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Sanity-Saving Secret Weapons

Beyond the nursery basics (the crib, bedding, a changing table, a stroller, diapers, and one-pieces), stock up on these must-haves to make life easier after baby:

  • Fun reads. Keep a few paperback novels or celebrity magazines near the places where you plan to feed your baby so that you'll have something to do when the novelty of counting your newborn's eyelashes wears off.
  • Water (if you are breastfeeding). Always have bottles of water on hand--especially in your car or stroller--in case you're caught somewhere and don't have another source of liquid. Drinking plenty of water while breastfeeding helps your body produce ample supplies of milk.
  • Dimmer switch or three-way lamp. If you want to read but keep things peaceful for baby, put a book light on the table next to the rocking chair where you plan to sit during night feedings.
  • White noise. Many babies--and moms too--sleep better with a fan or a CD of ocean sounds to help mask intrusive noises, especially during nap time.
  • Stain remover. You'll have more laundry than you ever thought possible once your new addition arrives. Having some spray-on stain remover can keep those baby duds bright and beautiful.
  • Whiteboard or chalkboard. Hang a whiteboard in the kitchen to help communicate daily events to your partner and other members of your family, including what's in the freezer to cook for dinner, when grandmother is making her next appearance, or reminders to put out the trash and buy diapers.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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