There's nothing more overwhelming than trying to prepare to bring a completely dependent, living, breathing, brand new human being into this world. Everyone you know will tell you what you need and what you don't need and that, although an attempt to be helpful can be a bit exhausting. I don't pretend to be a parent expert (no one really is), but I do know after three kids I think I've got a good idea of some items that might make the impossible job a bit easier. Now keep in mind this isn't a list about wipes, blankets, clothes, and cribs. This is a list of the stuff you really need.
Batteries- Trust me on this one. Nearly every single thing children need pretty much requires batteries. Always, always keep a large stash of these imperative little buggers around. You need them in all sizes so make sure you tell Aunt Karen this is what you really want. If she wants to give you the gift that keeps on giving she'll stock you up with a Costco pack of batteries to keep that sound machine, favorite toy, or wipe warmer working at any hour of any day.
- Clothes for yourself- Sure baby needs something to wear, but let's be honest they can wear pajamas 24/7. You on the other hand are going to need some new clothes. First of all if you're the one giving birth to this new baby you're body is going to be weird as hell for awhile. Sorry, but those celebrities and models who bounce back real wiki wiki literally have a large team of chefs, trainers, doctors, you name it to get them back to tip top shape in record time. You would too if your job was to look good, but my guess is majority of people reading this aren't getting paid for their looks. So if that's the case, get ready for a peculiar sense of your old self right after birth. It will be mussy and there will be liquid coming out of every single one of your orifices. Register for comfortable sweats, but somewhere between tight yoga pants and baggy boyfriend sweats. You'll want something that makes you feel good about yourself, but is also comfortable. This may sound incredibly difficult to locate and that's right, it will be. This is why you're registering for it. Tell your best friend this is what you want, what you really, really want post birth. If you're adopting or fostering you're not off the hook for new clothes- you need them too! You will be pooped on, puked on, peed on, and so much more. Get yourself some clothes that wash easily and often.
- Wine- I really don't need to explain this one a whole lot. You'll need it, trust me.
- Noise Cancellation Headphones- Sometimes you're just going to need some peace and quiet and the only way that might happen is with some fancy, top of the line headphones and this is why you register for them.
- Babysitters- Seriously, why don't people gift you this? They could make it free if they gifted their time- like one of those coupon books you used to give your parent's growing up. Or maybe Care.Com or other sitter services offer gift cards? I don't have the energy to research this, but I'm sure someone has this as an option. Anyway, tell people they can help you by watching your new bundle of joy while you go out on a date night or hell even just so you can take a shower in peace and quiet. Remember what that was like?
- Mac and Cheese- It is never too early to start stocking up on macaroni and cheese. As long as you've got a solid supply, you're going to be a wonderful parent.
- New Sheets- No matter what you do your kid will find a way to destroy your sheets. They will figure it out, trust me. You think you've got it covered, but they will prove you wrong. Register for new sheets and a backup as well.
- Tip money for the garbage man- These little humans will cause a lot of waste. If your cloth diapering- good for you and gold star for helping the environment, but your baby is still going to destroy things that will inevitably need to end up in the trash can. Register for tip money for that garbage man. He/she deserves it, you're going to be putting their muscles to work real soon.
- No Questions Asked- This last one is something you can ask from your significant other, a no questions asked coupon. Maybe you each can agree you all get 5 no questions asked moments. These are times when you need to tap out from your parenting duties for 30 minutes or so and you need to tell your partner to take over, no questions asked. Sometimes you need a break to be a good parent and there shouldn't need to be any explaining of why you need a break or who needs it more. A break is just needed, no questions asked.
I'm sure I'll think of more later and think, I should edit that list- but I'm sure I won't. So write these done, share with your loved ones, figure out a way to let them know what you really need. I'm a big fan of unnecessary baby shoes and a sucker for purchasing thing, but let's be honest we need wine more.