Everyone is concerned about what baby gear items to get when they register, stocking up on everything from diapers to a car seat, but what about the mom?

No matter how much you were around babies before, (I was a lot, even getting my master's degree in a pediatric field), or how much you've researched or read or prepped and planned, nothing can really prepare you for the day-in-and-day-out experience of being a mom yourself.

It's rewarding, challenging, growing, refining, joyous work and easily my favorite role by far. I wouldn't trade it for anything, even on the toughest days.

Motherhood is a big role. And yet there's no handbook or "registry guide" to follow, even though it encompasses a full-on, major identity and lifestyle shift and you will need a toolbox of things to get you through. You just can't exactly register for them.

But here's what you can stock up on for motherhood:

Patience. For when your baby gets up for the 18th time in the middle of the night, or when you're on your fifth outfit change of the day.

Grace. For everyone. Extra doses for those closest to you (yourself included). We're all just doing the best we can.

Friendship and community. Motherhood can be isolating and you'll need to rely on your home team and that group text thread more than once. Among the texts I have sent this year: "Does anyone have experience NOT giving the antibiotics for an ear infection?" "How long did it take you before you felt like you got the hang of this?" "Play date tomorrow at 10am?" Motherhood, while wonderful, also (at times) is hard. Find your tribe. These friends will be worth more than gold.

Caffeine. If you're into that (like me). See also: wine and chocolate.

Hydration. For all that extra coffee. I often forget to drink water, but when I do I think "I should do this more often." A cute water bottle helps.

Nourishment. In all forms and every sense of the word.

Fresh air, and bonus points for endorphins. Because we all could use a little more vitamin D and a little less screen time.

Humility. It's kind of hard to go through the birth process and not come out more humble (thank you, nurses, and all healthcare workers for doing the jobs that you do), but once the baby's here, someone else's bodily fluids will now be a part of your daily life (and your wardrobe).

Flexibility. Your days will not go as planned. The sooner you can accept this fact, the better.

Endurance. Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint. Your days may feel loud and busy and full right now, but someday they won't. As everyone says: the days are long but the years are short.

And most definitely, a strong sense of humor. You can choose to either laugh or cry at a million moments in your momming. Choose the former and be happier.

Granted, yes, there are a few "needs" with a baby. Probably things like: a place for your baby to sleep, a plan for feeding, and a car seat that fits. It was time for us to graduate from our infant car seat to a convertible one, and after researching I went with the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85. I chose this one for a few reasons, two main ones are the weight limit is higher than most, and the cover removes easily for cleaning (because the words "clean" and "car seats" are never in the same sentence unless fresh out of the washer). This one is neither the least expensive nor the most, and it checked all my boxes for comfort, safety, style, and design. Sidenote: I wish I had moved him sooner! He's a pretty big baby, and would cry every time I put him in his infant car seat. (Yes, every-single-time.) but he's hasn't cried yet going into this one (SO glad). I think he may have just needed more space? Sharing in case your baby also hates their infant car seat and maybe they just need to graduate to the next size. It's all a guessing game with babies but I thought this was an interesting observation.

(Caught these two having a moment. Trey thinks Daniel is about the funniest person on earth.)

So, yes, get your baby essentials. But also stock up on your motherhood toolbox. You're going to need those qualities a lot more than that wipe warmer.

This post was written for Maxi-Cosi. We adore this car seat and how their well designed baby products combine the best of style and safety.