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mamazee 10-28-2013 12:00 PM

Every time I go to a baby shower, this issue hits me again. I remember when I had babies and there was this huge list of stuff people treated as necessities which absolutely where not. Which is not to say that some parents in some particular circumstances could find them useful, or even necessary for them, but for things like (my personal pet peeve) a pack-n-play to be treated like a necessity for everyone as soon as she finds out she's pregnant drives me crazy! It's just a huge marketing tool. And everyone I know would never dream of using about anything used, like to have a used pack-n-play is neglectful or something.

I guess this is a rant on marketing and pregnant women/new parents, but what is on your list of stuff that people seem to think is necessary but really isn't at all? And is there any "must-have" stuff you feel really negatively about?

LilyTiger 10-28-2013 12:37 PM

I guess we live in a community much more insulated from that kind of thing.  Our big "must-have" was a BOB jogger that my in-laws bought for us.  We would have found a used one, but they really wanted to contribute a somewhat big gift and wouldn't have been comfortable buying something used.  Everything else we got used or as a hand-me-down and most of my friends who are parents did the same thing, though we all could have technically afforded to buy stuff new.


The stuff that amazes me personally are all these contraptions that take up so much room that the kid is only in for pretty short periods of time.  We got a used swing and bouncer from my SIL and we probably used both twice because our daughter just refused to be put down for the first four months of her life.  So that was a huge waste of space.  Huge play mats (we got two for my shower and I returned them because they were too big) and big exersaucers that take up half the room always amazed me.  We did, however, get a doorway bouncer that my daughter loved when she got older that was great.


I guess the "necessity" thing is so variable since every kid/family is different and will need different things.  So there's no "one thing" I find problematic, but really it's the massive collection of junk and the waste of money and resources it represents.  It makes much more sense to borrow a swing or a bouncer from a friend or buy one used or find one on Freecycle so you can find out if your child is actually going to use it before wasting money buying it new. 

cynthiamoon 10-30-2013 07:47 AM

I thought I had posted a reply to this thread, but maybe it was another one? I have a love/hate relationship with babywearing and all associated gear. I like that it's less gear for any one outing than a travel system, but hate that we bought 6 different carrier styles to find that none are really much better than the next and that all started hurting my back once she hit 12 lbs. I cheered the first day she was happy being put down and breathed a sigh of relief to find she enjoys the stroller.

Yet, despite all my negative emotions, I still love carrying her around when she is fussy and when I am running errands that require free hands.

But I personally didn't find it fun to collect and research seemingly infinite carries and brands like some do just to still undergo weeks of trial and error. And oh the look DH gave me when I bought our 6th carrier, even though it was used!

NiteNicole 10-30-2013 12:27 PM

Carriers (of all kinds) never really worked for me and my back hurt terribly with all of them.  Also, we found out our daughter had hip dysplasia so she wasn't supposed to be in one anyway.  Basically, carriers are like the ultimate symbol of all my pre-baby plans that didn't work out ;-)


As for the rest, what you really "must have" is a cousin or sibling who thoughtfully spaces out their children JUST RIGHT so you can borrow everything you need only for a short time and then pass it on to the  next baby so you don't have to store it!  That has miraculously worked well in my family so my daughter's high chair is on it's fourth or fifth baby, the pack and play lives at my grandparents and there's always a baby small enough to nap in it, the bouncer has a happy bouncee almost always.  But no one has ever taken to the swing ;-)

Irielyn 10-30-2013 12:50 PM

Wipes warmers....I never had one so maybe some people cant live without them, but I find them to be the strangest item for a baby. And we were gifted one of those bumpo seats or whatever they are called, tried it once and he HATED it, seemed pretty pointless to have as well, when my son can sit up he will simply do it on his own, right?! shrug.gif

LoveBaby 10-30-2013 02:12 PM

I think a "nursery" isn't necessary. Of course , I had one with my first babe, but now expecting our 6th, I realize a matching bumper pad/sheet set/wall hanging was all a bit frivolous. However, the pack 'n play we received with our first baby is now going to be used with our 6th, as it has been every baby since our first. We don't have room or own a crib, so for naps or when they are old enough to move out of our bed, the pack 'n play has been the 'crib'. My list for each subsequent baby has gotten shorter and shorter because I've realized we don't really *need* it and I don't want to mess with cleaning/storing/ find room for it!!

learnlovebe 10-30-2013 02:29 PM

I second the wipes warmer! 


I'll add the infant mittens. I always feel so sorry for those poor babies I see w/ their hands in those obnoxious mittens, for the sake of protecting the baby from scratching her eyes out or something.  So the poor babe has just had it's nice, warm, utero world rocked via birth, it's in this cold, bright world, and now you've taken away her hands?!?  That's just mean. :P Sorry, that's a little soapboxish for such a small item. 


All the gender-specific gear.  I was in the baby aisles of target, and even baby bathtubs now come in just two colors: blue and pink.  


I did find the bumpo (I have the bebe pod) incredibly useful for my 2nd and 3rd babies. They want to see what their brothers and sisters are doing long before they have the ability to sit up.  Letting them sit on the floor in the bumpo near where siblings were playing gave them a whole new view of life! :) 


I'm currently expecting #4, and I was just thinking...if you were to take a piece of baby gear away from me, what would make me cry? I'd say my ergo, ring sling and moby, my swaddle designs blanket, and my "my brest friend" pillow. And onsies and babylegs. And the birdseye flats (the real ones, not the ones you get at walmart) I use as burp cloths. 

monamcmona 10-30-2013 02:34 PM

Changing wipe monitor..15 different contraptions to set your baby down in (one should do the trick) Einstein videos (gag me).

Cieslakl 10-30-2013 04:35 PM

We don't yet have a room for our baby, or a crib. She sleeps in a pack-n-play in our bedroom and that works well for us so far (I bought a firm foam mattress for it and she sleeps great!). So I don't really think new parents should be concerned with spending money on setting up a dedicated room with furniture and decorating it. I agree with the wipe warmer comments, and one thing that really gets me (and it's not a must-have but I see them all the time in photos) is baby girl headbands....I just think babies look kind of silly with a big bow or flower on their little head, and it just looks uncomfortable. I am also not "girly" so our daughter doesn't really see anything ruffly or sparkly (though some pink stuff is cute)--probably adds to my dislike for headbands. And relating to that...spending money on professional newborn pictures (complete with headbands and silly hats etc) is not for us, either...I think snapshots are totally sufficient or better because you get to see cozy snippets of daily life instead of posed baby-in-basket pics everyone does! 

monkeyscience 10-30-2013 07:08 PM

Shopping cart covers!! They are too darn enormous to haul around with you, it's just ridiculous. And my baby didn't go in the shopping cart until he was probably 8 or 9 months old, anyway - he was always in the Ergo at the store. By that point, any germ phobias I might have had were long gone. (Sidenote: Another mom I work with today said she refuses to take her baby to Walmart due to germs. And I thought to myself, "Wow, must be nice to have the option of doing that!", because my dh is gone so much I'd just have to never go to Walmart if I couldn't take my baby!)


I mentioned how utterly ridiculous shopping cart covers were at a mommy group I go to, though, and two or three moms piped up at how amazing and totally necessary they are. I was shocked. To each their own!

pamelaRRRR 10-31-2013 08:19 AM

I'm expecting my second after a 5-year wait and I'm obsessing about having a proper swing and I can't shake myself out of it.  It will probably be useless furniture, but what's a nesting mama to do? My first was an unsleeper and refused to sleep at all during the day unless right on top of me (which I couldn't do after I started working again -- I'm a satellite employee who had hoped for nap time to get things done, like phone calls and such -- HA! I know better now.) I somehow have it in my brain that if I have a really nice swing I might be able to squeak out a nap once day. Maybe.  


(I know I'm probably wrong -- but a girl can dream, right?) 


With my first we were given so much useless stuff:

bath tub - i just got in the bath or used the kitchen sink.

bottle warmers (for a breast-fed baby who hated bottles) 

shoes -- my kid didn't wear shoes until he was walking on hazardous things outside.  

swaddlers - blankets work fine if you're doing that and we live in a hot climate so it's too hot to use most of those

mitts for newborns - sure he poked his eye a few times, but I kept his nails trimmed as best I could and we just went with it

pacifiers (yeah, that was a no go with my "if it doesn't taste like skin, I don't want it" baby) 

crib - over size laundry basket, you mean? 

stroller (that was a big ol' NOPE for my kid.  He screamed like it was torture and it collected dust in our garage) 

bottles and most bottle accessories -- i shouldn't have bothered to register for that stuff.  It never got used

those hand mitt rattles that velcro onto straps on hands and feet

a car seat mirror -- that's a safety issue.  it can become detached in the car in an accident, same with those suction cup window shades. 

shopping cart cover (yeah, once my kid would sit in there, I didn't really care if he picked up germs)

"fancy" clothes for a newborn boy.  Once I had a baby, I couldn't imagine putting my him in anything that had uncomfortable looking seams or scratchy fabrics.  No denim, khaki or anything like that.  We had him in onesies and jumpers most of the time. 



this time around, if I had a registry, i'd have a nursing necklace (to try to discourage twiddling), more nursing tanks. I honestly can't think of much else I really, truly want or need. 

lrj85 10-31-2013 09:29 AM

I decorated a beautiful nursery for my daughter... I realize that was really more my type A personality and this was mainly for me. However she did love her room and we have used every single thing in it! I loved my baby monitor because I could go work in the yard while she napped or lay out by the pool and read. I think necessity is subjective. My lifestyle, house arrangements, region of the country and income will substantially change what I find "cant live without" vs another person. I spend alot of my time at various family members so a pack and play was indispensable for me! Most of my baby gear I am reusing for this baby and I am finding I just need to replace blue for all the pink I have for my daughter. However I am decorating another nursery for the new baby and very very excited about it!


However I totally second wipe warmers being freaking useless and I look at them as a fire hazard. Also I hate those baby mitten like one of the previous posters said they make me incredibly sad for the baby!

Mama505 11-01-2013 12:43 AM

All of it.  I am so not a 'gear' person!  Of course we have some baby related things, and the best ones were saved by other mamas (because they found them to be super useful) and passed on to us.  The things we saved after our first son grew out of them: nursing pillow, diapers/clothes, Bumbo, wooden rattles and shakers, blankets, and carriers (wrap, ring sling, Ergo, and frame-pack).  Now DS2 is beginning to enjoy the 'gear' (he's just 2mos)!  We just bought a pacifier for this guy to keep people from putting things in his mouth (mostly dirty fingers), but so far it's a no go and it is making me feel like a dummy for buying it at all.  :eyesroll

Serafina33 11-01-2013 08:10 AM

I only like to have a carrier, bunch of cute cloth diapers, and.... a heavy duty stroller to push through the snow, put the grocery shopping in the rack underneath, and since it gets me on and off the city bus for free :)


and of course a few easy on/easy off comfy soft cotton clothes for baby-  but only a precious few, in tiny sizes since my huge kids jump up to twenty pounds within 15 weeks and skip through the infant sizes fast

bobcat 11-01-2013 11:32 AM

To the poster mentioning naps...our son loved to nap on the floor on his tummy during that stage. We figured this out because he would fall asleep during tummy time. Put a pacifier in his mouth and be quiet, and he would sleep 2 plus hours there. Obviously supervise, no soft blankets.

That said, I had intentions of being minimalistic, and found that most things made my life sooo much better or easier that they merited the cost and the space they took up. Like a glider for nursing! I finally for one when he was 8 weeks. The bouncy seat enabled me to supervise him while showering. The sassy brand floor gym was great when I needed to set him down for myself to potty, but he was not in a tummy time mood.

We had him in his crib in our room from day 1, so no pack in play or bassinet. A bouncy seat Witt a handle is useful, but he also loved his fisher price 30 dollar one with no handle. Strollers that are heavy duty are great to get some exercise for yourself. You can only go so fast with an ergo carrier. Getting outdoors is importsnt

Yukibells 11-01-2013 12:09 PM

I'm about to be a first time mom, but I have 6 nieces so it's not like I don't have experience with babies.


With all of them, I found that changing tables were only good for storing stuff. I could just have shelves for storing my sons stuff instead of a changing table taking up room. 

Wiper warmers are stupid too. I know this sounds a little mean, but I loved the faces the girls made when I wiped their butts with a cold wipe. Made me laugh.

Baby combs, none of my nieces had hair when they were born and didn't start really growing hair till they were well over a year old. I might need one though, because from all my ultrasounds, this little boy already has a ton of hair.

Baby towels. We already have a full set of towels at home that are soft so I don't see the point in using special towels.

erigeron 11-01-2013 12:35 PM

I really never got the point of baby towels. We used hand towels when she was itty bitty and then used regular-sized towels from there. We didn't have a changing table, but put a changing pad on top of a dresser, which has worked well. 


I think a lot of it is down to what works for you and your baby. I suppose, though, if you come from a giant family that likes to buy a ton of presents, you might as well register for everything and get rid of what you don't use. :eyesroll 


Our daughter had hip dysplasia too, but we never had trouble with carriers. We used a Mei Tai when she was in the hip harness and it worked great. 

bobcat 11-01-2013 01:23 PM

If you have or get back pain, changing your baby on a bed might make your back worse. I had a changing pad on our bathroom countertop, but just swaddling him on the bed killed my back, because it's slightly lower than the tables. greensad.gif the floor is good when they are bigger. We ended up putting his changing pad on a dresser in his room. I will say, I'm glad he is in his own room now. Hubby sleeps better and our bond as a couple is better, because sometimes the minutes before we fall asleep are the only alone time we get, which is fine. I am getting way off topic though, sorry!!!! It's just that I actually wish I would have been more prepared, not less smile.gif I wish his nursery would have been done before he came, and it wasn't.

Never spend a lot on anything, because you will need things you neeeeeever thought you'd need, and of course some things won't get as much use as you thought. Luckily I don't have too many regrets wih actual purchases, except the ergo infant insert, but that was cheaper. If you live in a city that has it, go to a boutique that lets you try a bunch of carriers with your actual baby. Places that have mommy and me classes and an attached store generally do that. These are the same places that generally rent breast pumps.

motherhendoula 11-01-2013 01:50 PM

Great rant!  I just recall with my first how much stuff i actually thought was just SO CRUCIAL ...and having to laugh now....with my third - we were in a small apartment and on a budget - no swing, no crib, no high chair....i bought a used Arms Reach co - sleeper and then re-sold it on Craigs List for 10$ less than what i paid for a changing table for free - ended up liking that purchase - although it was in our living room for about a year.....I think my MUST HAVES were a ring sling , the co- sleeper, and this is a weird one ....but waterproof pads - i had a HB so i made them for that - like terry cloth, flannel and PUL layered together - about 30X30 or so....we used them for sponge baths - for tummy time - to protect whatever mattress baby was sleeping on at the time....i still find uses for them

My two older kids - (in high school when # 3 came along)  opened up a bouncy seat we had received as a gift and put it all together and were SO excited about it - i told them to put it back in the box so i could take it back in exchange for clothes or diapers!   They called me scrooge and talked me out of it....sure enough he was in that thing like twice!  - i wound up selling that on CL too! 


Did anyone see the movie 'Babies"  ?  it was a documentary type film - came out i think in 2010 tracked 4 babies born in 4 different parts of teh world thru their first year - i remember seeing this African woman holding her little naked baby and then cleaning his little butt off by sliding him along her knee - lol - she was pretty thorough with him!  then she took a dried out corn cob and scrubbed the baby poop off of her  - thats the last time i remember thinking about wipes warmers!  lol   

crunchymama19 11-04-2013 08:10 AM

Some dear friends of ours had their first baby at the same time we had our third. I went to her baby shower and gifted her a boppy as my "essential". But I had to chuckle at the rest of the items she registered for. How are carseat strap covers a need? All I could think off was one more thing I would have to wash and keep track of. After 3 babies, and having #2 when we were low-income, there are very few things we think are essential anymore. Even though we are financially much better off with #3 we still don't have nearly the baby gear that most of our friends and neighbors have.

Katie8681 11-04-2013 09:53 AM

BOB strollers! Baby monitors- we were given one and it was like a cruel joke, since DS wouldn't sleep as much as an armlength away from me for nearly a year.

MaggieLC 11-04-2013 01:49 PM

I have to put in my vote for near hatred for the ubiquitous Pack and Play. I often work as a post partum doula, I'm not in my 20s... or my 30s... and just left my 40s.... so the height of those things my clients seem to think they need to have is just the right height to put my back out. For me, it's easier to either do the stairs and put the baby in bed (once they start sleeping without needing to be held) or just use a Moses type basket.


We got a swing/ baby bed combination in 1986. We used it with all 3 kids, my sister used it, some friends used it. It's the wind up kind, no motor. The little bed came out and we would take it with us, even camping.


When I walk into a client's house and don't see a Pack and Play, I'm happy. One of my friends got pregnant in her mid 40s and I swear she must have used the word "Pack and Play" about 5000 times while she was pregnant. It drove me crazy. She has an 750 sq foot house. She needed one more piece of furniture in that tiny house, where you could hear the baby in his room at OUR house?


Plus, there's no way the mattress in those things are comfortable. We bought a new little mattress for every baby for our Graco baby swing and bed.


I did use the wipe warmer. We live in OLD houses. Drafty. I make my own wipe solution and use washcloths. The first time my Fall baby got her butt wiped after it cot cold, she screamed her lungs out! I went out and bought a wipe warmer and wrapped it around an old wipe container and put our solution in it. I changed the water every day, and our babies butts were warm and no more screaming during diaper change.


I also loved our baby monitor. We have an old house that rambles big with lots of rooms. You can't hear babies if you are downstairs or outside. We spend a lot of time in our garden (on an acre plot) so if the baby is asleep and I decided to pick some tomatoes, I had to take the baby monitor so I could catch them before they cried. My friend who has the 750 sq foot house also had a video baby monitor. They would sit, literally TWO feet from the baby's door and stare at the monitor. :rotflmao


Same with changing tables. Those of you Mamas in your 20s or with good backs might not need one, but I have never been able to change a baby on a bed without hurting myself. Also, I like all my necessities in ONE place, I've seen newborns roll over so I never take my hands off babies on changing tables ever. I liked my diapers and my socks and my onesies and pins and pants and baby ointments and wipe solution and cloth wipes all in my reach. My DH had to built a shelf to put the wipe warmer on, as the babies would grab at it. Eventually, they started grabbing at the cord and had to then deal with cold wipe solution, but they weren't newborns then, so it was fine.

mamazee 11-04-2013 01:54 PM

I found monitors useful because my co-sleeping babies napped in my bed, and with the monitor on I could hear as soon as they started to wake up and I could get in before they crawled off the bed.

erigeron 11-04-2013 09:18 PM

I'm kind of on the other side of the changing table thing now. I've been changing my daughter on the floor for a while now, because she's getting heavy enough that I'd rather bend down than lift her up. But heading into my 3rd trimester, I feel like I'm in a bit of a catch-22. For how long can I sit on the floor to change her? A bed seems like the worst of both worlds, because you still have to lift the child and you have to bend. At least you can (theoretically) sit cross-legged or kneel on the floor.


My sister had to get a baby shower gift for her new nephew on the other side of the family, and I went with her. I looked at their registry, and holy cow, they were registered for pretty much every baby-related item I could imagine! I tried to get away with as little stuff as possible! I hate clutter. I bought things as we found we needed them, rather than buying them up in advance. I suppose I can understand doing it in advance if a lot of people are willing to buy you stuff, but that wasn't my situation.

MaggieLC 11-07-2013 09:52 AM

Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

I'm kind of on the other side of the changing table thing now. I've been changing my daughter on the floor for a while now, because she's getting heavy enough that I'd rather bend down than lift her up. But heading into my 3rd trimester, I feel like I'm in a bit of a catch-22. For how long can I sit on the floor to change her? A bed seems like the worst of both worlds, because you still have to lift the child and you have to bend. At least you can (theoretically) sit cross-legged or kneel on the floor.


My sister had to get a baby shower gift for her new nephew on the other side of the family, and I went with her. I looked at their registry, and holy cow, they were registered for pretty much every baby-related item I could imagine! I tried to get away with as little stuff as possible! I hate clutter. I bought things as we found we needed them, rather than buying them up in advance. I suppose I can understand doing it in advance if a lot of people are willing to buy you stuff, but that wasn't my situation.

My first and second babies were 26 months apart, so I also had a toddler in diapers when I was pregnant. (I also had an irritable uterus and pre term labor and wasn't supposed to lift anything. LOL!) My oldest DD learned to climb up the shelves of the changing table, with me right behind her, so I could change her diaper without bending or lifting.

tittipeitto 11-09-2013 11:53 PM

Right after letting them cry themselves to sleep, all this babygear is my second worst american nightmare. Those exersaucers... aren't they bad for their development... a battery powered swing is just creepy... Pack and play... I dont get it, when you visit people, aren't there more people to want to hold a baby and give the baby a tour of what's cool in this house. You yourself visit people so you could get some "fresh air" why should the baby be stuck with the same environment...


When ever I am at a babyshower, I grinch. It's funny and sad to see all the old ladies go totally goo goo gaagaa for all this plastic crap. My advice for the american society would be, get over the love for all this material, give the best gift once the newborn is born and visit the family with a pot of soup, ask them if there's anything they would need.


and whats up with the "I only have to change the pink things to blue"??? Sorry to be such a know it all european, I hate that myself, but seriously, you think your boy will become gay? or do you just like to support the industry that pollutes the waters, so he doesn't have a chance at clean water when he grows up? I'm not saying this to pick a fight, just something to think about, putting things in perspective. buy white people!


The nursery decorating seems to be such an american rite of passage for the moms, great for people who can get their babies to sleep there. But if you are looking to save any money, focus your nest building urge elsewhere. I knew since before kids, I could never, ever be sleeping down the hallway from the baby I so love and so wanted. So I just invested on the crib and making sure it's all organic and not off gassing nasty stuff on my baby, there was plenty of nest building energy used in that research. (and how great that my niece now uses it) Everything I ever bought for my kids room, I've bought with the eye that it can be used till they move out for college.. you can do a lot with duvet covers and posters and toys on the shelves, to make it fit their age, I don't need to buy an elephant lamp shade or a "cars" bed...

katelove 11-10-2013 03:23 AM

I agree that "useless" is very personal and circumstance dependent.

Change table - I love ours! DH and I designed it and my dad made it from beautiful timber from a tree which came from the property where I grew up. It keeps everything together and is the perfect height. The chest of drawers we use for baby clothes is way to tall to double as a change table. I used it until my first DD was nearly 2 and now I'm using it for DD2.

Nursery - our girls both still co-sleep and have since birth. We've never owned any type of baby bed. However, we need a place to keep their clothes, books, toys, aforementioned change table etc. And one day they will want to sleep in their own room. I enjoyed setting up each girl's room. Nothing fancy, they've each used the change table and chest of drawers. We bought a lamp (soft light for night time), hung a few pictures, put a mobile over the change table (DD1 was given one and loved it, we waited to see if DD2 would also be given one then bought it ourselves when she didn't), put in a bookcase for their toys and books and that was it. Most of it isn't babyish and will last them quite a long while.

Mittens - I don't like them. I feel my babies need to be able to use their hands to explore. I cut their nails to prevent scratches. We live in a hot climate though so I can see that they might be needed in some cold places.

Wipes warmer - we've never had one but I felt awful for DD2 this winter. I would hate to be wiped with a cold, wet wipe. It wouldn't take much to talk me into one. And our winters are not what most people would call cold.

cynthiamoon 11-10-2013 09:21 AM

Batter powered swing = creepy? That literally made me LOL. What if it's A/C powered?

I also wish less of this stuff was plastic, but the prices of all-wood versions are prohibitive to some families.

I think the best part of these lists is to show how there is no such thing as definitive "must haves" and "useless."

tittipeitto 11-10-2013 10:16 AM

no, it really was creepy, it turned on by itself, started a lullaby and move... it was sitting in my office room when I was pregnant. and creeped me out. But even without this flaw, I think it's eery for a baby to sit alone in this buzz machine. There's beauty in the mom pushing a swing and singing, not the machine that makes a buzzing sound and plastic click clack sound. Sorry I may be weird, but I wanted to have my baby around natural sounds of mom and dad, or quiet. The natural baby hammock that we bought was so much more pleasing to baby and my sense of decor, they are not more expensive. A wooden version of this swing would be, but that's not the point, right, it's about how much stuff you could do without.


This was propably started by a person who is interested in saving some natural resources or money, so if you don't fall into that category, then this is useless thread. To me it's much more than seeing how "useless" and "must haves" are relative terms. It's about questioning the need for so much stuff. parents of little babies do contribute to landfills and buy a lot...

LittleCapucine 11-11-2013 02:48 AM

Far downriver from the first pregnancy now, it's easier to just say what I consider essential.

A moby wrap, a carseat and car mirror, three days worth of (side snap!) clothing, two swaddle wraps of some kind, a warm blanket and beanie, Hanna Andersson socks, the Breast Friend, and a hacked crib sidecarred onto our bed at our mattress level.

The Baby Bjorn bouncy chair was not a necessity but a help during showering enough that I am fond of it.

A monitor was helpful after my first, when I would be occupied with older kid activities during naps that involved yard time.

A three drawer bureau with a changing pad on top was also nice for the baby's own things all in one space.

For the first time mamas reading...sometimes a necessity is what your hormones demand. If a decorated nursery and an exhaustively researched stroller are part of dreaming your baby into being, that is an important process. After my first, time spent handmaking a blanket and preparing the family for the birth was where I directed that energy, but the importance of creating a bubble for the coming newborn was the same. Blessings to you on your journeys to holding your baby, and may the help you need be present, gear included.

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