Babies don’t need very much, but sometimes, a few things would be helpful for mama and daddy. Babies also change EVERY day when they are born. By the time they are 6 months old (give or take a month or two depending on the baby), they will need to use different things in order to keep them safe.
Some of these things may seem like no brainers, but when I was pregnant, I honestly had no idea what I needed. I had an idea from babysitting, but having my first child was very different than taking care of someone else’s children.
I also had very limited space in my home, so I did not want to register for or buy anything that I really did not need. In the end, I had very little when I brought my daughter home. She didn’t need a lot, but there were some things we got later that I thought were helpful and would have been helpful at the beginning. This list may seem a little big since we had such limited space, but most of the items didn’t take up much space, and they were exactly what we needed.
I didn’t have a bouncer or a swing when my daughter was born, of course, I did not have a baby shower for her until she was 6 weeks old, but it is something I wish I had had asked someone for or gotten used before she was born so that I could lay her in it and make myself breakfast or lunch.
For the first several weeks of her life until we went back to SC for her baby showers, I had to lay her in her crib in another room or live without a shower and sometimes food until she took a nap or my husband came home.
Once I brought home the bouncer and put it together, it was a game changer. I was able to put her in it and take a shower, even if I had to put it in the bathroom with me.
2. Changing pad
As I said before, our home is small. We really didn’t have room for a changing table, so I moved the things off of my dresser which is about waist level or a little higher, and we put a flat washable changing pad on there. It worked, but I was always so worried about accidentally hitter her head or hurting her on the hard wood, that we finally got a thicker changing pad. It wipes off, you can get washable covers for it, and there are rubber pieces on the bottom that keep it from sliding around. The changing table was not necessary, but the changing pad was extremely helpful.
3. Sleep sacks
We were given one of these at the hospital. I had never seen one before, but once I used it, I never wanted to use anything else. While Swaddleme‘s are great, babies out grow them so fast, and once your child can roll over, you can’t use them anymore.
I found that sleep sacks worked better, and since my daughter was able to roll over at 2.5 months (though she didn’t do it often at that age), I felt more comfortable leaving her arms out of the sleep sack.
Before she could roll over, we used a cotton, but you can get ones that are warmer, especially since you are not supposed to use blankets for your baby in their crib, unless they are swaddled in it.
4. Pacifiers (everyone is different)
Not everyone uses pacifiers, and that is okay. They were a life saver for me personally, and if you want a real answer to why, you can read my post on surviving breastfeeding. If you use a pacifier, some people will not like it. If you don’t use one, some people will not like it. Welcome to motherhood, where everyone has an opinion on how you raise your child, but especially on the things that do not affect them…at all.
If you are okay with pacifiers, you may have to try a couple different brands. You may not. My daughter didn’t care what brand initially, but then I gave her a different type later and she only wanted that type of pacifier from there on out.
Lots of people like the Phillips Avent Soothie, but my daughter decided on the MAM pacifiers. I love the glow in the dark nighttime ones, because I don’t have to turn on the light to find it when I feed her in the middle of the night and I just want to pick her up, feed her, and put her back to sleep. Sleep is precious for me and her.
This seems like it goes without saying, but if you are not using cloth diapers (or if you’re new to cloth diapers), your child may have a blow out or two and, even with cloth, they may leak. Mine did. In fact, it felt like her favorite place to have a blow out was Target when we were using disposables at the beginning. I felt like I washed her few onesies everyday.
So, needless to say, it is nice to have at least 5 onesies and a few of the footie pajamas that you can zip-up instead of snap!
Yes, no brainer. Duh. But, actually it doesn’t have to be a crib.
My sister was living in a very small space was born. She already had twin 2 year old’s, so she didn’t have a place for another full sized crib. Her mother in law bought her a mini crib.
My mother in law was also very kind, and bought us a mini crib because we had very little space. For a little while, my daughter and I both slept in the living room, so that I didn’t wake up my husband every three hours feeding and changing her in our room. She slept in a pack n play at that time.
There are multiple options for your baby to sleep in, and all of the options are valid. Look at your space, and make the decision on what will work best for you, mama. The baby will be fine. Bassinets are also an option in the first few months, and might even be easier if breastfeeding, but it all comes down to what works with your lifestyle.
7. Baby carrier
The first time I left our home with my daughter, I was terrified, but we had run out of diapers. I put my daughter in the the Baby K’tan wrap, and off we went across the street to the Dollar General for diapers to hold us over until we got the box from Amazon. After that, I used the wrap a lot more around the house. Until I got nervouse with her because she didn’t seem to be as steady. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, and I stopped using it, which meant I got less done around our home.
Then entered the Tula. My mom got it for me, and it was a life saver, especially once we started using it at the park for mile long walks. It’s more stable and better on the back. The one I have is the Tula Coast Explore, and it can be front and backward facing as well as worn on the back once the baby is older. It also is much more breathable, which is very important to me as we live in Florida.
Honestly, I would recommend either one of those. The K’tan has a little more of a learning curve, but it is much easier than a normal wrap because it is basically pre-wrapped. There are also plenty of YouTube videos for both of them.
I was not planning to add this to the list as it is an essential oil from an MLM that I am a member of. Those facts make it very controversial (as well as the next item I wrote about), but my husband, who is basically a skeptic, said it was an item he was thankful we had during our daughter’s first 6 months.
It is an essential oil blend specifically for babies, prediluted. We diffused it in our diffuser at night and it helped both of us sleep more peacefully. When she got a little older, we started putting it on her face where she had a huge, itchy patch of baby eczema. We found that to be the only thing that helped.
Edit – I did later change my diet, and that helped a lot as well. Once she got a little older, we started using the Young Living Kidscents lotion that was formulated specifically for children with eczema, and I personally use it on patches myself. Either way, they are non-toxic products that I love.
9. A gentle laundry detergent
I do not recommend Dreft. I know, it is the number one brand, but I don’t like all the chemicals in it, especially fragrance. You can look up why fragrance is not good. It’s not all about if it irritates your baby’s skin. It could irritate other things, you might not know that’s what is causing it.
If you used Dreft with your baby, I am not condemning you, I just don’t like it personally, and chose to use a less chemically detergent. If you’re interested in finding out some of my reasons you can look here
I use the one from Norwex because it works, there are not that many ingredients (easier to look up each individual ingredient), and it is cost effective. You can talk to someone else you know who uses/sells Norwex (I buy from a friend), or just look up their website.
10. A humidifier
My daughter’s nose seemed to be stuffed frequently, but none of the aspirators I used seemed to work. Even in Florida, it became apparent that we needed a humidifier. Once we got one, she actually started sleeping better and her nose cleared up!
I like a good humidifier/diffuser/nightlight. We used one similar to this, but this one seems like it would be easier to clean (you do not want mildew growing). Young Living also sells Feather the Owl diffuser for babies that is also a humidifer, sound machine, and night light. If you use essential oils with your baby (please do your research, if you do use them), this is a great option as well. Either way, having a humidifier has been very beneficial for us.
So, yeah, some of those are no brainers, but some are kind of “should we get that?” items. My husband and I tried very hard not to buy things we did not absolutely need before our daughter came because we didn’t have a lot of money to spend and we knew others might want to buy us things.
Also, please note that none of these things are toys, unless you count the bouncer. Our daughter has developed just fine with the very minimum of toys. She basically just wants things to chew on now. You don’t have to have a million things to have a well developed baby.
As I have said in other posts, the most important thing for your baby to have is your love. They need food, a place to sleep, and diapers (hygiene) This list is just the things I found most helpful, and one of them was a place for baby to sleep.
What are some things you think you need or you did use during the first 6 months?