When I was pregnant, the most frustrating experience by far was registering. I explained the adventure in detail on my pregnancy blog here. I just had no idea what I would need as a new mom taking care of a new little life! After I posted that blog, I got tons of extremely helpful advice via email or messages from my Facebook friends, and even a few phone calls from people I hadn’t heard from in a while with what they considered their best purchases.

I’ve been a mom now for a whole…10 weeks. Okay, so not too long yet, but long enough to know what my newborn has needed. I thought it might be time to post a few of my favorite items, especially ones we had no idea we’d need. Most of these are items either we discovered on our own when the need arose, or that one or two moms or dads told us we must have. I understand that all babies are different, so this list is certainly not exhaustive. It just includes some of the things I have most appreciated the past 10 weeks, and links to show examples. You moms and dads out there…what are your favorite baby items?

Without further ado:

  • Waterproof bassinet/changing table pads. This item we found on our own at Target. After being peed on 15 times the first week during changings, and having to wash and rewash the changing table/bassinet sheets, these pads became necessary. Much cheaper than the changing pad cover, and we just place them right on top of the changing pad, and tuck them around the bassinet mattress. Cheap, easy to wash, and they protect whatever they’re covering!
  • Sound machine or white noise MP3. Recommended to us by GiGi, a fab young grandma pal of ours, this has been the key to a good night’s sleep. Or at least a good night’s sleep by new mom standards (several 2-4 hour stretches that add up to 8 hours=good at first!). You can either get an alarm clock that makes white noise, or just download this 60 minute MP3 of white noise and play it through iPod speakers on repeat. The baby is reminded of the sounds in the womb, or it blocks out other noises, or whateva! Who cares! It works!
  • Lingerie Bag. No one told us we needed this, but maybe that’s because it’s a common household item? We didn’t have one, though, and I use it almost every load now to be sure we don’t lose his tiny little socks! I also put my nursing bras in, which I wash a lot more often than regular bras.  (Is this gross? Either, ew, she leaks milk! or ew, she doesn’t wash her regular bras often!) You can buy them at any grocery store, or Target, etc.
  • Night lights. We needed two…one for our room, one for the baby room. A must for all the late night stumbling around you’ll be doing!

And for the nursing mother:

  • Nursing Poncho. If you are planning to nurse your little guy or gal, this is a must to give you the freedom to be in public for more than a few hours at a time! Nursing covers come in a bib style, also, where you just attach the fabric around your neck, but this poncho has been perfect for me. The poncho takes away the risk of exposing your milk makers from the side, and it covers your entire upper body also so you can lift up your shirt from the bottom without revealing your side or back. The site also sells ones for little girls so they can mimic their moms with dolls. Cute? Or creepy?
  • Washable nursing pads. They sell disposable versions of these for any leakage, but since you’ll be doing laundry so often, might as well get the reuseables! Environmentally friendly and cheap! (Ew, she leaks milk!)

Some of the above items may make great gifts for the expecting moms in your life. Oh, and by the way, a tip for gifts you plan to give to mommies-to-be:

  • Always include the receipt. Babies R Us will not accept returns without the receipt. Grrr. And it’s very possible she will get doubles of items, or possibly not need whatever you’ve given. Also, if you gave clothes, the size may not match the season when the time comes, so she may want to exchange for a bigger size. And that adorable sweater will get a lot more use in January than July! Plus, she may get a ton of 3-6 month clothes and no 6-9 month. If you forgot to ask for the gift receipt, just give her the regular receipt. I’m sure she doesn’t care how much you paid, and it makes the gift the most useful to her and her little one, should a return or exchange be necessary.

Alright, experienced moms and dads, it’s your turn! What’s your fave?

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