Being pregnant is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking for me. I'm a bit of a control freak, so having everything prepared and in order well ahead of baby coming is always a must. I vividly remember texting friends to try and get advice on the things I would need to make sure my baby shower registry was done right, and of course made plenty of first-timer mistakes in the process. (Mostly by asking for duplicate things that served the same purpose ultimately, or not realizing that not everyone needed everything, and sometimes registries were made very custom to the needs of that specific mother or family and their particular circumstances.) But rather than bore you with all the more obvious things that everyone knows to get, here are 10 items for my life as a new parent that no one told me I needed, and I now can't live without:
I researched high and low for the right fit for a baby monitor for our family. I had no idea there would be so many options! With wifi, with a free app, has motion alerts, has a motorized camera, two-way talk, temperature gauges - the features are endless. But what no one told me, was that if the power goes out or you have internet connectivity issues, you are SOL! It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it is a problem. Do yourself a favor, and get a no frills, no-wifi monitor to keep around for those unexpected situations. Plus, it can double as a travel monitor for any time you take baby to visit family or friends, or on vacation!
Seems obvious once you've got one, but no one told me a bib would simply not do the trick for the messier of baby dining experiences. This smock saved me so much time from doing laundry (and preserving clothes to their original, un-marinara-stained designs)! Another perk is that it doubles in usefulness during messy or watery sensory place activities later on, or when your cooking helper is ready to join you in the kitchen, too.
When I tell you, I have tried them all, I mean I have tried them all. These are the best. There is no competition. And more importantly, there are no more spills to clean up. I love these so much, I have a backup set for home and another I sent to my mom's house to use there. They are that great!
Something I made due with for way too long before realizing this was a thing... get yourself a little travel bottle cleaning set and drying rack! This one is compact enough to slip conveniently in the side of any diaper bag, and incredibly useful to clean baby's bottles away from home.
I spent so many nights not getting restful sleep (when I finally was able to!) because the bright light from the baby monitor was too much on my nightstand. By the time I realized how badly it was effecting my rest, it had gone on far too long. These dimmer sheets can be cut to size, don't use any adhesive (so they won't ruin your screens), and stick perfectly in place using static. It gives the right amount of dimming at night so you can still see the screen, but not have it light the room too much. A must have!
I received this as a gift and don't know how I had never heard of it before. In fact, most people I know haven't either! THIS IS A GODSEND. To answer the typical first questions I get: No, it's not too hot for the baby. No it's not too tight, the snugness is what help them sleep in it so well. Yes, they can still move their limbs, it was designed by a pediatric physical therapist. Yes, they have multiple fabric and sizing options. And yes, I cried when my daughter outgrew it!
I discovered this product by accident when looking for a solution for my newborn when she kept "worming" herself into unsafe situations and sleep positions in her crib. I found myself up all night checking on her and adjusting her, until this. Similar to the strap that babies are in when using the beloved (and expensive) Snoo Bassinet, this helps you and your baby sleep peacefully knowing they can't compromise their safety or roll over and not be able to get back to their back. Used with both of my babies and one of my most shared baby products!
I had no idea that overnight diapers were a thing until three nights straight of extreme pee overflow into everything, and then I came across these bad boys! Have not had a problem since, and my babies wear them every night to stay clean and dry. (As do their sleep suits and cribs!)
A more recent discovery of mine, I do not know how I didn't get this sooner! This diaper changing caddy lives in the car and has made life so much more convenient! It has plenty of space for everything you need backups of on-the-go, a changing mat, great storage, and optional cover, too.
The amount of things that end up on the car floor when you have babies is insane. Especially with how car seats are situated, it doesn't leave much room in those areas to organize things. A simple solution that has helped our family tremendously is these headrest hooks! From jackets, to baby carriers, to bags, hats, toys, personal items and more, we've got one on every headrest in our vehicle. No tools installation, and such a great way to keep things where you need to access them. (And not just for parents, either!)
Just a reminder that I utilize affiliate links, which means I make a small commission from your purchase (which doesn't affect how much you pay). This helps this mama keep doing what she loves! TYSM in advance for your support! :-)