One of the best parts of pregnancy is getting your home ready for your new baby. There are a million baby products out there, and sometimes it can get confusing on what you need for your baby’s first year and what you really don’t need. I’ve broken it down to what I think are must-have products for a new baby.
You definitely want to have all the essentials in your home in the final trimester. Although your due date is around 40 weeks of pregnancy, full-term babies can arrive anytime between 37 and 40 weeks. You want to make sure that your home is stocked up with all the essentials and must-have first year baby products before your little one comes home from the hospital.
Nursery Gear Must-Haves
Babies need a safe place to sleep. Experts do not recommend that you allow your newborn to co-sleep with you in the same bed. There’s just too much danger associated with it. For this reason, your baby should have a crib or bassinet to sleep in.
- Crib, Bassinet, or Cradle
- Crib mattress
- 2 crib mattress pads
- 5 crib sheets
- Crib mobile
- Clothing hamper
- Rocking chair or Glider
- Diaper stacker
- Cool mist humidifier or vaporizer
- baby monitor
- Lullaby CDs
- Baby “gym” or play mat with toys
- Baby books
- Bouncy seat
When buying nursery products, you can find nursery-in-a-box crib bedding collections. The basic ones include a crib bumper (which you should toss, since they increase your baby’s suffocation risk), crib sheets, quilt/blanket, and a crib skirt. Some nursery designers also throw in matching window valances, musical mobiles, and other items.
This has to be the most important aspect of preparing for your new baby. Here are the must-have diapering essentials:
- 2-3 packages of newborn sized diapers
- Diaper Rash Ointment
- Dirty Diaper Pail
- Changing Table
- Baby Wipes
- Diaper Bag
- Changing Pad
- Travel Wipe Container
You can buy newborn diapers anywhere. If you’re going with cloth diapers, make sure that you order 12-18 cloth diapers in newborn or small sizes. Newborns can easily go through 12 dirty diapers in one day, so you definitely need to stock up. (I personally prefer cloth diapers for babies, since disposable diapers contain unnecessary chemicals and they are bad for the environment).
A changing table and a changing pad aren’t must-haves, since you can change your baby’s diaper anywhere. But they really do come in handy when it comes to diapering.
Diaper pails are a must-have. You need a place to dispose of those smelly diapers. I recommend buying a diaper pail that has odor-reducing or diaper-sealing features so that your nursery doesn’t smell of dirty diapers. Diaper Genie is a popular brand of diaper pails that is known for its odor-controlling qualities. But do your research before buying so that you know all the pros and cons of the product you end up with.
Baby Clothes Must-Haves
Newborns need to be kept warm and comfy. They can’t go around naked. One nice thing about buying clothes for your newborn baby – you can buy gently used clothes and hand-me-downs. This will definitely save a lot of money in the long run, especially since babies grow so very quickly.
- 6-12 baby T-shirts or bodysuits.
- 5-10 soft, cotton pants
- Lots of baby socks and booties
- 8-10 bibs
- 4-6 soft knit caps
- 4-6 pajama sets
- 2-4 cotton sweaters (if it’s chilly outside)
- Zip-up sweatshirt
- Baby hangers
- Tiny mittens (to prevent your baby from scratching his/her face)
When buying baby clothes, you should pay attention to where the snaps, buttons, or ties are located. Outfits that snap or button on the sides are usually best. Some babies don’t like clothing that has to go over their heads. You should also consider how easily diaper changes will be in that outfit.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed your newborn, you are going to need products to help make your feeding sessions more successful.
- 6-8 burp cloths
- 6-7 bottles with newborn nipples (if you formula-feed)
- Bottle brush (for formula feeding moms)
- Drying rack (for formula feeding moms)
- Bottle sterilizer
- Breast pump (for breastfeeding moms)
- Nursing bras and nursing pads (for breastfeeding moms)
- Nursing tops (for breastfeeding moms)
- Nipple cream (for breastfeeding moms)
Breastfeeding is definitely better nutritionally for your newborn baby, so I would highly recommend all new moms try to breastfeed – unless you have a medical condition or are taking medications that make this impossible.
In the first weeks of life (when the umbilical cord stump is still attached), it’s best to stick to giving your baby sponge baths with a lukewarm, damp washcloth. Umbilical cord stumps need to be kept dry to prevent infections and speed up healing process. After the stump falls off, you can give your baby his or her first bath in a newborn tub.
- Baby bathtub
- 3 hooded towels
- 10-12 washcloths
- Baby soap and baby shampoo
- Bath toys
There are a number of luxurious baby bathtubs on the market, but a cool product that’s becoming more popular is the Puj Tub . This is a PVC-free and BPA-free product that allows you to comfortable give your baby a bath in the sink. It stores flat and makes bath time pretty simple.
General Baby Health Must-Haves
It’s a good idea to keep certain items on hand in your home for your baby’s health and general care.
- Baby nail clipper
- Soft brush and comb
- Digital thermometer
- Bulb nasal aspirator
- Teething rings
- Baby lotion
- Baby powder
- Cotton swabs
- First-Aid Kit
- Night light
You can find pre-packaged first aid kits available at baby stores. You can also assemble them to fit your individual needs. It’s helpful to have these first-aid kits in your home, since you never know when accidents can happen. For safety reasons, you should store the first-aid kit in an area that’s away from your baby’s reach. Keep all emergency names and numbers in the kit.
In the first-aid kit, you may want to include thermometers, infant’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen (depending on what your pediatrician recommends), antihistamines (again, ask your pediatrician for his or her recommendations), aloe gel for burns, sharp scissors, irrigating eye washes, antibiotic ointments for cuts, gauze rolls and pads, cotton swabs, mild soap, flash light, blanket, and any other items you think are necessary in an emergency.
Essential Baby Products for Travel
When you are out and about with your baby, there are several must-have items that you’ll need.