If you’re expecting, you’ve definitely started thinking about all the baby essentials you’ll need in the upcoming weeks and months. Some things are obvious – clothing, a crib, diapers – but others are easier to overlook. And it’s not always easy to tell the nice-to-haves from the essentials. Below is my ultimate cheat-sheet of everything you need for those first few weeks. It includes everything I needed to survive. Of course, every baby is different, but these are items that worked best for my family. Hopefully they will work for yours too.
– STROLLER & INFANT CAR SEAT
Having a great stroller is key. The right stroller can make all the difference in the ease and accessibility of your daily life with baby. And you’ll need a car seat from the moment you take baby home from the hospital until he/she grows up enough to fit into adult seat belts.
– BABY CARRIER
Babywearing is healthy for bonding and comfort, and it makes life much easier.
– DIAPER PAIL
I laughed it off at first and now I can’t imagine my life without one. A good diaper pail is designed to help keep odors contained. It’s impossible to take every single dirty diaper outside every time you change your baby.
– BREAST PUMP
Even if you plan to exclusively breastfeed, it is helpful to have a breast pump on hand. You might want to start pumping before heading back to work or maybe you just want dad to be able to give a bottle every now and again. A double electric pump is a must-have if you plan on pumping a decent amount on a regular basis. TIP: Also, get Earth Mama Nipple Butter! This is best nipple cream for your sore and chapped nipples. I apply the nipple butter at least 3 times a day and let it soak in. It’s like skincare for your nipples.. And it’s all natural and ok for baby.
– NURSING PILLOW
One thing I wasn’t expecting was how difficult breastfeeding would be.. It can be painful in the earlier weeks when you and your baby are learning about the proper latch technique. In the meantime, your back, neck and shoulders are hurting because you’re getting used to holding a baby who’s only getting bigger. A nursing pillow helped me attain and maintain the ideal latch and comfortably supported my upper body and my baby.
– BOTTLE STERILIZER
Whether you’ve chosen glass, plastic or silicone bottles, you’ll have to keep them as pristine as possible to protect baby’s developing immune system. Sterilizers use steam to disinfect bottles, pacifiers, breast pump parts and even some plastic teethers and toys. I have one one that not only offers you the basic function of sterilizing bottles, but also features the milk and baby food warmer. So helpful and efficient!
With multiple nightly wakeup calls, you’ll want to keep baby within reach. A bassinet by your bedside keeps baby close enough for you to soothe them quickly, and to peer over to watch them sleep. The sides of the one I have are all mesh, so it’s breathable and see-through.
– BABY BATHTUB
Bathing a baby can be intimidating, especially with a slippery newborn who can’t support her head. A convertible tub is designed to grow with your baby—all the way from the newborn stage to the toddler years. Many have mesh slings or mildew-resistant foam pads to support newborns, which can be removed as your baby outgrows them.
– CHANGE TABLE & PORTABLE CHANGING PAD
You’ll probably want to designate a place for diaper changes. You can plop a changing pad or towel onto just about any place for diaper changes, but if you don’t want to hurt your back, a table does make the task more comfortable for whoever’s on diaper duty. Plus you can put clothes, diapers and other necessities in cloth bins and baskets within the open shelving area.
– PORTABLE BABY LOUNGER
It has been designed to offer a safe, snug and soothing environment for babies. Your baby can rest, play and lounge without the restrictions of buckles and also allows parents to safely sleeping with them. The lightweight design and easy-to-use package with handle make your newborn nest a portable baby must-have.
– SLOW-FLOW BABY BOTTLES
From BPA-free plastic to glass baby bottles and everything in between, it can be hard to know exactly what kind of bottle to look for. Whether you’re feeding your baby formula or pumped milk, look for bottles that mimic the shape of the breast and slow down the flow of liquid to reduce colic, spitting up, burping and gas. The vented bottle creates a vacuum-free feeding experience and it closely mimics breastfeeding.
Pacifiers are much like bottles in that your baby is likely going to have a preference, regardless of which one you register for. Better arm yourself with several brands to try, and stock up once your baby makes their preferences known.
– DIAPERS, WIPES & DIAPER CREAM
This is as basic as you get.
Between spit-ups and blowouts, newborns can go through several outfits in a day. Oh yes. In the first month, I opted for all-in-one outfits, sleep ‘n’ plays, for daytime wear because they’re easy, comfortable and downright adorable.
– BURP CLOTHS (loads and loads of these!)
Babies are messy so in the early months, you go through several of these daily.
– SWADDLING BLANKETS
A good swaddle can help soothe your baby and get them—and you!—better sleep. Many newborns love to be swaddled, and having a few blankets made just for this purpose can make your life much easier. And if your baby doesn’t like to be swaddled, these stretchable blankets are quite useful for a variety of other things, from tummy time to cuddling with in a stroller.
Congratulations & good luck!