Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Babies Need

When I was pregnant, I posted on Facebook asking all of my mommy friends what they suggested I put on my baby registry. The list was overwhelming. There were so many suggestions for where she should sleep, what kind of clothing she might need, what baby toys would be best for her development, what she might want to snuggle. After the post had been up for two hours or so, I went to check the comments and immediately felt like I needed to go sit in a dark room and take deep breaths.

Then, a good friend of mine, an amazing mom with three kids and the most laid back attitude I've come across, gave me a piece of advice that still sticks with me ten months into first-time motherhood: "The baby only needs what you tell the baby to need."

Bam! The registry was no longer a dejected puppy staring at me with sad eyes, begging me to take it home and think about it every living moment. It suddenly became very clear - she's a baby!  A tiny, sweet baby who will need me to change her and love her and feed her and rock her and cuddle her and entertain her and challenge her. As far as I could see, I could do most of that with hugs.

I know, I know. What a mush, what a delusional hippie I am. But really, what do babies need? Let's think about this logically:
  • Diapers
  • Diaper Cream
  • Soap
  • Clothes
  • Food (Formula or Breast Milk to start)
  • Lotion
  • Blankets, Sheets
  • Place to sleep (crib, co sleeper, your bed, bassinet, etc...)
  • Books
  • Medical Supplies (Tylenol, nail clippers, saline drops and bulb, thermometer)
  • Something to cuddle besides Mama and Daddy
  • LOVE
As they get older, this list gets longer. A playpen was helpful, a swing. But really, if you have limited space, you can make things work. At ten months, my baby is crawling and getting into everything, but a good, old fashioned pillow fort still works to keep her sort of contained and safe. People will buy your kid so many toys, clothes and books you won't know what to do with them. You can let go of the list that scares you even though you're the one who made it. 

Seriously, step away from the list.

Now, make a new one. Think of what you really need. Stick some stuff you want in there because you're pregnant, your hips hurt and you deserve random cuteness. And go put your feet up. nap contentedly. Spend your time on stuff that makes you happy and NOT STRESSED AT ALL. All that's over soon, Mama!  ;-)


  1. So, all this is very wise. I had my kids a long time ago, and with the first kid I did all the stuff that new mother's do. Plus I had a baby shower. I even weaned him at five months because the idea of sterilizing bottles was so romantic to me. And I bought all that baby food, and ate the Dutch Delight myself.

    But with my second child. Nope. Nada. My mom and I bought everything at yard sales as far as clothing goes, and blankets. Sure he had toys, but we weren't stupid about it. Esp. when they're babies. And with my second kid, I breast fed for eleven months and weaned him straight to a cup. He never had an ounce of baby food.

    I used cloth diapers with both my kids and if I had it to do over, I would use clothes diapers again. There's a book we swore by. The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants." So many ideas of how to not buy useless baby crap.


  2. Thanks, Rebecca! I will definitely check out that book!