Okay, there are probably not really 10 must haves of anything in the world, but in our materialistic culture, there are lots of things that are convenient and great to have when bringing home little people. So, with that little aside, we westerners shall indulge in a little "Top Ten" baby must haves.
1. Baby carrier- This is my personal #1. I am a huge proponent of baby carrying, it's a great way to bond with baby and get some things done while baby is happy. There were several brands mentioned on my FB request for ideas so here they are: Kozy wrap ( a bit of a twist on a mei tei carrier), moby wrap (personal fave... wanna make your own? I can tell you how!) Ergo carrier, or Baby Bjorn.
2. Stroller- I think it is great to have a slim, easily handled, multi-position stroller that will allow for a toddler seat. Especially as babies are a little older, they are able to eat snacks and look at the elephants without having to worry about Mummy's hair getting in their bikky. Mum can go on long walks without having to visit the Chiropractor after, and everybody gets some good fresh air.
3.Port-a-cot (pack and play)- A fantabulous way to keep little newbies safe from their older siblings. Great for naps away from home, too. Just be sure to bring the smelly blanket from their bed.
4. Velcro-swaddling blanket- This one was recommended on FB again as a big fave for newbies. Keeps baby tucked in their blanket with no escaping. Show 'em who's boss from the very beginning. (Insert evil chuckle) Never used one myself.
5. Baby monitor- Depending on the size of your house, this could be the difference between boring hours spent outside baby's door, and actually getting something done... like brushing your teeth.
6. Breast-pump- This is quite a handy little thing to possibly assist in staving off mastitis (be sure to fully empty breast, and use at the same time everyday!) and also a great way to boost supply. However, I have one that requires 2 hands and I would definitely recommend one that is only one hand or no hands!
7. "Baby Love"- Or some great reference book. It is invaluable to have a book at the ready to give you some tips in raising your little monkey, everything from feeding (bottle or boob) to rashes. "Baby Love" was given to me while Leif was in the hospital and the pages are browning with referencing. It is moderate in opinion and gives many options and solutions all the while empowering Mummy to make wise choices. A great buy!
8. Baby aspirator- I have a baby booger sucker, a.k.a. aspirator and I'm so glad. My fingers don't fit...and I don't want them to.
9. Thermometer- The best ones are the ones that are quick and involve as little skin contact as possible. I have two under-pit-up-the-bum-sit-still-for-20-minutes-add .5 thermometers. Needless to say, we have not had any accurate temperatures measured in this house. Spend the $80 and get a good one... Don't do as I do.
10. Baby sleeping bag- these are great to keep little guys warm during the cooler months without having to worry about blankets. I found these to be fabulous until the kids begin on their journey towards independent movement. Then the bottom can be snipped off to make a nightgown.
Additionally mentioned, are things like "boppy pillow" a curved breastfeeding pillow (highly recommended, although in Australia these are common shaped pillows and not called "boppy" which is a very embarrasing name), baby book (need to get me a couple), baby swings or rockers, and dummys or pacifiers.
All this said, there is very little that is essential for babies but food, drink, and cuddles. So no need to panic if you can't afford the $10,000 stroller that has a cup holder, or the baby monitor that electronically reassures you baby is still living. Children have survived for decades, possibly even further back than that, without velcro swaddling cloths, and polar fleece sleeping bags. We will just sit back and relax with our Boppy pillows in position and Kozy wrap at the ready and be grateful what a great age we live in that luxury allows us such fabulous things for our kids.