Rob and I enjoy saying "Baby Things". What's Katherine up to? Oh, you know, her Baby Things. It helps that our Baby Monster is Very Serious about accomplishing her Baby Work. Slowly unpacking and strewing toys in all directions is some Very Serious Stuff, People!
Babies require some stuff. Ok. *require* is the wrong word. There are things that can make Baby Invasion less *trying*.
One of the few really nice things about infertility is that by the
time you finally have a baby, all your friends are practically done
having their babies and they have LOTS of baby stuff that they are more
than happy to let you borrow. Karla arrived one day with her minivan
PACKED full of baby gear. I have good friends.
So. A list. Of our most-loved baby things for months 0-6 of child-rearing. None of these links are sponsored, I just enjoyed reading these baby gear posts when I was pregnant. I'm FAR from the expert, but if you have babies plotting to invade your home, these are the things I'd suggest you acquire:
2) A swing. This swing. And boy do I have a post for you in 6-8 weeks about this swing. You'll see.
3) ZIPPERED footie pajamas. Because snaps at 2 AM are the devil. Actually, my pajama snap rage continues to grow. I don't think it's limited to months 0-6. ;)
4) Velcro Swaddles. Katherine is apparently determined to be swaddled for all sleeping for all time. (And is very proud of herself when she uses her hulk-like powers to explode out of it.) Otherwise: Baby Rage and No Sleep. They make them in size 18 years, right? (please?)
5) Formula. Do not pump 7 times a day if your baby won't latch and it's making you crazy. Also... have people around who will tell you it's making you crazy. Your sleep deprived ass is not going to make any healthy (guilt-laden) parenting choices. Go buy formula if you're miserable. I'm sure you won't believe me, but it's ok. I promise. The cheapest formula per oz. in town is "Comforts" at Kroger when it goes on sale. Though, don't try buying it at my Kroger. Rob buys their entire stock every time it goes on sale. I picture him giving "I will cut you!" dagger eyes to any formula-seeking passerby. If Comforts isn't on sale, we buy Generic Target Brand.
6) These baby shoes. In case you venture outside the realm of footie pajamas. Nothing else will stay on my Houdini-baby's feet. All other shoes/socks are useless. Cute but useless. We have one pair of these hand-me-down shoes - in Teal Stripe Print. I pretend that they match everything.
Gerber Bottles. They're about $1 each. They attach to medela breastpumps. They work. They're ONE dollar. We needed about 9 in rotation for sanity's sake.
8) Pink-ish or Red crib sheets. Because if you have green or blue crib sheets, they will give your baby a cyanotic glow in the early morning light. And your sleep-deprived, anxious, post-partum brain doesn't need that drama. Yes, she is still breathing. Yes, you really should have included pink in her nursery's color scheme.
9) A very long swath of fabric. I bought a long piece of muslin for $12 because I'm endlessly cheap. And because Katherine's (completely uneventful) prenatal care and birth cost FIVE GRAND. And I was on unpaid maternity leave. And I'd canceled our Aflac coverage before getting pregnant because *obviously* I was infertile. HAHAHA. If you do not fall into those categories, you should just buy a moby wrap. ;)
the freestyle one because my mom is the most generous mom on the planet. (Thank you, Mom!!!!) That pump was a champ. I used one of the Medela bustiers with it. That made life easier.
11) High contrast. Maybe in the form of these books. Katherine LOVED these books. We tacked them up to the wall above her changing table, and they were one of the first things she was ever interested in focusing on. Her reaction to those books made me feel like there was a light at the end of the tunnel and MY BABY IS A REAL PERSON AFTER ALL!!!
12) Television shows. Entire seasons of unwatched TV. Start storing it up when you get that pink line on a stick. Because I've never watched so much TV in my life. :) Unless you're way more talented than I am, feeding a baby pretty much occupies both hands, and if you don't want your brain to ooze out of your ears from the boredom, you'll be watching a lot of television. I now have practically every episode of The Big Bang Theory memorized.
Vibratey Bouncy seats. For putting the baby down. Yay!! I borrowed one from Karla so I didn't register for one, but people kept giving these to us. I even had a ridiculously nice patient bring me one. New! Just because! I seriously had FOUR bouncy seats in my possession before K was born. I thought people were crazy, and I maintain that you can totally get away with one or maybe two bouncy seats... but since I was rich in bouncy seats, and we have a tri-level house, I put one on each floor and gave one to Caroline. It was nice to have somewhere to plop Katherine down when I had to pee or eat.
Pre-fold diapers for burp rags. Rob and I joked before Katherine's arrival that there would be "Poop Everywhere" all the time at our house. "Poop Everywhere" is kind of fun to say, and we said it a lot while giggling at our dramatization. We were wrong... with the exception of Night At Home #1 when we went to change her diaper (together because a buddy system is always a good idea when you're both totally freaked out and neither of you have any idea what you're doing) ....on the changing pad that was inexplicably located on the dining room table (how did that happen? what was I thinking?) ...and Katherine chose that diaperless moment to poop. "IT'S COMING OUT! IT'S COMING OUT!!!" I helpfully squeaked at Rob. "EWWWW!" he giggled. We were such newbs. Anyways, most of the time the poop was contained. What we should have been prepared for was BREAST MILK EVERYWHERE. I mean... EVERYWHERE. From pumping, from bottles, from my boobs, in spit-up form. You need at least 20 burp rags. I'm not even kidding a little bit.
15) This Bottle Rack. Ok. Maybe you could get a less hip bottle rack. But I still freaking love this bottle rack.
16) Yoga Pants, Nursing Camis, and pretty cardigans. Because you're going to feel like a frumpy, fat, leaky cow. That's just how it is. And yoga pants are like one tiny, proud step above pajama pants. I barely left my house all summer, but it's still important to feel pretty even if you don't leave the house.
17) The Diaper Champ. It doesn't require special bags. It mostly
contains the stink. My friend, Beth gave us hers and it's AWESOME.
18) A Puj Tub. I got so anxious about bathing Katherine. I had visions of losing my grip on this soapy, slippery baby and letting her bonk her head on the tub or the sink. Karla leant me her Puj tub and it was the Greatest Thing Ever.
19) This Baby Guide. It was given to us by Christine and Mike (Katherine's Godparents). They actually meant it as a bit of a joke, but it was the BEST BOOK EVER for sleep-deprived new parents. We referred to it as "The Manual" and I kept it in my bedside table. It was clear, concise, and slightly humorous.
Of course there are also all the big baby essentials like a car seat and a crib. ...So you don't break the law or have to put the baby to sleep in a laundry basket. But you can probably figure that stuff out. I spent a lot of time referencing Baby Bargains for that stuff. There are other things that are nice to have... a stroller (love our City Mini), an exersaucer, a high chair (we just got the IKEA Antilorp and it's kind of my favorite thing ever), a carrier for a heavier baby (I hear the Ergo is da bomb)... but most of that stuff isn't essential for the first 6 months. Someone will buy you rattles and baby clothes. You should acquire some diapers. And I think that about covers it. Good luck! ;)