Bringing Home Baby: an essential list
There are many lists online with recommended items to have in the home when you bring home your little one from the hospital. In full disclosure, I am a confessed baby gear fanatic, and very much enjoy walking through baby stores, looking at the latest products and recommendations. I find it relaxing, and love seeing the newest ideas and developments.
That being said, when frantic clients tell me they are nearing their due date and they haven't bought anything yet, I find myself telling them what I learned while bringing home three boys of my own: The only thing baby absolutely has to have is a car seat to leave the hospital, and you. Anything else is really just a bonus to make life a little simpler.
Babies are pretty basic creatures. They need warm arms, food, and something to keep clean. If you are breastfeeding, food is taken care of. Warm arms are present from the parents, and something to keep clean can be disposable or cloth diapers. In a pinch, a clean dish towel will do just as well. A dresser drawer pulled out and lined with a blanket can be a simple crib, if cosleeping isn't the best fit for your family. Swaddling blankets are wonderful, but the blanket from the hospital works just as well in those early days as the fancy ones.
Just remember- all baby really needs is YOU. A loving parent to listen to their needs, to respond to their cues, and to help them transition in to this world. Everything else is just icing on the cake.