You still have time left! Maybe your due date is right around the corner or maybe it’s still a trimester or so away. In any case, before baby arrives there is plenty of prep work that needs to happen.
When your little bundle makes her big debut, you want to be ready with everything that she could possible need. Even though a quick run out to the local super-store to buy whatever you don’t have on hand is simple right now – pretty soon it won’t be.
There will be diapers to pack, bottles to keep cool and a baby to tote around too! Nix the need for this last-minute shopping and buy those baby basics beforehand.
This list is by no means exhaustive. From paci clips to white noise shushers, it’s likely that grandma, your BFF and everyone who has ever had a child before will tell you that you absolutely, positively must get ‘this’ specific item. Start with the basics, and build up your baby stuff from there.
So, what do you really need?
Duh! It’s no big secret that you need a crib, but what else? You may want to get a changing table (although you can make due with a changing pad on the floor if you don’t want to spend the extra money), glider/rocker and bassinet (newborns enjoy a snug sleep setting). You’ll also need somewhere to stash the million onesies and little socks that baby needs. Go for a dresser that grows with her, avoiding the need to get a new one later on. Even though it’s movable, a pack n’ play is a ‘furniture’ must for naps in the family room or going to grandma’s.
Keep in mind, you also need extras to go along with some of the furniture. For example, you need a water-proof mattress pad and sheets to go with the crib and basinet.
Even though it’s tempting to stock your stash with pink sequined tutus and little fuzzy bear rompers, these aren’t musts. Let the grandparents or your friend who had kids 20 years ago (and sorely misses those baby years) buy ‘fancy’ items. Right now you need to get:
- Cotton caps
- Zip-up blanket sleepers
- Rompers/footed snap-front or zipper pajamas
- Shirts (snap-front ones are easier to get over baby’s head)
- Optional: Weather-related items. This may include a full-body snuggly coat, hat and mittens.
You won’t know just how big your baby will be until she’s here. Buy some items in newborn and some in 0-3-months just to be on the safe side. Include a few 3-6-month pieces just to cover all of your bases.
While baby doesn’t need the fragrant lotions and potions that you use, she does need to keep clean and health. For that you’ll need:
- Tear-free baby shampoo/liquid soap (if you have any concerns about sensitivity, go with fragrance-free formulas)
- Infant-sized wash cloths
- Hooded towels
- Baby nail clippers and a file
- Nasal aspirator
- Scent-free and color-free lotion
The first step to picking diapering items is choosing which way you want to go – cloth or disposable. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. This makes the choices entirely yours and entirely personal. If you go the cloth route you need to either buy the diapers and covers or decide on a service. If you opt for disposables, you’ll need:
- Diapers (just like you did with your baby’s clothes, get a buffet of sizes that include newborn and the next size up)
- A diaper bin (to put the dirty ones in)
For either cloth or disposable, you also want to get wipes, a washable changing pad (with an equally as washable cover) and diaper rash cream.
You know the breast is best, but sometimes nursing doesn’t happen like you want it to. Just in case, it doesn’t hurt anyone to have a few bottles and some back-up formula on hand. Try a few different bottles. Some shapes and nipple designs are better suited to different babies. When it comes to formula, there are what seems like zillions to choose from. Talk to your pediatrician, asking for the pros point of view or preferred mix.
For breastfeeding moms—you may want to get a nursing pillow, nursing pads (for those not-so-little leaks), a few nursing bras and a breast pump. You can buy an inexpensive hand pump, invest in a super-sucker or rent one.
Oh, baby! There’s a lot of extra stuff that little gal will need. At the very basic, the list includes:
- A rear-facing infant car seat (if you drove, you won’t be allowed to leave the hospital without one of these)
- A diaper bag
- A stroller – There are strollers to fit every need. There are sizable travel systems that come with car seats included, snap and go models that fit your existing infant carrier/car seat, joggers, umbrellas and all kinds of other options!
Now you’re ready!