Bringing a new baby into the home is always a joyous occasion, but it does require a lot of hard work and preparation. When you are pregnant, create a registry of your most wanted baby items. Chances are, you won’t get everything on your list, but there are some things that are must-haves and will make taking care of your baby much less stressful.
Use this guide to make sure you are prepared for baby’s arrival and making your entry into parenthood as smooth as possible.
From birth, baby clothes are usually sized by age. But since some brands can vary in their sizing, it is best to look for clothes that also list acceptable weights and height guidelines to help you find the best fitting.
Some newborn babies can go straight to 3 months clothes and never need newborn sizes. This is hard to predict in advance, so it doesn’t hurt to have some new items on your baby checklist. Also, make sure you have handy a couple of outfits in the next size up before your child needs it; babies develop and grow quickly!
- Bodysuits: These are outfits that are all in one. These are appropriate for both sleeping and playing in. Look for ones that snap down from the front and all the way down the leg; this makes it easier to change baby without completely undressing them.
- Leggings/Stretchy Pants: The elastic waistband fits comfortably over your baby’s diaper and belly and will be snug and comfortable.
- Shirts: It is best to have a few short-sleeved and long-sleeved tops with stretchy necklines to pair with the leggings.
- Outer Layers: Depending on the season, stock up on a few sweaters and jackets that are easy to put on and take off. Buy the larger sizes with loose armholes that won’t require tugging and fussing. Babies grow quickly and newborn babies should not be out in the cold weather for long periods of time.
- Two hats and two pairs of mittens: Choose a broad-brimmed sun hat for sunny days and a warm hat that covers the ears for the winter. Mittens for babies are tight-fitting around the wrist with elastic, making them secure and easy to get on and off little hands. Mittens can also minimize the risk of baby scratching themselves.
- Pajamas: When dressing your baby for bed, keep in mind three things: the baby’s safety, their comfort, and how easily you’ll be able to change the inevitable middle-of-the-night dirty diaper. Avoid complicated night outfits to minimize any night disruptions if a diaper change is needed.
Usually, a general-purpose backpack or storage tote will do. Get a bag that’s big enough to store diapers, wipes, an extra change of clothes for your baby, bottles if you’re using them, and enough room to carry a few miscellaneous items such as toys and books.
Whether you use cloth, disposable, or something in between, your baby probably will go through 10 to 12 diapers a day at first, which will need planning ahead. Some parents planning to use cloth diapers until after their baby has finished passing their first stool. And many parents who use cloth diapers will switch to disposables when traveling. Regardless of your choice, always have some spares on hand.
Wipes and Cream
It is handy to have a spare pack of wipes at hand for any baby needs, whether it is at the bottom or top. Because newborn babies tend to eat less and drink more, their digestive system takes time to adjust to digesting solids. This means they have more frequent bowel movements and are more prone to irritation. Carry suitable creams to help alieve any rash breakouts.
These can be very handy for long journeys and generally pleasant to have when disposing of used diapers. Double tie the bag ends into a firm knot and trap any unwanted odors.
This is to take your baby around town with ease. But be sure to think about your specific needs by choosing the right stroller capable with storage or even cross terrain to make your life a lot easier.
While traveling with a baby, a safe car seat is mandatory. Avoid buying a used car seat as safety regulations change over the years, and you need one that meets all current guidelines. Most manufactured car seats that are produced today have a label with the expiration date printed on it. They are usually considered safe for five to eight years.
Sunshades for the Car
These shades will help to protect your baby’s eyes and skin from the glare of the sun.
Create a first-aid kit solely for the purpose of baby and can be easily carried within your baby bag.
- Digital thermometer: to measure your baby’s temperature quickly and accurately
- Antihistamines for babies over three months old: to relieve symptoms of allergic reactions such as baby hives and hayfever.
- Pain medicine (Infant Tylenol or Motrin): pain relief from teething and fever reducer
- Bulb syringe: use with saline to clear your baby’s stuffy nose
- Teething relief toys: chewing on a ring made of firm rubber can ease your baby’s discomfort during teething
- Baby nail scissors: to help you trim and smooth your baby’s nails safely
- Soft-bristled baby hairbrush: this is especially helpful for handling babies who develop cradle cap
As soon as your child is strong enough to start rolling, crawling, or shuffling around, you’ll need to be aware of the household dangers and make adaptions to childproof your home. Here are a few considerations.
If your home has stairs that lead to another floor, invest in safety gates for the top and bottom. It is also handy to block off any areas of the house that might be a higher risk of harm, such as the bathroom or kitchen.
Electrical Outlet Covers
Children watch their parents and when they notice exposed outlets, there an almost irresistible attraction to their curious nature. Keep them covered with a designed cover that fits your socket.
Door and Drawer Latches
There are several types available, but whichever one you choose, tug at them to make sure they can withstand numerous tries by a determined toddler.
Anchor Brackets or Straps
These will keep the growing child from pulling heavy furniture or appliances over, once they are toddling around the house.
Are you a first time expecting mommy and are compiling a list ready for your baby’s arrival? Or have you had one already and are stocking up on your must-have list? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below.