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Top 10 Nursery Must Haves Before Baby Is Born

There is so much excitement surrounding the impending birth of a baby that sometimes the nine months just fly by. OK, maybe not the morning sickness phase, but after that, time seems to accelerate until the birth day. Each of my three pregnancies went by quickly, but it's funny how my level of preparedness decreased dramatically with each progressive pregnancy.

With my first pregnancy, I read all the books nightly, kept a pregnancy journal, bought tiny little onesies, washed them in the gentlest baby detergent, arranged the changing table with diapers and wipes and had a fully stocked nursery. All at around seven months pregnant.

During my second pregnancy, I was busy with a toddler in tow, so naturally, I didn't have as much energy and time. Nonetheless, I still managed to get some hand-me-downs and stock up on the essentials with probably a month to spare.

Pregnancy No. 3 was a whole different scenario. We had gotten rid of our crib after our second child moved to a regular bed and we didn't have even the barest baby essentials. With just a few weeks left in my pregnancy, we realized we needed to get into baby mode-and fast. Those were busy weeks! Luckily, we got it all done in time and had a stocked nursery when the baby was born.

Based on personal experience, here are 10 things I'd recommend stocking in your nursery:

Diapers:

Of course! When you're changing these 10 to 12 times a day at the beginning, these are a stock-up must-have. I'm talking multiple boxes of size 1 diapers. Yes, you do go through that many.

Wipes:

Necessary accompaniment to items mentioned above.

Wipes warmer:

Some people see this as unnecessary, but I personally used one for each baby. Those middle of the night diaper changes are a lot less jarring when the wipes are nice and warm.

Onesies:

Regardless of what time of year it is, short- and long-sleeve onesies are the easiest to change your little baby in and out of.

Waterproof changing pads:

I put these anywhere I change the baby's diaper to protect whatever I'm doing the changing on. And they're also great to stuff one into your diaper bag as added insurance during your one of many daily diaper changes.

Socks:

I try to use footie pants or zippered sleepers whenever possible, but if not, socks are a must-have for keeping those little tootsies warm. They also make a great stand-in as mittens to keep babies from scratching their faces.

Hand sanitizer:

I bought several pumps and dispersed them around the house, especially at the front door. With so many visitors and people who want to touch and hold the baby, hand sanitizer is your friend.

Nursing pillows:

Between ones passed on from friends and ones I held onto, I somehow ended up with four nursing pillows by my third baby. While that seems excessive, it was awfully nice to have one in each of the main rooms I was nursing in, without having to constantly schlep one upstairs and downstairs.

Receiving blankets:

I always had a few receiving blankets on hand to use as swaddlers, blankets, play mats, burp cloths.

Burp cloths:

Speaking of burp cloths, these are a must have for those spitty-uppy babies and to wipe the constant drool that starts flowing at around four months.

There are lots of lists of "essentials" out there, but the truth is that you don't need much for a newborn. The items listed here are recommendations, and of course, there are things you can't get by without, such as diapers and wipes. But ultimately, lots and lots of love is what you'll be fully stocked with after baby arrives, and that certainly goes a long way.

Image: Getty

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