Preparing for a new baby can be an overwhelming endeavor. If you’re new to parenthood, knowing what you will and won’t need can be confusing and stressful. To make your first-time parenting an absolute breeze, pick up these items or make sure they’re on the registry. There’s no guarantee they’ll prevent those sleepless nights, but they’re sure to smooth out the rough edges on your stressful – and joyful! – time.
- Rocking chair or glider
There’s nothing as sweet as getting to rock your baby to sleep. The smooth movement works wonders on calming fussy babies, and it is a lot less effort for you than standing and swaying. It’s also just extra handy to have a place to sit and rest in the nursery while you’re trying to get your little one to sleep. You just might find it extra soothing, too!
- Spare sheets
If there’s one thing a baby knows how to do, it is how to make a mess! It’s pretty rare for a baby to go more than a night or two without getting some kind of mess on their sheets, whether it be a bit of spit-up or a blowout diaper. Stock up on extra sheets so you can make sure to change your little one’s crib into fresh bedding whenever there’s a bit of a spill. Most crib mattresses are made with waterproof lining, but if yours isn’t, make sure to add that to the list, too.
- Nursing pads
Whether or not you’re planning on breastfeeding, you’re going to need to prepare for your milk coming in. When you’re already dealing with the highs and lows of newborn care, the last thing you need is leaking through your clothes several times a day. Pick up a few reusable cloth nursing pads, or get the disposables for easier changing.
- Waterproof changing pad
During the first few months of baby’s life, diaper changing is a bit of a danger zone. You never know when baby’s going to have an accident and starts making a mess! Even if you’re changing baby on your bed, the couch, or in the car, have a changing pad on hand. If you’re on the go, bring a foldable pad or waterproof liner to tuck under baby while changing. Always better to be prepared!
- Burp cloths
You might already have a sweet set of three or four burp cloths on your registry, but however many you’re planning on getting, multiply that number. Burp cloths are an absolute treasure during baby’s first days. There’s always spills, spit-up, and messes to be wiping away. If you always have a burp cloth within reach, you’re going to be much happier! Have a big stock on hand and keep little stashes of them around the house. Make sure to keep some in the baby’s room, in your diaper bag, and wherever you might spend time with the baby, like the couch or on your bed.
- Diaper pail
Diaper pail are quite contentious. Many argue against their function at all, saying that a trash can will do just as well. However, that really only applies if you have a totally airtight trash can with a lid, and even then it’s not quite the same. If you have a large home with plenty of air ventilation and you can easily take the trash out multiple times per day, then maybe you could skip the diaper pail. But if you go without it, you might soon be realizing just how fast a few yucky diapers can stink up the whole house. Save yourself the smell and spring for a real diaper pail.
- Baby carrier
Baby wearing has been done for thousands of years. It’s a great way to bond with your baby and have some close snuggle time. It’s also extremely useful. During baby’s first days, it’s common for them to refuse to sleep whatsoever without being held. Put most newborns into a carrier and they’ll fall right asleep. Then you still have your hands free to eat, clean, or get some work done – a miracle with a newborn at home! It’s also super useful when you’re out and about but don’t want the fuss with wheeling a stroller around, which can be a huge hassle if you’re somewhere with major crowds or uneven ground.
- Laundry hampers
Little ones rarely manage to stay in one outfit for long. The precious ensemble that you pick out for them in the morning will be too messy or wet to stay in before lunch. Keep things tidy around your home by keeping a laundry hamper in every room. You’re going to find that laundry will be accumulating everywhere!
- Baby swing
Finding a good baby swing can be a life changer for a new parent. When you’re desperate for a chance to sit down or just have a few minutes of peace, baby swings are there for you. The gentle movement and sounds are extremely soothing for babies, who feel like they’re being held.
- Baby bottle dishwasher basket
Keeping your baby’s bottles clean and sanitized by hand is an absolute chore. Individually washing each part with a bottle brush and leaving it in a special drying rack on the counter takes a ton of time, space, and energy that you just don’t have as a new parent. Save yourself the headache and get a dishwasher basket for bottle parts. Just pop the pieces in, set your dishwasher to its Sanitize setting, and let it go! Minimal effort with all the sanitation of your own two hands.