10 things you need for a baby

by humanmama on May 3, 2011

"Hmmm, where do I begin?"

My sister is pregnant! So exciting…almost halfway through her second trimester, which means almost halfway there. She and her hubby are really excited, and are planning to find out the gender of the baby (which is good, that way I don’t have to hide in the ultrasound room and try to look for gender-specific evidence on the ultrasound myself).

She was wondering, as some of you were wondering, what you really need to have a baby. I mean, you don’t really need that Eddie Bauer high chair the moment the baby comes out, do you? What about the boppy pillow? And don’t even get pregnant lady thinking about cord blood donation–she’ll be up for weeks, lying in bed (uncomfortably, and on her side of course), thinking about whether or not to save that darn cord blood.

So here are the ten things you really need when you have a baby. Remember: it’s going to be okay. You’ll learn as you go. (Oh, and, no, I didn’t save any cord blood.)

1.) You need a carseat. They won’t let you leave the hospital without one. And it would really help if it was one that came out of the car, like those carrier thingys. You don’t know it now, but it’s truly awesome when your baby falls asleep in it and then you can just carry her out and deposit her inside the house somewhere safe. Probably next to the place you’ll be passing out too.

2.) You need a baby. Maybe this should be #1.

3.) You need diapers (whichever kind), and wipes (can be warm washcloths, wipes that are prepackaged, you name it). This is for when the baby goes potty, which will be quite often. Also, hint for new parents: Don’t bother changing that diaper the second you hear the pooping noise. Wait juuust a feeew seconds–there. Told ya! He’s not done yet.

4.) You need cloths. Burp cloths, baby washcloths, regular washcloths, maybe kitchen towels–there will be spillage coming from this baby, from any and sometimes all orifices, and you’ll need something to catch it and/or wipe it off.

5.) You need a crib. Or a bassinet. A place for baby to sleep. A lot of you sleep with the baby for the first few months, or years, but believe me, there will be a time when you need to put that baby away and get some sleep, for heaven’s sake. My husband can sleep through children screaming his name but when my kids were in our room as babies, I could actually hear them blinking. Get that kid a bed.

6.) You need a monitor. For the first child I had the baby monitor in our room and we were in the next room. I am talking we slept 6 feet away from her. But what if something happened that I couldn’t hear but the monitor picked it up? The second child’s a little different, but I am able to keep it on when I’m doing yardwork so I can hear when she wakes up and go get her, before she begins stripping down bare and throwing her clothes at the door. This has been known to happen.

7.) It is helpful to have a designated place for changing baby. This does not mean you need to go out and purchase a $500.00 changing table. But have a safe place with a changing pad, like a dresser (*most changing pads have a little tab and you can nail or screw it to the dresser or table). Sure, you’ll change him other places, but it’s nice to have a place to go when it gets messy. And it will. Also, have the supplies mentioned in #3 and 4 above there.

8.) You need a stroller. Maybe not at first, but you will need to get out of the house. I’m telling you. Baby carriers and Bjorns are good too, some say vital, but you definitely need something to carry that baby besides you. You will be tired, and sleep deprived, and sore, and you need to go stretch your legs and get outside. And so does baby. Do yourself a favor: get a stroller.

9.) You need a bag. For diapers. It does not have to be a “diaper bag.” Actually sometimes those things are a pain. But you’ll need a bag with a few diapers, some wipes, a bib, a couple of cloths, and if baby is small enough a change of clothes for him. (And it would be very wise if there was a new shirt for you in there, and a snack. For you. Also a bottle of water for you, and whatever baby drinks/eats.) Consider a backpack for the “bag,” since your arms and front and shoulders will be busy for the next 2 to 3 years.

10.) (This is a tough one.) You need a babysitter. There will be a time that you have to get out of the house. Or just away from the baby. I know it’s hard to hear, you little new parent or maybe pregnant woman, but you will need someone to rescue you from being in charge of keeping a baby alive. Even if you just go to some parking lot and sleep. Actually that doesn’t sound safe at all. Seriously: get out. Your baby needs you to take care of yourself as well as the little bundle of joy. So get a babysitter, maybe your mom or mother in law, maybe a great neighbor (*that you know), maybe a wonderful, responsible neighborhood teenager with good references. But get out sometimes. You’ll feel better. And you’ll miss your baby, so you’ll be a better parent too.

Good luck!


 "here we go again!"



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie B. May 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I know it is not an absolute NEED but I would highly suggest a small cheapy nightlight (check out your local dollar store)for the baby’s room. That way when s/he wakes up and it is dark as pitch you don’t blind yourself and said baby when going to change previously mentioned diaper bombs.


aj May 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Excellent point! A friend from college also said
“One or two really good books that you trust by authors whose parenting philosophies resonate with you.”

A friend and current neighbor said:
“A great pediatrician.”

A former co-worker and friend (everybody’s my friend!) said:
“A friend gave me a ‘lil snuggler’ its a scarf to hold the baby, hands free…much easier to use than the Moby.”

And, finally, a friend and former neighbor said:
“Miracle blanket…then a sleep sack after swaddle phase…an eager hubby would be good”.

We could all use more eager hubbies/wives!


Dana May 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Love it! You can always make me laugh. And I second the babysitter — this doesn’t stop when that baby turns into a toddler and then a kid. Go on dates with your husband. It will be nice to have a dinner in which no one needs their food cut, asks how many bites they have to eat, or smears their greasy hands on you.


aj May 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

ESPECIALLY the greasy hands part. How about “I have to go potty” as soon as the food arrives and it’s hot? Ah, children. :)


Jessica May 7, 2011 at 9:20 am

Excellent list! I definitely needed swaddle blankets that had velcro cuz I was too tired to figure out how to wrap up little Houdini babies otherwise. I also needed some kind of carrier so I could get things done while the baby-who-would-not-stay-asleep-in-his-bed needed a nap.


aj May 7, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Might have to add some sort of swaddling blanket to the list; so many people mentioned it in the comments!


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