Things you REALLY Need When You’re Expecting | A Guide for Birmingham Moms

Mother holds newborn baby during lifestyle newborn session in Birmingham
Newborn boy during lifestyle newborn photography session
Baby boy sweetly grins while swaddled at only a few days old.

When you’re expecting your first baby (or third!), knowing what you’ll need and creating your baby registry can be pretty overwhelming. Of course, most moms know what the big, obvious things are; diapers, pacifiers, a crib, bottles, etc. But what about the other things? You know, the things you don’t know you need. Things you may not even know are things! I decided to get some input from some local Birmingham moms. I will say, I have two kids and I wish I had known about some of these things when they were babies! I’ve put together a list from all the mom feedback I got, and I hope it makes your life just a little bit easier 🙂

A Manual Breast Pump

While I did not personally use this with my babies, I had so many moms swear by it and say a manual breast pump, specifically this one, is a life saver!

A Nose Frida

This nifty thing will make all the difference when your baby is snotty. You literally suck the snot right out of your baby’s nose! Yes, it’s gross. But you’re pregnant. You’re going to be dealing with all kinds of gross from here on out 😉

A FridaBaby Windi

If your baby has gas or colic, the Windi can help tremendously!

The Owlet Smart Sock

Can you say peace of mind? I didn’t discover this gem of a product until I had my second baby, and OH MY GOSH at the difference it made in my stress levels. With my first baby I was constantly waking up throughout the night to check and make sure he was still breathing, hadn’t rolled over, etc. I got the Owlet with my second and slept SO WELL. When she got Bronchiolitis at 3 months old, I kept the smart sock on her at all times. The alarm went off when her oxygen level dropped below 80% and very well could’ve saved her life. If you get nothing else on this list, get this.

Worth. Every. Penny.

*At the time of writing this blog, the Owlet Smart Sock has been taken off the market because of issues with the FDA (not for safety issues, but because it isn’t classified as a “medical device”). If you can find one from a retailer, GET IT. If you can purchase one second hand, DO IT.

A Sound Machine

There are a lot of sound machines for babies out there and you have to choose the one that works best for you and your baby. Local moms suggested sound machines with no light on them, sound machines that clip to the side of the crib, and sound machines you can control from an app. I personally used the Hatch with my babies and really loved it.

A Sterilizer with a Dryer

This is one of those things that I WISH I had known about with my babies. It would’ve saved me SO much time washing bottles, pump parts, pacis, etc. The one that local moms recommended is the Baby Brezza Sterilizer.

A Diaper Spatula

Also a thing I didn’t know existed. Local moms say it’s a game changer.

Diaper Rash Cream

I personally have always used butt paste, but several local moms also said Resinol works like a charm!

Gowns and Sleepers

The last thing you want to be doing in the middle of the night after you’ve changed a dirty diaper is trying to button a bunch of snaps on a flailing baby’s onesie. Luckily, there are some things available that will make this part of you life a little easier, such as magnetic footie pajamas and double zipper onesies. You could also just go with a gown which is probably the easiest of all!

A Night Light

For those inevitable midnight changes, a night light can be especially useful when you don’t want to wake anyone else up.

A Bottle Warmer for Premade Bottles

If you are planning on using bottles for your baby, a bottle warmer for premade bottles is a must!

Teething Drops

Teething can be miserable for mom and baby. Birmingham moms recommended these teething drops for to help with relief for everyone.

A Backpack Diaper Bag

This type of diaper bag is SO much easier to carry around when you have your hands full (which is always).

Moms on Call

I had not heard of this book when my two babies were born, but I’ve had so many Birmingham moms recommend it!

Breast Pump Flanges

Make sure you have the right size for YOUR LADIES and don’t wait until baby is born to do this. The ladies will thank you.

All Purpose Nipple Ointment

This is a prescription you have to get from your doctor. Check and see if you can go ahead and get some so you can be prepared in the event that your nipples become sore or you get thrush. Speaking from experience, it’s excruciatingly painful and all-purpose nipple cream is a little miracle in a cup. You can also make a version of this ointment on your own if you aren’t able to get a prescription.

Lastly (But Most Importantly) – Newborn Photos

Newborn baby girl smiles during her photo session in a studio near Birmingham

Being a newborn photographer, I can’t tell you how many moms have told me they WISH they had gotten newborn pictures done when their kids were born. I can list things you need for a new baby all day long. But you know what? You’re only going to use all of those things for what seems like a minute. Then they will be obsolete and you’ll be selling them on social media for pennies on the dollar. But newborn photos… you’ll still have them when you’re baby has babies. And they will only grow more and more special as the years pass and the tiny baby features disappear. Book a newborn session with a trained, professional newborn photographer BEFORE your baby is born (Like MONTHS before).

If you’d like to learn more about newborn photos, visit my portfolio or contact me through my website.

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