Congratulations, you’re about to have a baby! Prepare to be bombarded with unsolicited advice, sleepless nights, and more stuff than you know what to do with. Why do the smallest humans seem to take up the most space?!
I’ve now raised two babies to toddlerhood (how did that happen so fast?!), so here’s a quick list of what I do believe are necessities when bringing home a baby. I’m not going to cover survival items like food – common sense, y’all.
1. Baby carrier
Wondering how you’re going to get anything done once baby arrives? You’re going to strap her to your body and proceed with life, that’s how! Not only does babywearing make practical sense, trusted research shows that it increases parent bonding and helps alleviate or prevent postpartum anxiety and depression.
Just like a pair of jeans, there are dozens of brands and styles of carriers, and everyone has a brand that works best for them. Your local Babywearing International chapter has a library full of different carriers that you can try out or even borrow for a small fee. My preference is a handwoven wrap ring sling for the newborn weeks (Oscha was my brand of choice) and a soft structured carrier like Tula once baby got a little bigger.
2. A backpack
Any backpack will do, but you will LOVE this item when you’re trying to lug a baby, carseat, purse, groceries, and the mail into the house in the pouring rain. As a mom, the name of the game is taking stuff OUT of your hands (so that you can hold other stuff), so the backpack is king when it comes to diaper bags. My personal favorite is Ju-Ju-Be. Their modern minimalist designs make my heart soar, and the water resistant fabric is easy to clean.
3. Black out curtains
Naptime MVP. Enough said. I love these from PBK.
4. Video monitor
The video function may seem superfluous, but trust me, you’ll love that feature when baby is half-fussing and you can see whether or not their eyes are open. Also fun for spying on your significant other while they’re in the nursery. All monitors seem to get equally horrible reviews and we had to purchase a new one twice, but if you plan on having more kids, I highly suggest springing for a nice one with multi-camera/screen functionality. I can toggle effortlessly between both of my girls when they’re not sleeping!
5. Swaddle sacks
Both of our girls LOVED to be swaddled in the fourth trimester. The trick is ensuring that they are wrapped super tight – as tight as you can, and then some. These Halo sleep sacks make it pretty easy to get a tight swaddle even in the middle of the night. Caroline still asks for her sleep sack every once in a while!
There you have it, my top five must haves for babies. Next up, an even longer list of everything you DON’T need.