I went with a friend who is expecting her first baby to one of those Baby Fairs. No, not where they give away babies to the first 100 people. The kind of event that is geared to first time moms and filled with products, services and such that companies believe every mother will need. There was some valuable stuff there that I won't trash talk - things about natural child birth (not my thing, I wanted to anesthesiologist to meet me at the door with the needle and a shot of vodka with my births) but I recognize its value, and other things like child care centers, pediatricians and such. Important stuff. However, then there were what businesses were calling "essential."
So first time moms, let me break it down for you. The only essentials you'll need are food, diapers, carrying/sleeping devices, clothes and the most important item - a flask.
And here's a little list of the stuff you will leave in their packaging and find on the kid's sixth birthday.
1. Baby wipe warmer. Listen baby, it's a cold world out there. We can't have you thinking someone is going to warm your butt every time it needs to be wiped. Get used to the feeling of cold hitting it - it will happen often.You might even like it later in life. Who knows, you can be a freak like that.
2. A video monitor. You don't want to see what those crazy babies do in the middle of the night. You'll never sleep. They squirm, roll, twitch, slap and other things that would keep you up more than you already are. My advice - get a regular monitor and switch it to off when they are crying bloody murder. Trust me - you'll hear them.
3. Pacifier wipes. If it is your first baby, you will try desperately to keep the paci clean at all times. You'll run to the sink to clean it more times than you can count. Then, by your second baby, you'll probably put it in your own mouth to clean it. By your third kid, you usually just blow on it and hope for the best.
4. Baby oil. I still have no idea what this is for. You have baby shampoo, then baby lotion. What's the oil for? Are they tanning outside with one of those big aluminum foil boards under their chin? That's what I imagine Kim Kardashian's kid doing, by the way.
5. Shopping cart covers. You seriously don't want another thing to have to hold. You've got the baby, the diaper bag, your purse, and then you want to add a puffy shopping cart cover. For what? To protect them from germs? Did you know they just dropped the paci about 10 times on the floor without you knowing and stuck it back in their mouth? I wouldn't worry about shopping cart germs at that point.
In the end, you need to really remember to bring one thing with you when you become a mother - the baby. All the other stuff, you can improvise. Heck, I once saw a woman use a glove to wipe an expected poop situation. Okay, come to think of it, you should probably always bring the baby AND wipes.