When I was pregnant, I spent hours searching blogs and YouTube for information about what I needed when the baby got here. Everyone has a different opinion on what you actually need when you have a baby. I was overwhelmed, and I was no closer to knowing what I should purchase. We had very little extra money, and we were not near family. So, we got a few essentials and a couple of extra things.
I will tell you some of the things we purchased, and whether I think we really needed it. Are you ready?
Here we go. . .
Newborn Diapers – Essential
We had no idea how big our little boy would be. So, I was not sure how many newborn size diapers we would need. Our son ended up using newborn diapers for about a month. We were glad we had a box of them because babies use a lot of diapers!
Diaper Wipes – Essential
This is a no-brainer unless you are going the cloth route. Babies are messy. So, diaper wipes are a necessity for us. You will have to decide whether you need those special sensitive wipes. We are lucky, and our son has not shown any skin sensitivity. So, we just went with the big box of Costco diaper wipes. It lasted us 3 months!
Clothes – Essential (but you don’t need as many as you think)
I was worried that we would not have enough clothes for our son. We bought about 10 onesies from a local mom whose son had outgrown them, and my mom gave us 5 – 10 outfits at Christmas. People will give you so many clothes! The fact that we did not have a washer and dryer in our apartment made me worry even more.
You don’t need as many clothes as you think! My son spent a lot of time in just a diaper. Sometimes we would wrap him in a blanket. “But Courtney, what if it’s cold outside?” How often are you going to take your newborn outside in the first 4 – 6 weeks of their life? Not very often.
I am not saying that you can survive with so few clothes forever, but I am saying that you should wait to buy more. Babies grow quickly, and it is almost impossible to predict how long they will fit into a certain size. That reminds me, don’t just buy newborn sized clothes. Buy some 0-3 month clothes too. This will be a lifesaver if you have a big baby like we did.
Blankets – Essential
You are definitely going to need some blankets, especially if you have your baby in the winter. We had our son at the end of the winter. So, we did not use the heavier blanket much unless we were going out to church or somewhere else.
You do need swaddle blankets though. People have very strong opinions about what swaddles they like. We started off with swaddles that were similar to those made by Aden & Anais, but we recently discovered a swaddle that we absolutely love! It is made by a company called Copper Pearl, and I cannot stop raving about it! What makes it so awesome? It is not only big enough to fit our 27-inch, 20-pound baby, but it is also stretchy! That stretch allows us to get a really snug, secure swaddle. Our son used to wriggle out of his swaddle every night, but since switching to the Copper Pearl swaddle, he’s still nice and snug every morning.
Pacifier – Not Essential
Some moms swear by pacifiers. Our son never figured out quite how they work. He always ended up pushing them out of his mouth. He’s just fine without one.
Even if you want to use a pacifier, do not go buy one! The hospital almost always sends you home with one. Try that one first. Then you can try other types if your baby doesn’t seem to like that one.
Don’t be discouraged if your baby will not take a pacifier. You will figure out other ways to comfort them as time goes on.
Car Seat – Essential
Hospitals will not let you leave until they see that you have a car seat, and it is installed properly in your car. When we left the hospital, the nurse came out to our car and checked that the car seat base was nice and tight. She also checked that we had our son strapped into his seat correctly.
I recommend an infant car seat with a base that you click the seat in and out of the car; like this one. This is convenient for those trips to the store. Your baby will not be able to sit up on their own for a while, and a removable car seat allows you to put them into a grocery cart easily.
DockATot – Not Essential
I know some moms will say I am crazy for suggesting that you do not NEED a DockATot, but I think it is a luxury not essential. Don’t get me wrong, I really wanted one. I can not even tell you how many giveaways I entered hoping to win a DockATot (just ask my husband). I did not win one, and we are just fine. My son slept in a Rock ‘n Play for the first couple months, and now he sleeps in a Pack ‘n Play.
Baby Crib – Not Essential
“What?! What will my child sleep in?” Well, a lot of parents choose to cosleep (this was not right for us), and then, there is the Pack ‘n Play. This seemed like the perfect option for us. We knew we would be moving shortly after our son was born, and we were really tight on money. A Pack ‘n Play serves the same purpose as a crib. It is not as fancy, but it has the added bonus of being easy to transport. With a Pack ‘n Play, my son does not struggle with getting used to a different bed if we travel.
This alternative to a crib has been the perfect solution for us.
Bottles – Essential
“But Courtney, I am going to breastfeed.” That was my plan too. As I explain in a previous post, that did not work out for us. It is possible that breastfeeding may not work for you either. Even if you can successfully breastfeed, it is nice to have a bottle on hand in case you have pumped some milk. What if you want to leave the baby with dad or grandma for a while? They can use that bottle to feed your little one while you are gone. I just think it is important to prepare.
Our favorite bottles are the Tommee Tippiee bottles. We have never had any trouble with them, and our son has quickly learned how to hold them on his own! (This is a parenting win in my book) You can find these bottle on Amazon or at Wal Mart and Target. They are everywhere!
Obviously, this list is not a complete list. You will want things like a sheet for your Pack ‘n Play and a thermometer. This list tackles some of the bigger and more immediate needs when having a baby. Other things you can acquire over time. Take the time to get to know your new baby. Learn a bit about their personality and what is best for them.
Bonus tip: Did you know that most insurance companies will cover a breast pump? I highly suggest you check with your insurance and your doctor to find out how to get your free breast pump.