Even though I've only been a mother for a month (!!) I've made a quick list of essentials I am grateful to have:
1. Glass bottles. Easy to clean, classic looking, and don't break. We even dropped one on the hard tile floor of the mall the other night. See my post about these bottles here.
2. My Lands End diaper bag, kudos to my Mom. I love a few things about it:
-Mine is black, which means Tyler feels comfortable carrying it. He would complain if I got anything "girly", like polka dots or stripes.
-It stands up on its own. When you open it, it is rectangular like a box. This shape is nice because the bag doesn't topple over if it's heavy on one side.
-You can get it with a smaller diaper bag for quick trips. I think this will come in handy when I get the hang of things and don't feel the need to bring the entire kitchen sink with me. :)
-It's light blue instead of black on the inside so you can see everything quickly.
-It has a nice zippered pocket in the front that I stash my "mommy" things in, like my wallet, keys, and lip gloss.
-I've noticed it retains the temperature of the bottles quite nicely. If we put cold water in his bottle when we leave, a few hours later it is still cold.
-It comes with a changing pad, which has a little pocket in it to stash wipes. Nice.
3. A long, waist-height dresser (again, kudos to Mom). I love that we have a large, shorter dresser because I use it for a changing table. I've heard from so many people that a changing table isn't necessary, but I honestly don't know what I'd do without it! So I love that we have combined his dresser into his changing table. I have a lamp on one side, hand sanitizer, and a changing pad on it. It is fabulous. I think it would be very annoying to have to go into our bedroom every.single.time and use our bed to change his clothes or diaper.
4. A medium-sized basket with essentials in it, and put it next to your changing table. I stash diapers and wipes in it, along with nail clippers, lotion, diaper cream, and other little essentials I might need while I'm changing him. It's nice to just grab the nail clippers and clip his nails while he's already peachy on the table, and not have to pick him up to go grab them somewhere else.
5. A touch lamp. I got ours at the local thrift store for $5. I love it! It has three settings (low, medium, high?) and I don't have to fumble for the switch at 2am. I just walk in and touch it once, and that gives me enough light to see the baby but not wake him up. It's handy for a middle-of-the-night diaper change because it isn't too bright but I can see. I also love our nightlight in his bedroom, so I can peek into his bedroom when he's asleep and also not wake him up.
6. Lots of burp rags. I'm not even kidding. When I saw how many my mom made me, I laughed, but they come in handy! Instead of trying to fasten a bib on him, I shove the burp rag under his chin when I'm feeding him. That way I have something to keep him clean, and easy access to the burp cloth when I need to burp him. My mom made me about a dozen burp cloths out of extra flannel, and I go through them pretty quickly. I probably go through at least one or two a day, depending on how messy he is, and Jack doesn't spit up much either. We tend to feed him on the same spot on the couch, and just keep the cloth draped over our couch arm for easy access.
7. Phil & Ted's stroller. Yes, it's a splurge, but it is so wonderful! (Again, kudos to my wonderful parents!) And Tyler loves pushing it so much, he won't even let me have a try when we go out. I love how easy it is to turn in tight spaces, and that it will fit two kids (or three if they want to sit together) down the road. And it just looks so darn cool. I get so excited when we use it.
8. A car seat cover. It can get flipping cold, especially during the winter months here in Utah. And baby will be even colder then you, so it's nice to keep him warm and cozy in a little car seat den. And it keeps people from poking and prodding at him too. My sister likes flannel ones for the winter (they are warmer and also thicker fabric so they don't blow around if it's windy) and cotton for the summer. Ours has monsters on it. See it here.
9. A baby journal. We love our baby calendar, but I have a special journal for Jack that I tape all of his "events" in. I'm not a big scrapbooker, but I do love the imperfection of a handwritten journal. I love to tape things in it from everyday life. (Remember reading Amelia's Notebooks? I read these when I was probably 8 or 9 and have journaled similar to her style ever since. Sometimes it's fun to document everyday life instead of just the big events.) So far he has his ultrasound pictures and cd in there, his baby footprints, his hospital bands, cards from friends and family, and letters from his momma.
10. A swing. Jack initially hated the swing, but the more I put him in it he seems to like it. I've learned to put him in it when he's in a happy mood, not when he's crying. (Hopefully someday it will be able to soothe him when he's crying as well.) This has been a lifesaver recently, as I am able to set him down and get things done for a little while (laundry, dishes, etc.). We have this one (although it wasn't $200, don't worry.)