The Baby Stuff: A Must Have List
When I was pregnant, I read all of the lists that folks would post about necessary baby items. It seemed like it was so important to have the "right" & "best" stroller, car seat, mattress, crib, bottles, bottle brush, infant tub, diapers, diaper bag and on and on and on. I suppose some part of me felt that if I had the right stuff then things would just magically flow, or at least the things would help with the flow.
The truth is that baby tools do serve a purpose but they are not nearly as important as made out to be. I understand why new mamas focus on the stuff. It's an anchor to occupy thoughts when there is so much unknown. I needed that too. However, nearly a year into this motherhood journey, my list is quite different from many I have read. Here's what I would tell that sweet pregnant lady of 11 months ago that I absolutely need.
- Flexibility. Things change and they change frequently and without warning. Flexibility is key here as what works well one day to soothe an upset baby will set them off the next (heeeyy, vacuum cleaner).
- Love. Your heart will expand. You will fiercely love this child in a way that you literally cannot fathom. Your baby is your heart walking (or toddling at this point) around outside of your body. Your heart simply expands in a way you didn't know was even possible.
- A sense of humor. There will be days when you are covered in poo and spit up with nothing left to do but laugh. Laughter will lighten your load and give you perspective. Laugh often and with complete abandon, sweet mama.
- Fill your cup. Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself. Even if it is a ten minute bath in epsom salts, essential oil and witch hazel because of delivery stitches, soak it up. Do whatever you need to do to fill your cup and then love others from the overflow.
- Non-negoitables: There will be a few things that you simply must do every day to feel complete. For me, it's showering, meditating and going for a walk/run with my daughter. I simply need these three things in line. Everything else can be put off until later but to feel my best, I make those happen daily.
- Humility. You will eat your words on more than one occasion. My husband and I totally thought that our daughter would sleep in her crib from the start and then we essentially co-slept for 6 months and still do when traveling. Did it ruin our girl's sleep habits? Nope. Did it give me the peace of mind I needed, oh yeah.
- The ability to surrender. Research everything you need to in order to feel prepared and then see what works best for your family. Surrender to the needs of your baby, yourself and the moment. Know that things will change and surrendering can be a sanity savor.
- Your Tribe. Find your folks who get you and can relate to what you are experiencing. You will need those people during high times and low times. Some of your biggest laughs will come from conversation with your tribe about what you guys are experiencing. Find your tribe, love them hard.
- Fill your cup. This one deserves to be on here twice.
Oh and that stroller, you absolutely had to have? You will trade it, then sell the trade. Stuff is nice and sometimes necessary but what really matters can't be bought. Don't focus so much on the things and instead enjoy the ride. Shift your focus to preparing your mental and physical body for the amazing transition. What's on your must have list for new mamas?
The things you truly need to prepare for a baby, can't be bought.