It's that time. You are getting everything ready for your new arrival, and your baby shower is just around the corner. You may expect that after your shower you will finally have all of the baby necessities you'll need to take care of your new little one. But will you?
You may end up inviting your über practical cousin to your shower who will put together a basket of must-have, albeit mundane things your baby needs, but your shower guests will likely choose to buy the fun stuff instead. Shopping for baby clothes and cute little toys is fun; the practical stuff, not so much.
In those first few days and weeks with a newborn, you can barely remember to wear pants so you won't want to make a Target run for silly little essentials. Because there are so many things you'll need and may not have thought of, here is my list of must-have necessities for your baby that you may not get at your shower and will want to pick up before your little bundle arrives.
Babies don't have a lot of needs beyond being fed and diaper changes in the first few months, but there are a few other general items you may need for your baby.
Thermometer || A good quality thermometer is a must-have. I like the Kinsa thermometer because it connects to my smartphone and stores your child's temperature and symptoms which is especially helpful if you have to make a trip to the doctor. The FeverFrida or an infrared thermometer are also excellent choices, so you don't have to wake a sleeping baby to take their temperature.
Nail clippers || Those little nails get sharp, and they grow quickly! I know it can be a bit scary to cut an infant's fingernails, but there's no getting around it. You will need a pair of baby nail clippers.
Nasal aspirator || Another not-so-fun part of parenting is caring for a sick baby with a runny nose. Babies can't blow their nose, so they depend on you to suck the gunk out. You could use a nasal aspirator that looks like a mini turkey baster, but they are hard to use and even harder to clean. I highly recommend the NoseFrida. Don't worry; because of NoseFrida's design, there is zero possibility of inhaling boogies.
While breastfeeding is pretty self-contained, you will still need a few things to make your journey more comfortable. There will be leaks and soreness, so it's best to prepare beforehand. Walking out of the house with milk on the front of your shirt is the last thing you need. Am I right?
Nipple balm || During the first few days of breastfeeding your nipples will have to adjust. You may develop some soreness, and your nipples may even crack. Don't worry; this only lasts a few days, and a good nipple cream made of lanolin can be a lifesaver.
Milkies Milk Savers || As mentioned above, leaks will happen, but your milk doesn't have to go to waste. With Milkies Milk Savers, you can save some of the breast milk to add to your supply of pumped milk.
Breast pump || A good breast pump is worth its weight in gold! If you have decided that you would like to have pumped milk on hand for your husband or babysitter and especially if you want to pump semi-exclusively, a high-quality double breast pump is what you will need. They are more efficient than a manual or single pump so you can pump smarter, not harder. A small hand breast pump can come in handy if you want something for the diaper bag instead of lugging a big pump around, but I wouldn't recommend one as your primary breast pump.
We always remember to get the crib, bouncy seats, rocking chair, and other nursery necessities that make the room look pretty, but there are smaller baby necessities that you will have to buy before the big day.
Sleep sacks || Instead of buying a bedding set, invest in some safe sleep sacks. They keep your baby warm without putting potentially hazardous items in your baby's crib.
Crib mattress || Even if your in-laws do spring for a crib, will they remember the also get the mattress? A quality crib mattress isn't cheap and is the most essential part of the crib.
Books || Since many of your guests probably won't think to buy books for your baby, ask for books instead of cards. Have your guests write a note inside the book for a keepsake you and your child will cherish for years to come.
BIG TICKET ITEMS
While it would be nice if our friends and family could pitch in for the higher priced items on our list, the truth is, you will probably only get a couple of these. Maybe your parents will spring for a crib and your in-laws a car seat, but instead of banking on getting that high-end stroller or pack and play at your shower, ask for gift cards to a local baby store. Then you can put that money toward the higher end baby necessities that you didn't get at the baby shower.