Even though there are endless lists of things to buy before a baby arrives at home, you never really know what you’re going to need (or how much) until the time actually comes because every baby and family is different. Here are seven things that I didn’t know I needed.
Diaper Wipe Warmer – Our friends who had their baby six months before us got one of these and I remember thinking, “that’s a waste of money, babies don’t need that!” Well, six months later when we had our own teeny tiny baby that seems like the most fragile, delicate thing we had ever seen and she deserves warm butt wipes. She hated getting undressed and getting her bum changed it seemed like the last thing she wanted was something cold cleaning her up. While I still don’t think this is an absolutely essential thing for babies, I’m just saying don’t write it off because you will literally do anything to make that little baby’s life as comfortable as possible.
Blackout Curtains – These became an important purchase for two reasons. First, Baby T took all of her naps on me or on someone else for the first six months of her life until we finally trained her to take them in her own crib. When that time finally came one of the biggest tips was to make sure the room was dark which is obviously very hard to do on a sunny afternoon unless you have blackout curtains. Second, Baby T was born in November and where we live for the winter months it gets pitch black by 5:30, so whenever she was ready for bed it was nice and dark and there was no need for curtains. Once it got into spring and summer the sun would stay out until 7:30 or 8pm and her bedtime had moved up to that time. Having a good set of blackout curtains made it seem like it was nighttime in her room even when we were sat outside enjoying the sunset.
A Laundry Bin – Not just any laundry bin, a big and sturdy laundry bin specifically for the baby’s room. There is a lot of laundry, and I do Baby T’s laundry twice as much as I do our own and keep it all separate so I can use the baby detergent on hers. It saves time on sorting everything out of one laundry bin.
Dimmable Lamp – We have a little IKEA dimmable lamp on a table next to Baby T’s crib. The ceiling light in her room is a very bright white light and not very relaxing right before bed, so having this lamp which is a much more warm tone is perfect for helping her make the transition to bedtime. Before she’s even in the room to get ready for bed I turn off the ceiling light and turn on the lamp so that as soon as she’s in there she knows what time it is. The dimming is perfect as well for the odd time we have had to go in and check on her through the night if she’s sick and needs medicine, we only need to put on a little bit of light to see and we’re not fully waking her up.
Lots of PJs – One thing I have always felt like I did not have enough of is pyjamas. For every size I have tried to have about five or six sets of pyjamas. When she was newborn we needed to make sure we always had extra incase she spat up on the ones she was wearing (which could sometimes happen multiple times in one night), and when she got bigger it helped to cut down on the amount of laundry I had to do. For a while, we only had three pairs in one size and I had to do laundry everyday to make sure I always had an extra set in case of a mess emergency.
A Carrier/Wrap – There were some days that Baby T would not let me put her down and I thought I was going to go crazy. I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink because she was constantly falling asleep on me. My midwife recommended going to my local Babywearing Group (they were on Facebook), so one day my mother in law and I packed up the baby and took her. They had every different kind of baby wearing wrap and contraption ever made and they showed you exactly how to use them, they even had a lending library of wraps that you could take one home and try it out! After borrowing a woven wrap and trying it out I decided to buy my own and it was amazing! Whenever Baby T was fussy and clingy I would wrap her on me and she would fall asleep instantly in it so I could make myself something to eat and move around without disturbing her. I honestly wish I had gotten one sooner!
A Bassinet That Vibrates – My boss sold me a bassinet that she had used only a couple of times for her grandkids. I hadn’t really looked into bassinets but it was like brand new so it seemed like a good choice. Little did we know it also had a vibrate function that would save our sanity! I don’t know if this is a bad habit to get some babies into or whatever but Baby T put herself to sleep at as little as one week old in that bassinet because of the vibrating function! I would feed her, swaddle her up and lay her down and before I was even turning off our bedside table and climbing into bed her eyes were closing and she was out. It had a 40 minute time limit so if she ever woke up in the middle of the night and wasn’t hungry, I would turn it back on and she would go right back to sleep. We starting thinking that when she moved into her crib and didn’t have the vibration that she wouldn’t put herself back to sleep anymore but I think it actually made her so used to it that it wasn’t an issue!
These are just seven things that I found made life as a new mom a little easier on top of everything else that babies need, but like I said, every baby and mom is different so there could be even more little things that I don’t even know about. If you’re a new mom what’s something you didn’t know you needed?