A cousin of mine is pregnant with her first child. She asked on Facebook recently what do her and her husband really need to get and register for. She wants to know from us experienced parents what was really useful, what we realized we were missing in those first few months and what is useless junk that will end up on the baby re-gifting circuit.

It's been several years since we had a baby in our house, we did get some things as gifts that were very useful, a car-seat/carrier thing and a crib for example. But, beyond that the list of stuff new parents need is short. If you really want to give a gift that helps here are three core things that will help new parents.

1) Diapers and Wipes

You do not grasp the number of diapers you go through until you're in the thick of it, or the panic of realizing you do not have any diapers in the house. That will happen. Probably not in the first month. But as you start to settle into being parents and you're restructuring the rest of your life around the new reality, you are going to forget about diapers. The same way you may leave the house without your keys or phone. Unlike that, forgetting diapers is an emergency and not having diapers in public is a disaster.

So get the new parents diapers. Costco level cases of diapers. And NOT newborn diapers. They only are useful for about the first week. get the next few sizes, lots and lots of them. The baby's room has no real use for the first year anyways, no reason it can't be a crib surrounded by boxes and boxes of diapers and baby wipes.

Oh yea, I know all about cloth diapers. But no thank you, new parents in 2016 don't need another chore added to their day. "Hey I know you're already so busy and tired you forget to eat, but you should use cloth diapers and do laundry every day and live with buckets of poop in your house." And if anyone ever suggests a diaper service to you, never talk to them again.

2) Clothes

Go ahead and get the new parents clothes, BUT be careful. Don't spend money on cute things like little Nikes or jeans. Onsies, that's the main thing they need. Newborn, one month, two month, three, you know what's next. Different colors, different weights, short sleeve, long sleeve. Also, a good rule if you are giving cloths: if the baby is born in the winter, give summer clothes and if it's born in the summer get some warm clothes that will fit in a few months.

3) Money

Still unsure about what to get? Give cash. Or gift-cards; Walmart, Target, places like that. Most of the time new parents don't know what they need until well after the baby is here and home. Plus, the real possibility of unexpected medical expenses is a strain no new parents needs (but most will have to deal with).

The thing about money is that people are often too polite to straight-up ask for it, but it is so helpful to them. And it's way more useful than some door-frame spring contraption or a complicated diaper magician.

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