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The Reconnaissance Mission


The baby industry rivals only the wedding industry and politics in its ability to sell you things you don’t need. Two weekends ago, my husband and I ventured into uncharted territory… Babies “R” Us. As the automatic doors pulsed open and closed, I felt like Temple Grandin as I stared into the baby Mecca beyond. The sheer quantity of individual products available to a population that outgrows the need for them almost as you’re driving home from the store is staggering. And what’s worse is that you are encouraged to acquire all these items before your baby is even born! How do you know if your baby will like swinging while vibrating, listening to music and bouncing simultaneously? Or does your baby have sensitive skin? Too bad you already bought 550 wipes that the poor tyke is allergic too! Heck, many people don’t even need a crib before the baby is born if they’re going to use a bassinet for the first month or two.

So what do we expectant mothers really need? I plan to research this more and post a comprehensive list based on interviews with moms and your comments here. From what I can tell, you really only need upon coming home from the hospital: a few clean outfits for the baby, a car seat (they won’t let you leave the hospital with your bundle of joy without one), a place for the baby to sleep (a bassinet, crib, etc.), pads/sheets for that sleeping locale, a baby bathtub (not necessary if you have a nicely sized sink for the task and enough padding to put around the baby to support him or her), a couple of receiving blankets (if you values your clothes), a couple of baby blankets for warmth, and diapers/wipes. Obviously this list gets a bit longer if you plan to bottle feed instead of breast feed and if you have issues with changing your squirming baby on a soft blanket on the floor. If you’re a mom, post in the comments what you think are absolute necessities upon leaving the hospital – not things you found the helped… just the NECESSITIES. I’ll follow-up with another post once I collect a good list!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/27/2011 17:47

    looking forward to your list and hope you share it! my hubby and i walked into babies r us a month ago too and got frustrated after half an hour and left. then i went home and logged onto for hours and got overwhelmed again! i obviously do not have the “nesting” instinct yet. 😦

  2. Kate c. permalink
    06/27/2011 18:55

    M- email me with your email address and I’ll send you my word doc— it’s long but contains lots of commentary!

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