My kids are now 7 and 2, so the baby days are behind me. What I have often said to my husband is that we should have used our baby showers more wisely. We registered for organic cotton bed skirts and wall art, when what we should have had on the list were much more practical items. Having babies is not only expensive, but it requires a ton of stuff you just don’t think about carefully until after you’ve had the baby.
To help any new moms out there who are about to welcome their first little bundle of joy, my husband and I made a list of items we ended up purchasing for ourselves, wish we had registered for the first time around, and often buy as amazing baby shower gifts for our friends. Trust us when we tell you that while these items are super practical, you’re going to love them more than pink bows and toy cars. We swear.
I mean, seriously. I thought this was the most boring item you could possibly register for, and wouldn’t it be more fun to have decorative wood letters to spell their name? When possible, get both decorative letters and diapers, but if you have to choose, put diapers at the top of your list! (Especially you cloth diapering mommas–ask for more sizes than you think you’ll need, plenty of extra covers, and go ahead and ask for the fancy diaper pail.)
This diaper rash cream is the best on the market. You can only get it from the pharmacy, but you don’t need a prescription. Just go up to the counter and request it. It’s pink instead of the white you’re used to in other creams, and it cures even the heavy, blister-ridden, diaper rash like what my youngest had from lactose intolerance. I found out about this little beauty after about 6 months of battles with 5 other options, and when I finally discovered it, I became its biggest fan. Put it on your registry right now. It will save your baby’s bum – and your sanity. I promise!
3. Snot Sucker
You laugh, but those little bulb syringes they give you at the hospital are difficult to use and rarely get the snot out of the baby’s nose at three a.m. You’re going to get grossed out by the idea of using the force of sucking on a straw-like device to draw mucus from your baby’s nose, but the shape of the nozzle never goes too far up their nose, and a special design on the tubing ensures that absolutely no gross stuff ever gets in your mouth. Ever. From nasty colds, to allergies, and even the massive snotty nose episodes you can get with teething, it’s so awesome that you’re going to want two–one for the house and one for the car.
4. A Durable Diaper Bag
I felt like a diaper bag was supposed to be “just a bag”, so I registered for a cheaper one, thinking it would last. It won’t. Those bags take such a beating. Think about this -you tote this bag EVERYWHERE. It goes in the car, to church, in the mall, to the grocery store, to grandma’s -everywhere. In, out, up, down, push, pull, zip, unzip, pack, unpack, and on and on. This little bag needs to be tough. Register for one that can take the heat of new babies, and don’t worry that it costs a little extra to get it.
Hello! Where was this when I had littles? The combination car seat stroller seems like it’s the most amazing thing since sliced bread until you’ve hauled it in and out of the trunk of your car about 700 times. That thing gets heavy. If you’re travelling often, or if you just want something that’s easy to store and go, this foldable device is one of my favorites. (BONUS: It’s great for airplane travel because it fits in your carry on!)
6. A Maid
No, I’m not kidding. Did you know that many professional maid services offer gift cards? Well, they do, and it’s a great option for getting cleaning help those first few weeks at home. Who needs another casserole? Give momma a clean house to welcome her home from the hospital! Not to mention, I had a c-section with my second child, and I was prohibited by my doctor from doing things like sweeping the floor. (You can’t bend over after you get home, but they don’t tell you that until you’re there.) Having a maid would have kept our house tidy without me having to feel guilty about needing the time to recover. This one is a great baby shower present idea!
7. A Professional Chef
While we’re on the subject of services, let’s talk meal prep. Did you know that many professional chef services will come to your house and prepare 7 days of meals for a family of 4 for about $300? If you and a group of hostesses are already going in on a big registry item, get Momma the gift of ready-to-eat meals by purchasing a professional chef. Hire him or her to come out and fix meals that second or third week home after all of the family and friends bringing casseroles have died down but momma and daddy are still exhausted. Girlfriends for the win!
8. Paci Tether and Sanitizing Wipes
Ok, the pacifier is going to fall out of your kid’s mouth at least 1,000 times a day, and, unless you want to pick it up that many times or plan to have that many pacifiers on standby, a paci tether is an essential baby item. Plus, they now have these cool sanitizing wipes made with baking soda so they’re safe to use and immediately put the paci back in the baby’s mouth. These let you wipe and cleanse the pacifier on the go without having to replace it when young babykins drops it in the public restroom.
9. Footed Outfits
When it comes to socks, where do children put them? I have no idea, but these and beanies literally help the baby regulate body temperature appropriately, and it’s like they must eat them. When ours were tiny, we would put the socks on them, and they would take them off, or drop them, and then be cold. With the footed outfits, the children were cute and constantly ready to be active or sleeping no matter where we were. Footed outfits are the best things ever.
10. Car Seat Fan
This one was huge in Alabama summers. It always seemed like the air conditioning would never quite get all the way to the back seat, and the baby would get too hot. This was particularly an issue when they were rear facing and the vents didn’t blow on them directly. A car seat fan clips onto the carseat, won’t hurt the baby if touched, and circulates the air to keep the baby cool and comfortable. (Be sure to keep this to the side of baby so it won’t become a projectile in case of an accident.)
There are other items like dry shampoo and good coffee that we should probably give honorable mention, but some things you’ll just have to discover as you go along. What are your go-to favorites as a mom? What are the baby items you just can’t live without?
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