Before you go out to shop for baby, checklist in tow, take a look at this list from a real mom. This list is by no means a complete shopping list, but a guide on how to sort through the excess of some other lists.
Here are 10 essentials that I really used.
1. Receiving blankets. I had so many of these that I got as gifts and I wasn’t too sure why I needed that many. Well, I did. I used them for swaddling, covering, wiping and more. You can never have too many.
2. Sleepers. Some people prefer gowns, but I found sleepers to be the best thing to put baby. in. They are comfy anfdkeep the feet warm, which gowns don’t. My daughter couldn’t seem to keep any socks on for at least the first few weeks. Sleepers come in cotton, terrycloth, etc. I also reccomend the bag sleepers. For summer babies, onesies would probably be a better option.
3. This next one may seem obvious, but diapers are essential and belong on the list. I had probably 5 packs of diapers before my baby was born and we went through them in about a month. Newborns go through a LOT of diapers. My daughter was on the small side (6lbs. 13oz.), and she wore newborns until she was close to 2 months (even though she was above the 10 pound mark on the package). If they are too huge, you may have a hard time keeping them from leaking. I would suggest getting at least 1 package of newborns, and take it from there.
4. My daughter, and almost all the baby’s I know, love their bouncy seats. Some are motorized, mine wasn’t. It had a toy bar you hook to it, and my baby just loves it. You can put your baby in it and go wash your face, eat something, and other “luxuries” once your little angel is born.
5. Car seat/stroller system. I have a car seat which snaps into the stroller. This is great for a few reasons. First off, it’s less trouble then unstrapping baby from carseat and the re-strapping her into the stroller. Also, small babies can’t really sit in most car seats comfortably. Also, the carseat faced the parent, so baby isn’t scared. Once my daughter was about 4 months, I started using the stroller the traditional way, and that is great, too. This system grows with baby.
6. Bassinet/side-sleeper. The need for this depends on your situation. I had a bassinet and I used it a lot. However, my baby usually ended-up sleeping with me at night (this was not the plan, but as I was breastfeeding, it was much easier). I did use it during the day for naps. The next time around, I’m going to get a “side-sleeper” which is like a bassinet with 3 sides that you attach to your bed.
7. Crib. My daughter didn’t start sleeping in her crib till she was about 3 months old, but now that she is, it is a must-have. If you are tight on money, you could buy either a bassinet or crib, but you don’t really need both in the begnining.
8. Pacifiers. If you are going to use pacifiers (I did), then make sure you have several. You will want to have an extra on hand when you go out in case it gets thrown or dropped in duck poop (actually happened at park, and no, I didn’t have an extra- it was a long ride home). A clip is also handy (clips pacifier to clothes), but don’t use at night.
9. Mylicon and other medical supplies. If you have never heard of it, Mylocon drops are heaven-sent. They are these all-natural, safe drops that you can give baby for gas. Just about any time that my daughter was crying and she wasn’t hungry, dirty, or the other norms, it was gas. One dose and she was fine. You can find them at most supermarkets, Walmart, pharmacies, etc. Other supplies to have on hand: thermometer (ask your doctor about which kind he prefers), infant tylonol, and anything else you don’t want to have to run out to but at 3 in the morning.
10. Nursing supplies (if nursing, otherwise bottles and formula) :nursing pads, bras, lanolin cream, and a shirt that has “easy access.” I never wore a bra to sleep before I nursed, but trust me, you need to. Not only are they heavy, but they leak. You should buy one or two boxes of nursing pads before the birth. They gave my lanolin cream at the hospital for sore nipples, and it was graet. Nursing is hard work, but it does get easier.
And a few things I didn’t use very much…
1. My snuggli carrier (a front backpack carrier). My daughter would cry after just a few minutes. Some people love them, but we didn’t.
2. Bassinet. As stated earlier, a bassinet is not an absolute nessescity. Nice to have, but not a must-have.
3. Swing. My daughter loves in now, but she has just started to enjoy it in the oast month (she is 6 months now). Unless you get a lying-down swing, this is one item that can wait.