So you’re expecting a baby — congratulations! Whether you’re birthing or adopting, you’re likely stockpiling all the baby essentials you anticipate your new addition will need. Chances are you’ve read endless lists of “must-haves” that “every new baby” absolutely “NEEDS.” Perhaps your coworkers have even showered you with diapers, relatives have encouraged you to buy a specific brand of bottles, and friends have gifted you precisely nine thousand adorable onesies.
There’s so much to-do (and research, and discussion and price hikes) around baby “necessities” like a stroller, burp cloths, and swaddles, but when I was a new mom, I was shocked by how many things I’d never even thought about became necessities for me.
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The list ahead chronicles everything I wish I’d stocked up on pre-baby — instead of wasting another hour researching stroller brands. Do yourself (and kiddo) a favor and add the following items to your shopping cart well before you home baby.
Plenty of hands-free breast pumps, sing-along toys and cordless baby monitors all require batteries. It’s a good idea to stock up now so that you don’t run out of juice mid-pump. Don’t forget to replace smoke detector batteries while you’re at it. Can you imagine the chaotic scene of chirping smoke detectors waking up a sleeping baby in the middle of the night?
Voniko batteries, $9.45 at Amazon
New parents will probably receive lots of gifts once their little one is born. Save a trip to the store and stock up on some extra cards now so you can send a quick note of gratitude as the gifts arrive.
Thank-you cards, from $1 per card at Artifact Uprising.
There’s nothing more frustrating that checking those thank you cards off your to-do list only to find that you’re fresh out of stamps. Stash away some extras for all of those new baby gifts that will roll in once your little one makes his debut.
USPS Woodstock 50th anniversary stamps, $19.99 at Amazon
You may have already adorned your nursery with blackout or room-darkening curtains, but if the baby will be sharing your room for a while, don’t forget about your own window treatments. Blackout curtains will help you get that much needed shuteye on nights when you’re beating the sun to sleep or during the daytime when you’re trying to sneak in a nap.
Maevis 99% blackout curtains, $22.90 at Amazon
A shower wand attachment
A shower wand attachment for your tub will make bath time way easier (and more fun!). Rather than sopping up a washcloth to clean your cutie, you can easily rinse your baby with the wand while adding in a little more play. This one also has a convenient temperature display to ensure a safe bath experience.
YOO.MEE LED thermometer handheld shower heads, $27.99 at Amazon.
A really good water bottle
You’ll want to stay extra hydrated post-baby, and a nice water bottle will make that possible. Something with a handle may also be helpful so you can cart both your kiddo and your water from room to room.
FUNUS big water bottle, $14.99 at Amazon
A mesh laundry bag
All of those infant socks are adorable, but a match can go missing quickly! Toss all of those teeny tiny socks into a bag like this one for easy laundering without loosing a mate.
mDesign medium laundry mesh wash bag, $4.99 at Amazon
A clock for the nursery
A clock in the nursery will be helpful to track feeding times and to simply keep you sane. One that displays the day of the week and the temperature may be helpful as well.
HeQiao silent desk clock, $13.99 at Amazon
Reliable food storage containers
Grab yourself some food storage containers with compartments and fill them with snacks like cheese and crackers, fruit and nuts so you can easily munch one-handed. Bonus points if you can find someone to pack them for you.
Rectangle Bento, Spencer stainless, $39.50 at Pottery Barn Kids.
A cordless phone charger
New parents use their phones for everything! From tracking diapers and feedings to scrolling social media to phoning family members, there’s no doubt an extra charging device will come in handy. Equip yourself with a cordless option for a one-handed recharge.
Yootech wireless charger, $25.99 at Amazon
A silk pillowcase
Okay, so a silk or satin pillowcase isn’t a necessity when bringing home baby, but it will feel pretty necessary once you snag one — guaranteed to make the limited sleep you’ll be getting feel extra luxurious.
Bedsure satin pillowcase for hair and skin, $8.98 at Amazon
Extra photo storage
Queue the mom-arazzi; if you have a sneaking suspicion that taking pictures of your newborn is about to become your new favorite hobby, you will need ample storage to capture every precious moment. Now is the time to download an app like Amazon Photo so you’ll have extra capacity for each varied angle of the same shot. Hey, they’re only little once!
Amazon photos, free download at Amazon