Before you buy ANYTHING:
The market is flooded with baby products that range from a couple to infinite dollars (seriously). I just saw an ad the other day for a $1000+ bassinet that literally wiggles back and forth to supposedly help your baby sleep longer. What the what?!? Although cool, there are lots of unnecessary items marketed for babies. There are also tons of products that have similar purposes so, in the end, you end up spending more just to have more clutter. It may be unintentional, but the stuff can sneak up on you. So here’s your guide to the bare bones of what you will need for a newborn baby and a postpartum momma.
The trick here is to buy enough clothing to (theoretically) need to do laundry once a week. Of course, you will probably end up doing this more often than planned, but this is a good baseline to go by. Also, consider purchasing the basic wearable items in Newborn, 3 and 6 month sizes before baby is born.
Warm weather is easy and keeps the list simple:
Cold weather needs a few more essential items (tailor to your climate):
- 14 Pants
- Snow Jumpsuit
- Heavy Blanket
- 2 Pairs of shoes
- Diapers (cloth or disposable)
- Wipes (reusable or disposable)
- Diaper Rash cream (or coconut oil if you don’t want the zinc oxide)
- Carseat with car base
- A place for baby to sleep (crib or box) with a fitted sheet
- White noise machine
- Bouncer or swing (This swing pulls double duty and does both!)
- Stroller and/or babywearing device
- A bag to carry your baby stuff
- A travel wipes case
If you are planning to return to work after baby, or just want to build a milk supply then these items will be needed as well:
- Breast pump (check with your insurance, these are commonly issued for free)
- Breast milk storage bags
- Nipples (various flow sizes)
- Bottlebrush for cleaning
Home Care Items:
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Liquid Tylenol
- Gripe water
- Vitamin D drops
- Nail clippers
- A pacifier (These are the best pacifiers ever!)
- Baby bath wash
- Baby shampoo
- Optional, but pretty darn helpful – a pillow for nursing (either a nursing pillow or regular pillow can do the trick!)
Momma Wearable Essentials:
A handful of easy pieces that can be comfortably worn after birth. Look through your closet now for loose-fitting, washable tops with access to nurse (if needed). Layer tops over camisoles to help give you coverage if you have to lift tops up to nurse. Yoga pants, leggings, and Ponte stretch materials will be your best friend right now. If you can, try to make what you have in your closet now work for your postpartum days. Buy as little as you can get away with. This time is fleeting, your body will recover and change shape. There’s no sense in committing to clothes that won’t fit you in a few months if you don’t have to. Just remember the key here is that clothes need to be washable, I cannot stress this enough.
The most difficult item is a nursing bra. This needs to be purchased after the baby is born after your milk comes in. Your size may change entirely over a few short days. With all three of my children, I’ve made the mistake of purchasing nursing bras before they arrived. They just don’t work out. I suggest buying a sports bra style nursing bra and working with that until you are ready to go out and try bras on. Yes, you should totally go to a store to try them on. Believe me, this is a way better option than ordering a dozen bras online, just to have to return them all because the sizing is wrong. Oh, and just to add insult to injury, sizing doesn’t seem to be very consistent in the nursing bra industry. I have several that fit me well, that are all completely different sizes. Sheesh!
I suggest you buy at least 2 nursing bras. Odds are pretty good you will regularly need to switch between the two. Even if you use nursing pads, your hormones are crazy out of whack, you may find yourself sweating through them.
Additional Momma Items:
- Cheap, full coverage panties
- Sitz bath
- Nursing pads
- Nipple cream
- Menstrual pads
- Tylenol / Ibuprofen
- Ice packs for the various aches and pains you’ll endure
- A good sized water jug
These lists will carry you through the first several months of your baby’s life. Around 5 months is when new things/toys/essentials start to come into the picture. I hope they give you a good idea of what is actually necessary for a new baby, and how much out there is just excess. There’s nothing wrong with the extras, it’s just pretty common for new moms (or moms-to-be) to get caught up in the idea that they need everything right when their baby is born. Get the essentials on this list and use what’s given to you at your shower (Create an Amazon registry for free here!) or handed down to you from other friends or family. Babies needs are actually pretty simple in the beginning. Enjoy it.