Right before Charlie was born, a few people asked if we needed anything and what they could get us as a baby gift. We couldn’t come up with anything; it seemed we’d planned for every possible eventuality. I was sure there was stuff I was missing, but that I wouldn’t know what it was until I needed it. So, for those of you who may be in the same position, here are some things we’ve had rush-shipped to the house since Charlie was born (plus a couple things I’m still yearning for):
- Wipes Warmer: I thought these were just for the babies of rich assholes who were looking for more things to buy. Not so! It turns out that when you put a cold wipe on a newborn’s wang, he’s pretty sure you’re trying to murder him. Or at least re-circumcise him. And when the poo and pee are flying wildly, there’s no time to rub a wipe between your hands until it warms.
- Burp cloths. A jillionty of them. Thick, high-quality ones. I think we’d registered for and acquired five cloths total. I thought this would be more than enough, what with the advent of the automated washing machine and all. Not so! Many days, Charlie will saturate nine of these with barf. We’ve bought several extra sets of these and acquired more second-hand, and have also thrown baby blankets dish towels into the equation, because we still can’t wash them fast enough.
- Nursing tops, nursing dresses, and nursing pajamas. It hadn’t occurred to me that I’d have to get half-naked in most of my outfits if I wanted to feed my baby. I hadn’t worn a shirt that showed any cleavage since 2001, but it turns out that wearing a low-cut blouse is far more modest than lifting your whole dress over your head when nursing or pumping time comes around.
- Bottle-drying racks. We don’t have a dishwasher, so I needed a setup on the counter for the cleanly care of pumping and feeding supplies. Also, if you don’t have a dishwasher, all that shit is supposed to be sanitized in boiling water for 10 minutes after EACH USE to prevent illness from contaminated milk. And this is after you thoroughly wash with dish soap and rinse with warm water. I have sanitized Charlie’s feeding supplies exactly five times since he was born.
- A dishwasher. See #4.
- A diaper pail (specifically the Munchkin). Because cloth diapers were the worst idea we’d ever had.
- Disposable diapers. Because cloth diapers were the worst idea we’d ever had.
- A nice hamper. To put the barfy items into directly. The broken, plastic laundry basket I’m currently using doesn’t match the decor, but it keeps the bodily fluids from staining the floor.
- Another swaddle sack from Aden & Anais. We got one at a shower, and of the eleventy jillion swaddling devices we purchased or otherwise acquired before Charlie was born, this was the only one we had the wherewithal to get him in and out of for feedings in the middle of the night. Also, they were the only ones lightweight enough for swaddling an infant born on a muggy, hot-as-balls, late July morning in D.C.
- A couple of sleep sacks. These are different from swaddling devices. It turns out you’re only supposed to actually swaddle your baby for a couple months, and then there’s a 10-month window where it’s neither safe for them to have their arms bounds nor safe for them to use blankets. So these, sometimes billed as “wearable blankets,” help keep your baby from freezing to death during cold, winter nights. We currently only have one that fits him, and he peed on it this morning, which means that I HAVE to to a load of laundry as book ends to today’s 12-ish hour work day. As such, I’ve ordered a couple from Gilt.com, and in 10-14 business days I’ll no longer have this problem.
- One of those sitty-uppy pillow things. You know the ones. I hadn’t even thought about their existence since 1985 (when my Aunt Shannon had a brown corduroy one in her room, facing her Yoda poster and the concertina on the shelf. . . It’s possible that being a hipster runs in the family. Or, more likely, we’re genuine nerds but everyone thinks we’re kind of winking at it.) Then the Target by my house had them in their “go to college and outfit your dorm with all this cheap stuff” section. My options were bright red or black, since we’re pretty close to the University of Maryland, and those are the colors it’s advised you don whilst you fear the turtle. So, bright red. I think they were designed with the notion that your only piece of furniture is your bed, but that you still need somewhere to write that five-paragraph essay comparing and contrasting Romeo and Brutus. It also makes for a comfy spot for the 3 a.m. feedings, and you don’t have to get out of bed.
- A pumping bra. Because otherwise you have to use both hands to pump, and if your nose starts itching at the beginning of your session, you have to get your husband to scratch it for you or else just deal with it for the next 25 minutes. I am highly pleased with this functional and stylish number from PumpEase.
- A second pumping bra, so that I could was the first one more frequently than once every never.
- 1000 gallons of baby laundry detergent from The Laundress. Because if you wash clothes in an unscented detergent like Dreft, the whole load comes out of the dryer smelling like baby vom and old towel.
- 1000 gallons of pale ale. Because Mommy needs a drink.