Some parents walk around big box stores, picking and choosing items for their baby registry. Some make wish lists online, while other expectant parents might opt to shop for themselves to cover all the must-haves. But no matter how you go about gathering all the essentials, chances are, once the baby arrives, you'll realize you needed entirely different or additional items. Well, a mom on Reddit has compiled a list that she calls "needlessly verbose, unasked for, and unorganized," but that might very well save the day for new parents who aren't aware of the many things they "didn't think to get."
Writing in the Baby Bumps subreddit under the handle fwegan, the original poster (OP) explained, "My L.O. is just over a month old, and I'm amazed at how many things I either didn't think to buy or thought I wouldn't need that have been totally essential. Here's a partial list, in case it's helpful to anyone else."
The OP noted that Clorox wipes helped her deal with the bathroom when it was "grossing her out" at three weeks in. She went on to sing the praises of pacifiers ("anything that helps with the fussiness—a lovely euphemism for hours of screaming—is worth having"), nightlights ("keeping it as dark as possible at night helps her stay sleepy"), cloth diapers, stain remover, Oxyclean, and good laundry detergent ("the poop gets everywhere"), and mesh underwear. Fwegan also encouraged new parents to acquire a variety of snacks, Vaseline (to protect your L.O.'s butt from moisture), a forehead thermometer, pillows of various shapes and sizes, a nail file, a big water bottle, and a pill organizer. But wait, there's more. She also recommends Gerber Soothe baby probiotic, a baby carrier/wrap/sling, Halo Sleepsack Swaddles, a couple nightgowns with button-up fronts ("Because I eventually got sick of my mom seeing me spend the whole day on the bed wearing nothing but my padsicle-stuffed mesh underwear"), baby book, and an ebook.
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The following items from the list are especially eyebrow-raising but fairly genius:
- "Noise-canceling headphones, if you get frustrated easily. My husband got a pair and he is so glad he can tune out when the crying gets overwhelming. If your partner gets them, make sure you have a good stock of small objects to throw at them to bring them back to reality when it's their turn.
- Music streaming subscription, and multiple devices set up to play it. LO likes loud noises, whether it's white noise, eight hours of vacuum cleaner noises (ugh), grunge, or bluegrass. Singing along with my favorite songs to her is a lot more fun than listening to a vacuum cleaner for hours on end.
- Hand sanitizer. Put an absurdly big bottle by the front door to remind visitors to wash their gross hands. Plus more for diaper stations and small bottles for the diaper bag.
- Underpads. I got some from the hospital, where they used it as the base layer inside my mesh undie contraption, and they're even more helpful to use on L.O.'s changing pad. We got 100 for $15, which makes them about the same price as diapers, but they can soak up multiple messes, like when L.O. has three poops and two pees DURING a diaper change. I also put her down on the pad and sort of loop it over her bottom to give her diaper-free time (supposedly helpful for avoiding/treating diaper rash, nerve-wracking though it is).
- If you have stairs in your house, consider doubling up on as many things as you can. Changing tables, phone chargers, robes—everything you'll use both day and night. I'm still limiting the number of times I go up and down the stairs, and every single night when we go to bed I have to send my husband downstairs one extra time to pick up something I forgot.
- Deliciously greasy, spicy, acidic, heavy freezer meals. The hardest thing about pregnancy for me was how restricted my diet was. My morning sickness never really went away, and the heartburn that started in my first trimester got so bad at the end that I when my family asked what snacks I wanted at my baby shower, I honestly couldn't think of a single thing I'd be able to comfortably eat. That all went away by the time I was home from the hospital, and eating whatever I want has filled me with almost as much love as gazing at my beautiful L.O.'s sleeping face. (Just kidding. Sort of.)
- Multiple phone chargers with long cords. Between tracking L.O.'s feeding/sleep/diapers, playing music or vacuum cleaner noises to calm her, and the absurd amount of time I spend on social media and doing crossword puzzles to amuse myself, I'm going through my battery like never before."
Fellow Redditors loved the new mom's tips and writing style, chiming in on various items they agreed were must-haves and encouraging her to write more lists.
One writing under the handle jmeftw wrote, "This is actually perfect. My L.O. is 8 weeks and I live and die by every one of these things." Cecilsmama noted, "9 months pregnant and a huge proponent of everything on your list-especially the noise-canceling headphones!"
The OP replied that the round-up was "very cathartic to write."
Fwegan's list might have been "unasked for," in her opinion, but it will go far to informing—and entertaining—plenty of new parents who appreciate the insight from a mom who was inspired to give back to her virtual village.