I need and don't need, but I looked anyway. Let me just say, this person was either not a parent or hasn't had a baby in a very long time! It said you didn't need a crib, diaper pail, toys, and plenty of other essentials. There were a couple things in there I did agree with though, like not needing shoes and designer clothes. That was pretty much about it!
So after seeing this scary list of things you really do need when a new baby comes along, I decided to start my own list. This is going to be a little more than just '10 things you don't need', I tried to make sure you know what you're going to need for you and baby, and hopefully you won't waste hundreds of dollars like I did preparing for your new bundle of joy. :) & obviously this isn't just for the baby... it's got stuff for you too, everything will be a million times harder if you forget to take care of YOU during this time!

EDIT- I have made a sort of update to this post here: 'Preparing for baby.. again!'. After over a year of parenting and now being 32 weeks pregnant with my second child, I have gone through many baby products and figured out which ones we'll be reusing and which ones we'll be ditching with baby #2. Come check it out! But don't forget to check out the hospital bag list at the bottom of this post. :)

things you will need- 
 besides the most obvious: crib, separate dresser for baby clothes, car seat, high chair...

lanolin & nursing pads. this time around, I'm going for these adorable reusable pads from this etsy seller. No point in going through boxes of disposables! Also, you'll want to get something to keep those nipples from cracking! Lanolin is great or any other all natural nipple cream on etsy!

breast pump. trust me, when you have a freezer full of pumped milk and someone else can finally feed the baby and give you a break, you'll be glad you spent all that time pumping!
nursing bras. you'll find new and clever ways to pull your boobs out of all your clothes, but nursing bras make it so much easier and comfortable. Plus, your boobs are going to double in size, so you're going to need a new one anyway! I bought my first nursing bra when I was 5 months pregnant because I knew I would be needing it later when my boobs were coming back down to their normal size. Which they did, & more...... :/ Anyway, have plenty of bras. I had a couple 'sleeping bras', two regular bras and a sports bra, all nursing bras! & you'll be happy you have a few extra when you suddenly look down and your shirt is soaked. ;)

baby monitor. I can't even tell you how many times I have slept through Betsey screaming in the room right next to me, doors wide open, because I was so damn tired. When you are THAT tired, it's going to take a lot to wake you up! Sometimes our monitor didn't even wake me if it wasn't turned up to it's loudest setting :/ So turn that thing up and stick it right next to your face before bed, then get some much needed rest.

burp cloths. go ahead and get some cute ones!! you'll be using these for pretty much everything for a while and they'll last forever as long as you take care of your stuff. Also, they're super easy to reuse. I'm using a ton of mine in the kitchen now as hand towels and napkins!

temporal thermometer definitely worth the extra $$. it works, it lasts, and it's not uncomfortable (in the ear or up the butt....)


baby mittens those adorable little round things that cover their hands for the first month or so are awesomeee! No need to buy 12 of them, but have some handy at all times unless you want a baby with scratches all over his or her face. :(

Betsey on her way home from the hospital!

swing/vibrating bouncy seat. life savers when you have a newborn! these will put that baby to sleep and they'll stay asleep. There were a few nights that Betsey slept rocking (slowly) in the swing all night juse because cause it was the only thing that would keep her asleep ha..

exersaucer/jumperoo when your baby is older and has outgrown the swing and bouncy seat you're going to be needing something else to put him or her in so they're not crawling all over the place. These are fun & have lots of toys to keep them busy for a while.

things you don't need, but will make 
your life a heck of a lot easier-

pacifier clip. I was tempted to put this in the 'need' category because of how much I personally love these, but so many people don't even use pacifiers! (I don't know how they do it!) So I'll just give them the #1 spot here :)

baby carrier. I have an ergo, baby bjorn, moby, sling... I don't even really use a stroller, this girl likes to be worn!

boppy. this thing's great. another 'almost need'. It's great as a nursing pillow, betsey would fall asleep in it as a tiny baby, it helped her as she learned to sit.. the list goes on.

nursing cover. obviously this is only for those planning on nursing their little ones, but if you are, you can get one of these bad boys! Udder Covers always has great deals going on for their nursing covers, usually you only have to pay the shipping fee! That is where I got mine, it's really cute and it's lasted me over 9 months and I'll soon be using it to nurse #2! This site should have their current promo code. If they're not doing any promotions, etsy always has a bunch.. But the reason this isn't in the 'need' category, is because it's not that hard to cover up with a baby blanket or jacket. These just look prettier. :)

bumbo with tray this is great before they're ready for the high chair. Or if you need to take a high chair with you.

pack & play these are super handy in and out of the house! I have one at my moms for when we need to stay the night, and I keep one in my car for taking to work or going to friend's houses that don't have any baby friendly areas. I actually even brought one of mine to Hawaii with me and we kept it in the dining room with a bunch of toys. I guess this is something else that I would say everyone should have, it would make you're life a lot easier!


bassinet or other co-sleeper since you already have a crib, you don't need this, but getting up every few hours with a newborn is waaay easier when they are right next to you. Our bassinet was right next to my side of the bed, I'd just sit up and pull her onto me. :)

diaper pail yeah this can be a little pricey, but if you put it on the registry you might get lucky and have someone get it for you. You stick this right next to where you're going to be changing the majority of the diapers, and voila- diaper's gone and there really is no smell! Plus you are only putting diapers in it so it shouldn't fill up too fast. Many people say these aren't necessary.. I would do my research! They aren't for everyone I suppose, but I am a big fan of the diaper pail!

things you don't need-
the 500,000 how-to-be-a-parent papers they give you at the dr's. I kept some thinking they would come in handy when Betsey got sick and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. Well if you're reading this, chances are you have internet. And not only did I not need those papers because usually I could figure it out, but even if I couldn't figure it out on my own, I always either called my mom or looked it up online. I wasn't about to go swimming in a stack of papers for that one that tells me exactly what to do when she hasn't pooped for 4 days. :/

a moses basket. hmmm.. I'll admit, I was tempted because they are kinda pretty.. but would I have used it if I spend the ridiculous amount of money on it? Probably not.. HOWEVER, after getting a comment from a friend about this and how she is now using it to put toys in, I am actually rethinking it! If you can get one for a decent price, then why not? It's not like you can reuse most co-sleepers after your baby a few months old. Thanks Kendyl!

baby shoes. Betsey lives in socks! She's a baby. I put shoes on her and she thinks what the heck is on my feet? So in her 9 months of life, she's probably worn shoes 10 times even though she's grown out of at least 15 pairs that are in her closet. :/ We had good intentions... But hey I totally get if it's a special occasion. ;) I've shoved shoes on this kid's chubby feet for special occasions a few times. Gotta have those fancy pictures!

$250 crib bedding. Yes, my daughter was born into the world having more expensive bedding than I've ever had. And don't even ask me how many times she's actually slept in her crib (she's 9 months old).. :/  All I can do is pray I'm having a girl again so I can reuse all this pink stuff and get my money's worth!

wipe warmer. I have one, and I used it for the first few months.. it was given to me so I figured, why not use it since I have it?! Honestly, it seemed to me to be more of a hazard than any help! It burned the wipes at the bottom and it even left a mark on my wooden dresser. You're supposed to leave them on, otherwise the wipes won't be warm when you go to use them.. Anyway, I'm sure it probably does feel better to be wiped with warm wipes than cold ones, but these are a rather new invention; I survived babyhood without warm wipes, I'm sure my next kid will too!

fancy shmancy swaddling wraps. Omg, those things can be crazy expensive and it's really not that hard to swaddle with a $10 cotton blanket! I have seen some sewing tutorials for these that look nice though, I wouldn't mind making one, since it probably wouldn't be too expensive.. The blanket in my opinion would probably easier though.

see? :)

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What to bring to the hospital! 
I tend to over pack & this was very apparent in my hospital bag. I didn't touch half the stuff I thought I would need when I had Betsey, this won't happen again!

don't forget-
-lanolin- You will want to start using that stuff asap in order to avoid cracking & bleeding!
-boppy pillow if you have one. pillows can prop the baby up the same way, these make it extra easy to rest while baby is feeding though.
-swaddling blanket for baby
-clothes for you- a couple pairs of socks (or slippers), pj pants/sweats, a (loose) tank top and undies. I didn't end up changing until I left, so one pair of clothes is good for me, but you might like to bring two. & a quick tip about the undies- granny panties are going to be your best friend for a while with all those giant pads! You won't need to bring many to the hospital though, they'll give you mesh ones that really aren't that bad considering how much you'll be bleeding.
-nursing bra! the sleeping bra from Motherhood was what I brought, but whatever is comfy for you :)
-clothes for baby- two onesies, socks, hat, pants, mittens). Always have an extra onesie; starting now, ending never! footie pj's are usually easier, but everyone has their favorite first outfit, I know I did.
-toiletries, that first shower after delivery is sooooo good. -flip flops for the shower if you are uncomfortable with hospital bathrooms.
-pads. you shouldn't bring a ton, they'll give you some there, & hopefully plenty of the icy ones, those are niiice.
-hair stuff (ties & head bands!)
-snacks for you & anyone staying with you. Not too much though, you'll have hospital food and they'll more than likely be going out for food & bringing it back..
-Pacifier if you want.. I did.
-Burp cloths.
-Many people say bring an extra pillow. My hospital gave us plenty of pillows, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to keep one in the car just in case!
-a few diapers & wipes. the hospital should keep your room well stocked but it's a good idea to have some just in case.
-The car seat, of course! Make sure you know how that thing works a few weeks before you're due. Baby could come any day..
-and then anything else you would typically need: glasses, medicine, phone charger.. I thought I'd add those to the list since I know pregnant mom brains can get so worried about forgetting things, they easily forget the obvious!

-journal or memory book.... yeah right. don't worry, I'm sure you'll still remember everything when you get home!
-a ton of nursing pads. If you really want to be prepared you can bring a couple, but remember you probably won't be leaking until after you leave the hospital.
-5 changes of clothes. I'd bring one, two if you must.
-the whole diaper bag.. you can, but the hospital will have anything you need and you probably won't need much anyway. I left ours in the car and if I did need anything from it, there was always someone who could go and get it.
-your laptop. You won't want to look at much other that your beautiful new baby! I can understand bringing it to entertain young guests though. Even though kids weren't even allowed in my hospital room.. :(

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& some other favorite items i just want to share
-sophie la giraffe. you might as well just spend the money on it now cause you will eventually! it's the best!
-Tot seat. an awesome travel high chair! much easier to take with you than the bumbo.. it'll fit right in your bag :)
-fisher price laugh & learn iphone case. Never-ending fun for Betsey & I don't have to worry about her breaking my phone!
-toys that hang on the carseat are WONDERFUL
-when betsey was just born, I'd stick the soothing seahorse in her bassinet & it put her to sleep every time.. 
-Schoenhut baby piano! Omg, Betsey loves this and it's the cutest thing watching her pound on the keys! It sounds like a real piano! I think it's one of my favorite toys she has.

I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty of things.. 
I'll add more as I think of them :) 
anything you'd add?


  1. this list was awesome! I'm 22 weeks pregnant with my first so it's so useful for me :D

  2. Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! I bought way too much when I was pregnant, thinking I was going to need EVERYTHING! It's definitely not like that at all! Enjoy with your pregnancy & congratulations on your new little one! :)


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