I like to think that after surviving the newborn phase not once but twice, I had plenty of wisdom to share with other first-time parents entering the phase of sleepless nights, constant feedings, and pitch-black diaper changes.
But then I discovered a woman's Reddit list of "needlessly verbose, unasked for, and unorganized things I didn't think to get before my baby was born," and I realized I still had a lot to learn.
In the Baby Bumps subreddit, user fwegan explained that even though her baby daughter is only a month old, she's amazed at "how many things I either didn't think to buy or thought I wouldn't need" that are now critically essential.
She touted Clorox wipes (for cleaning up "poop splatters off of walls" or her "own pee off the floor" when she doesn't make it to the toilet) and having multiple bottles of hand sanitizer (for by the front door, the diaper station, and in the car).
"I'm glad I got a Boppy, but different nursing positions require different support. All the throw pillows that my husband's always resented have been called into service."
Despite being warned against using certain items, she swears by pacifiers ("we've had zero problems with our baby knowing what's a nipple . . . and lots of problems with fussiness") and a forehead thermometer ("I know that you're supposed to only rely on rectal temperatures, but there's no way I'm going to stick a thermometer up baby's butt every time I get paranoid about her being sick for no reason").
More than even those discoveries, she included a few items I wish I'd had on hand when I was in the new-baby zone. Truly, if you have little interest in sifting through all 26 of her must haves, let me tell you the following handful of items that would have kept me sane that I didn't even realize until now I was so sorely missing:
- Mobile nightlights. "We have a chargeable one so it can be moved from our nighttime nursing spot to changing table easily. Keeping it as dark as possible at night helps her stay sleepy."
- Noise-canceling headphones, if you get frustrated easily. "My husband got a pair and he is so glad he can tune out when the crying gets overwhelming. If your partner gets them, make sure you have a good stock of small objects to throw at them to bring them back to reality when it's their turn."
- Pill organizer. "Between the pain meds, stool softener, prenatal vitamin, and the antibiotics I had to take for mastitis, along with having a totally wonky schedule, it's impossible to keep track of it all in my head."
- Multiple phone chargers with long cords. "Between tracking LO's feeding/sleep/diapers, playing music or vacuum cleaner noises to calm her, and the absurd amount of time I spend on social media and doing crossword puzzles to amuse myself, I'm going through my battery like never before."
- Pillows of various shapes and firmness. "I'm glad I got a Boppy, but different nursing positions require different support. All the throw pillows that my husband's always resented have been called into service."
- Ebooks. "Real books require two hands. Useless."