Lots and lots of diapers and baby wipes
You definitely want to be well stocked with both diapers and baby wipes before your baby is born. These are a constant must-have and you can never have too many. It’s a good idea to have a setup, if possible, in more than one place, besides the nursery. Having mini “stations” makes life with a baby easier.
A proper, up-to-date car seat
This is not just important, it’s mandatory. For both safety and legal reasons, you should buy a new car seat for your infant and it needs to be properly installed in your car before you even bring your baby home. Someone from the hospital will inspect and help you get your baby setup in his or her car seat when you are all set to take your baby home.
Crib with mattress and breathable baby mesh liner
Obviously, a crib is a no-brainer. You will need a high quality mattress (they aren’t expensive and can be purchased at Walmart, Meijer, and many other places at good prices) that fits perfectly in the crib, leaving no “gaps” between the mattress and the inside of the crib. Also, a breathable mesh crib liner INSTEAD of a bumper for safety reasons. Babies have suffocated and died when unable to breathe through the bumpers, so please, please, please use a breathable mesh liner instead. Also, NO PILLOWS. Your baby won’t need pillows and they are dangerous.
The more, the better. But don’t spend too much time and money on clothes that will be out-grown in a few months. Choose clothes that range from birth to 6 months, or even birth to 12 months. Keep in mind that comfort and convenience is better than clothes that are difficult to unfasten or uncomfortable for your baby. Keep it simple. You should have the following ready for your baby after his or her birth:
- 8-10 onesies
- 2 wearable baby blankets
- 6-10 T-shirts
- 2 pairs of pajamas
- 8-10 pairs of cozy socks
- Additional items such as coats and pants, depending on the season
First aid kit
Either buy each item separately or in a complete package. Should include the following:
- Medicine syringe
- Medicine spoon
- Nasal aspirator
- Digital thermometer
- Baby Tylenol (as recommended by your baby’s Pediatrician)
- Petroleum jelly
- Sterile cotton balls
- Emergency information card (should contain phone numbers of your family doctor, Pediatrician, and local hospitals)
Plenty of burp cloths
From spit-ups to wiping milk from your baby’s face during and after feedings, you are definitely going to need plenty of burp cloths on hand. Consider how often you do laundry. You will probably use 2-3 burp cloths a day, and if you only have a few, then you will need to wash them daily. Otherwise, it’s best to have several burp cloths. Also, it’s not a good idea to keep using the same one(s) over and over before washing them, as the milk will dry on them and it’s not healthy for your baby.
Baby’s bath supplies
A baby bath towel (or 2), baby head-to-toe wash (regular shampoo isn’t necessary), several baby wash cloths, and some bath toys. Don’t forget to buy a baby bath tub. Yes, sinks can be used but for health reasons, you should invest in a real baby bath tub. They aren’t expensive.
You should have a minimum of 3-4, because (unless you are exclusively nursing your baby) you will go through bottles all day long, and not having to wash 1-2 bottles every couple of hours (but say, waiting until evening to wash all of them, while letting them soak after use), this will save you time and energy.
Formula (if not breast-feeding or in case of emergencies)
Sometimes unexpected things happen that can hinder a mother’s ability to nurse her baby, and that’s when formula comes in handy. Or, if you’ve chosen not to breast-feed, then having a case of this before your baby is born is a good idea. It’s nice when things can be purchased in bulk, but when it comes to baby’s formula/food supply, fresh is best. So buying a new supply each month is better than, say, a 6-month supply.
Not an absolute must, but really comes in handy in various situations. When you want to take your baby out for a walk, a stroller is essential… Unless you wear a baby carrier. Either way, it’s always nice to have a stroller available to use.
Another no-brainer, right? Make sure you get a diaper bag that fits YOU, since you’re the one who will be using it, not your baby. It should contain the following:
- At least 6 diapers
- Travel-sized items such as diaper rash cream
- Small blanket
- Travel changing pad
- Baby wipes
- 3 burp cloths
- Additional clothes for baby, and an extra shirt for you in case of public spit-ups on your shirt
- Bottle of water
- A couple of small, light-weight baby toys
- First aid kit (travel pack)
- Formula (if you don’t strictly nurse your baby)
- Zip-lock bag(s) for disposing dirty diapers
Baby grooming kit
Should include the following:
- Soft-bristled hair brush
- Baby nail clippers
- Small scissors
- 2 emery boards
- Cotton balls
Diaper changing station
It’s true, you can use a bed or even the floor to change a baby’s diaper (and many people recommend it), but we highly recommend making the investment in an actual diaper changing station or table. There are 3-in-1 sets that include a crib, playpen, and changing station, and of course they can be purchased separately. This is an important must-have, and will make things easier for you.
You’d be surprised at just how sharp those baby nails are! These mittens are specially made for babies, and keep those little fingers from creating scratches. Babies have been known to scratch their faces up even on the way home from the hospital, so having baby mittens will definitely help keep your baby safe.
Diaper rash cream
You must have this, and one large bottle lasts a good long while.
They aren’t necessarily a must-have, but they are highly recommended. They certainly do “pacify” and help to calm babies down.