Having a baby can be a stressful, but rewarding, period and it’s easy to overlook some things you’ll need along the way in your rush to get prepared for the newest member of your family. Here are ten things you won’t want to be without when the stork finally does arrive.
1. Diaper Genie
I was amazed to find out that there are a lot of people that don’t know what this little wonder is or what it does. A diaper genie’s only function, really, is to make sure your little one doesn’t stink up the house too bad. The diaper genie is a trash can for dirty diapers. Simply lift the lid, stick the stinky diaper in, close the lid, and turn the knob on top. Inside the diaper genie is an odor-saver bag that twists around the diaper when you turn the knob and keeps the smelly odors inside it rather than having them float through the rest of your house. The only thing is that refills for the garbage bags do need to be purchased, but most people agree it’s well worth the cost because they do work wonders.
2. Infant Carrier
For the parents on the go, the infant carrier is an easy way to take baby with you without straining yourself. It cradles your child on your best, leaving your hands free to clean or shop without you actually having to put your precious baby down. For fussy children, it really can be a life saver as just being close to a parent can comfort a baby enough to allow you to do what you need.
3. Tummy Time Mat
Tummy time is great for babies and can be a lot of fun for both baby and parent. Also, it’s great exercise to help work baby’s muscles. Most tummy time mats are great because the baby can be laid on their back to play with the toys overhead to play while Mom or Dad is busy and, at the same time, gives them a soft, safe place to work on pushing themselves around on their tummy or raising themselves up on their arms.
4. Pack and Play
Sometimes parents-to-be get focused on having a proper crib and forget that a safe pack and play can be just as important. The pack and play is great because it basically functions as a portable crib when you can’t be in the nursery with the baby. It’s easy to set up the pack and play in whatever room you’re in, whether it’s the kitchen or living room or whatever, so the baby can play safely and you can still get work done. Also, pack and plays make great places for nap time if you want to have the baby around you while they nap instead of putting them in the crib in the nursery.
These handy little things not only provide baby with hours of entertainment, but help build muscles and coordination skills. Also, a good exersaucer can make a great substitute for a high chair if you’ve decided to opt out of one. You can buy an exersaucer with a removable food tray and a removable seat (for when baby has a little bit too much fun with their food) so that baby can feed themselves right in the exersaucer. Even if you have a high chair, snack times in the exersaucer can be quick and easy, too, once the baby learns to feed themselves.
6. A Good Thermometer
Most parents-to-be realize that, at some point, they will need a thermometer, but what they may not realize is that they have options. The typical rectal/armpit thermometer suffice for many parents, but if you’re looking for another option there are ear thermometers and forehead thermometers. There is even a type of pacifier thermometer. The best thing to do in these cases, though, is to take one of these thermometers with you to a doctor’s appointment and take their temperature after the doctor does. This will tell you how accurate the thermometer you’ve decided on is if you’re straying away from the typical rectal/armpit thermometer.
7. Shopping Cart Cover
If you plan to take baby with you when you go shopping, as most parents do, it might be a good idea to look into buying a shopping cart cover. These handy little things cover the seat of the shopping cart to protect your baby from the millions of germs that might be lingering there. Also, plenty of cart covers come with toys attached to them, so it has the added function of keeping your baby occupied while in the store without you having to fetch the toy they keep throwing on the floor.
8. Hand Wipes
Everyone is used to carrying around diapers and wipes in the diaper bag, but make sure to always have extra on hand for wiping dirty baby hands. This doesn’t necessarily mean the messy hands they get after eating, but when taking baby out into public it’s easy to assume they’re going to come into contact with a lot of dirty things. And since babies love to stick their hands in their mouths, it’s always good to have lots of disinfectant wipes to keep them from ingesting a bunch of germs.
9. Baby Keepsake Box
I haven’t yet heard of parents who forgot to get a baby book, but buying a keepsake box might be a good idea, too. After all, there’s bound to be plenty of things you’re going to want to keep to remember. One good idea is to buy the keepsake box sets that include a box for a lock of hair from their first haircut, their first tooth that falls out, and their baby bracelet at the very least. There are plenty of other things that you can put into a keepsake box, too, and it prevents all those little pieces of your baby’s history from being lost over time.
10. Rocking Chair or Glider
If you’re planning on using an arm chair or something similar for those late-night feedings and coaxing your little one back to sleep, you might want to consider investing a little money into a rocking chair or a glider. For one, the motion helps relax baby and coax them back into sleep better than sitting stationary in an armchair. Also, many times they’re much more comfortable for you if your baby just refuses to give in to sleep. Generally they’re really not all that expensive and you might regret not having one by the time those sleepless nights arrive.