Baby Gear Checklist – What Will You Need in the First Weeks?
Very soon, you’ll be holding your new baby in your arms. Your pregnancy will feel like a distant memory and a whole new world of sleepless nights, dirty diapers, anxiety, and, most importantly, unconditional LOVE will open up to you. But what baby gear do you need to have at home ready for when your little one finally arrives?
Personally, I think it’s best to stock up on the bare essentials while you’re pregnant and play the rest by ear. Every baby is different and every parent does things differently. And you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on stuff you don’t end up using.
Essential Baby Gear Checklist:
So, what are the essential newborn items you’ll need in the first weeks of your baby’s life? I’ve been talking to our readers about the baby goods they couldn’t live without and have developed a checklist to help you prepare for parenting.
Have you decided whether you’ll go with reusable or disposable diapers? There are definite pros and cons to both. Cloth diapers are considered more environmentally friendly and cost effective, while many parents find disposable diapers more convenient and less time-consuming. At the end of the day, you have to do what works for you.
If you use cloth diapers you’ll need:
- Enough reusable diapers for 10 – 12 changes a day. We recommend having at least 30 so that you don’t get caught short if you miss a washing day.
- Diaper liners.
If you use disposable diapers you’ll need:
- Enough disposable diapers in newborn size for 10 – 12 changes a day. You can buy bulk diapers online in boxes of 148 – that’s only 2 weeks’ worth, so you might want to stock up with two or three boxes.
Either way, you’ll also need:
- Hand sanitizer
- Diaper cream
- Baby wipes or washable flannels
- A changing mat or table
- Diaper bag
Some parents choose to do without the baby bath and bathe with their baby. If you do this, make sure that you use gentle soaps and shampoos that Baby won’t react to – baby products will make your hair and skin really soft, too! Here’s what you’ll need to keep your baby lovely and clean:
- A baby bath
- Baby soap
- Baby shampoo
- Soft washcloths and towels
Another big decision here. Are you planning to breastfeed or bottle feed? It’s a contentious subject, but you need to make a decision which suits you and your baby. You can’t let anyone else make this choice for you.
If you are planning to breastfeed you’ll need:
- Breast pads to prevent leaking.
- Comfortable nursing clothes.
- A breast pump and two or three bottles for storing pumped milk.
- A feeding pillow to cradle Baby as you nurse.
- Nipple cream.
If you are planning to bottle feed you’ll need:
- Bottles and nipples: 10 – 12.
- A bottle brush.
- Burp bibs or blankets.
- Your pediatrician will recommend the best infant formula for your baby.
Your baby will go through several changes of clothes a day, especially if they have reflux. If you don’t want to be chained to the washing machine, we recommend stocking up on:
- Short-sleeved bodysuits: 5 – 10
- Long-sleeved bodysuits: 5 – 10
- Sleepsuits with feet: 5 – 10
- Socks or booties: 3 – 5 pairs
- Warm hats: 3 – 5
- Swaddling blankets: 3 – 5
We don’t recommend buying too much more than that in the newborn sizes, as Baby will grow incredibly quickly and you’ll soon have to buy bigger clothes. You can always top up a few weeks down the track if you find you’re running short.
You probably set up your nursery when the nesting instinct kicked in back in your second trimester. But, here’s the checklist of baby gear for the nursery, just in case you missed anything:
- A crib or bassinet. Many parents opt for a bassinet by their bed for the first 6 months or so. If you choose a crib, make sure the slats are less than 2 3/8 inches apart.
- A firm mattress which tightly fits the crib or bassinet.
- Fitted crib sheets.
- Soft blankets to suit the season.
You’ll feel like you’re taking everything but the kitchen sink whenever you venture out with your newborn – there’s so much baby gear to take along! Here are the essentials:
- Safety improved installed car seat.
- Pram – make sure it’s suitable for newborns.
- A baby sling (also excellent when you’re trying to get a bit of housework done!).
- Diaper bag for all your changing needs.
- Warm clothes and a swaddling blanket.
Baby Products Online Shopping:
Many of the moms I talked to said they bought most of their baby stuff online. They found that buying baby products online saved them both time and money. For example, you can buy diapers online in bulk (and you even get free postage!) for a fraction of the cost you’d get them in a grocery store.
If you’d like to browse baby essentials, the Online Baby Shop at Amazon.com is a great place to start.
Are there any essential baby goods that I’ve forgotten?
If there are any other items you would advise new parents to buy before their baby is born, feel free to tell us about it in the comments section. The goal is to make life easier for new parents and sharing is caring!
More Useful Links Leading up to Baby Birth:
I’m sure you learned all of this in your childbirth classes. But, just in case you need a little refresher, you can read all about the stages of labor and delivery here.
As well as all the things for Baby, you’ll need some comfortable clothes for nursing. Check out our guide to buying the best maternity and nursing clothes here.
Pregnancy is only nine moths. Then you spend a lifetime being a mom. Have you thought about what kind of parent you’ll be? This page recommends five books on parenting by experts in the field.