Babies require lots and lots of stuff. Some things are small and used infrequently, while others are used daily and absolutely must be at your fingertips.
Unfortunately, it can be easy to confuse what needs to be bought in bulk and what you can do without. Since I live in a small space, it’s important that I don’t have a bunch of unnecessary items hanging around… and that I do have what I need at all times.
The good news is that while I had to learn the difference the hard way, you get to benefit from my previous bulk-buying angst!
An Endless Supply Of Burp Cloths
This is the single most used piece of fabric in my house. Babies spit up everywhere and seem to save the biggest blowouts for when there is no burp cloth in sight. Outsmart your little one by making sure there is always one handy.
Pro Tip: Have a designated burp cloth basket within arm’s reach of your nursing area and filled to the brim for maximum protection.
So Many Muslins
Who knew that a few pieces of fabric could be so integral to the health and happiness of a new parent? Muslin swaddle blankets are the go-to for new babies. They keep your little one warm, protect him from the sun, absorb messes, create a space for tummy time, and so much more. Keeping a bunch on hand means that you will never be without one when you need them most.
Pro Tip: Stash a spare muslin in the stroller, the car, your diaper bag... everywhere. Squirreling away swaddles ensures they are always at your disposal.
More Diapers Than You Think You'll Need
New babies poop and pee a whole lot -- think 8 to 12 changes per day. Although it may seem like a 128-count pack will last well into next season, you will run out of diapers before you know it.
Pro Tip: You won’t truly know what size your baby will be until they're born. Get a small “newborn” pack and a small “size 1” pack so you're covered no matter what. Once you're home and see how they fill out the diaper, buy in bulk.
All Of The Baby Wipes
You think you know, but you have *no idea* how many wipes you will need. Not only does baby poop get everywhere (how does it even get all the way up to his neck?), but you'll have bodily fluids and messes to contend with outside of the diaper. Buy an 800 pack; you’ll probably still need a refill in a month or two.
Pro Tip: Buy water-based and/or fragrance-free wipes. Newborn bottoms are sensitive!
Lots & Lots Of Baby Socks
Nothing is cuter — or more annoying — than baby socks. They're tiny but very important for keeping those little toes warm. Make sure you have enough pairs so you don’t need to mourn when the washing machine eats a few up.
Pro Tip: Buy a bunch of white socks (or whatever color you prefer) so you aren’t spending all your time matching teeny pairs with different stripes and patterns.
Your Baby's Favorite Pacifier (And A Bunch Of Backups)
Some babies want a pacifier in their mouth at all times; others only use them for naps, or not at all. No matter where your baby falls on the pacifier spectrum, those who use pacifiers will constantly drop them. Buy a few of your child’s favorites to keep them in rotation as the others are being washed.
Pro Tip: Start off with two or three different pacifier brands to see what your child prefers. Once they make it clear to you, you can stock up on their favorite.
Lots Of Hand Sanitizer
Babies are immuno-suppressed and hands tend to be filthy. When guests are meeting your little one for the first time, they probably aren’t thinking about hygiene as much as you are. Keep hand sanitizer in each room so that there is no excuse for germy hands near your baby.
Pro Tip: Get some travel-sized sanitizers to clip onto the diaper bag and carriers for when people want to pinch those little cheeks while you're out and about.
Breast Pump Bags (If You're Breastfeeding)
During your baby’s morning nap (which, for me, is always the most reliable), you may want to take some time and turn on the boob tube while turning on, well, the boob tube. I’m talking about using your breast pump. Pumping can be super annoying, but having enough milk bags, especially ones that are easy to attach to your pump, will make it significantly less of a hassle.
Pro Tip: Once you’re done pumping, label each bag with the date and amount of milk. Store in your freezer with the oldest bag in the front so that you can easily keep your supply moving.
Changing Pad Liners For Easier Cleanup
How did no one tell me about these before I had a baby? Liners save a ton of time and washing. Instead of changing soiled sheets twice a day, you can just throw these liners in the hamper.
Pro Tip: Buy at least three packs of the three-pack… they are nearly as valuable as burp cloths.
Command Hooks To Hang Everything Within Arm's Reach
Here are just a few things hung on Command hooks around my house: burp cloths (in every room), nursing pillow, baby bath tub, baby bath wash cup, baby towel, basket for dirty burp cloths, basket for small toys, and more. Having baby stuff at your fingertips is indescribably helpful, and these hooks ensure that they are at eye level, but removable once your baby grows out of this phase. You could say I am... hooked on hooks! (Mom jokes can be bought in bulk as well, of course.)
I know the idea of writing thank-you notes when you are navigating new mom-hood seems totally out of bounds, but hear me out: the people who send you thoughtful gifts during these first few months make you feel significantly loved and cared for, and nothing will brand you as a put-together adult more than thanking them. Leave these babies somewhere convenient, and when you have a spare minute or two jot down a sentence of thanks. You may find that even 50 isn’t enough.
Pro Tip: Print out a list of the names and gifts and keep it next to your notes. Also, try to give someone else the responsibility of addressing, stamping and mailing. You've done enough!
So Much Coffee
This one may seem obvious to you coffee drinkers out there, but I cannot stress it enough: Always. Have. Ample. Coffee.
Pro tip: Drinking hot coffee while holding an infant is a recipe for disaster. Make a pitcher of cold brew to keep in the fridge for all of the caffeine with none of the safety hazards.
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