I tell you this to explain the logic of stuff accumulation in regards to having a baby. Like so many other pregnant women I created a registry, perused catalogs and websites, became a freaky lurker on message boards, and checked out enough books on baby essentials to seriously hurt the gas mileage on the twice weekly trips to and from the library.
So, after my exhaustive research, my basic summary of what one REALLY needs for baby is this:
1. Plan for nutritional input to grow baby... at least one functionally lactating human breast, or alternative if needed.
2. Plan to manage waste output of baby... diapers, Elimination Communication, or alternative if needed.
3. Safe way to transport baby... correctly installed car seat, have baby at home and walk everywhere, or alternative as needed.
4. Safe place for baby to rest... next to caring adult, in co-sleeper, in own bed in same room, or alternative if needed.
That's pretty much it. If you've got those things, pretty much everything else is something you are choosing as a luxury. I'm totally not saying that the luxury things are bad; on the contrary, I think they are AWESOME, hence this post. I have new/expectant moms ask all the time what I really used. That's a totally different question that what I really needed. I had much more fun baby shopping knowing I was choosing things for my luxury rather than feeling like I needed to cross it off the list or else I'd have to attend a 12 step BAADMOM meeting, you know for Behaving As A Dumb Meaningless Oblivious Monster.
What I REALLY Used: The Small Stuff Top 5
This is me, scared out of my mind to do the deed. You will hear a million options for dealing with sharp little nails. I needed to deal with them as his face, and my breasts were getting sliced and diced like a crazy Ginsu Knife commercial. You can bite them, use regular clippers, get baby clippers, or get the kind I fell for: the kind with the magnifying glass attached. I loved these. I was so stinkin' scared of slicing his little finger tips that the first time I tried to trim his nails I merely transformed sabers into daggers. These did the trick. I don't use the magnifying glass any more, but they were well worth the $3 at the time!
Jax has always HATED having bright light in his eyes. I bought three different pairs of baby sunglasses before I discovered the kind with the little strap. Here's the deal; the other kind are cute but they would not stay on his head/face for more than the most cursory of photo op. The ones with the little strap, on the other hand, stay on and sort of mold around to block out the light. He will wear these all afternoon if we're out and about and pretty much only fusses if they get pulled crooked. The neoprene strap is also supposed to float in water, but I don't really need it to. I also like knowing it's better for his sweet 'lil baby eyes.
Yes, I could swaddle my son using a receiving blanket, but these bad boys were priceless during the first few days of total insanity. They could stretch then Velcro in place, keeping the little guy from waking himself up as soon as he nodded off. This also being the only time in Jax' life when was ever cold, they were a nice layer in winter. We had two brands, and, frankly, both seemed equally easy.
This just shows the one in the back, I actually also have one attached to the rear view mirror. That way I don't have to move my rear view mirror or take up the whole back window. These are priceless for me when I'm driving Jax somewhere with no one sitting back there next to him. Just in the last few weeks is he able to see me occasionally when he's checking out the reflection, but really, it's all about me knowing he's ok and breathing.
Ok, this is way on the luxury side. It's really handy to play games or check my e-mail when I'm nursing at 3am and can't sleep. Seriously though, we've been using the Total Baby app to track his feedings and diapering since birth. I also use it to track my sleep... which turned out to me more relevant to us than Jax' sleep. Because we had a rough time in the beginning before my milk came in, I was a little paranoid. Since then, the nerd in me just likes the statistics and checking for patterns. Hmmmm he's eating four hours total today instead of his usual two: growth spurt! Now, obviously, we could easily track this another way, or, not at all, but it makes me happy and I use it constantly, therefore, included. *check my next post for thoughts on the carrier*