If you are like me, you probably researched all the newest, hottest baby products on the market and registered for the Bumbo seat, the Sleep Sac, the Cloud B Sound Machine sheep/giraffe, Baby Bullet, etc. That’s great! However, there are a few items you probably missed that you will need and use more than any of those great little gadgets. If your registry is still in edit mode (because you are still frantically researching the best breast pump, feeding spoon and diaper genie) add these quick. In no particular order (well, except for #1 for extremely obvious reasons), here are 21 things you probably didn’t register for…but should have.
(For once you are not breastfeeding, of course!) You are about to encounter some of the most stressful times of your life. A time when you don’t know the answers, have no idea what you are doing and a little, tiny, vulnerable life is depending on you making the right decisions. A little drinky-poo can help get you through the tough days and allow you to just relax and unwind. Nothing crazy. You will probably catch a giggly buzz and fall asleep after 3.25 sips anyway.
2. Bissell Little Green Machine Compact Multi Purpose Cleaner
You are about to encounter messes you didn’t know were possible. Spit up, leaky diapers, sticky hands, dripping sippy cups on couches, carpets, etc. We were fortunate to receive of these bad boys for Christmas and it’s amazing. It tackles spills quickly and easily. It has helped us combat living a milk and poo-splattered existence. You need it. Stat.
3. Lysol Wipes
Not just the measly container of 35 wipes that used to last you forever. I’m talking about the Costco value pack with 4 containers with a total of 300 and something wipes. I currently have a container in every room and sometimes feel that wearing them in a holster would be more useful. Again, spills, stains, germs, poop, etc. These magical bundles of disinfecting wonder make for quick cleanups. So quick, you can actually clean up where the poop rolled out of the diaper onto the floor mid-change before a little hand touches it. Stock up.
Basically every toy you are about to receive requires batteries. If you thought the song/sound it made was annoying now, wait until it is performing on drained batteries. Batteries don’t just die. They suffer a long, drawn out, painful death. Stock up. Even at a young age, your little one will get extremely frustrated when the smiling snail on wheels that would normally sing a cheerful “ABC’s” is now droaning a distorted “A…Beeeeeee….ugghhhhh…..” similar to the sound a cassette player would make while eating a tape back in the day. (Holy crap! When did I get old?!) Batteries and a multi-ended screwdriver will save you a lot of agony.
5. Unlimited Texting Package
Hello Isolation! You will find that people might be afraid to pop by or call in fear of waking the baby/disturbing you if you are resting. (As if you ever get a chance to rest! Puh-lease!) Plus, life goes on and your friends continue to go for drinks and live lives outside, in public in real clothes, doing real things while you are at home on baby duty. Texting quickly becomes your main point of contact with life on the “outside” and allows you to silently keep in touch while rocking a sleeping baby.
This is to accompany #1: Vino. When you have one of those days where a half a glass (or half a box of wine…yes I purposely chose box over bottle! You’re on mat leave, aren’t you?) would really go a long way, the last thing you want to be looking for is a corkscrew. Even if you already have one, once baby brain sets in, you won’t remember where it is when you need it. Save the frustration and get another one…or seven.
You are probably telling yourself that you are not going to be one of “those moms” and allow your child to watch television or play with your technological devices. (Ahem…that’s what I once told myself.) You will probably change your tune when you are trying to keep an independent toddler on the move from touching every disgusting, gross, contaminated, coughed on, sneezed on thing in reach in a busy doctor’s office waiting room. Press play on an episode of “Dora the Explorer” on your phone/tablet and your toddler is instantly entertained on your safe, germ-free (well maybe not germ FREE but at least it’s your own family’s germs) lap and not crawling on the dirty floor and touching every germy, disgusting thing. This brings me to # 8…
8. Hand Sanitizer
I have 7 letters for you: Stock up! If you’re a germ-phobe now, just wait until baby arrives. You are about to experience a heightened awareness of the germs that are everywhere once you start thinking about where your hands have been before touching your precious, little baby who does not yet have an immune system. Prepare to fear the germs harbouring on your car keys, debit machine keypads, gas pumps, door handles, shopping carts, money, pens in doctor’s offices, restaurant menus and much, much more like never before. Hand sanitizer and lots of it are a must. Aside from all the germs in the outside world, you are also going to be changing diapers approximately 1 million times/day and sometimes in places with nowhere to wash your hands. Buy sanitizer… in bulk.
9. Costco Membership
If you’ve never had a use for one before, you will now because you will become a bulk shopper. Not only will you be going through things like baby wipes, diapers, Lysol wipes, dish soap at record speed but now when you go shopping, you have to basically pack up like you are leaving for a week and plan your outing around baby’s naptime, feeding, diaper changes, etc. You’re going to want to make any planned outing worthwhile. Buying in bulk allows this to happen. Why go out and buy all the necessities once a week when you can stock up for a month or longer at a time? Take a trip to Costco during the day on a week day. It’s all moms on “mat leave” packing their cart around an infant car seat with baby on board. Oh…and they also have a great photo centre for printing your photos…you will also be doing that more than ever before! Print while you shop!
10. An Oversized Travel Mug
A.K.A. The only way you will ever drink a hot coffee or tea again. Babies mean interruptions and coffee is hot. Hot beverages and babies don’t mix well. A travel mug, preferably one that can hold a gallon or more of coffee after a sleepless night will become your best friend.
11. Bite-sized, Ready to Eat Snacks You Can Eat with One Hand
Cheese strings, nuts, yogurt, Goldfish crackers, cut up raw veggies, hard boiled eggs. You will quickly learn to do everything with one hand. If you are breastfeeding, prepare to be hungry ALL the time. Remember that pregnancy hunger? It doesn’t go away. When you think about it, you are still consuming the calories needed to nourish your baby but your baby is getting bigger and needs more…and more…and more. Bite-sized, ready-to-eat, one-handed snacks are a must. I also recommend chips and chocolate. (Might as well indulge while it’s going to someone else’s hips, right?)
12. Gift Certificates for Any Restaurant that Delivers
Prepare for time to escape you like never before. Prepare to still need to eat. Prepare for your kitchen to be an upside-down mess. I have a lot of love for the Swish (Swiss Chalet) on those crazy days where I can’t seem to find a spare hand to start making dinner. It’s hot, one of the closest things to homecooked, can be delivered and…there’s an app for that! Bonus! One-handed ordering! Bam!
Hormonal acne, rashes and the darkest, most zombie-like circles under your eyes you have ever seen or ever knew were possible. I sometimes see photos of myself au naturel and scare myself. I naturally look like I have two black eyes. I guess that’s what being sleepless for 2 years will do. Concealer is a must. I haven’t seen this in bulk at Costco…if you find it, let me know!
14. External Hard Drive/Drop Box Account
You are about to capture the most important, most sentimental, precious moments in photo/video form you have ever seen. In our modern day life, with smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, etc. it is so easy to capture all of those special every day moments. Don’t lose them. For the longest time, I carried my full SD camera cards around with me in my wallet. Stupid, right? I was just terrified of losing them and figured this way they would be in a safe place until I had a safer option that I trusted. With technology comes technology failings. I didn’t trust loading them on a computer and hoping for the best. Last weekend (almost 20 months after our daughter was born), my husband and I bought Dropbox space and loaded it up with all of our photos and videos from our camera and phones. This is by far the best $100 we have ever spent. Don’t wait as long as we did. Back them up.
15. Netflix Subscription
Keep yourself entertained during those late night cluster-feeding sessions when baby just wants to feed all night long, there is nothing on TV and your eyes are too tired to read a book. Netflix is also great for when baby starts to sleep through the night and instead of sleeping yourself, you lie awake staring at the baby monitor to make sure baby is in fact sleeping and hasn’t stopped breathing. Our son cluster-fed all night, every night for the first 4 weeks of his life. Netflix kept me awake on nights where I didn’t think I was going to be able to stay awake or continue to function as a human.
16. Post-It Notes
Prepare to forget everything you would normally remember. Sleep deprivation and “baby brain” will kill your memory. Post-its are helpful for writing notes to self such as “Pay utility bill,” “Defrost chicken,” “Buy milk,” and “Shower no matter what happens today…it’s day 4!”
17. Comfy but Hot Yoga Pants/Tracksuit
It’s time for you to invest in a proper “mom” uniform. Find something comfy that you still feel great in. Even if your pre-pregnancy clothes fit you immediately (eff you in the nicest way possible), chances are you won’t want to wear them. Get something comfy to wear that’s easy to wash and is resistant to (or at least camouflages) stains because you will be wearing it often, washing it rarely and will soon only really be shopping for clothes at places in your neighbourhood where you already buy groceries as your radius of travel gets smaller and smaller. True story. Thank you Superstore/TarJay.
18. Gift Certificates for “Me Time” with Babysitting Offers
Solicit offers to watch baby while you take time to invest in yourself. It is so important. A good friend once told me “If you give baby all of you, you will have nothing left to give.” This is so true. Whether it’s going for a massage, a coffee with a friend, a run or just having a hot shower without having to watch/listen for baby, take the help that is offered. You might start with wanting to go for a spa treatment but will quickly start to see a hot shower without having to “think” as being equivalent to any spa treatment on the planet. Your standards for “me time” will lower quickly. This is okay because you will also start to appreciate time alone more than ever before.
19. Hair Ties/Elastics/Bands/Clips
Hair was made for pulling and babies have incredible grip for being so tiny! That grab reflex is remarkable! I have pried tiny, locked fingers open through my own tearful eyes many times to rescue a fistful of hair and lost lots of hair in the process. Stock up and tie it up…for your own safety! Have you ever wondered why most moms always have their hair tied back? A) They don’t want it to be ripped out and B) They never have time to wash/brush/dry/style it. (Now you know!)
20. Handheld Vacuum
This tiny tool will take care of all the crumbs, stray Goldfish crackers, dried up peas that somehow escaped the kitchen after dinner and Cheerios that somehow ended up in your bed. No matter how thoroughly I frisk my babies after each meal and snack, I find dried up grated cheese, Cheerios and other delights all over the place. My handheld vacuum is my secret weapon.
21. Matching Socks
Not just one pair. Multiple pairs. Do you know what takes forever? Matching baby socks. You don’t have time for adult socks! I suggest getting rid of all of your socks and buying a bunch of pairs of the same sock. This makes for speed-matching. No sorting required! Never be sockless with a basket full of strays again. Have you heard the expression “time is money?” While this job is unpaid, your time is more valuable than ever before. Stockpile your sock pile. You won’t regret it. I promise!
I’m sure there are many, many more helpful items that should be on every baby registry. Feel free to comment with what you would add to my 21 baby shower registry suggestions! For the next baby shower I go to, I think I will be gifting a Little Green Machine, box of wine, value pack of department store sports socks and case of Lysol wipes. Best gift ever. Guaranteed.
andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, click “subscribe” to be the first to know of future posts or follow my page on facebook. Thanks for reading! xo