My wife and I have now been parents for fourteen months. At first we thought we had everything figured out and spent more time worrying about the color of the baby’s room than what it would actually mean to be bringing home a real-life, human baby. We, like a lot of newly weds, were excited to start a family, but neither one of us had any children and had never been around any infants. So, we were glad to have family and friends, who have children, that were willing to help us along the way.
There are essentials needed in raising a baby. Love, patience, tenderness, all of these are essential, but I believe every good parent knows this from the time they were little kids playing house. The essentials I’m talking about are items that are sometimes over looked or even taken for granted. The baby shower usually provides you with diapers, wipes, blankets, clothes and even a car seat, crib, diaper bags and things along those lines. But it’s the non-glamorous gifts that we got that turned out to be essential. You know, the laundry basket full of baby swabs, butt pastes, hand mitts, finger nail clippers, Vaseline; those are the true essentials.
Out of all the things we received at the baby shower, there were three that proved more helpful from day one and continue to be. Our friends, who had a baby boy a little more than a year before we had our baby, bought us some homeopathic Hyland’s Baby teething tablets. There are other brands out there also, we just found these helpful and stuck with them: Orajel and Humphrey’s are two alternates, but we did not try them. Of course it was several months before we had to worry about teething, but when our baby started the tablets seemed to soothe her better than anything else. I know that some people are skeptical about them and worry that they may be harmful, but my wife and I, along with our pediatrician, felt they were ok.
Another item we found useful, from day one, was recommended to us by a nineteen year old friend of my wife’s. The girl wasn’t married and wasn’t a mother, but had been babysitting for nearly three years. We were young too, so I guess the thought of this young kid isn’t telling us how to raise our baby, never entered our minds and I’m glad it didn’t. She, along with another friend of my wife’s, actually bought this useful gift for us and we use it at least three or four times a week, maybe more I don’t keep count. The Playtex Diaper Genie, may seem a little silly to consider essential, but wait until you have a diaper from a baby running a fever, if you didn’t have a genie before you will after. These can be picked up anywhere; Wal-Mart , Target, Amazon.com, etc.
The last item we have found most useful is disposable bottle liners. You may think I’m just being lazy, but the ability to remove the liner and toss it saves so much time. We have traditional as well as the bottles with liners and I much prefer only having to wash the nipples and lids than the entire bottle. Especially being a first time parent, and not realizing how quickly you go through everything and dirty up everything while caring for a newborn, you really appreciate anything that is a time saver. We use Playtex mostly, but there are off brands and other brands that you can pick up just about anywhere.
There are a lot of things that parents will find essential, but these three seem to be worth noting, because we never would have thought of them on our own. We had big plans to do everything our own way while my wife was pregnant and I’m glad we quickly abandoned those after the baby arrived. I found that there’s a reason why your parents and friends are always around after the baby is born, ok to spoil them, but also, because they know what works and what doesn’t. I’m glad to have the help and I hope this will be helpful to you also.