My Pre-Stork Shopping List – Ten Essential Items For First-Time Mamas
Of course, little ones need plenty of lovin'… but they also require a lot of stuff. Thankfully, there are tons of gizmos and gadgets to help new mamas attend to their kiddos’ needs. In this blog, I’m sharing my top ten moms-to-be gifts. For extra help, I'll also sprinkle in a few tips for new moms related to each item.
Of course, little ones need plenty of lovin'… but they also require a lot of stuff. Thankfully, there are tons of gizmos and gadgets to help new mamas attend to their kiddos’ needs. However, since there are so many baby products online, you might have difficulty separating essential items from splurge purchases.
To help all the first-time mamas out there, let me share my top ten moms-to-be gifts. For extra help, I'll also sprinkle in a few tips for new moms related to each item.
Keep Your Kiddos Calm With My Ten Baby Gear Suggestions:
If you're going to be cruising around town with your kiddos, then you'll need a sturdy stroller. These wheeled carriages come in so many shapes and sizes nowadays, and some even double as an infant car seat!
Pro tip: when shopping for a superstar stroller, be sure to bring your favorite purse or handbag to the store. Consumer Reports recommends placing this bag on the stroller to get a feel for the product's maneuverability. For optimal safety, please ensure the stroller's frame is firm and that the brakes are easy to lock.
2. Infant Car Seat
Arguably, the most significant item on our list is an infant car seat. Car crashes remain the number one cause of death for children under 13, which makes infant car seats crucial for your baby’s safety.
Currently, the NHTSA recommends using rear-facing car seats for infants. Afterward, you'll have to transition to forward-facing car seats and then the big kid booster seats.
When you should change your car seat depends on your child's weight and height, so it's good practice to review your seat manufacturer's guidelines. Also, please remember police and fire departments frequently hold child seat inspections. You can find out more about free safety programs by entering your address at the bottom of this NHTSA webpage.
Many mamas I talk to get super nervous when it comes to choosing a crib. I get it: there are so many safety features to look out for. Oh yeah, and let's not forget about your kiddo's comfort and of course, how well it fits with the decor of their nursery! ;)
First off, you should commit this measurement to short-term memory while shopping: 2 3/8 inches. According to safety experts, crib bars should never exceed this width, otherwise it could pose a choking hazard.
A few other crib "red flags" include bumper pads and drop rails. Although these features might seem fine, they pose significant safety risks for your little ones.
4. Baby Carrier
Wouldn't it be great if we had four arms? OK, I know that sounds a little bizarre, but consider all you could accomplish while also keeping your kiddo close! I'm pretty sure all the mommas out there will understand where I'm coming from.
Thankfully, there's an easy way you can remain productive while also carrying your little one: use a baby carrier. A baby carrier makes it easier to get stuff done; plus, it also reduces the amount of time your baby cries. That's right, scientists now say that kiddos in carriers cry 40 percent less than those who aren't carried!
5. Diaper Bag
Traveling with kiddos can be a bit crazy — especially if you don't have a diaper bag. These multi-pocket kits contain everything you need to keep your kiddos clean, calm, and cute no matter where you are.
Best of all, there are so many diaper bag designs to choose from today. Whether you want something bold and brash or decidedly discreet, you'll definitely find something suited to your (and your baby’s) style.
Basically, bassinets are smaller cribs designed with the littlest little ones in mind! What I mean is, these devices are best suited for infants until they reach six-months-old. The main benefit of using a bassinet is that you could keep your baby nearby every night — who doesn’t want more baby time!?
One feature to look out for before buying a bassinet is whether it rocks. Every mama loves a gentle rocking session, but these bassinets pose safety risks as your child starts rolling around. If you are going with a rocking bassinet, I recommend looking for a locking option.
OK, I know this item may be a bit controversial, but I believe pacifiers have more pros than cons. Not only can these devices soothe your kiddo's stress, they can reduce the chances of SIDS. Plus — if you don't mind a bit of baby slobber — there's scientific evidence you could reduce childhood eczema if you "wash" a pacifier in your mouth.
That being said, pacifiers aren't perfect. One of the most significant risks associated with pacifiers is increased ear infections. Dentists also warn that pacifiers could alter a baby's bite, which could lead to dental problems down the line.
Bottom line: pacifiers are a great addition to your baby toolkit, but be careful not to overuse them.
8. Changing Pad
When it comes to baby do-do, there's nothing we can do-do except prepare. Here's some "been there, done that" new mommy advice: always carry a changing pad when traveling with your little one.
These clean pads help transform even the ickiest changing tables into a sterile cleaning surface. No matter where you go, be prepared for your baby to go with a changing pad.
9. Nursing Pillow
It's undeniable that breastfeeding provides you and your little one with incredible health benefits. Unfortunately, many mamas find it challenging to cradle their kiddo while trying to give them their milk.
Solution: put a plush nursing pillow around your waist! These pillows keep you and your little one comfy so you could breastfeed with ease.
10. Baby Bouncer
Baby bouncers might not be as essential as car seats, but they could play a starring role in your home. These fun devices provide a safe place to put down your baby when you need to move around the house. Plus, many little ones love the constant rocking motion these devices provide.
Even though it might seem like a splurge, I believe you won't regret owning one of these cute contraptions.
Now It’s Your Turn To Share - Send Me Your New Mama Shopping Lists!
So, what do you think about my pre-stork shopping list? Is there anything I’m forgetting? I’d love to hear what you consider the ultimate items for first-time mamas. Please please DM me on Instagram or Facebook with all of your fabulous ideas so I can share with other mamas-to-be!