- Diapers and Wipes: Whether you use disposable diapers (there are so many brand available today including top brand names such as: Huggies Disposable Diapers, Pampers Disposable Diapers, and Luvs Disposable Diapers; generic versions, and even good discount warehouse versions!) or cloth diapers (there are cloth diapers and diaper bins that can be purchased, or, in many areas there are diaper services available) you MUST have an adequate supply of diapers ready for your newborn. Ensure you also have the right size. Wipes also need to be available for those diaper changes.
- Infant Car Seat:
- Baby bottles: Do you want to breastfeed? Even if you do, you'll want at least one bottle for the convenience of feeding breast milk without having the baby to breast. If not, you'll want to decide if you want disposable bottles (where there are inserts for the milk that can be thrown away), plastic or glass bottles. Nipple size and shape are also a consideration, although I always found that the baby will take what their given at some point! Of course, if you're bottle feeding, you'll also want to decide which formula you'll want to serve and have some on hand.
- Baby Crib: Do you want a crib right away, or do you think you'd prefer a bassinet? Do you want to wait to decide and start with a pack and play that has its own built-in bassinet that can be placed right beside your bed at night and wheeled around during the day? Decisions, decisions...
- Sleepwear: While most new parents love to go out and get a gazillion outfits for their infant prior to their arrival, after having several children myself, I can easily say that all of those outfits are not needed. What you need to do is decide what is most comfortable for your baby, and what is easiest for you to manipulate when changing him/her. Some of this depends on the season. I loved the gowns when my infants were really small. I'd use those with socks to keep their feet warm. These nightgowns work for both boys and girls and make life a lot easier for the person changing the baby! When the baby gets older, the sleepers with the built-in footies work well. (My kids always used to take off their socks, fall asleep, and then have cold feet! These sleepers prevented that.) If you get sleepers, consider if you like zippers or snaps. Zippers were always much easier for me.
- Baby blankets: You only need a couple of these, but I found that ALL of mine were much happier being snuggly swaddled when they came home from the hospital.
- Baby bath: How will you bathe your child? You COULD bathe them in the kitchen sink, but you'll want to make it comfortable and safe. I always found that an inexpensive, foldable but leak-proof bathtub was best. Click here for more considerations on bathing kids.
- Baby Carrier(s): How will you carry your baby outside of the house? Do you want a baby stroller? If so, what kind? Do you want another type of baby carrier like one that straps on you? Will you just keep him/her in the infant car seat? You might find reasons to use all of these, but you'll probably want something to help hold your child when you're out and about.
- Toiletries: You'll probably want to have some petroleum jelly available for care of the belly button, some diaper rash cream, and incidentals like a baby brush or comb, bath soap, lotions, etc.
- Medicines: I always wanted to have some acetaminophen and some ibuprofen on hand. Often, when calling the doctor because I thought one of my babies had a fever, they would give me the recommended dosing of one of these to help bring the fever down.
If you're preparing for a baby, this is an exciting time for you! There is so much to prepare for! The list above is just my own list of necessities when I had my kids. I do know that, with my first, I really went overboard in getting things that I thought I needed and really didn't. I guess that's part of the fun and excitement of it all, but if you want, just stick to the basics and have more money left for later... with a child you will need it!
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