New Baby Shopping Lists & New Parent Tips

Going from a life without kids to your first is going to change your life. 

I was going to start a new website call Simple Passive Parenting but did not seem to be my passion project and something I couple spend listening hours of podcasts too (although some said I should). So I went out and asked people I knew and trusted. Here is the new parent advice I got:

  1. Do everything you can think of as a couple (dinner or roadtrip). Once baby is born doing anything simple like that becomes a mission. Simply a grocery shopping involves taking half the house “just in case” and is planned around nap times and could very easily take you 1/2 day or may not happen until the next day.
  2. Enjoy every minute with your baby. It’s an amazing journey. You will miss your old life but your new life will be filled with joy you never new existed. Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve done in life but I wouldn’t change anything.
  3. Pray
  4. Community – connect with those around you, connect with history, connect with the physical world. Take your child with you.
  5. Study machine learning. The medical approach to the brain/mind is too much. The computer science approach will easily bring joy, understanding, and amazement to you as you watch your child’s mind develop. You’ll watch the invisible. Your child will see importance in things your mind treats like white noise right now. You’ll be ready, wiser, and more patient. You’ll learn how to employ things that seem meaningless.
  6. Jeremy Howard of fast.ai uses a hairdryer for warmth and wooshing noise when changing diapers. Genius.
  7. Dr. Emily Puente of Bridge Family Chiropractic has a video on Facebook and Goodhousekeeping.com that shows a not intuitive but genius way to turn that cumbersome, painful, car seat burdened walk from the car to the building (and shopping) into a normal & agile walk. This one easily makes you the hero when you show other parents who aren’t in the know.”
  8. When they are about 6 months old, invest in a high quality Pikler Triangle. A climbing triangle to help with motor skill development. My son started using his right around 7 months and he is such a confident climber and has awesome control of his arms/legs and balance overall. Google it to learn more, and the brand I would recommend is Rad’s Children Furniture. Literally started by a handy grandpa who first built one for his grandkid.
  9. Love your new family member with healthy boundaries. The first one you want to cuddle and sleep with all the time. It’s amazing! However, having them sleep in their crib at night and eventually in their own rooms. Start early. If not sometimes it’s harder later to shift this.
  10. Track the feeding, diapers, and sleep cycles using this app https://apps.apple.com/us/app/baby-connect-baby-tracker/id326574411
  11. Read and study this book: https://sleeplittlelamb.com/sleep-solutions/sleepguide
  12. Don’t try to get everything right, it’s all trial and error
  13. I just had a 6 week old and for that reason haven’t reached out to get involved in some deals.
  14. Always be looking and excited for the new things and experiences. Many call them bothersome and interruptions. But these are the BEST things about Parenthood.
  15. My advice for you, soak up as much time as you can with the baby. They grow up so fast. But also just help your wife as much as you possibly can because it is tough on the Mom for sure.
  16. The Snoo was a game changer for us. Got ours sleeping much longer stretches.
  17. This sound machine has been amazing. It’s a real fan and you can adjust the way it sounds: Marpac Yogasleep Dohm (White/Gray) The Original Noise Machine Soothing Natural Sound from a Real Fan Noise Cancelling Sleep Therapy, Dohm Gray, 1 Count (Pack of 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NJSDBQ3/
  18. You can get sleep. This worked for us: “Precious Little Sleep” book https://www.preciouslittlesleep.com
  19. The sleeper onesies with zippers (even better if the zipper zips from the foot/bottom) is better than the button up ones. Especially for those late night diaper changes. Using a hakaa to catch milk on the opposite side while breastfeeding helps to collect and save milk to build up your milk stash.
  20. Take care of your body, your home, mom. Do all those things on the front end before the baby comes. Stay close to family if you can. #
  21. You can buy all the gizmos and expensive strollers but in the end you will start giving it all away or throwing it away as the child ruins it beyond repair (think nice clothing for baby). There are plenty of baby strollers over $1k! Buy what you need as you need it and return it if you find it wasn’t worth it. Baby doesn’t know if the stroller was $100 or the free clothes were given to you by Auntie because her kid outgrew them.
  22. Best books we found on sleep. Our kiddo was sleeping 7-8 hrs by 3 months: https://babywise.life/products/on-becoming-babywise
  23. Babies (& kids) don’t require 90% of the crap the Baby Industrial Complex has brainwashed too many parents into buying. Believe it or not, humanity got this far without parents needing an 8-pax SUV for their kid.
  24. Sleep when the baby sleeps
  25. Work hard to be extra patient with your wife and the other way around (it will be harder because you both will be sleep-deprived)
  26. Get a diaper genie because that stuff STINKS! (amazon’s monthly diaper service really helped us, if they still have that) from DanGar”
  27. Most baby wipes suck. Get the Costco Kirkland brand.
  28. Don’t get a baby wipe warmer. Just use cold wipes.
  29. Baby doesn’t sleep in your bed, and when they get older they get their own room as soon as possible
  30. Sleep train them early, it never gets easier just worse
  31. Sing to the baby
  32. Nosefrida works with stuffy noses
  33. Have a second one soon so they can be around the same age groups
  34. Something that JD did for me was make snack bags (granola, seeds, nuts, trail mix, etc) and had it stashed everywhere I’d sit down to feed the baby. It gave me energy when I needed it because taking care of ourselves is hard when you put all your energy into baby. Also, he did most of the diaper changes.
  35. A good comfortable rocking chair is a good investment for multiple purposes. For soothing when the baby cries, putting to sleep, and feeding time. Also, helpful for your wife in the later stages of pregnancy.
  36. Try to keep a strict sleep schedule. The earlier they sleep, the more time you and your wife have to get caught up. Also, if you want them to eat veggies, don’t introduce anything with salt or sugar other than natural like carrots and fruit purées. Hard to get them to eat bland blended peas when they get the taste of a French fry. Also, start stockpiling on diapers now. And instead of using wipes, we washed the kid’s butt every time in the sink with just water and mild soap and she never got a rash.
  37. Take lots of pictures and stay in the moment the best you can, because time flies and they grow so fast. Other than that, seems like everybody and ever baby’s journey is different so best I can say is find a good pediatrician to answer questions you’ll have. You guys will figure out the details of what works best for your family together.
  38. Make your family Christ-centered and parent-centered. If you make it kid-centered/focused, kids think they are the center of the universe. Take time to follow God, and continue to date each other. Spend quality time with your kids. Dad’s are a daughter’s first love and a son’s first hero.
  39. Teach the baby some basic sign language. Our kids learned how to tell us they were hungry or thirsty way before they could talk for example. It is crazy how young they can learn it. (“Both my kids were signing their wants to me by 7 months.  Neither went through the terrible twos because they could communicate really well.  My son had a speech delay (got early intervention speech services) but  that just stepped up our signing that we’d luckily started way earlier.  It’s a great tool to bridge the communication gap before they talk.  It does not hamper their ability to talk.”)
  40. You do all the “correct” things the books tell you to do with the first one and then realize they’re fine and throw all the “book knowledge” out with the second and do whatever works and they’re still fine.
  41. Do the sleep training around 6 months don’t worry, you’ll still have tons of time with baby, but you get your nights back.
  42. The first 6 weeks is usually the toughest. The bottles are only 2 ounces and you never get any sleep maybe 1.5 hours if that.
  43. Have the grandparents etc. watch the baby occasionally so you can both sleep and rest. 7 hours of sleep will feel like 1,000 hours. If you can get that 1 to 2 times a week should be really helpful. The first 2 years is a lot. Lot’s of times baby sleeps on back in the crib.
  44. Watch out for the back of the head as it can flatten some as they say not to sleep on stomach because of SIDS when they are really young. If head is flattening you might need a baby helmet to round out the head before the skull starts fusing together. We had to get that for our son and now his head shape is beautiful. Some people do not know about that and then when baby is 2 to 3 years old they can’t get the helmet and ear level symmetry is off and skull pushed too far forward which can cause issues later on. https://www.cranialtech.com/
  45. Sneak in and peek at the baby after they are sleeping, no matter how crazy the day was. Something about seeing them so peaceful resets everything and gets you ready for the next day.
  46. My best advice is get a SNOO, it’s a crib that will rock your kid to sleep during the night, help you get about 1-2 hour of extra sleep per night and while it is expensive it’s totally worth the money!
  47. One small little item that we really loved was a warmer to wrap around the baby wipes. It was great not to clean my daughter up with with cold wipes.
  48. You will sleep if you read this book and follow it like a manual. “Cherish the first six weeks.” We are 2 for 2 on our kids sleeping through the night after 6 weeks. That book works wonders! It’ll teach you that your kid can be trained to sleep. Babies are nocturnal at birth about flipping their body clock.
  49. Love and care for your children and be the best Father you can be, but always put your wife and her needs first.
  50. Try to be present in the moment as much as possible. For baby shower register with BabyList, super easy to use. Diaper pail is a must.
  51. Spend all your time with them cause you made a commitment. You will never regret it. Carry your babies as much as you can cause when they start walking they won’t like that as much. (used a Gerry pack snugli.  There are many other types out there but I carried my kids while vacuuming, cooking, shopping ( I never put them in the shopping carts, nor ever carried their car seats around…too heavy and doesn’t free up my arms.)
  52. Take 1st aid course. I had to do the Heimlich maneuver both of my kids.
  53. Kids are great. Take lots of pictures. I created a Gmail account for each of our kids when they were born. My wife and I each send occasional emails to our daughters with stories, advice, and pictures. We’ll let them have the account when they are old enough. It’ll be like a time capsule.
  54. A “Shhh” machine for the car seat. There is also a cool app that lets you take 1 second videos.
  55. Get sleep now and make a plan on covering overnight shift. Good planning and shared coverage helps both sleep deprived parents. Get some protected time to sleep
  56. Healthy baby is all you need! Only buy diapers, wipes, butt paste, bath stuff, just a little bit of clothes, car seat. That’s really all you need. The rest of the stuff you think you might need, will be collecting dust cause you’ll be too tired to remember that you bought it.
  57. Just follow through with your promises even if he/she forgets, be swift with your punishment that has to fit the bad behavior, and of course, afterwards, remind him/her you love him/her.
  58. The only thought I have is that having the first child is the last decision you make on your own as a couple. After that, every decision is based on that first child, but that’s a good thing.
  59. Get Babywise. Listen to advice but then just love that baby and do what works best for your family and your baby! The reality is that babies are resilient and just need love and care! Do that and baby will be just fine!
  60. The sleeper onesies with zippers (even better if the zipper zips from the foot/bottom) is better than the button up ones. Especially for those late night diaper changes. Using a hakaa to catch milk on the opposite side while breastfeeding helps to collect and save milk to build up your milk stash.
  61. Slather  petroleum jelly generously over their butt area (and front) every time you diaper.  It prevents diaper rash, is cheap, and not adding chemicals to their skin.  Neither of my kids ever had diaper rash.
  62. Check into Adlerian style of parenting.  We mostly parent how we were parented by our parents.  But that didn’t work for my daughter (being in a divorced situation) and my parents physically beat us (different generation) so I had to find a different way to parent.  Adlerian style seems counterintuitive but it teaches kids to grow up Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful.  Worked for my kids who are both out on their own at 19 and 23  years old.
  63. With my first kid, we bought everything possible, from toys, gadget and clothes. Let’s just say we went overboard with everything, end up giving them away and not even using some of the stuff even once. So word of advice only buy when you need it, as first time parent we are all very excited about everything. We buy buy buy and without a care in the world. Want everything new and the best, second hand stuff work very well also. Plus they grow up so fast you won’t enjoy the new stuff for too long
  64. Just know the baby is pretty tough, they fall, they get bump but most of the time they are ok.
  65. My wife would freak out over everything, but reality is nothing really happen.
  66. We got one of these systems for our youngest with the car seat and it worked well…however he was big so he grew out of the car seat pretty fast…the stroller is great.  Our friend’s 3 yr old still sleeps in his..
  67. Learn first aid and CPR…saw this on the list and I would definitely recommend it.
  68. Try your best to enjoy the struggles.  Create memories if you can.  My first 2 boys are 2 years apart and those 5 years were just a blur.  I think it was a combination of being new parents and having full time W2s.  It was just trying to survive day to day and we failed to take a step back and enjoy what was happening.  One of the reasons we decided to have another keiki was to be intentional and enjoy the crying, changing diapers, and all the other baby stuff.  We are grateful for it all!
  69. Take pictures and back em up with multiple devices…we didn’t do this with our middle child.  Wife’s phone got stolen along with the majority of pictures of him.  So now we don’t really have pictures of him.
  70. Know how to install a car seat correctly and securing baby correctly.  Depending on the hospital you go to, the nurses will actually secure the baby in the car seat before you can leave…make sure to double check it because the nurse did it wrong the last time.
  71. Having car seats installed in both cars is super convenient!
  72. Get this rolling cart for all the stuff you gonna have to carry to the beach, park, etc…this has the wider wheels so you can take it on the sand…cheaper from Costco https://macsports.com/products/extra-deep-xl-wagon-with-cargo-net?variant=32470056173622 
  73. This thing is good for the beach and park as well. light and compact https://lightspeedoutdoors.com/collections/shelters/products/quick-cabana-blue-tide
  74. A bottle warmer was key for late night bottles…i forgot which one we used.  Also an electric kettle or hot water maker of some sort to make formula bottles…you could probably just use this to warm the bottles as well.  Having warm water available quickly will make night time bottles way easier.
  75. Everyone is different but if you’re thinking of having more than one child, it helped us to keep them staggered closely in age so things are more convenient school and activity wise.  That can change though – recently when one of them start attending an arts focused school miles farther away.
  76. We also felt a side benefit of having a dog would help them get used to interacting around animals.
  77. Your letting go of things to others is the right way to go.  Time flies fast so enjoy your time with your children.
  78. Have pacifiers around. There is some advice out there to not use them but we found there are times when it is the only thing that will calm her down.
  79. I tried several baby tracking apps but the best for us is called “BabyTime”. It is easy to use, syncs across phones, works on iphone and android, and it’s free.
  80. Get a deep freezer and fill it up with lots of food before the baby comes.
  81. Diaper genie
  82. Baby Briefcase to keep all the kiddies’ doctor papers, insurance papers, etc, etc
  83. All of the Emily Oster books – you will like these books as they are data driven instead of random made-up stories
  84. Pacifier clip to the kid’s shirt (saved us from losing so many of our daughter’s pacifiers)
  85. Baby cries 99.9% of the time because he/she is hungry, gassy, or just wants to be held. If you try all three of those actions when you baby cries, 99.9% the baby will immediately stop crying. I kept getting frustrated at our baby crying until I started applying that approach and I was never frustrated again.
  86. Great dads can put babies to sleep. Be that guy.
    – Principle: For at least 3-months, babies wish they were in the womb to sleep/ get comfortable. So recreate the womb with 5 S’s and you’ll be a hero
    — Shhhhhh – the “shushing” sound
    — Side-laying – fetal position against a belly
    — Swaddled – nice and tight
    — Sucking – whatever organic pacy-thing you got
    — Swinging – consistent, repeated movement tells them they’re being taken care of.

Anything else email me to add to the list. Let’s make the world a little better (for that next poor sap – new father/mother)

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