When I found out I was pregnant the first time around, one of the first things I did was go out and a buy a baby book. And the first chapter I read was the one of things to buy for baby. I wanted to get as much of a head start as I could on getting things for my little Moo. A few days later, I found myself in front of the computer searching for baby shopping check lists. Yes, the madness had began.
I mean the baby book listed this small list of things to get but I was finding lists on the internet from baby magazines that seemed to miles and miles long. Which one should I follow? In the end, I created my own list. It was based on my budget (I’m not rich!) and input from my hubby and my mom (she had five kids). What I discovered was it’s best to go with the small list from the baby book than the huge list from those baby magazines. And even then it’s wise to back and eliminate things you don’t need.
For example, if you don’t plan on breastfeeding clearly you’re going to cross off buying/renting a breast pump. Anyways, here’s my list of baby product must haves.
~Crib/Bassinet: Let’s face it the baby needs somewhere to sleep. Bassinets usually work well until your baby starts to get really active and try to sit up on their own. Bassinets also allow for those moms who are uncomfortable with their babies sleeping in bed with them to still be able to co-sleep. And remember drop side cribs are illegal now!!
~Crib Mattress: I recommend getting a mattress that is waterproof (it’s pretty much the norm now) and not too soft but not rock hard either. Make sure crib mattress fits snug in your crib because cribs come in all different shapes and lengths.
~Toy Basket: The crib is not the safest place to store toys when your baby is sleeping in it. And you also want to make sure that you keep your baby’s toys as clean and germ free as possible. I regular clothes basket with a lid or storage container from the Dollar General or WalMart will do the trick. No need to break the bank on a spiffy toy box.
~Crib Bumpers: I made the mistake once and took the bumper off of Moo’s crib while she was napping in it and I came back to find that one of legs had managed to find its way between the crib railing. So be sure to leave those bumpers on there! They are for more than just decoration.
~Fitted Sheets: I recommend getting three for the crib and three for the bassinet. This way you’ll always have one on the mattress plus a back up when you have to wash the previous fitted sheet. Moo was notorious for having diaper blowouts in her sleep. So, I washed sheets and clothes a lot!
~Crib Blankets: Cotton blankets work better in the spring and summer when the weather is warm and you have the AC turned up to the max. Fleece blankets are warmer for the fall and winter seasons. Again I recommend three of each. I always kept two that were used strictly for sleeping or around the house purposes and then one that was used to wrap around Moo in the car seat or the stroller.
~Night Light: There’s nothing like almost falling into the bassinet or trying to feel for baby in the dark. Even if your baby sleeps in a separate room a night light is still a wise investment as it will allow you to check on baby without having to turn on bright lights and wake them. I looked at this as more of a safety feature.
~Laundry Hamper/Bag: Babies have such sensitive skin that the slightest thing can break them out. I learned this the hard way with Moo. Honestly, it’s best to keep their clothing separate from your own, especially if you work in healthcare, law enforcement and any other field in which you come in contact with harmful germs or chemicals. And again you can hit up the dollar store for one of these.
~Bodysuits: I highly recommend buying the 0-3 months size versus the newborn size because babies grow fast. My mom got some in newborn size for Moo and three weeks later we were back in the store getting bigger sizes. Also, look for the bodysuits that have the built in hand mitt because it will save you from having to buy so many hand mitts to prevent scratching. I would say get at least 14 of each. This way you can allow for at least two wardrobe changes a day and trust me it will happen. The Dollar Tree sells the short sleeve bodysuits and they do last pretty well!
~Sleepers: These really come in handy during the fall and winter months. In the summer and warmer spring nights you can get away with just letting baby sleep in a bodysuit and keeping them covered if you have the AC up too high. I think that 7 to 14 is great number to get. Blowouts can be common during the night.
~Sweaters: You’ll need a light sweater for the early cooler spring days and a heavier sweater for the fall and winter. After all, if you have hot natured kids like my Moo, a jacket or coat and be much and more than a little uncomfortable. However, you still need to keep them warm and a sweater is the perfect substitute.
~Socks: Idk if you know but we catch colds thru our feet, hands and head. Your baby does too. So you want to make sure to keep their feet warm.
~Hats: If you plan on being out and about in the summer, it’s best to make sure your baby stays as cool and protected from the sun as possible by using a hat and in the cooler months a winter hat with ear flaps is necessary to keep baby warm and protect them from catching head colds.
~Baby Wipes: Ok, this one is common sense. Clearly you need to have some way to keep your baby’s private area clean during diaper changes. However, wipes come in handy for cleaning off pacifiers, bottle nipples, dirty hands and much more!
~Diapers: Duh!! You just need to decide if you’re going to do cloth diapers or disposable diapers or even both. I don’t recommend stacking up on too many of the newborn sizes especially if you’re breastfeeding.
~Changing Pad: Nothing was worst than going to use the changing station in a public restroom and seeing that 1-they were out of the table liners, 2-it was dirty and 3-it was hard as a rock. Remember germs are bad for your baby! Your changing pad will serve as a layer of protection between the nastiness on that changing station and your baby’s clothes and skins. I do recommend wiping down the side of your changing pad that touches the changing station with a wipe before tucking it back in your diaper bag.
~Nail Clippers: I know it’s hard to believe that something so small can be born with nails so sharp and long but they can. I found myself clipping Moo’s nails all the time. I suggest making sure your clippers have a built in emery board if you’re not completely comfortable with using the actually clippers. This will save you from having to buy both.
~Baby Brush/Comb Set: Babies have sensitive scalps and an adult brush and comb is just too rough for their little heads to handle.
~Bibs/Burp Cloths: Great to use during feedings and to wipe away spit-up and drool.
~Thermometer: You’ll need to be able take your baby’s temperature if you suspect that they are ill.
~Petroleum Jelly: This product works great for everything from keeping dry skin moist to helping circumcisions heal and keeping that little piece of umbilical cord from sticking to the diaper until it falls off.
~Diaper Rash Ointment: Although, we try diaper rash happens and you don’t want to wait until it happens to hunt down ointment. Better to be already prepared!
~Medicine dropper: Not all meds come with droppers or syringes. I know this is hard to believe but it’s true.
~Nasal Aspirator: Helps to clear the baby’s nose when it gets stuffy.
Body Products: It’s very important to find body products that work with your baby’s skin type. As I learned baby soaps irritated Moo’s eczema and Dove actually worked best for her.
~Car Seat: This is another no brainer. Whether you own a car or not you still need to make sure that you own one of these because at some point you will be riding in a vehicle of some sort.
~Stroller/Carrier: You’re going to need somewhere for baby to rest while you’re shopping or walking at the park or down town.
Hopefully, this list will help some new mom-to-be. I tried to stick strictly to the items my baby couldn’t live without and then get extra items if I could afford them. And don’t be afraid to hit up the dollar stores like Dollar Tree, Family Dollar or Dollar General for baby products. You’d be amazed that their cheaper products are just as sufficient as those name brands from WalMart and other big retailers!