TOP TEN BABY ESSENTIALS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) - by Kim From Nursery Know It all
1) CAR SEAT(S): Obviously, one must have a car seat purchased and properly installed prior to leaving the hospital with your new bundle of joy. You will most likely purchase an infant, bucket type seat, which you will use from birth until your baby is about 5-7 months old (depending on your baby's size). You will then need a convertible type car seat that can face backwards (until at least one year old and/or 20 pounds) and then forwards.
2) STROLLER(S): Again, you probably won't get by with purchasing only one stroller. The strollers out on the market are limitless. You should choose a stroller based on your lifestyle and budget. I recommend a snap-n-go type stroller frame in which the infant seat easily fits right in. Once your baby outgrows the infant seat, this combo will be obsolete! You will then need another stroller whether it's a jogger, umbrella or hybrid-type model. I recommend taking them out of the store to push on the sidewalks, practice folding and unfolding and placing in and out of the trunk if applicable to see how cumbersome it might be. When you have a wriggling, crying baby the last thing you need is a 40 pound stroller to collapse and try to shove in your trunk.
3) A PLACE FOR BABY TO SLEEP: You need to think about your home set up before you make any purchases. Some prefer baby to sleep in a crib from the get-go in a separate room while others want their little ones as close to them as possible. Again, you have many choices between a crib, mini-crib, pack-n-play, bassinet, arms reach co-sleeper or your own bed!
4) A DIAPER BAG OR SOMETHING FOR YOU TO SCHLEP ALL THE NEW THINGS YOU MUST CARRY FOR AN OUTING WITH BABY: You can go crazy as well with diaper bags. I've been known to splurge in this area but one doesn't have to. Again, consider your lifestyle and budget. They make fabulous bags that your husband/partner won't be embarrassed to carry that don't break the bank. Others may choose to use a backpack or their own larger purse. It is helpful from the beginning to have a place with several separate compartments. You will be lugging a lot of stuff initially but as your little one grows along with your confidence, you'll be able to get by with bringing less.
5) BABY BATHTUB: This really will make your life easier. You can put it in your kitchen sink or in your tub and it keeps your little one confined in a smaller space.
6) BOTTLES/NIPPLES: Even if you are planning on exclusively breastfeeding, I recommend having a few bottles/nipples already sterilized and ready to go. You never know how breastfeeding will go and you may be beyond exhausted and want your partner/family member to give the baby a bottle of expressed milk or formula. The last thing you wan to do in your tired, hormonal state is look for and clean bottles. Have it all in a convenient spot ready to go!
7) SWING/BOUNCY SEAT: These are great items to borrow from friends or purchase second hand as usually they are gently used for a short period of time. It is great to have a place to put baby down so that you can take a shower, fix yourself lunch or take a break! If you go for a swing, look for the kind that swing from side-to-side as babies seem to like this motion best.
8) 8-10 SLEEPERS/OUTFITS/ONESIES: It's good to have a week's worth of outfits on hand, washed and ready to go. Again, the last thing you want to do as you are recovering from childbirth is do multiple loads of laundry each day. Babies tend to spit up, poop and leak out of their clothes so don't be surprised if in the first weeks, your little one goes through 2-3 outfits/per day. Have enough so that you only have to do laundry every 4-5 days if possible.
9) DIAPERS/WIPES: It's great to have a supply of at least a package of diapers at home ready to go. I recommend having a stash of diapers on every level of your home so that you aren't running around looking for what you need. In fact, if you can set up a changing station in another high use room, that makes life easy. You can keep a spare outfit or two, diapers, wipes, crèmes, etc. right there.
10) A SENSE OF HUMOR: Your life has just changed for the better but boy, is it crazy and overwhelming the first few weeks. Try to keep in mind that nothing you do will permanently harm your baby, your baby loves you and it really will be okay! So what if you have 40 thank you notes to write, last night's dinner dishes in the sink and dirty clothes all over the house. It's all about surviving day to day the first three months so do whatever it takes to be balanced and happy. This will go by so fast and you will look back and wish time moved more slowly!
Thank you Kim!
xoxo, DC Metro Mom!
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