I hate lists of things people declare that you “must have” for labor and for the baby. My labor was super quick, but the only thing I really needed was water. I put on the same clothes I wore over there to wear home the next day, and it was fine. I think I actually brought a change of clothes, but I didn’t use it. I also brought chap stick and didn't use it. And I brought clothes for the baby and a blanket for him, but I’m pretty sure he didn't really care that much and will likely not remember coming home from the hospital. Hell, I barely remember it. I wonder if Mr. Adventure remembers it? I should ask him later.
BabyCenter is a pretty popular website around here for pregnant ladies and new moms and moms in general, I’m assuming, so I went to their list of must haves for the first year.
BabyCenter says your baby needs clothes. That’s probably true. Unless you live in a nudist colony or something. Although, for the first two weeks, I don’t think I put clothes on Hamburglar unless we were going somewhere. His tiny, delicate head and neck were so floppy; I was kind of worried it may fall off if I kept pulling shirts over his head. I had some of those kimono-style tie shirts and they were kind of nice. But really, for clothes, you should make friends with someone that had a baby a good 6 months to a year ahead of you. My coworker gave me a ton of baby clothes and I am passing on the sizes that McCloud has grown out of to a friend who is due with her little boy in February. Everybody wins! Except for large, corporate, baby clothes conglomerates. (I was at the Nordstrom Rack when I was pregnant, and I found a long-sleeve, one piece, wool, Burberry argyle thing on clearance for $90. It was a size 3-6 month. Madness.)
They also advise you get diapers, wipes and a changing pad or table. We have a dresser with a changing pad on top. But really, you can throw a towel on the floor and change your baby there if you want to. Or forego the towel if you’re feeling adventurous. We have the one size, pocket-style cloth diapers with poly urethane liners (PUL). I bought them used off craigslist for $140. Dude’s legs were too small to wear them the first 2 months, so we bought disposables. And we were using disposable wipes, but I realized how silly that was since we are washing diapers anyway. I wrote a post about it.
They recommend a baby carrier, a stroller and a car seat. I bought a car/seat stroller combination that was used by a trusted friend for $40. And I have a Boba. It was a gift and I love it for when Chubs McBabylegs won’t let me put him down, but I need my hands to do stuff. But, I think I could easily get away with a car seat (a necessity if you are planning on taking your baby in a car ever. Stupid laws.) and a used umbrella stroller. You can pick those up for $5. Or if you want a new one, I think they’re about $20.
BabyCenter also suggests you may want to feed your baby. Crazy, I know. Especially when you can just give them donkey milk or wine and honey and they might not die. But, if you are going to feed them…
I don’t have a nursing pillow. I use a bed pillow on the arm of the couch and it works fine. Sometimes I prop dude against my knee. I did have Lanolin ointment, but I think if I had found a lactation consultant that I didn't hate/trusted/was able to work with, I would not have let baby eat with a poor latch and that would have saved my nipples some pain. They say 6-12 bottles, and that’s how many we have, but Mr. Adventure has only been using two for the past couple of months. Also, burp cloths? Those tiny, useless pieces of material? I would just get extra receiving blankets and use those. Because fucker likes to vom. Projectile. When he burps, the dogs come running to see if anything came out. It’s gross. You will need bottle brushes or something for cleaning the bottles and nipples. I also have a Medela Pump In Style Advance that I bought, nearly new (the chick had used it four time) off craigslist for $100. Also, the Affordable Healthcare Act states that insurance companies have to provide breast pumps, and I imagine women that aren't breastfeeding may get their pumps and sell them on craigslist at a reduced rate. I mean, that’s where I used to buy my bus passes when I lived in a city with a decent transit system. They also recommend breast milk storage bags. That’s up to you. They are super convenient, but I don’t know that they are NECESSARY. You know?
For human food feedings, they recommend a high chair, bowls, spoons, sippy cups and bibs. I don’t know about that one yet. I do know that we don’t have a high chair and Hamburglar sits on my lap during dinner. He really likes to watch people eat.
They also say you need:
Pacifiers: Nope. Dude hates them. Though I do love it when I can get him to take the cowboy Mustachifier. It cracks me up.
Bouncy seat: I love it. He loves it. We all love it.
Play mat/gym: For tummy time, I put him on a blanket on the floor. If I do that, he rolls over. On his play mat with the dangly toys, he doesn’t. But he does love to kick and swat at the toys while lying on his back. I can get away and do things around the house for 45 minutes sometimes while he entertains himself. As long as the dogs aren’t licking his face off.
Toys and books: Sure. He’s just now kind of becoming interested. I am still reading him whatever I want. Currently, I am reading him Morrissey’s Autobiography. (It was a Christmas gift from my mopey dog).
Crib and mattress: Baby has to sleep somewhere. Where is totally up to you.
Bedding: they recommend 3-5 fitted sheets and a mattress cover. We have two fitted sheets and it’s fine. Experts are no longer recommending crib bumpers, because they say it will make your baby die. Also, babies shouldn’t have blankets in their cribs because they will die.
Wearable and swaddling blankets: Swaddling blankets are a definite yes for me.
Outlet covers, safety gates, drawer latches, toilet seat locks, baby monitors: We have a baby monitor I bought for $2 at a yard sale that we never use. And when dude starts wandering around the house, I may wish we had baby-proofed, but so far I’m good with what we have.
First aid kit: we have one, but I never use it. We do have some baby Tylenol. We gave it to him after he got vaccinated at 2 months.
Bulb syringe: nah, bitch. It’s all about the Nose Frida.
Teething toys: Ice cube in a washcloth. What up.
Digital thermometer: We have an ear thermometer. Everything I have read says the only “real” way to check a baby’s temperature is rectally. And that is why medical professionals exist, folks.
Something to clip your baby’s nails: my old boss recommends biting them off. You can also peel them off because they aren't very strong. Just, don’t use a knife, okay?
Laundry detergent: We were using Rocking Green, but shit is EXPENSIVE. So now I’m using the Biokleen that is free of dyes and blah blah blah because I can use it on the diapers, too. I also use it for our laundry. And calgon. Because we have hard water and it is fucking awesome for the diapers.
Soft bristled baby brush: We have two and I tried to use one once. He didn’t like it and neither did I.
Over on the Mr. Money Mustache website, Mrs. Money Mustache wrote a piece called, “What do Newborn babies really need?” She broke it down to five things: Diapers, a place to sleep, clothing, a carseat, breast milk or formula, and you. It’s a good read and it really inspired me to curb my consumption (though I did buy a Hushamok hammock for $225 that I just sold for $275! And I’ve had a hard time resisting the baby blue jeans. As impractical as they are fucking adorable).
And, there you have it. These are my thoughts on "must have" baby items. I think I need to go buy a pair of size 6-9 month baby blue jeans now. Little man has nearly grown out of his 6 month size already. Though the bulk from the diapers could be part of that.