Baby Essentials

Baby Essentials

March 8, 2019

Baby Essentials

Photo by @kayla.gann
This checklist of baby essentials will help you create a baby registry that includes all the important stuff and skips all the stuff you don’t need. Most essential items: car seat, stroller, sleeping spot, diapers & wipes, baby carrier, and baby clothes.Baby Essentials

There are a lot of things we buy for baby before they arrive. Some, like diapers, are super important. Others, maybe not.

If you’re hoping to take a minimalist approach to baby rearing or simply want to start with the basics and see what baby likes—and you too!—before you buy more, this list will help take you from the hospital to home. So you can handle most situations, from car rides to naps to feeding, that’ll come your way in those early days and weeks.

A Car Seat

For babies, car seats come in convertible or infant. An infant car seat is specifically designed for baby’s first year of life. It’s always rear-facing and is simple to click in and out of the car seat base, so you can transport baby easily.

Convertible car seats have higher weight limits so you can use them longer. Whatever you choose, the hospital or birthing center won’t let you go home with baby in a car without one, so this is pretty essential.

A Safe Sleeping Spot

Nothing will guarantee you a full night’s sleep with a new baby, but a cozy, safe place to put baby down for some snoozing (even if it’s just for 45-minute spurts) is key. Many parents love using a bassinet or co-sleeper in their bedroom with a newborn.

You can also choose to use a full-size crib right from the start.

Tip: Purchase a crib mattress that fits your specific crib (most crib mattresses are double-sided, with a harder side for baby’s first months). And keep the crib or bassinet free of blankets, pillows and stuffed animals.

Diapering

Whether you decide to use cloth diapers or disposable diapers, diapers are a must (babies go through 8 to 10 day). The hospital probably will send you home with a stack of newborn disposable diapers, but make sure to have some newborn and size 1 diapers waiting for you at home.

Tip: Stash multiple packs of wipes around the house, in your bag and in the car in case of diaper-change or other cleaning emergencies. Also have some diaper cream on hand to help soothe diaper rash.

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A Baby Carrier

In the first few weeks (and beyond), nothing is sweeter than keeping your babe snuggled up against your chest. It can help baby feel secure, like they’re still in the womb, and they let you have your hands free.

There are tons of baby-wearing options on the market, and you should try on some to find what feels most comfortable for you (though baby have other opinions once they arrive).

A sling or wrap style are great for keeping newborns close.

Structured carrier styles tend to last longer, as you can usually use them until your baby is in the toddler years, but many need an infant insert to be used with newborns (and most inserts need to be purchased separately).

Regardless of what you choose, you’ll be happy to have your hands free.

A Stroller

While you’re car seat shopping, you may want to think about strollers too. Many popular car seat brands also make travel systems, in which your infant car seat connects with the stroller, so you can get moving right away. Once baby is able to sit upright, you can use the full-size stroller on its own. Here are more favorite strollers from Babylist parents, as well.

Baby Clothes

We know you’re already eyeing adorable ensembles like frilly dresses and little jackets, but wait until baby is bigger for those Instagram-ready outfits. New babies can go through lots of outfits in a day, so sticking to the basics is best to start: think wrap-front tops for quick changes, snap-crotch cotton bodysuits that come in multi-packs and swaddles for sleeping. A few hats and socks/baby booties can help keep them cozy.

Feeding

Bottles make it possible to share feeding time with other caregivers, whether baby is eating formula or breastmilk. Choose a slow-flow nipple for the early months—and know that some babies prefer certain bottles over others, so you might want to try a few before you commit to one brand. This starter pack includes five popular bottle brands so you can see which kind baby (and your whole family) prefers.

If you breastfeed, a breast pump can be useful to help get and keep that milk flowing.

Tip: Manual pumps are good in a pinch or if you’re not planning to pump a lot, while electric pumps are faster and more efficient, whether you’ll be pumping occasionally or all the time.

First-Aid Kit

You may not need all of the items in this first-aid kit right away (or even ever), but having them on hand just in case can you peace of mind. Nail clippers help tame those tiny-but-sharp newborn nails, a digital thermometer can help you determine if it really is a fever and a baby toothbrush will help clean little chompers when they come in—and they’re in one convenient place.

When it comes to getting ready for your baby, it’s the essentials that matter most at first. You then can decide on some of the other “nice to haves” once you’ve met your new little one.

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