Getting ready for a baby is a lot of work. I have no idea how many hours I spent creating list after list of things I needed for this child. But here I am to spare you the work!
After lots of researching and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting… I came up with an extensive list of what you need for your little one. I’ve linked each thing to the specific item that I either received or purchased.
- Car Seat
- Car Seat Cover
- Bouncer/Swing/Rock’n’Play – We didn’t purchase any of these things. Instead, we waited to see what our baby would prefer and borrowed different things from friends. This is the only thing that you won’t want to buy beforehand, as it’s all about baby’s preferences.
- Baby wrap – I use this wrap so much. My son is super clingy, and most days he is only happy when he is right up next to me. This has seriously been a lifesaver. Youtube has all the wrapping tutorials! This is essentially the same thing as the Moby wrap.
- Breastfeeding cover – This is the cover that I registered for, and I don’t like it at all because it flops on Sam’s face and I can’t see what I’m doing. Get one that stands straight out like this so you can see your baby!
- Changing Pad Covers – I’ve survived off of my set of two, but it would have been handy to have 3-4 covers to make the laundry last a bit longer.
- Changing Pad
- Diaper Rash Cream – This stuff literally lasts forever, regardless of brand. I just bought my second tube and my son is 2.5 years old!
- Wipes & Diapers
- Baby Wash
- Baby Powder
- Baby Washcloths – I found that you don’t really need too many of these. The first few months they don’t take baths very often, and not long after that you won’t really need such tiny washcloths.
- Hooded Towels – Unnecessary, but oh so cute. If you’re low on a budget, adult size bath towels work perfectly fine for wrapping up your little one and are probably much warmer anyways.
- Baby Tub – I used this one. I wouldn’t call it a necessity, but I really liked how the transition tubs made me feel like my baby was safer than just holding him up in a tub. The sling is for small babies and the little tub for babies who can sit on their own.
- On-the-go Wipes Dispenser – Get a soft one like this – we got a hard, plastic one and the wipes do not stay wet! Also, not a necessity. You can just put the wipes in the diaper bag exactly like they come from the store.
- Wipe Warmer – Totally not necessary, but it is nice. You can put homemade cloth wipes in it too!
- Burp Cloths – In my experience, you cannot have too many of these. Breastfeeding or formula feeding, you will have lots of spit up and leakage to deal with.
- Receiving Blankets – I got a ton of different blankets…. Flannel, fleece, quilted, crocheted, muslin… For some reason, I thought I needed all of them. Sam uses one kind of blanket. The big fuzzy ones are just the best for us. Who knew you only needed two blankets for a baby to survive!
- Baby Hygiene Kit– I’m not sure if it’s cheaper to buy everything together in a kit, or to buy them separately. Either way, you really need everything in this kit. I also loved this specific set because I used the little toiletry bag to put “travel” versions of baby items for when he stayed at Grandma’s.
- Pacifier Clips
- Baby Hangers – I wish this wasn’t a necessity, but unfortunately if you want to hang those tiny clothes you can’t use regular hangers. Walmart had a pretty big set of them for about $2-3.
- Glider/Rocking Chair – If you don’t already have a good chair to sit and nurse the baby in. Our only recliner is very wide, so I can’t rest my arms when I’m nursing. This is definitely a big purchase though, so see if you can work with what you have.
- Changing table – This table had some pretty awful reviews, but a couple good ones. Because of our very limited room, we were so desperate for something that could double as a dresser. So we gave it a try! It’s held up really well and we absolutely love it.
- Diaper bag – I loved this diaper bag for a long time, but recently a new style has arrived! Backpacks are becoming the new diaper bag and I LOVE it. I’m planning on getting a backpack for my next baby.
If you’re nursing:
- Breast Pads – I received reusable nursing pads & realized they were a big pain. If you DO use washable, you probably want to get a lot of them. Similar to cloth diapers.
- “Soothies” – I never used the nipple cream the hospital gave us – coconut oil works just fine! But they did give me these little pads called “soothies” and they were so much better than rubbing cream on my sore nipples. You stick these things in the fridge and you can reuse them! Then when things really hurt, you pull them out and stick them on. They felt amazing!!! Seriously. When your nipples hurt that bad, you won’t want to touch them to put on the cream. These are infinitely better.
- Nursing Bras
- Nursing Tank Tops
- Nursing Nightgown – I got all my nursing stuff at Walmart! Very cheap. I hadn’t thought to get the nightgown originally, but I saw it and it was cute. I ended up wearing it for labor and I wear it every night that it is fairly clean. All my nursing things have milk stains, rips, and a lot of wear from only a month of nursing! Probably for the best to not get super expensive stuff. Amazon has a lot of affordable options as well.
- Boppy Nursing Pillow – Whenever I don’t use the boppy for nursing it makes my back hurt so bad! Of course you can live without it though and just use regular pillows for support.
- Boppy Pillow Cover
IF you need to pump & bottle feed:
- Breastpump – The thought of a breastpump overwhelmed me – first of all, because of how expensive they can be and second of all… so many parts! I got this pump FOR FREE through my insurance at our local health department. And as to the parts, it really wasn’t that hard to figure out. All the pumping stuff can be overwhelming, but all you have to do is a little research. Here’s a quick guide to the world of pumping.
- Breastmilk Storage Bags – Any bags work. They do not have to be “compatible” with your breast pump.
- Cooler Bag – If you are planning on taking your breast milk with you anywhere, you will want a cooler bag to store it in. Pick a bag that fits 3-4 milk bags AND a bottle! It’s awesome if the cooler bag can fit inside of your diaper bag.
- SLOW-FLOW INFANT bottle [We tried a regular bottle at first, and it backfired! Sam ate 5 oz. in less than 5 minutes and he got really sick & gassy from eating so fast. He also didn’t want to come back to the breast for a while because it took so much effort to get the milk.]
For Later (4-6 mo. +)
- Waterproof Crib Mattress Cover
- Crib Mattress
- Crib Sheets – As with the changing table covers, I wish I would have had a couple more to work with, but you can make do with a pack of two.
- Booster seat OR high chair – We have a very tiny kitchen and couldn’t afford a high chair, so we opted for a little plastic booster seat.
TO-DO BEFORE BABY
- Ask someone to do maternity photos
- Make a baby registry
- Get home organized & deeply cleaned – you won’t have time to do it after baby comes!
- Start collecting things for the nursery
- Watch & read plenty of labor and childcare videos/books/articles
- Watch & read breastfeeding videos/books
- Sign up for labor & breastfeeding classes
- Makes sure you have plenty of phone/camera storage for all the cute pictures you’ll want to take of your newborn!
- Start to figure out what you will do for maternity leave if necessary
- Go shopping for any essentials you didn’t get from showers/gifts
- Set up a changing station
- Go on a little “babymoon” with husband – it will be the last vacation you have for a while!
- Take labor & breastfeeding classes
- Write thank you notes for baby gifts
- Get maternity photos taken
- Sign up for WIC coupons
- Make a list of things you want to do before baby (places to go, books to read, projects to complete, etc.)
- Ask for hand-me-downs in every size. Organize what you want to keep by size & keep stored. Keep newborn & 0-3 outfits, and newborn & size 1 diapers at home ready to go.
- Write a birth plan
- Pick a pediatrician
- Deep clean house
- Make diaper rash cream, baby soap, & any other DIY baby projects
- Get a fresh haircut, a pedicure, or something else to spoil yourself while you are feeling fluffy and swollen.
- Make sure you have nursing bras, tanks, etc. Most likely people won’t give these as gifts. [I found that nursing CLOTHES were gonna be a waste of money. As long as I had a tank top on under a loose top, I could get him under there to nurse. No special clothing necessary!]
- Pack diaper bag
- Pack hospital bag [or just-in-case emergency bag if you’re doing a homebirth]
- Pre-wash baby clothes
- Organize closet in nursery
- Ask someone to take labor photos if you want, or someone to come right after birth to take photos of you & hubby with baby
- Buy some giant, comfy grandma undies for after… you will really like them when you are floppy and sore!
- Make “padsicles” [freeze giant pads with witch hazel, aloe vera and lavender. I found that I liked them right before I had the baby as well because I had gotten so sweaty.]
- Make freezer meals. [You will be so glad you did!! I made a month’s worth and we have yet to use them. It will cut down on the grocery bills & the cooking those first few months.]
- Install car seat
- Stock little baskets by your bed & nursing chair so you can get what you need while you are nursing
- Sterilize breast pump & bottles
- Stock up on necessities like toilet paper, kleenex, paper towels, paper plates, laundry detergent, soap, etc. [I cannot express enough how HAPPY I was to have paper plates that first month. No new mom wants to spend her very little free time doing dishes!]
- Clean car
- Go on a last special date night with husband
TO-DO AFTER BABY
- Report birth to insurance
- Get newborn photos
- Call pediatrician to schedule first appointment for baby
- Pack a pumping bag near nursing chair
- Schedule circumcision if necessary
- Write down your birth story
- Keep track of baby’s development & milestones in a journal
- Take monthly photos of baby
- Send in paperwork to social security office for baby
- Schedule YOUR postpartum doctor’s visit
- 2-4 baby outfits (newborn & 0-3)
- Sweatshirts for mom & dad
- Nursing bras/tank tops/nightgown for mom
- 2-4 comfy outfits for mom & dad
- Insulated water bottle
- Books and/or magazines
- Notebook and pen
- Chargers & phones
- Toothpaste & toothbrushes
- Hair clip or bands
- Tylenol PM (or melatonin – something for sleeping)
- Baby blankets
- Flip flops
- Slippers and/or socks for mom and dad
- Swimsuit (if planning to get in the tub/shower during labor)
- Nursing cover
- Breast pads
- Burp cloths
- Gas drops
- To-go toiletry bag (nasal aspirator, mini shampoos & lotions, baby nail clippers, 1-2 washcloths, mini baby powder, mini butt cream, baby brush, etc.)
- Ziploc bags for messy clothes & dirty diapers on the go
- Swaddle blanket
- To-go changing pad
- Extra clothes
- Wallet & checkbook
NURSING SUPPLY BASKET
- Burp cloths
- Swaddle blanket
- Breast pads
- Extra baby outfit
- Diapers & wipes
- Extra water bottles & snacks
- Breast pump
- Hand sanitizer
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