Are you or is someone close to you expecting a baby? Feeling overwhelmed about what is really needed for the baby’s arrival?
So was I.
But now that I’ve had three babies join our family, I’ve become familiar with what is really needed versus what isn’t. I wish I had this list with number 1! But at least I was able to space out the purchases over time with my subsequent two.Learn what you REALLY Need For a New Baby with a FREE Printable! #Baby #Pregnancy #Parenthood Click To Tweet
Here are my recommendations and tips. At the end of this post, I’ve included a downloadable full-size list for you to print and go!
- 9 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Breastfeeding
- 10 More Things I’ve Learned About Breastfeeding – At 6 Months Postpartum
- What to Pack in Your Maternity Hospital Bag + FREE Printable
- 7 Reasons the United States Needs Paid Maternity Leave
- My Third Birth Story – Or, Why You Should Get an Epidural
Although arguably the most fun items to purchase, not much clothing is needed for a new baby. Stick with the basics to start, and consider buying items sized 3-6 months so that your baby won’t grow out of them as quickly. Be sure to wash all clothes and blankets in sensitive detergent before using (I don’t personally use Dreft – I find that any sensitive detergent works just fine and is easier on the budget).
- Onesies: My favorite clothing items for all three of my babies. Pants, shorts, shirts, and dresses are simply unnecessary (although adorable – and definitely justified on that alone). But onesies are inexpensive, easy to change, and available in designs that go with anything. Get a few sets – a couple short sleeve and a couple long sleeve – and you’re set. I like this basic set from Gerber.
- Sleepers: Does it get any cuter than PJs for babies? These are great for day or night. Cute and warm, they provide easy access to diapers. I’m a fan of the ones that zip vs. snap to close (like these) – snaps aren’t always the easiest to navigate at 3am with a cranky baby.
- Sleep Gowns: After our first baby, these were the only clothing items we brought to the hospital. Why? They’re comfortable and make diaper changing a breeze – no snaps or zippers to worry about. My favorites are the ones with the built-in mitts – these Gerber ones are a great buy. Truly a one piece clothing solution.
- Wearable Blankets: Traditional blankets are a definite no-no for babies due to risk of suffocation. So what to do on a chilly night? Dress your baby in a safe wearable blankets. I love them and use them up until each child is about a year old. The Halo SleepSack wearable blankets are my favorite.
- Swaddles: You’d think that after three kids I’d have swaddling down to a science. Nope. Somehow I just can’t get them tight enough to prevent flailing limbs. So I LOVE these SwaddleMe packs. They’re like swaddles for dummies – and they’re amazing! Just put the baby in, velcro him up, and voila – a perfectly swaddled infant!
- Baby Caps: These are important to help the baby help retain warmth. I live in a warm climate so only need lightweight caps, but there are various types available. This 5-pack is a good start.
- Baby Mittens: Believe it or not, babies’ nails are sharp! Since they can’t yet control their reflexes, they’re sensitive skin is subject to scratches. Protect them with baby mittens. I usually buy 2-3 packs to start, and then rotate them. An added benefit is that they keep people from trying to touch the baby’s hands (germs – yuck!) Tip: wash them in a pair of stockings or socks to avoid losing them in the washing machine.
- Socks: Baby booties and shoes are cute, but completely unnecessary. Your baby won’t be standing for months. Several good pairs of baby socks will do them just fine. As with the mittens, wash them in a pair of nylons or an adult sock to avoid losing them.
- Jacket: Depending on your climate, a hooded baby jacket is always a good idea.
- Sunhat: A must-have, even if it is cold out. Baby’s skin and head are sensitive and need to be protected from the sun. I like this one from i play for its wide brim, chin tie, and UPF protection.
- Bibs: You will use more of these than you can imagine. They’re necessary not only for feedings, but later for teething drool. Make sure you buy bibs that are waterproof to prevent soiled clothing. I like these from Green Sprouts for price and quality.
- Burp Pads: Babies make messy burps! Spit up will stain not only their clothes, but yours as well. Put together a good supply of burping cloths. There are types to suit any budget, but I personally like the material and absorbency of the Green Sprouts brand.
- Receiving Blankets: You can never have too many receiving blankets. These will serve every purpose imaginable: swaddle, temperature protection, stroller cover, shade, burp cloth, nursing cover, and even a makeshift changing pad in a pinch. Get a few sets – I like these from Luvable Friends.
- Plush Blankets: While these should never be used to put baby to bed (suffocation risk), they are great for tummy time as well as protection in strollers or car seats. There are countless options available – I think this one is cute as it also includes a security blanket for the baby.
- Infant Nail Clipper: Like I said, those newborn nails are sharp! Trim them down with infant nail clippers. I like the ones with magnifying glasses to make it easier to avoid accidental nicks.
- Baby Wash: Try to get one as natural as possible. I like Babyganics for its ingredients, tear-free formulation, and price.
- Washcloths: You’ll need them for those early baths! I like these for their softness on sensitive new baby skin.
- Towels: Sure, you could use a regular towel. But if inclined to splurge, these hooded towels are adorable and help keep baby warm as you dry her off.
- Baby Lotion: Baby’s skin is very sensitive and requires a lot of moisturizing. My favorite is Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture for its natural formulation and easy application.
- Petroleum Jelly: Useful for healing circumcisions and diaper rash. I like Aquaphor.
- Band Aids: Starting with babies, you will need a supply of these indefinitely. Many cute designs are available, but simple works just as well.
- Diapers: Make sure you buy both Newborn and Size 1 as babies grow quickly. I’ve tried pretty much every brand, and my favorites are Pampers and Huggies. For one of my babies Pampers leaked less and for the other it was Huggies. So try out a few brands to see what works best for yours.
- Baby Wipes: The best baby wipes, hands down, are the up & up brand from Target. Suitable for sensitive skin, well priced, and absorbent enough to handle tough messes. A hint on baby wipes: you don’t need to use them just for diaper changes. They’re great for cleaning sticky hands, faces, spills, and other messes of all kinds. I have the sneaking suspicion that I will forever keep wipes stocked in my house, long after my kids are grown.
- Diaper Pail: I’ve tried three major brands, and my favorite is the good old Diaper Genie. You can operate it one-handed (important when you’re trying to hold a crying baby in one hand and a dirty diaper in the other), its refills are readily available, and the price is right. Tip: Target sells up & up brand refill liners that fit and are even cheaper.
- Infant Tub: It is possible to bathe your baby in the sink, but it’s challenging. The baby is slippery and must be held, which means someone else needs to help with the bath. If you want to be able to bathe the baby on your own, check out the Puj tub. It folds into the sink and allows the baby to rest safely and comfortably so your hands remain free for washing. Once you’re done, simply hang it up to dry it out (or throw it in the bathtub like we do). Easy-peasy.
- Baby Tooth Brush: I know, your baby doesn’t even have teeth yet! But their gums still need cleaning. Also, the massaging feels good and gets your baby into the habit of brushing teeth early. I love the Nuby Oral Massager and Toothbrush – it’s BPA free and you wear it over your finger to massage and clean your baby’s gums.
- Baby Comb: If your baby is anything like mine, he’ll be born with a lot of hair. And that hair requires brushing. A soft baby brush is great for the downy fluff they’re born with, followed by a comb for the thicker hair that comes in later. This Summer Infant set includes both.
- Hand Sanitizer (for adults): I wouldn’t recommend using this on the baby, but keep it around the house and in baby bags for you or others handling the baby. We’ve got industrial sized bottles all over the house that have lasted us ages.
- Baby Bottles: You will need these whether or not you’re breastfeeding. I’ve tried MANY different kinds, and my favorite are the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles. These are great for breastfeeding moms because the nipples mimic mom’s nipples, allowing the baby to switch easily between breast and bottle (I’ve never had my baby experience any nipple confusion). Plus they’re easy to clean without too many parts. If your baby has colic, I recommend Dr. Brown’s Bottles as they help limit the amount of air that passes through. The only consideration with these is that they do have many small pieces to clean.
- Bottle/Pump Part Sterilizer: Unless you want to spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning and sterilizing bottles and breast pump parts after each use, I highly recommend purchasing a sterilizer that can go in the microwave. Don’t forget that you will also have to sterilize all bottles, pump parts, and pacifiers even before their first use. My favorite is the Dr. Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer (it works with any bottle brand you choose). Simply put in your bottles and pump parts, add water, and nuke it for 6 minutes. Mine continues to last even several years after purchase.
- Bottle Cleaners: I like the Dr. Brown’s Bottle Brush because it is more flexible and easier to use than some of its competitors. Buy a few.
- Drying Rack: Once you clean your bottles and pump parts, you need a place to dry them. I love this Munchkin rack because it’s inexpensive and works.
- Breast Pump: Whether or not you breastfeed, you will still need a breast pump (this was news to me – check out my posts on the 9 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Breastfeeding and 10 More Things I’ve Learned About Breastfeeding at 6 Months Postpartum to learn more). Before ever purchasing a pump on your own, call your insurance company as they should provide one free of charge. Granted, it will be a bare bones model, but it will work just fine. If for some reason you do need to purchase a pump out of pocket, I recommend the Medela Pump In Style Advanced. It worked the best for me of all models tried, and is the easiest to purchase replacement parts for. Be sure you also buy a carrier, flanges, tubing, bottles, and ice packs to complete your set – or make it easy on yourself and just purchase a full set off the bat. Tip: buy two sets of flanges, bottles, and bottle attachments. When one’s being cleaned you can use the other.
- Breast Pump Bra: One of the advantages of using a breast pump bra is the ability to multi-task while you pump. And when you’re pumping multiple times a day for 20+ minutes at a time, that’s a big deal! I like the Medela bra, but make sure you pay close attention to sizing when ordering. I usually have to order one size up.
- Breast Milk Storage Bags: Chances are you will build up enough of a milk supply to start freezing the excess. Buy some breast milk bags now to make storage easy.
- Nipple Cream: During the first several weeks of breastfeeding, it might hurt. For some (like me), it hurts a LOT – see my post covering this topic. Nipple cream helps heal sore and cracked nipples. Everyone recommends lanolin but be aware that some people (like myself) are allergic to lanolin. It’s made of sheep’s wool so if you are allergic to wool, chances are you will be allergic to lanolin as well. Another thing I don’t like about lanolin is its stiff consistency, making it harder to spread. I LOVE Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter. It is smooth, glides easily, and is non GMO. Tip: you can alternatively use plain olive oil on your nipples – it also spreads easily and has documented healing properties.
- Nipple Shells: When your nipples are extremely sore to the touch those first few weeks, air is the best way to heal them. But it’s not always practical to go topless. That’s why I love Medela’s SoftShells. They were lifesavers in the beginning as they protected my nipples while allowing air to reach and help heal them. They are also discreet – completely hidden under a bra and shirt.
- Nipple Shields: Sometimes the pain of breastfeeding reaches an unbearable point during the first few weeks. Or maybe your nipples are inverted, making it difficult for the baby to latch. If you’re on the verge of giving up, nipple shields can save your breastfeeding journey. They are thin shields that you apply directly over your nipple. The baby latches onto them, saving you a lot of pain or helping with physiological issues. I love the Medela Nipple Shield and largely credit it with saving my nursing journey (and no, I did not experience any issues weaning my baby off the shields later).
- Nursing Bras: Purchase some that fit your style and budget. There are an abundance of options available.
- Nursing Cover: Again, there are many types and styles to fit your budget. I don’t need anything fancy, and am perfectly happy with this one for its price. I do recommend purchasing a style with a stiff neck so that you can look down at your baby and help her latch.
- Nursing Pads: Ah, milk leaks. Protect your clothing by buying some pads. There are disposable and non-disposable options available, but I prefer the latter as my skin is sensitive and they are less irritating. I like these and they include a bag for washing.
- Nursing Pillow: I had always used a Boppy in the past and been perfectly happy. It is great for positioning the baby, sitting on while healing from childbirth, and tummy time. But this time around, a friend turned me onto My Brest Friend and I LOVE it! While not as versatile for other uses, it is perfect for breastfeeding. It allows me to position the baby correctly (even has bumps to elevate his head) and straps around my waist to hold it in place. You can even walk around with it. This is easily one of the best purchases I made.
- High Chair: You don’t necessarily need this Day 1, but we usually buy it pretty early on so that the baby can join us for family meal times. I like the space saver styles that attach to your dining room chairs, and have always used and loved the Fisher Price brand. We are already using it now with our 8 week old.
- Bassinet: There are more bassinet options on the market than you can imagine. The problem is babies grow out of them rather quickly, so it’s probably best not to spend too much money on one. Personally, I use a Graco Pack ‘N Play instead. It includes a portable napper, changer, and adjustable sleep space that grows with the baby. You can take it when you travel, and it folds up quickly and easily. The best part is that you will use it for long after your baby grows out of a traditional bassinet.
- Crib: Call me cheap, but I don’t want to spend a ton of money on a crib. As long as it meets or exceeds all safety standards, I’m good. I ended up getting this one because it was low cost and could grow with the baby.
- Baby Mattress: There are a ton of options available, but make sure you go with something that is firm and meets safety standards. I purchased this mattress when my preschooler was a baby and he still sleeps on it.
- Mattress Cover: Spoiler alert: there WILL be diaper blowouts. Make sure you’re prepared with a waterproof mattress cover. I like this one from American Baby.
- Fitted Sheet: You don’t need a full bedding set, as anything other than a fitted bottom sheep is a potential suffocation hazard. I like this two pack from Ziggy Baby. Tip: Lay down one fitted sheet, cover it with doggie pads, and then lay ANOTHER fitted sheet on top of that. This will make for easy clean-up in the night when you don’t want to have to strip the bed completely. Simply throw the top sheet in the wash and dispose of the doggie pads.
- Breathing Monitor: This Snuza Hero Baby Monitor is the best $100-something I spent. You clip it onto the baby’s diaper, and it will alarm if the baby stops breathing. Check out my detailed review in my post 7 Most Useful Gifts For a First Time Mom. This little device has lasted through three children, and we still use it today. Without it, I would probably never sleep for fear of baby not breathing.
- Baby Monitor: I’ve always used a baby monitor and have been glad I have. There are many options available, but I recommend one with video and the ability to remotely control the camera so you can get different views around the room. Instead of a traditional monitor, you may also consider an app that makes your phone or tablet a monitor that can be used anywhere. This is especially useful when you will be leaving the baby with a babysitter.
- Head Support Pillow: Have you heard of baby flat head syndrome? It’s a thing – especially now that we put babies to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS. I love this Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support pillow to help prevent flat spots. It slightly raises the baby’s head so it isn’t lying directly on a hard surface. I use it everywhere – in the crib, in the car seats, on the changing table. Check out my detailed review in my post 7 Most Useful Gifts For a First Time Mom.
- Sound Machine: Your baby is accustomed to a lot of noise in the womb, and may find it difficult to adjust to silence. This is why a crying baby immediately calms when a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner is turned on. I like this sound machine in a stuffed sheep. It’s adorable and offers various sound clips to help calm a fussy baby (my kids have always preferred the whale sound option).
- Baby Thermometer: There are many options available, but make sure you use a rectal thermometer for the most accurate readings. I like this one from ErgaLogik.
- Baby Probiotics: I’ve successfully used probiotics with all three of my babies to help with gut health and gas. After an inordinate amount of research on various strains, my favorite formulation is Nature’s Way Primadophilus for Children. It includes all the strains I was looking for along with FOS. I recommend purchasing it at Sprouts instead of online as it needs to remain refrigerated. Then sprinkle it in your baby’s bottle or on a pacifier.
- Baby Vitamin D: Breastfeed babies may lack in vitamin D if not exposed to enough sunlight. Because we spend a lot of time indoors with our babies, I choose to supplement with these drops to ensure they’re getting enough. Talk to your doctor about appropriate dosage.
- Teething Relief: I’ve tried several products on the market to help my children with the pain of teething, and there is only one I would recommend: Camilia Teething Relief. It is colorless, odorless, and my babies don’t mind the taste. More importantly, it doesn’t contain any of the potentially toxic benzocaine used in other teething products. Read my detailed review here.
- Diaper Rash Cream: Everybody’s heard of Desitin, and I recommend it as well. Tip: if it should happen to get onto clothing or in hair (it’s happened to me when my kids decided to “paint” with it), the only thing that will get it out is Dawn dish detergent.
- Humidifier: Many options are available, but make sure you buy a cool mist device. I like this one from Crane – we just used it last night!
- Nasal Aspirator: It’s heartbreaking when your baby catches her first cold, because she can’t expel her mucous and congestion. The bulb aspirators don’t do much to help. The absolute best product on the market for this purpose is the Nosefrida. It allows you to literally suck out the boogers – sounds gross, but there are filters so you don’t ingest them. It works incredibly well and you will be amazed at how much gunk it can suck out – and how much happier your baby will be afterwards. I discuss the product in more detail in my post 7 Most Useful Gifts For a First Time Mom.
- Nasal Saline Drops: To make it even easier to break up and then extract the mucous, use these saline drops from Little Remedies before suctioning.
- Baby Medical Book/App: Always good to have on hand. There are many medical books available and several that I have and love – this one is a good starter. It’s also a good idea to download a few pediatric first aid and CPR apps – I like First Aid, CPR Choking, and CPR Baby. I also love the new Heal app that will send a doctor to you for a flat $99 fee (if not covered by insurance). No more long treks to the urgent care center or hospital with a cranky baby!
- Infant CPR Training: Beyond simply a book or app, I strongly recommend getting yourself and anyone else who will be spending a lot of time with the baby pediatric CPR certified. Check out your local hospitals or the Red Cross for classes near your home.
Baby Travel and Leisure
- Infant Car Seat: This may be one of the most important purchases you make for your baby. Make sure you do your research to select the best fit for you. I’ve done a ton of research for myself, and ultimately decided on two models for different age ranges. The Chicco Keyfit 30 for an infant followed by the Diono Rainier once the infant carrier is outgrown. You could actually use the Diono from Day 1, but I personally like the convenience of being able to put a sleeping baby in and out of the car without having to wake him. I think both of these are solid and safe choices – I particularly love the Diono with its steel frame. Another convertible car seat I’ve tried that I also like is the Britax Advocate. Like the Diono, it is at the top of the list for safety. But I switched from it because it has a wider profile so is not conducive to three children in a backseat.
- Infant Stroller Frame: If, like me, you also opt for an infant carrier in the beginning then you should also purchase a stroller frame. This allows the infant carrier to easily snap in and out for walks. So you can strap the baby in the car seat once, drive her in the car, take her out of the car and place her in the stroller, and then back in the car – all without waking her. Since I have the Chicco Keyfit 30 I purchased the Chicco Keyfit Stroller Frame. I love it for its handling, ease of use, and HUGE basket (I can fit bags and our little dog inside). Most major car seat manufacturers make their own stroller frames, so simply pick up the one that is a match for you.
- Infant Carrier: I have tried everything from the wraps to many many carriers. My favorite by far is the Ergobaby Original. I find it to be the easiest to use, the most comfortable on my back, the most ergonomically correct for the baby, and something I can wear for hours without tiring. I also purchase the infant insert so that I can start using it with my babies from birth. There is a newer model out that allows the baby to face in or out, but I don’t find it quite as comfortable, and my baby seems to also prefer the original.
- Car Seat Cover: Definitely get one of these to protect your baby from curious dirty hands, as well as to shield her from lights that may keep her up. I always buy one from Car Seat Canopy after searching online for a coupon – you can find coupons that will make the canopy free (and you only pay shipping). I don’t think the whole set is necessary, but definitely get the cover.
- Rear Facing Baby Seat Mirror: Since your baby will be rear-facing in the car, you will want a mirror to be able to see him while you drive. Don’t waste your money on anything fancy – a simple mirror will do. I use this one from Brica.
- Stroller Hooks: One of the greatest benefits of having a stroller is having the ability to carry so much STUFF – groceries, handbags, baby bags, etc. Maximize your carrying power with these handy-dandy stroller hooks. They clip onto your stroller handle and last forever (I’ve been using mine with no wear for over four years now).
- Activity Gym: These are great for tummy time and for visual stimulation for your baby. There are many types available, so look around for something that appeals to you. We have several, and the Fisher Price Rainforest version is my babies’s favorite.
- Boppy Pillow: Contrary to popular belief, the Boppy is not just for nursing (and in fact, I don’t even use mine for that most of the time)! It is truly a jack of all trades, and I use it for tummy time (babies prefer to be propped) and baby cradling, among a host of other things. When I first came home from the hospital I would even sit on it as I healed. I love my Boppy pillows and have several all over the house.
- Rocker Baby Chair: After months of constant movement in your belly, it’s hard for a new baby to adjust to the stillness of being out of the womb. Cue the constant fussing. Rocker chairs have worked WONDERS for me – not only to set the baby down quickly if I need both hands free, but also to calm the baby with the quiet vibrations. I like this one from Fisher Price.
- Baby Swing: For the same reason as stated above, babies also love swings. I don’t know that both a rocker and swing are necessary – perhaps pick and purchase just one of them. If going with the swing, this one is a great choice.
- Diaper Bag: I know that many moms see this as one of their top purchases, searching for the best designer, but I purchased one hoity-toity diaper bag and then quickly decided it wasn’t practical. My favorite diaper bags are simple, relatively inexpensive, have a lot of space for lots of items, and make baby wipes easily accessible. I love this one from Eddie Bauer. My husband prefers a backpack, so carries this one from Jeep. If I could do it over, I would just get one or the other.
- Pacifiers: Ah, the baby mute button! We didn’t use them with our first two children, but they have been a lifesaver with our fussy third. Make sure you get an orthodontic version to promote healthy oral development. My favorite are these from Nuk. Make sure you also get a pack of clips to prevent them from falling on the floor All. The. Time.
- Changing Pad: Sometimes you don’t need an entire diaper bag and only a changing pad set will do. Smaller and easier to pack, I’ve used these for diaper changes in the trunk and public restrooms alike. I like this one that includes an elevated pillow and everything I need all in one set.
- Teething Toys: Teething will start before you can blink, so it’s best to be prepared early. Every baby loves Sophie the Giraffe, but there are many other options available as well. I love the ones that can be chilled in the freezer or fridge for even greater teething relief.
- Memory Book: I know that everything is captured online nowadays, but there is something nostalgic about maintaining a traditional baby book as well. I like this one from Carter’s and also this one from Pearhead.
- Baby Tips Book: I’ve had every baby book imaginable, but there is only one that I purchased for all three of my pregnancies: Baby 411. It answers questions succinctly and in a clear readable format. I highly recommend adding it to your collection.
Items for Mom
Don’t forget to take care of Mom! The biggest must-have item is help. Make sure you assemble a team of relatives or friends to help you in the early days with a new baby. Everything counts: meal help, babysitting help for older children, cleaning help, etc.
- Numbing Spray: After a vaginal delivery, Dermoplast will help with pain relief as you heal.
- Hemmorhoid Treatment: Be prepared with something to treat another unpleasant after effect of delivery.
- Pajamas: Stock up on comfy pajamas for the early days post-delivery. You will likely be spending long days in them as you adjust to life with a newborn.
- Sweats/Yoga Pants: For the same reason as above, also make sure you have a supply of sweats and yoga pants to wear. Try going up a couple of sizes until your body is back to normal.
- Sanitary Pads: Make sure to get the extra heavy overnight winged super-duper protective ones as you will bleed more than you can anticipate.
- Prenatal Vitamins: I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of the large prescribed prenatal vitamins that always made me gag in early pregnancy. So as soon as pregnancy is over, I switch to gummy prenatals with DHA and folic acid to ensure that my milk quality remains up to par.
- Fenugreek (if nursing): Touted by many to help increase milk supply, it may be prudent to have a bottle on hand in case you run into any issues.
- Milk Thistle (if nursing): Also said to help with milk supply issues, it may be helpful to purchase a bottle. Talk to your doctor or lactation consultant first about appropriate dosage.
- Freezer Meals: With all your pre-labor nesting energy, why not meal plan for after the birth? There are several ebooks and paperback books to help, or you can simply do a search on Pinterest.
- Dry Shampoo: What did new moms do before the invention of dry shampoo?? Without it I would be ashamed to ever leave the house.
- Book/Movie/TV Show Downloads: You will have a lot of downtime with a new baby while the baby feeds. Instead of Googling (which will make you insane), use that time to catch up on your favorite books, shows, or movies. Download what you’re interested in before the big day, and you can also take advantage of it during early labor.
- Camera and Charged Battery: Make sure you have a camera and fully charged battery ready for delivery and the days beyond. The moments fly by so quickly and are so hectic that you’ll want the ability to capture them readily and easily.
- Baby Photography Appointment: With my most recent baby I forgot to do this before the birth and regretted it. It meant that I wasn’t able to get an appointment until the baby was older than I would have liked. Don’t make the same mistake – contact an infant photographer before you deliver so that you will have priority scheduling once the baby is born.
Items for Siblings
If your new baby-to-be will have siblings, there are certain things that you can prepare prior to delivery to make your life easier afterwards.
- Gifts From Baby: I think it’s a nice and memorable gesture for the new baby to give each sibling a small gift. Think things like a baby doll, a big brother or sister book, etc. My preschooler still talks about the gift that his brother gave him when he was born (a baby doll so that he could have his own baby to take care of). This time around I purchased them both some coloring books and big brother books:You Were the First for my eldest, and I’m a Big Brother! for my youngest. It helps ease the transition and jealousy a tad. So bring the wrapped gifts with you.
- Scheduled Activities: When life is hectic immediately following the birth of a new baby, it helps to have other children involved in outside scheduled activities – whether that be play dates, classes, or outings. It also helps keep them in a routine which will assist with the transition. Try to schedule as many of these in advance as possible (as well as transportation to and from said activities that doesn’t involve you having to do it with the baby).
- Craft Supplies & Coloring Books: Since having kids, the Dollar Tree has become one of my favorite stores. I am constantly stopping here for craft supplies for various at-home projects. Coloring books, crayons, paper plates, construction paper, paint, makers, and anything else you can think of help keep little hands and minds occupied.
- Movies: In addition to downloading some media for yourself, download a couple of new movies for the kids for when you need a couple hours of downtime (or simply some peace and quiet to feed the baby).
- Sandwich Ingredients & Packaged Snacks: Make lunchtimes as easy as possible by having PB&J, turkey, tuna, and other sandwich ingredients ready. Add to that granola bars, fruit bars, and other packaged snacks and VOILA – lunch time is done.
- Babysitter/Mother’s Helper: Pre-schedule time with a babysitter or mother’s helper before the baby arrives. This will be one less thing to do once the baby has been born to help with the other children and allow you to focus on your new little one.
- Baby Announcements: I know, I know, most people use Shutterfly or a similar service to do this AND you need the baby to be here to have pictures available. But you can prepare by selecting your format and pricing, completing the verbiage, and saving it so that you simply have to upload pictures once you have them.
- Baby Credit Monitoring: Identity thieves unfortunately target children and babies in an attempt to have free reign at their credit for years before someone notices. Keep this from happening to your children. Most credit monitoring services will allow you to add monitoring for children for a small surcharge. I use Identity Guard and add child monitoring for an additional $4.99/month.
- Passport (if necessary): We like to travel and have family outside of the country so it is necessary to obtain our childrens’ passports as soon as possible. First you will need a CERTIFIED (different than informational) copy of your child’s birth certificate, typically available around 8 weeks after birth depending on state. Then you will need to review the instructions and complete the passport application on the U.S. Department of State’s website. With this, you will need photos – I find it easiest to take your own with the baby laying on a white background, and then using a free online service like ID Photo 4 You to reformat and size them to the required specifications. Finally, you will submit your entire package to a local authorized passport processing facility, pay the required fees, and then wait about 6 weeks for your child’s passport (this can be expedited for an additional fee).
- Handprint Keepsake Kit: I love hanging these around the house to celebrate the birth of each child. My favorite kit is from Pearhead, and includes space for a baby picture, a hand print, and a foot print.
- Lactation Consultant: Unfortunately for me, I waited until I began experiencing breastfeeding challenges with each child before seeking the services of a Lactation Consultant. By that point I was frustrated, exhausted, and ready to give up. I wish I had sought out Lactation Consultant services and groups before I needed them so that I would know who to call if the need arose. To find good referrals, talk to other moms in your area. Tap doctors and doulas. Consider contacting your local chapter of La Leche League. Consider if you prefer a classroom setting or 1:1 assistance, and also contact your insurance company as many are now covering certain expenses (mine covers the first six visits with an in-network consultant). Doing all this before you need to will save you hours of time when you are already upset and frustrated.
- Baby Apps: Load up your phone with baby apps now. My favorite is Baby Connect for tracking and trending patterns related to your baby’s feeding, wetting, weight, and a plethora of other habits. There are also apps specifically for breastfeeding, pumping, health, stories, and anything else you can think of. Research and load them up now while you have more time.
So there you have it – my complete list of items needed for a new baby. Feel free to add and delete to fit your specific needs, but this is a list that has worked well for me.
Download, print, and save your free copy of everything needed for a new baby here: New Baby Must Haves. Or simply click on the image below.
And now that you know what you’ll need to prepare for your new baby, are you interested in finding out what to pack in your hospital maternity bag? Check out my post What to Pack in Your Maternity Hospital Bag + Free Printable to learn more!
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