Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the hoards of baby items you feel like you need to get, like, NOW? There's no doubt your nursery (alright, pretty much every square inch of your house), is going to be riddled with baby items before too long, but to take some of the stress off, we've created a no-frills, must-have list of items you need before baby is born. The rest is up to you!
Sleeping: The options are endless for sleep spaces and we will go into more detail on some of our favorite options on the market in a later post. The most important thing is that you have a safe place to put baby down for a naps and nighttime. Whether it’s a bed-sharing co-sleeper, a bassinet, a crib, or playpen, somewhere safe to put baby for consolidated rest (and to give your arms a break!) is essential. A wrap or ring sling can also be helpful for the early days when baby usually prefers to be carried, but it is not necessary. Also plan to have a few blankets large enough for swaddling, a warmer blanket for the car seat, and a sleep-sack for the swaddle-free baby.
Travelling: Whether you are planning a home or hospital birth, it’s important that you’re prepared to travel with baby at any point shortly after the birth. There are dozens of options on the market, and your local car seat tech can help you navigate your choices, but most importantly, choose a weigh-appropriate car seat that suits all of your needs! New in box is best, but if you’re purchasing second-hand, check to make sure it hasn’t been dropped or in an accident and hasn’t passed its expiry.
Diapering: A few dozen newborn diapers is pretty essential (the poop has to go somewhere), as well as a waterproof mat for the floor, bed or change table, as well as your diaper cream of choice. If you are cloth diapering, be ready to go with 12-24 cloth diapers and a pail to hold the dirty ones. You can expect to do a load of laundry every 1-2 days with this many cloth diapers.
Dressing: Your newborn doesn’t need a full wardrobe in the days following the birth. Socks, scratch mitts (or socks as scratch mitts), sleepers that have an elasticized, open bottom (for easy, middle of the night changes), some undershirts/onesies in the cooler months, and a newborn sized hat or two will be all you really need right away. Your curled up, froggy-legged squish is going to be most easily dressed in simple gowns and sleepers in the early days, and you probably won’t have the energy or desire for dressing them in elaborate outfits.
Feeding: If you plan to nurse, some breast pads and a comfortable wire-free bra are essential. A nursing bra isn’t necessary, but definitely makes the many, many feeds per day (8-12 is average, more than that isn’t unusual!), that much less cumbersome, and saves your pre-baby bras from being damaged from pulling. It’s recommended to buy your bra a little less than snug to allow for room to grow. Women will often grow up to a cup size by the time baby is born and their milk comes in. If you plan to formula or combo feed (breast/pumping and formula), you will want to purchase a bottle system, formula, and the necessary items for washing and sanitizing your nipples and bottles.
This list isn't exhaustive of the many things you already have or may be planning to get. We could have included things like: stroller, diaper bag, breast pump, nipple cream, nursing tank, bouncy seat, swing...we could go on forever! This list is meant to be the "can't go without" items. Your own list will be unique to your wants and needs. Above all, this list is meant to help you to RELAX! Don’t stress about filling your nursery and being ready with all-the-things. The stores will be open after your baby is born, online shopping will be as convenient and quick as always, and waiting to see if the items you think you need are truly necessary could save you a lot of time, stress, and money!