As a follow up to last week's post about the superfluous items a newborn can live without, here are a few things that you and your little one really do need:
- Coffee. It may seem odd that this tops the list and if you're not a coffee drinker, well, after having a newborn, you may be! Either way, I'd suggest stocking up on coffee beans, coffee filters and whatever you use to create the perfect cuppa -- milk, cream, sugar, etc. As you may have heard, newborns often get their days and nights mixed up. What you may not realize is with a baby in the house, you might too. This is why coffee is at the top of the list.
- Absorbency items. "Absorbency items. Now what's that?" you may be wondering. Well, wonder no more and brace yourself because this ain't pretty. I'm sure it's occurred to you that your wee one will be routinely weeing in his or her diaper. So, if you haven't already, stock up on diapers. A word of caution though -- don't buy a year's supply of those cute little newborn ones that would fit a doll; assuming all goes according to plan, your baby's bottom will outgrow them in no time at all. When that time comes, don't rush out to buy more, log on to Diapers.com and let them deliver right to your door! As for the rest of the absorbency items, well, they are for you. Let's just say that after childbirth, you may need a diaper of your own. In fact, I had a coworker who told me to stock up on Depends -- which I didn't because frankly, I just couldn't go there. But, the traditional maxi-pad will be your pal those first few weeks home and, just when you thought it couldn't get worse, your breasts will start leaking. Never fear though, they have a product for that too -- breast pads. Also available at diapers.com and quite handy for those awkward, leaky moments!
- The get up and go basics. For the first few days (possibly even weeks), the notion of leaving the house will be daunting. And packing your peanut up for an hour or a day (or for that matter, a weekend!), pretty much requires the same amount of stuff. And lots of it. But, the moment will come when you realize you must leave the house or you will go insane. Ideally this moment arrives at a lucid, caffeinated point in time when your days and nights are no longer mixed up. And then you will need a few things so you can hit the road in safety and style:
- A car seat -- this one is required by law and most hospitals won't let you go home without it so, unless you plan to leave your bundle in the nursery for a late check-out, this should be at the top of your list. After coffee.
- A stroller -- possibly the Snap n' Go which, as the name suggests, makes it very easy to just snap in the car seat and go. Highly recommended for those first few months, especially if you will be in and out of the car a lot. Of note, this stroller is not good for rugged terrain so if off-roading is more your style, you'll want something with bigger, better wheels to ensure a smooth ride for your little bundle -- my sister swears by the Bob stroller and I trust her opinion on virtually everything so, this is a great option if you plan to head for the hills vs. pounding the pavement in the concrete jungle.
- A diaper bag -- really, any bag will do, it's what in it that counts:
- Diapers (and other absorbency items, as noted above!)
- Change of clothes (you never know when an unexpected "ass-plosion" will strike; if you don't know what I'm talking about, you will the day your sweet angel blasts yellow poop out the back and sides of her precious onesie.)
- Purell -- for obvious reasons. See above.
- Don't forget the things you used to need -- and still do! Wallet, cell phone, keys, lip balm, water bottle, etc. The postpartum "Mommy Brain" is prone to forgetfulness so, it's worth pointing out that you still need a few things just for you!
Be forewarned, these all-inclusive lists can be overwhelming and should be approached with caution and common sense -- they will include things like a Diaper Genie, which I swear you don't need but, suspect our local sanitation workers would recommend after several years of picking up our trash with dozens of dirty diapers! In any case, you'll find that one of the perks of parenthood is a new-found set of instincts -- an internal barometer that guides you through the sleepy days and sleepless nights, encouraging you to listen to the voice within and not be swayed by all the well-wishing wisdom-slingers you will encounter along the way. Make sure this inner voice is heard as you navigate the newborn checklist; if you do, you will have exactly what you need and none of the things that you don't!