My wife and I did a lot of reading, classes and preparation for our son, but we still had many surprise/last-minute trips to the store because we didn’t have enough of something. Here are the surprising things we didn’t plan for:
Counter-top Space: When you have a baby, all the things you need to care for the baby and a drink or book for yourself, you need a lot of counter-top space. I had to buy an extra shelving unit and end table because we never had enough. How much do you have?
Diaper Wipes: We knew we needed a lot of diapers because they can easily soil a bakers dozen or more each day… but I wasn’t prepared for the number of wet wipes we also had to buy. Each diaper definitely took more than 1 wipe when we started. I swear the kid ate some of them because I have no other explanation for where they disappeared to.
Low Light: I’m a fan of 100+ Watt bulbs that flood the room with bright light… but that’s the last thing you want when it’s the middle of the night and you have to change or feed your baby… so have some soft, dim lights you can use in the middle of the night.
Small nail file: Our son was born with long fingernails that almost needed trimming before we took him home. I had hoped to bit them, but I couldn’t get low enough (and the midwife recommended against cutting them because they have skin under their nails). So I bought an emery board to file his nails. It’s worked the best for us.
Clothing with snaps: We didn’t know how we would dress our baby, so we bought a huge assortment of clothing… but our favorite has been one-sies with SNAPS. The snaps make it so much easier to take on and off when you’re struggling to figure out how to care for a baby. Newborn clothes should definitely have snaps.
Learning How To Swaddle: This is more of a skill than a product, but we definitely wished we knew how to swaddle better. For the first 24 hours, our son was a mini-houdini and able to get out of any swaddle we tried. But thankfully there’s a great incentive to get swaddling right (SLEEP!), so we figured it out. (The Happiest Baby on the Block method + Youtube helped us out).
Soothies: If you’re breastfeeding, soothies are not only comforting as your nipples heal from the first few days of figuring out how breastfeeding works… but keeping the nipples moist seem to help with the healing process.
Nipple Balm: Continuing on the previous entry, a nipple balm (like Wish Garden’s Nipple Salve) helped protect my wife’s nipples so they could recover before any really painful side effects of breast feeding reared their ugly heads.
Clean Tops: It’s hard for every pregnant woman to have enough comfortable shirts because their torso is constantly changing sizes… but we were surprised to have that trend continue after birth as well…. we had enough tops for pregnancy and she planned to wear them afterwards, but babies can dirty 3 tops in an afternoon… and we weren’t ready for that kind of shirt turn-around.
Finally…: These are all things we had plenty of, but we were surprised how much we loved them: 1. Aden + Anais Muslins – we used them for everything. 2. Easy diaper trash with super tight lid (because nobody wants to smell that). 3. Boppy – the most comfortable way to have a baby on your lap.