Chances are, that as a new parent or parent-to-be you are overwhelmed with emotions, excitement and anxiety….not to mention the veritable avalanche of baby gifts that have found their way into your home. And while your little one’s nursery may be fully outfitted, the layette washed & folded, and the toys laid out and ready to be played with, there are several items that you may have missed as most new parents do. These are little items that may go undetected by new parent radar, but that definitely need to make it into your home before the baby does.
Oftentimes, these little items are either completely overlooked, or underestimated, leaving new parents scrambling to the nearest 24 hour convenience or drug store at 4am when the need for any number of them arises. So make sure your nursery is well stocked with the following:
1. Diapers. I know that diapers would not normally fall under the category of “little items”, although newborn diapers are comically tiny….but it is amazing how many new parents underestimate how many of these their little bundle of joy can go through in a day. Whether you plan to use cloth or disposables, make sure you have three times more of these on hand that you originally estimated you would need. A box or two, no matter how large, is just not going to be enough. You will be amazed at how such a small human being can possibly generate so much poop and pee in a 24 hour period.
2. Baby wipes. These are yet another grossly underestimated and underbought item by new parents. Buying baby wipes in bulk at your nearest Costco or Sams Club is an excellent idea as you will soon find out that baby wipes are for more than wiping your baby’s bottom. They work wonders for wiping up spit-up from baby and yourself, as well as drool, spilled formula, and much more. Once you have starting using these in your home you will find that the uses for them are endless and that you are constantly running out of them.
3. Burp cloths. Newborns and infants are notorious spitter uppers and you do not want to be left with nothing but the shirt you are wearing or the nearest pillowcase to wipe up these oftentimes projectile happenings. Most baby item manufacturers make what they call burp cloths, but these are pretty much worthless unless you need a dainty handerkerchief to wipe your glasses with. They tend to be very small and thin and pretty much good for nothing. The best burp cloths are actually cloth diapers. The same manufacturers that sell packaged “burp cloths” sell cloth diapers which are a lot larger, thicker and ultra absorbent. You will go through one of these every hour that your baby is awake, so make sure you have plenty on hand when baby arrives.
4. Desitin. I mention Desitin since it has been around for ages and is my personal favorite. It has worked the best for my children and soothes as well as heals diaper rash pretty much overnight. You may want to try other brands as well, but the point being that you need at least two tubes of this by your changing table as you should apply it thickly over the affected areas and one tube will be gone before you know it. All babies get diaper rash no matter how often you change them, and you don’t want to be left without any diaper rash ointment in the middle of the night. Your baby will thank you for this.
5. Receiving blankets. I have met quite a few mothers-to-be that didn’t think they would need these little flannel squares for their babies. Wrong! Although receiving blankets don’t look like much (they are smaller than a regular blanket and thinner too) you will want to have several on hand anyways. Receiving blankets are a nice alternative to using a thick, heavy blanket on your baby if it is not that cold out but you still want to keep them a little warm as well as for swaddling your newborn. Swaddling has been proven to help newborns sleep better & longer as well as reduce crying due to colic. These mini blankets are the perfect size for swaddling.
6. Pacifiers. Even though you may scoff at the idea that your child will use a binky, most newborns are born with a very strong sucking reflex and using a pacifier is pertinent to their being able to sleep or be content in general. Some babies fare well without them, but in case your is one that does not, you don’t want to be left without one. Try buying a few different types so that your baby can find the one he or she prefers.
7. Gas Drops. Newborns have gas…a lot of it. And most veteran parents will tell you that gas pains will not only keep your baby awake and miserable, but it will keep the rest of the family in this state if misery as well. Gas drops can be added to a baby bottle or administered orally and almost instantly get rid of those pesky intestinal bubbles. There are several brands available such as Little Tummies, Mylicon and Gerber and can be found at any local drug store.
8. Infant Tylenol. Although you may not need any right away, and I certainly hope you don’t, having a bottle of Tylenol on hand is always a good idea. You never know when your little one will come down with a cold and develop a fever, and this is yet another item you don’t want to be left high & dry without.
9. Onesies. You are going to want to stock up on these wonderful cotton one pieces for you baby even though you may envision yourself dressing your newborn in pint sized designer duds. The fact of the matter is that newborns need their diapers changed and spit up so much that a simple one piece body suit, or onesie, is what your baby will mainly be wearing for the first few months of his or her life. The beauty behind these things is that they are cheap, usually come in a three or four pack and if your baby happens to have a blow out poop that ends up running up to her neck, you can just peel this off and toss it without feeling guilty about it. Onesies are a must have.
10. Hand socks. I know these things are officially called hand socks, but no one can seem to tell me what they are really called….anyways, hand socks are those soft little cotton mittens that can be worn by newborns to keep them from scratching themselves. Newborns come into this world with incredibly sharp little nails that grow like weeds. And since it is not advisable to use clippers in them for the first few months, and babies wriggle around so much that cutting their fingernails with scissors is a feat unto itself, the hand socks will keep them from scratching their little faces, or your own face for that matter. This is an item that gets overlooked time and again….but once you have seen your baby with little scabs on their cheeks from accidentally scratching themselves, you will know why these are so important!
In a perfect world, some really thoughtful person will put all of these items together in a basket and give them to you as a shower gift. But the truth is that all of this stuff just isn’t that fun to buy so instead you end up with every cute outfit under the sun and toys that will turn your child into a prodigy by age three. Just make sure that you don’t overlook these little items as you put the finishing touches on your baby’s nursery and pack your hospital bag. You’ll be glad to have them on hand sooner than you think!