Saturday, January 9, 2010

What to buy for baby

When I was pregnant with my first, my best friend Kim and her sister Stacy created this list of baby items for me. They itemized it based on what was necessary, nice to have, and a frill. They also offered advice on how to set up breast-feeding and diaper changing stations, steps on closet organization (trust me, those little socks will take over your house), and resources that might be worth looking into.

Please remember as you look over this list that I live in Wyoming where we have 4 seasons: Windy fall, Winter, Windy Winter, and Windy Construction; therefore, this list might not apply to you (unless you really think you'll need a snow suit in Hawaii--your call).

Hope this helps--I found it was a life saver!

Necessary Items for baby
o bottles (4 oz.)—at least 4—more if only bottle feeding
o Newborn diapers and wipes or unscented wipes. Also, you may want to consider getting one package of preemie diapers just in case. We buy the generic brand wipes. (Bum Genius are good cloth diapers if you go that route).
o Rubbing alcohol and q-tips
o Car Seat—Graco has multiple bases so you switch the car seat, not the base which we didn’t do but wish we had!
o Car Seat cover—a winter must
o Receiving blankets (at least 7 to cut down on laundry)
o Fitted sheets (minimum of 4)—Target has nicely decorated ones, Wal-Mart sells white ones in bulk
o Waterproof mattress cover (minimum of 2)—We put a mattress cover and sheet on the mattress and cover it with another mattress cover and sheet. If baby has an accident thru the night, we just pull off the top set and the bottom set is ready to use.
o Washcloths (minimum of 8)
o Burp rags (minimum of 7) I’d get more like 10-12
o Onesies (minimum of 10)
o Gown/Pjs (if they have zippers there will be no button fumbling at 3 a.m.)—as many as possible but at least 5
o Baby hats (4 are sufficient)—for spring think of sun hats
o Socks/mittens (I’d only get 1 pack of mittens just in case baby scratches him/herself)
o Lap pads (these are waterproof pads you can lay baby on in crib, changing pad, etc.)
o Small cooler and ice pack for bottles (many diaper bags come with this)
o Portable wipes carrier
o Diaper bag or backpack
o Small medicine bag for diaper bag stocked with: Tylenol, burp medicine, thermometer, diaper rash ointment, alcohol pads, chapstick, antibacterial hand gel, etc.
o Portable changing pad
o Crib and bumper pads
o Diaper rash cream (Triple Paste is the best)
o Hygiene set—get the best you can find—with clippers, comb/brush, medicine dropper and a trustworthy thermometer
o Medicine for home—Tylenol, burp medicine, nose sucker, nose mist, etc (generic meds are ok)
o Baby bathtub with baby wash, lotion, etc.
o Dresser or changing table. Changing pad to go on either.
o Anti-bacterial hand gel

o A few preemie and newborn outfits.
o Nightlight or small lamp
o Boppy/Bosom baby with removable cover (easy cleaning)—I like BOSOM BABY better than Boppy—they are fuller and easier to move/adjust and are better suited if you are a bit heavy.
o Moby wrap
o Portable play pen—get portable crib sheets for this
o Pacifiers
o Bottle warmer (you really shouldn’t microwave—especially breast milk)
o Bottle brush and dry rack
o Nipple holder if using dishwasher
o Trash can with lid for nursery
o Laundry hamper for baby clothes
o Monitor/SIDS monitor (bebe Sounds and Angle Care make a monitor that goes under the crib mattress and sounds if baby stops breathing—great for SIDS peace of mind)
o High chair that straps to one of your kitchen chairs—we do not recommend getting this until baby is 4 mo. + old BUT you might want to register for one. We really don’t recommend free-standing high chairs because they take up so much room.
o Comfortable chair for baby’s room

FruFru stuff you might want:
o A matching crib set (we found pricey crib sets unnecessary—you really don’t use the thick blankets that come with them but they do make the nursery look cute)
o Black-out curtains (Overstock has some good ones)
o A wipe warmer
o Exersaucer
o First toys and books—rattles, teething toys
o Bouncy seat
o Swing
o Gym with toys that hang over baby—helps with tracking and hand/eye coordination
o Lingerie bag—makes it easier to wash and find tiny baby socks, mittens, hats, etc.
o Baby calendar (take pictures to put on top of each month—have the calendar very accessible so you can fill in important events—first smile, etc. Use calendar to refer fill in baby album later.)
o Baby album
o Crib bed-skirt
o Dimmer switch in baby’s room so you don’t have to turn on super-bright room light
o Strollers, bike trailers, hiking packs for baby (Kelty probably has the best)

For Mom:
• Nursing bras (if you’ll be BF)
• Lancom breast ointment
• Nursing pads
• Breast pump and attachments (if you can, go with a more expensive electronic model like the Medela Pump-in-Style—it will save lots in formula $$)—Obviously skip this if you don’t plan on breastfeeding
• Soothies—Walgreens sells these. They are gel patches that go on your breasts between feedings—they really help ease pain! I wouldn’t have made it past 3 weeks without them.
• Breast milk storage bags (for freezer)
• Nursing tops or tanks with built in bras
• Robe and slippers (if you don’t have them already)
• Prenatal pills or other vitamins to take if you breastfeed

It may be helpful to have very organized stations in your home for diaper changing and feeding.

Nursing Station (your house may have 2 areas—like your room and baby’s room or living room, etc.):
o Comfortable chair with pillows for back/neck and foot support
o Boppy/Bosom Baby
o Light
o Clock
o Music/CDs
o A tin or attractive basket to hold disposable nursing pads, Lanacom nursing ointment, chapstick, etc.,
o A draw to hold CDs, snacks, extra burp cloths or lap pads
o A handy water bottle
o High protein snacks (peanut butter crackers, granola bars, etc.)

Changing Station (your house may have 2 areas):
o Changing pad
o Hygiene set
o Anti-bacterial hand gel
o Diaper rash cream
o Tylenol
o Burp medicine
o Diapers and wipes
o Bin or basket to organize all changing supplies
o Alcohol wipes
o Small toy to enthuse baby (if needed)

o Keep most used stuff near by and have each place clearly labeled so everyone can easily find what they need.
o Divide drawers (or use labeled bins in closet) into sections: onesies, gowns/pjs, socks, hats, washcloths, burp rags, blankets, etc.
o Only keep clothes that fit in the dresser. You can have other clothes readily accessible in bins in closet (labeled 0-3 mo, 3-6 mo, etc.)
o Keep a rubber bin in closet labeled “out-grown.” As baby outgrows clothing, put it in the bin so it will be easy to fold and store.
o Have different colored hangers for different ages of clothes—white for 0-3 months, blue for 3 months, green for 3-6 and so on.

What to pack for the hospital
o Large clothes to wear home (consider a dress incase of c-section)
o Loose pajamas—button shirt and drawstring pants OR gown for c-section--robe
o Heating pad (the microwave kind)/ice packs
o Pillows from home (use pillow cases you don’t care for and make sure they don’t look like hospital pillows). You might want to put pillows in garbage sacks and then pillowcase so blood, etc. doesn’t ruin them.
o Long, warm socks
o Slippers for walking around
o Magazine, book, movie, music, etc.
o Items to focus on
o Lotion for massaging
o Chapstick
o Sugar-free candy
o Body wipes
o Face wipes
o Hair bands or barrettes
o Hand-held mirror
o camera
o Video camera
o Own baby wipes
o Special outfit for baby to wear home
o Special blanket for baby
o Boppy
o Nursing pads (I like Johnson brand)
o Nursing bra (or larger sized bra)
o Tennis balls and socks (for massages)
o Phone call and cell phone
o Phone list
o Snacks for birthing partner
o Roll of quarters for vending machines
o Tums
o Tylenol
o Toiletries—brush, make-up, etc.
o Car seat and car seat cover
o Birth Plan

Strongly recommended:
o Get a small notebook and write down what to expect from each phase of labor. Have a list of things your husband can do to help you and comfort you—massages, touching, prayer, Bible verses, etc. Also include a list of phone numbers, the order people should be called in, and WHEN people should be called.

o Have a small sign ready to hang on your room door letting people know whether or not you are taking visitors.

o Look into ONCE UPON A CHILD. This is a chain of second hand kids stuff. They have gently used baby clothes and equipment (exersaucer, bouncy seat, toys, cribs …) in great condition for great prices.

Books and internet sources:
• Bradley Method is an all natural form of child birth--
• Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by sleep expert Mark Weisbluth (this book was the key to getting ME to sleep thru the night). Of all the books, this is the one we liked and most highly recommend.
• Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo—this book is controversial but we used its basic ideas. You just have to use it with common sense. If you don’t want to read it, here are 2 main points: 1. Your marriage is most important. Spend time together as a couple without baby. If your marriage isn’t unified your parenting won’t be either. 2. Try to get baby in a routine of eat/sleep/play (this won’t happen until at least 6 weeks)
• What to Expect When you are Expecting and What to Expect the First Year
• The Pediatric’s Association has a book about Baby’s First Year that has some good info.


  1. Great list and awsesome blog - you are so creative and a great writer! Thanks!

  2. I hope this list helps you out, Meribah. And good luck with your wee one!

  3. Babywise is crap. Isn't backed by research. Why are so many moms vulnerable to its scare tactics?

  4. Babywise Mom--

    I know a lot of moms who used Babywise and swear it worked for them (which was research enough for me to read it). It wasn't right for me, though.

    I think the main reason why moms--especially new moms--fall for "solution" books is because our info-driven society keeps us from following our intuitions. I hate that.

    I maintain that the best thing moms can do for their families to find what works best for them--and that might not always be what "data" or books support.


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