Updated: Sep 23, 2022
‘Must haves’ and ‘nice to have’ items will help bring baby home easily:
__ Safe place for baby to sleep, whether it’s a bassinet, crib, or bedside sleeper.
IMPORTANT! If you decide on a crib bumper, choose one that allows babies to breathe through it if they accidentally roll over face-first into or against it.
__ Diapers in both Newborn and size 1. Cloth or disposable, your option. A newborn can go through about 8-12 diapers a day. Give yourself a three-week supply of newborn size, and a month’s worth of size 1. (Tip: diaper sizes are based on the weight of the baby. Let this guide you in what size you will need.) Wipes for cleaning up. Zinc A&D skin cream and corn or potato starch powder for diaper rash. A changing table is nice if you have space. Also, find some sturdy baskets that will hold and organize the diapering essentials.
__ Two soft, warm blankets, minimum. You will most likely have more. Just be sure you have enough bedding and blankets to allow for washing one while the other is being used.
__ Bathing items – Mild, natural shampoo/ soap in one, Coconut oil or another natural moisturizer, and soft washcloths. There are some great baby bath options, but a clean sink and mama’s arms work well too. Soap is not a required item. Plain, warm water is usually all that is required for the young baby until they start becoming more mobile.
__ Gliding Rocking Chair and side table. This will be such a comfort during the first few weeks of sleepless nights. Add a lamp for even more convenience.
__ Night light. Check on the baby without having to wake everyone. Changing a diaper in a darkened room is a piece of cake with a night light. Some wipe-warmers have night lights.
__ Nipple Cream/ Ointment. If you are breastfeeding, make sure to have some of this on hand. You should not need much. Choose something that is safe for baby to ingest. TIP: You can also use your breast milk to help heal cracked nipples. If bottle feeding, have at least 4 bottles on hand, extra nipples and a bottle brush.
__ Spit-up rags. At least 20 or so if they are small. You will use these often. They can double as washcloths later.
__ Thermometer. It’s difficult to read the temperature of a fussy baby! There are new thermometers available that scan their forehead, or read the ear temp. If your baby is really inclined toward sucking a pacifier, they even have pacifier thermometers.
__ Baby fingernail clippers and hand mitts. Baby fingernails grow very fast. I have always just peeled them, with my fingernails, but some parents use a clipper. Choose a clipper that has a magnifying glass on it if you can. Your baby can wear small gloves at night for the first week or two, to help avoid scratching themselves. It is good to let your baby explore textures with his hands without the gloves. Only use them if needed.
__ A notebook, calendar or journal. Having one of these handy, will help you keep track of diapers and feedings. You will need to keep track of this the first few weeks. Your pediatrician may want this information. A journal will also allow you to write down any inspirational thoughts you have while watching your baby sleep. Or, list reminders for things to do later.
__ Diaper pail. For added benefit, have a natural air freshener inside of, or nearby the diaper pail. Baking Soda is one option, or a mist of citrus oil. Diaper pails are optional. They can get pretty stinky. Some parents opt to simply toss dirty diapers into the regular (most frequently changed) rubbish bin.
__ Bouncy Seat/Swing. Try to find one that allows you to hang interesting toys on it. Some varieties also vibrate and play music. These are great for both soothing a baby, and containing a baby while you shower, or otherwise need hands free. They are not meant for long-term use!
__ Blackout curtains. Nothing says nap time like a dark room. Help baby sleep better day and night by covering windows well when it is time to sleep.
Remember this; you will be doing most of these tasks for the first few weeks exhausted! Make it easy on yourself. The only two things that absolutely, positively have to be accomplished with a newborn is this: Keep one end fed and the other end clean!
-All the best!
Major Dad Official