Newborn Must-Haves

Mommies LOVE to dole out advice, whether it’s helpful, stale or just plain ridiculous. Now that Amelie and I officially survived the dreaded “fourth trimester” together, I’m coming at you with my very qualified Newborn Must-Haves post. Because I’m a total veteran and stuff. I, like, know what I’m doing now. I got this Mommy thing!


Now remember, there are lots of other Newborn Must-Haves than what I’ve mentioned below. For example, you need a newborn. You need car seat. You probably need diapers. But looking back on those blurry teary days with a clearer brain (not clear, per se, just clearer), here is what I would recommend.

(And oh hey, I’m officially Polyvore-ing!)

Baby Must Haves

I’m going left to right, top to bottom. Hopefully you are able to follow along without inadvertently crossing your eyes.

1. These swaddles by Summer. Swaddle is such a cuddly word but don’t be fooled- these are baby straight jackets. You need them to save the babies from themselves. Babies don’t even know they have hands and they are so offended when one flies up to scratch their face, gouge out an eye and otherwise disturb their sleep. As you know, sleep is hard to come by so you want those devil arms pinned down! I wanted to be fancy and swaddle the old fashioned way with just a blanket, but velcro is the way to go. Get yourself a couple in every size.

2. Light blocking curtains. I should have bought these five months ago. Do yourself the favor and get them now while you are putting together your dreamy nursery, where you envision cuddles and story time and cooing during diaper changes. Do it before the chaos. Do it before the sads. Do it before the sleep strike. Do it before you can’t go anywhere, much less to Target because Baby Girl Hates Target. And Baby Girl Hates The Stroller. And Baby Girl Hates The Car. Do it before The Hate, okay?

3. A night light. Target has the cutest ones and I’m not talking dopey Hello Kitty or princess ones. I’m talking modern. I’m talking cool. The one I have plugs in and automatically turns on when it detects darkness. Anything automated is a good thing. (I wish showering was!) It’s nice to have just a teeny tiny bit of light (see #2) when you are stumbling around like a damn fool trying to feel around for the baby’s mouth and guide it in the general direction of your boob (or bottle or pacifier).

4. Soap. Stock up. Have soap at every turn so even your great aunt Fanny Mae with those long dirty fingernails might be encouraged to wash up before touching your New Life. While you’re at it? Might as well stock up on everything: toilet paper, laundry detergent, Kleenex, dishwasher detergent, snacks, coffee and anything else you might need in the next three months or so. Because remember The Hate.

5. The Moby Wrap. I wanted to baby wear Amelie. Amelie did not want to be worn. Strap Baby on anyway because it is such a luxury to do things with two hands again. The opportunities (like brushing your teeth!) are endless. You can conquer the world!

6. Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman. Actually, any books by Nancy Tillman for that matter. Oh the beautiful illustrations! Baby will pay no attention when you read this to her because she is too busy working on her latest poo. But your weepy heart will thank me.

7. A mirror for the car so you can see Baby. New Mommies worry. Baby is too quiet. Is Baby alive? Did Baby spit out the nuk? Is Baby choking? Is Baby asleep? Is the sun burning Baby’s retinas? Is Baby covered in her own feces? Get a mirror so your mind can rest (a little) and you don’t get into a car accident.

8.  A waterproof crib mattress pad because babies are messy. But why stop there? Get one for your own bed. Get extra sheets for the crib and your bed and the couch. Get extra changing pad covers and burp cloths and bibs. I’m not recommending going as far as SaranWrapping your entire house but now that I think about it – it’s not a bad idea.

9. If you haven’t already, register at Target. Might as well. People are so generous when you have a baby! But a lot of those generous people do not recognize the importance of gift receipts. People will buy you stuff from Target whether you are registered there or not because it has seriously cute baby gear. I promise you’ll get duplicate gifts (especially books), outfits for the wrong season, and 20 sleepers but no baby wipes. Target gives you the evil eye if you try to return items without a receipt. There’s a limit to how much you can return for store credit. But if you are registered with them, they are much nicer (ie: the limit is way higher). Don’t fight it, that place is Heaven on Earth (once The Hate dissipates, of course)!

Anyone else want to chime with Newborn Must-Haves?

UPDATE: Can I add an addendum? I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart racing, realizing I had forgotten one of the most important Must-Haves of all: A BOUNCY BALL. I spent a lot of time on that thing…and still do! Get one for every room!

16 thoughts on “Newborn Must-Haves

  1. An excellent list. I also recommend a monitor as a must-have. Because new mommies are paranoid, even when they are only ten feet away from their new babies. And a tip I learned about the crib mattress pads – layer those babies – pad, sheet, pad, sheet, pad sheet. Then in the middle of the night when baby has a blowout, you can just peel off the first layer and get back to bed. A lifesaver!

  2. A timely list as I try to remember what I need for Baby #2’s pending arrival (less than 2 months to EDD!)….I really thought I would not forget but alas, I have a little and wonder if I really have everything or I just think I have everything…other than diapers and nursing pads and all the fun stuff. Loved your list!

    • Two months to go – weeee! I’m so excited for you! You’ll have to fill me in on the secrets on having two! I think my head would explode! :) You are a lucky mama to have this new blessing and he is a lucky little dude to have you. XOXO.

  3. If I’m ever so lucky to have a bundle of joy, I’ll be sure to keep this list handy. Hope you’re having a wonderful day with that beautiful lady of yours.

  4. The best part of the list was having the newborn. Good job, thecandace. I am still smiling over the legs with the tennis shoe-looking socks. What a beautiful picture! lv mamap

  5. Well done. If I were a public list-maker..i think it would look incredibly similar. And now with a talking-almost-3-yo….I probably should have gotten a better night light. I get a lot of “mama, it’s too dark in here.” (We do have two but not nearly as adorable as the one posted. I went the cheap Big Lots route.)

      • Hmmm…toddler must haves…
        *A stash of cups that are easy to clean (ie not with lots of bendy straws). We have thrown out all the soppy cups from year one…they got grossly moldy.
        *Separates for pjs…especially once potty training. Zip ups are hard to get out of.
        *Forks that actually work. Safety forks are stupid. Kids won’t have success with forks that don’t actually pick up food because they have rounded tips, and then they get frustrated.
        *crayons in every bag you carry. You can always color. Everywhere. All the time. In the car, in an elevator, on a receipt, waiting at the doctor, on the way home from daycare.
        Oh…and reusable swim diapers. Why waste those weird swimmers? Mara has worn the same pair since 7 months old….but then again, she’s tiny!

        Just a few to start! Thinking of you in yr flooded state. Hope you and your colleagues/friends are safe!

        • This list is AWESOME, thank you!!! I knew you’d clue me in on things I would have never thought of myself. Off to start stock piling crayons… :)

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