When I was pregnant, I remember pouring over lists of "things you need for baby". And they varied so widely. One list might insist that ten sleepers were necessary, while another might suggest only one or two. One list would recommend wipe-warmers and binkie clips, while another would say you can get by with just diapers and love.
This is not one of those all-encompasing lists. Because the things you need are mostly a function of what kind of kid you have + how often you want to do laundry. The closet full of barely worn clothes that we have--and I thought we were being very conservative about buying clothes--would suggest that less is more, however you have to figure that out on your own young padawan.
What this is, is a list of the fun stuff. Can you live without it all? Hell yes. But, as my maternity leave comes to a close this week, I'm glad we didn't!
Aden and Anais muslin blankets and burpy bibs. The blankets are so soft, and multi-purpose-able. They work for swaddling, as a light blanket, as a burp rag, as an apron to prevent spit up when you're dressed to go out and waiting for the babysitter.... And the burpy bibs' kidney-bean shape helps them actually stay on your shoulder. Plus the prints are cutie-patootie. They also have these pretty new (well, new to me) bamboo ones that are even softer--I want one in my size!
The Urban Assault Stroller. We bought a Schwinn, because it was in our price range and fit with our carseat. However, once it arrived, we realized that (because the seat totally lays back, and the Kid was already two months old and getting a little head control) we'll probably never use it with our carseat. (Your mileage may vary on that, of course.)
This is probably my single favorite bit of baby gear. Whereas before I was feeling stuck in the house--because trying to go out for any length of time required an inordinate amount of carrying stuff--once we got the stoller I was liberated. Yes, it's a huge hulking thing. Yes, it's a huge hulking thing that ends up parked in our dining room. It can sleep in my bed if it wants to, I don't care.
Ergo carrier. And while we're talking about transportation....we started with a Baby Bjorn carrier (generously handed-down by a friend), but once the Kid hit 10 pounds, it started to hurt my back. I tried on a Moby wrap--and I have a Maya wrap--but neither are as easy to get on as the Ergo. It's still too hot for eighty-degree-plus days, but I think once we can move the Kid from a front carry to a back carry it may be better. For a short walk on cooler days, it's awesome because I can snuggle the Kid right into my coat. We've also used it, for example, when we had the Kid at the Green Fair a few weeks ago. Sweet Husband strapped him on and swayed just a little, and he slept the whole time.
Old Navy One-Piece-ys. (Or really any little one-piece-y outfits--most of ours just happen to have come from Old Navy for some reason.) Despite having dressed myself for awhile now, I find it hard sometimes to match up the Kid's tops and bottoms. It's like, option "A" doesn't match, option "B" is too hot or too cold...and so on. One piece clothing takes care of the problem. We had long sleeve and sweater-y ones in the Winter. We have shorties now that it's Spring. Easy-peasy, cute, and lovely for diaper changes, as well, bacause they unbutton at the legs.
World Snacks Books by Amy Wilson Sanger. Truly, the Kid doesn't care what we read to him. As long as it's read in a sing-songy-rhymey voice, it's all good. Which is a reason to get baby books that are amusing to the grown-ups too. These are great. I love the pictures. I love the rhymes. I love watching the Kid give me funny looks when I can't pronounce the foreign words. Sweet Husband and I frequently quote them at each other. ("Hola Jalepeno! I said, HELLO, my chile friend!")
Also, the pictures in these books are really bright and bold. Although it's still hard to tell how well the Kiddo can see, he does seem to be interested in looking at these more than other books with more low-contrast pictures.
Evenflo Glass Bottles. I'm weird about plastic, I admit it. Environmental issues aside, I think it's kind of gross...you know...when it gets that nasty film and icky smell? So we got glass bottles. These are great because a) they're cheap, and b) they're bulletproof. Fortunately, the Kid is not yet throwing them across the room, but if he ever should, I think these would hold up.
The Leka Baby Gym (a.k.a. the Kid's "pretties"). Again, Kiddo just wants something pretty and bright to look at and bat around. May as well get something that's not hideous looking to the grown-ups, right?
(Side rant: This is one of those things I don't understand about baby gear. I get that kids like bright colors and patterns, and that's awesome, but stupid baby duckies and icky pastels...why? If any baby-stuff-manufacturers are reading this (which they're not, but anyway), y'all are completely missing the boat here.)
Pandora, itunes, Hulu, Netflix. I've watched a lot of TV these past three months, but when a babe falls asleep on your chest, other forms of entertainment--knitting, reading, stuff that takes hands--can be hard. And as for the music? Well, he loves that right along with me.
And while we're talking about mama-comfort items, I think I should pay homage to the thing that has really kept me going these past three months--a daily 16 ounce honey latte. I've always enjoyed a cup of coffee in the morning, but when you haven't slept as much as you need to (and I'm a spoiled little princess about how much sleep I need to be civilized) that latte becomes a lifeline. Some mornings it literally feels to me like proof that the world is still a good place, and my higher power has not abandoned me. Again, certainly not a "need", but definitely a little indulgence that was worth it!