Nothing prepares you in life like the adventure of parenthood. Once your little bundle of joy arrives, you will be taking part in one of life’s wonderful and crazy roller coaster rides. From the moment you find out you are expecting many joyous preparations begin to unfold. From the surprise of a baby shower to picking out the theme of a nursery room, getting everything ready for a new baby is one of the first steps to ensure a healthy delivery and a baby’s healthy development.
Being the mom of 4, including a set of twins, one of my first recommended steps in preparing for a baby is creating a baby registry. When I was pregnant with the twins, my husband was deployed overseas for most of the pregnancy. Often deployed soldiers miss the arrival of their newborn daughter or son. I volunteered as a troop leader to our Army National Guard’s FRG (Family Readiness Group). Part of the FRG’s mission was to help keep the families of the deployed soldiers connected with information, assistance and resources. We had set up a phone and email list to keep family members engaged especially for those that could not make it to the monthly meetings. We would visit family members and loved ones to ensure they were connected, including families of injured soldiers belonging to the unit.
To help fill the gap and take care of the needs of the deployed families, the FRG would hold diaper drives, baby showers (or as they were sometimes called “Operation Baby Ready”) for all the pregnant military spouses. Most of the attendees had spouses who were on deployment for extended periods of time. Every expecting mom—first-time to mom again—received a baby care essentials basket, baby care information, discounts and free coupons for diapers and wipes. During a stressful time of being pregnant, without the physical and emotional support of a spouse and sometimes financial issues, the diaper drives were a welcome reprieve from the daily concerns. Many of the baby care and other products we received were from military partners like local diaper banks who receive diapers from Huggies, who wanted to help ease the burden of military and deployed families.
DID YOU KNOW? 1 in 3 parents in the U.S. suffer from diaper need– the struggle to provide clean, dry diapers for baby.
Diaper need is a critical issue affecting neighborhoods across the U.S. Often parents must cut back on utilities or child care to provide diapers. For those on government assistance, the financial gap is even greater. An average monthly supply of diapers costs approximately $80. The only federal assistance program that can be used for diapers is TANF, but TANF has to cover many other expenses, including heat, electric and water bills, rent, clothing, transportation, and other basic needs. Little, if any money, is available to purchase enough diapers to keep a baby clean, dry, and healthy.
Huggies has been giving hugs in the form of more than 200 million diapers and wipes over the past six years to help babies in need. Huggies helped establish the National Diaper Bank Network in 2011, which it continues to support, helping it grow from 20 banks to 320.
If you want to help, you can…
- Volunteer at a local bank. (Find a list of local diaper banks at nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/members).
- Host a diaper drive with your friends or playgroup.
- Donate diapers to your local diaper bank.
- Donate your Huggies Rewards points to babies in need. Download the new Huggies Rewards app and find more information at Huggies.com.
Basic baby care supplies appear on every baby registry so another way another way to help families in need is donating those essential items. With multiples, we had to purchase double of many items. This list is based on having twins, so if you are buying for just one baby, buy only one of each suggested item.
- 2 Cribs (Crib mattress can be firm for better back support.)
- 1 Bassinet (It is common that multiples are preemies or are small in birth weight. You can just buy one bassinet and then transfer them to cribs when bigger.)
- 1 Pack ‘n Play (One can be bought first but eventually two will be needed due to weight limitations.)
- 1 Double Stroller
- 2 Car Seats (Buy another set if you have a second car.)
- 2 Sunshades for Car Windows (Buy another set if you have a second car.)
- 2 Bouncy Seats (Helpful to keep babies entertained while Mom or Dad is trying to accomplish other things.)
- 1 Baby Swing & 1 Portable or Travel Swing (There will come a time when you want both babies to be in a swing and it is helpful to have one that is portable.)
- 2 Rocking Chairs with Footstools (Its helpful to have 2 since you will probably be rocking the babies to sleep in varying rooms.)
- 2 Front Baby Carriers (Great for Mom and Dad to be able to have their hands free.)
- 1 Diaper Bag (Buy a Diaper Bag that is roomy to fit bottles and jars of food.)
- 1 Music Player that can play lullaby music or 2 Musical Soothers for the cribs.
- Diapers & Wipes (Visit Huggies.com to get $2 off a pack of Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers, so you can nurture and care for your little one. Huggies Clutch ‘n’ Clean Wipes hang anywhere–making it versatile and accessible, from the diaper bag to the stroller, to the car and more.)
- 2 Diaper Rash Ointments
- 1 Diaper Genie (You may want to buy an extra Diaper Genie if your home has a second floor.)
- 1 Breastpump (Breastpumps can be rented from the hospital.)
- 12 Bottles
- Microwave Bottle Sterilizer
- 1 Bottle Brush
- 2 Boppy Pillows or 1 Large Nursing Pillow
- Newborn Tub or Convertible Tub that can be used for sitting infants
- 8 Washcloths
- 6 Hooded Towels
- Baby Wash, Lotions, Shampoo
- 10 Burp Cloths
- Plastic Bowls and Utensils
- 2 Pacifiers
- 4 Waterproof crib/mattress liner
- 4 Sheet savers
- 6 Fitted crib sheets
- 4 blankets
- 4 Halo Sleep Sacks
- Baby Monitor
- Carbon monoxide detector for baby’s room
- First Aid Kit
- Mylicon drops (To help alleviate gas.)
- 4 Fleece outfits for Winter
- 2 Winter jackets for Winter
- 4 pairs of gloves or mittens
- 4 Sun Caps for Summer
- 4 Shorts and T-Shirts Sets for Summer
- 10 receiving blankets
- 8 One-piece outfits
- 8 One-piece pajamas
- 10 pairs of sock/booties
As you hug your own children, remember that the support from others can be life-saving. It meant the world to the deployed military families to have the support of community and brands during their time of need. All infants and toddlers deserve to start life with a solid foundation to reach their full potential. It’s easy to help volunteer and donate to keep children clean, dry and healthy and eliminate diaper need for all families.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Huggies. Any opinions stated here are our own.
Huggies believes deeply in the Power of Hugs, which is why every diaper and wipe is designed to emulate a parent’s embrace. The Huggies No Baby Unhugged program helps ensure all babies get the hugs they need to thrive by supporting hugging programs in hospitals and donating diapers across the country. Learn how you can help at Huggies.com. #HuggiesCouncil #ad
Joscelyn, Owner of Mami of Multiples & Mami Innovative Media
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