What you need to raise a child

SO.MANY.PEOPLE.ARE.PREGNANT. I not being one, although it's no secret I'm longing for another squishy chubby cheeked babe but I'm not particularly longing to be pregnant while in Mexico for our all inclusive food and drink wedding so I suppose babies will wait. Insert long drawn out sigh and Jerek rolling his eyes.

Since having two little humans of my own and having a crap ton of...stuff, I wanted to share what has worked with us for the first year.

It's crazy to think about but I've been parenting for well over four years now. I'd like to think that I've learned a thing or two about what is needed and not needed when you bring a little one home. I've been contemplating this post because some mommas may not agree with my must haves and I don't want to come across as bossy so I sincerely hope that's not the case. These are just a handful of items that have worked for us.

If you are a momma, aunt, grandma or person that has even helped parent, raise or watch children, feel free to comment below of things that may have helped you/your family or that you would totally pass on. As I know a lot of people that read EWG are parents, or may be parents one day so it's nice to hear from real people and what has worked for them.

While they always say register for everything, there are some things I say hold off on or, you don't need to spend that much money on or need at all. If you ask me Chelsea, do I need a wipe warmer? I'll ask you if you have one to wipe your own ass. If you do well then, touché, otherwise, hell to the no, wipe that kids ass with some cold wipes, THEY'LL BE FINE! I also suggest watching my vlog from last year with Jamie, the NYCbabyguy, who is an expert at all things baby {he's not a father yet but he knows more about children and products than Michelle Duggar, okay maybe not.}

Look at every review possible on Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, Target, etc. because I didn't do this with Tracen. I basically registered for whatever caught my eye and ended up with crap products after a few months.

There are a few things I really say you should invest in whether you're planning on having 1 or 10 kids. The first one being a carrier. I registered for a Moby with Tracen and used it about twice and then sold it at a mom to mom to some other poor pregnant women thinking it would work for her. You may call me names for pawning off something that didn't work for me on to someone else but hey, there are TONS of moms that love that thing, just not this momma! With Skylor I bought a few of these ring slings. I have gotten TONS and I mean TONS of people asking me where I got them and if I really loved them. In fact my hairdresser has one of mine right now and I still use one on Sky! I'm here to tell you if you look through my Instagram feed from now to 20 months ago it's ALL I used with Skylor! I wore that kid everywhere, I also had no choice as Trace was two and a half years old when he was born and was a maniac. If we are lucky enough to have another I would also invest in an Ergo as it provides a little more support and other ways to carry babies ranging from all different weight and ages.

Another thing I'm telling you to invest in is a stroller. When pregnant with Tracen we walked into Babies R' Us, looked at some of the travel systems and picked one that was cute and gender neutral and I H-A-T-E-D that thing! It was cheap, broke rather quick and we tossed it. I then have spent so much money on other strollers at mom to mom sales, bought cheap umbrella strollers and double strollers that just didn't work for us. After that mess of spending far too much and on too many strollers I started working with Orbit as a brand ambassador. I can't explain to you how much better this bad boy is compared to any of the other strollers we've had or seen. I've probably spent the same amount of money on all the strollers combined for what I could have paid for an Orbit stroller! While Orbit stroller is defiantly an investment I want you to know that Tracen can still fit in it plus we have the skateboard attachment, grocery shopping literally just got fun! Also remember that when you register for bigger items you can totally express to your friends or family how important something is to you and that you would rather have a bunch of people all go in on one big gift than a ton of small gifts. You're not being a brat, you're being realistic, no sense in getting crap you won't use!

Something I wouldn't stress out too much on is a crib. I know everyone has this "vision" of how the nursery will be when you bring home the baby and you want it to look perfect but honestly if you can't afford a crib, mattress and changing table right away, a pack n'play, rock n'play, a bassinet or co-sleeper will be JUST fine! I gave up my dressing room to make it into Skylor's room in our old house and the kid NEVER slept in there! He seriously slept in our room until we moved into our new house at 8 months old. Do not put a guilt trip on yourself if you can't get a crib right away, the only one that will notice is you, the kid surely won't!

Above are some of my other must haves when bringing home those little blobs. Zip up jammies are key, aint no body got time to button and snap that shit at 2am people! Breast bump and bottles, no matter if you are going to breastfeed or not, have a pump and some bottles around, you have no idea how nursing will go for you. I was hooked up to that damn pump more than I would have liked to but guess what, that's what worked for me! Moving on to the thing that will make sure your kid sleeps is the sound machine. We have not one but TWO of these things! Tracen's is still pumping along after 4+ years! If you live in Michigan or any other tundra like State these things are the jam in the winter. In fact, I would like one on my commute to work in the winter! Tracen never took a paci but Sky, he loves these things, but for the first year he would ONLY use the hospital style paci. A Boppy not only helps with nursing but once they get a little bigger it helps to lay or sit them up while you get dressed, or have a glass of wine ya know, the important things. Last but not least, buy the kid a blanket or two. These muslin ones are incredibly soft and if you're smart you will buy two of the SAME ones. You will then make sure that this is the blanket that your kid falls in love with and needs to drag where ever they go and when you lose said blanket you have a back up! Tracen got attached to a handmade blanket and is sadly MIA and we have zero way of faking him out thinking we found it. ZERO. FREAKING. WAY.

Remember you can go to Mom 2 Mom sales and score MAJOR items that are practically brand new! I think any baby related item you find at Jerek's parents house is from a M2M sale and cost about 90% less than what it would brand new! 

And when it comes to baby showers, my favorite thing to do is go last minute, buy up all the little odds and ends no one bought on the registry and throw it in a cute bin that they will reuse. This is usually because I fail at these kinda things and never buy shit on time. So Aubri, I'll see you Sunday with a bin you will be able to store toys in that will eventually be all over your living room. It will be filled with the remaining things off your registry and probably a bottle of wine because while I like to think I can do it all, I actually thought the shower was next weekend until Jerek's aunt reminded me yesterday it was this weekend. Oh and the wine, WHY.THE.HELL.NOT!