As we prepare for baby number two, we’ve pulled out all our baby gear and reviewed all the registry recommendation lists to make sure we have everything we will need. In the process, we’ve reminded ourselves of what was the most useful to us and what we thought we’d need, but didn’t really use. So, I’ve put together this guide to share our knowledge with all the parents-to-be out there. I’ve split it into several categories of baby items and within each I’m sharing the “Must Haves,” “Nice to Haves,” and items that you can “Skip.” I hope you find this useful in prepping for your new baby!
When you start shopping for baby, one thing you will not be able to resist buying is baby clothes. Adorable, tiny, baby clothes. However, I urge you just to buy a few favorite special items, like a going home outfit and an outfit for any holidays that happen to occur within a month of your baby’s due date. For those feel free to splurge on Baby Gap or Mini Boden. For the rest, stick with inexpensive basics because they will grow out of them so quickly and wait until after your shower(s) to buy any clothes yourself. Like you, your friends and family can’t resist the adorable, tiny clothes either and will buy you tons and tons of clothes in addition to and often instead of your practical registry items.
Since newborns grow out of clothing so quickly, people tend to give 3-6 month or 6-12 month size items, so most of what you’ll get will be bigger and you’ll want to buy some Newborn size yourself. Keep in mind that they will probably only be wearing those for the first few weeks, and some babies are never that small, so go with the inexpensive multi-packs.
Onesies – We liked the Gerber Brand of plain white onesies in either short sleeve or long depending on the time of year and whether your home is on the cooler or warmer side.
Pajamas & Sleep Gowns – I highly recommend the zip-up kind of PJs, as opposed to the snaps kind, you do not want to be unsnapping and resnapping a bunch of snaps to change a diaper in the middle of the night. Sleep Gowns are also another fantastic option, that make middle of the night diaper changes easier.
Hamper & Laundry – Keep a hamper by your changing table and make sure it’s portable, because you’ll be doing laundry pretty often. We have a cheap fold-up one from Ikea, but I’ve seen a bunch of cute, pop-up ones at Target.
You’ll also want to get some baby laundry detergent if you don’t already use a “free & clear” or “sensitive skin” style detergent.
NICE TO HAVES
Booties & Socks – Cute socks are great for keeping those toes warm, but socks don’t stay on well unless they fit perfectly and as long as the baby doesn’t wiggle it’s way out of them. Booties are a better option for keeping baby’s feet warm. But honestly we mostly just went sockless and kept a blanket on Eleanor’s tiny cold feet while out and about for the first few months.
Hats – For colder weather and going out and about hats are great to keep baby warm. But like socks, hats don’t stay on baby’s heads very well. The best one we had was a finely knit one they gave us at the hospital.
Baby Mittens – The thing is, baby’s come out with teeny tiny razor sharp nails that grow super fast. They will scratch up their face with them. So, a lot of people recommend putting mittens on to prevent that. However, babies are new and learning and exploring through their senses, so it’s not a good thing to cover up their hands unless you are swaddling them to sleep. Instead of mittens I recommend cutting or filing their nails as often as needed and even letting them get scratched sometimes. Believe me, they heal incredibly quickly and don’t really seem to notice the tiny scratches.
Shoes – Don’t put your baby in shoes. Feel free to get some and use them as nursery décor, but your baby doesn’t need them until they are officially walking (around 12 months old). It’s bad to bind up your baby’s growing feet, because it doesn’t let them use the muscles they’ll need when they are learning to stand and walk.
UP NEXT…Part Two: Get Your Baby to Sleep