Question for the Mommies Out There: What Does Baby REALLY Need?

Published in: Just For Fun


“Holy crap! I can’t see my toes!”


No, this isn’t another post where I talk about zombie TV shows. πŸ™‚

It’s about time, and how it flies when you’re having fun, because Baby Girl and I are already into our twentieth week together (!). We’re halfway to the finish line, and this hit me the other day when I got out of the shower and looked down at my feet (because I can no longer see my toes over my growing tum).

I tried to paint my toes but gave up. After contorting and bending myself into an awkward pretzel position wasn’t working, I ended up getting a pedicure for the first time in ages.

For this and other reasons, Baby Girl and I need your help!

essie bell bottom blues

Essie Bell-Bottom Blues

Basically, sh*t’s getting very, very real, and I have to figure what I need to have before she arrives in March — her gear for sleeping, pooping, soothing, eating, cleaning and staying warm and comfortable.

Thing is…I don’t know where to start. I’ve been researching online, but everyone recommends different things, and they recommend A LOT.

I’m talking CRAZY amounts of stuff.

I keep thinking, “Do babies actually need all this crap?” Will Baby Girl need a crib AND a bassinet AND a co-sleeper?

Some of the lists seem a little OTT to me, but what do I know?

I want to be prepared, but I don’t want everything and the kitchen sink. I’d rather go the minimalist route, and my condo already feels like it’s bursting at the seams.

That’s where we could use your help.

If you have a few minutes to spare, I could sure use a list (you know I love lists) of your recommendations for the absolute essentials that a new mom needs. Even just your top 10 things would be incredibly helpful.

Otherwise, the only things this child will have waiting for her in March will be cute outfits and shoes, because have you SEEN baby shoes lately!?

Absolutely adorable. I wanted to get her a pair of motorcycle boots and knockoff Uggs from Babies ‘R’ Us the other day, and El Hub was like, “No, she won’t need tiny Timberlands.”

Thank you very much in advance.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,

Karen and Baby Girl


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  1. Katie says:

    I highly recommend Aiden & Anise muslim swaddle blankets. They are huge and amazing you can wrap that baby up like a pro. I still use mine as towels when we go to the beach and my boys are 3 & 2. I also recommend a carrier of sort, I wore by boys every where. For the beginning the moby wrap is great and the beco butterfly is great for when they are older.

  2. Amanda says:

    — Various sizes of diapers. Stockpile them. Every time I (and my parents, bless them) made a Target run, we’d pick up a box of newborn, size 1 and size 2 diapers. We stored them in the nursery closet.

    — A swaddler and/or swaddle blankets. They’ve come a long way with the swaddlers — they’re so easy, you can just zip them up. Keeps baby warm and helps with sleep, since newborns have a startle reflex them awakes them (when they’re not waking up for a feeding/diaper change).

    — Burp clothes

    — Aquaphor, vaseline and diaper cream. Baby WILL get a rash sooner than you think. Slather vaseline after every diaper change.

    — Basic onesies and things that keep baby warm.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Amanda. What would you recommend in terms of gear? Like, a bassinet or a crib or a co-sleeper or some combination? How about bottles and the like?

      • Windie says:

        Bassinet are ougrown quickly and once they can roll over, its only a matter of time before they grab on to sides. Depending if you decide to cosleep (where baby sleeps with you), a crib may not be needed yet. If you do decide on one, look into a convertible crib in which it becomes a toddler bed for latter years. Needed with a crib are fitted sheets, mattress is bought separately, blankets in the crib are not suggested because baby may suffocate when napping unsupervised. In place of baby blankets, there are zippered sleeping bag like items they can wear on top of clothing. Bumpers are an optional item to tie around the crib. This helps to protect babies head if they move around alot. Mattress protector is an optional item as well as bed as bed skirt. As a guideline, no toys or if you choose to, nothing bigger than baby’s head in the crib. So that she doesn’t suffocate.
        Baby mobile, it’s useful to help baby with tracking (eyes following objects) but not a necessity.

        There’s a portable baby bouncer or baby rocker that comes in handy, especially when you need to take a shower or doing chores around the house. You can position it anywhere so you always have a view of baby. You can put in baby, and she can sleep in there. A swing is also helpful but not as convenient to move around. I had one of each because we live in a 2 story house. Babies preferences between a swing, bouncer or rocker will vary. Whatever the case, save your receipt for return or exchange. To monitor baby, I used my iphone, ipad and an app called cloud monitor. I didn’t have to shell out extra for a gadget.

        Changing table or a changing pad on top of dresser is helpful and makes it convenient when baby needs to be changed. Baby powder is no longer recommended because powder van be breathed into lungs and cause irritation etc… for baby bath products, honest company is good, it’s on the green scale between 1-2 on toxic levels. I used EWG Web site to check toxic scores of baby products. Johnsons baby product scored high on toxic levels.

        You may want to decide whether or not baby will go organic with formula, if you decide to use it along with breastfeed feeding. You can also make your own baby formula. Again it all depends on what you want.

        Any baby gear or toys, you always want to consider if it can be used until 2 years old or beyond. Somethings you need right exactly at their age but most things can be stretched for a very long time.

        DO NOT get any car seat, infant car seat second hand. These things have expiration dates. INSPECT throughly these items that you buy because some stores are neglectful in reselling them. To properly check the fit of the infant car seat, visit the store and see if they will allow you to take the sample and see if it properly fits in your car before committing to buy it. Also, your local sheriff station can install it for you properly and securely.

        I’ve got so much more to share with you but this is already long enough. Stay healthy and joyful.

  3. Amanda says:

    Edit: Burp cloths πŸ™‚

  4. christina says:

    I have 3 kids under 3. A baby swing is worth its weight in gold. Swaddle blankets are really helpful too during newborn days.

    I coslept with my babies. It makes breastfeeding easier. Sleeping arrangements are a super personal choice though, so do whatever is most comfortable for you and baby.

    I had bottles and formula on hand, even though I planned on breastfeeding. It can be a life saver at 4 am when you’re exhausted and boobs are sore. Hubby can make a bottle and give you a break.

  5. christina says:

    Oh and my babies hate moist skin. We use Caldesene powder (pink bottle) to keep their skin dry and comfortable.

  6. Arianne says:

    – A lot. A LOT. of burp cloths. For a lot of spit-ups.
    – Lots of mittens. Socks over their hands will do in a pinch, too. πŸ™‚ It’s so difficult to give baby a mani because 1) I’m scared to cut her, 2) they are super squirmy, 3) their nails are so soft.
    – A carrier (structured or non-structured like a sling). Babies love to be “worn.” You may want to get this later and try it on with baby to see which one she prefers.
    – A gliding/rocking soother to put baby down in for naps.
    – Pacifiers. We were sorta against pacifiers in the beginning because we didn’t want her to get used to them, but if it saves a public breakdown (from me hahaha), I’m all for it.
    – A baby bath tub. We like/use the Fisher-Price Rinse ’n Grow Tub.

    Also if you’re planning to breastfeed:
    – Medela double breast pump. An absolute must-have, even if you are an occasional pump user. Gets the milk out super fast.
    – A nursing pillow. My Brest Friend pillow is so great when you’re trying to get the hang of nursing in the beginning. And LOL, the name!
    – Nursing bras and lots and lots of nursing pads. Stock up! My favourite bras are by Bravado Designs. So comfy and offers great support. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Arianne (and baby Sarah!). What a great list. πŸ™‚ I have another question for you. What other items do you use on a daily basis (like a changing table, pack ‘n’ play, etc.)?

      • Arianne says:

        We have a playpen/pack ‘n play, no crib. It came down to what we had space for, and since we don’t have an extra room (just a corner of our living room), we decided that it’ll do. This is the one we have ( and we use the newborn napper part now. The changing table on this is handy, too. We didn’t buy a separate changing table. You might want to get a change pad that you can attach to any flat surface instead of getting a full on changing table.

        Another thing we got is a co-sleeper that you put right on the bed… but we don’t use it anymore. It just gets in the way and so uncomfortable to sleep with. Now we are co-sleeping with her in the middle of the bed without anything in between us. It makes middle of the night feedings so much easier, and she sleeps so much better. πŸ™‚ I will echo what the other moms here said: do what works for you and what you’re comfortable with!

        Also, agree on the wipes warmer. It’s a nice one to have!

  7. Julie says:

    I have 3 and each one was different, but there were a few must haves with all 3!

    Changing Table – I didn’t think I was going to need this at first (for some crazy reason), but I am still using it with #3 and he’s almost 2.

    Bouncer -This is a life saver when you want to take a shower and no one else is around. Put that baby in the bouncer and get your shower!

    Wipe Warmer – I didn’t need this as much with my boys as I did with my little girl. For some reason those lady parts are much more sensitive to the cold!!

    Bassinet – If the baby will be sleeping in the same room as you for a few months, then it’s great. They feel nice and cozy in it and you don’t have the big crib in your room. If you can borrow one, then great. Or, you could easily do a pack-n-play, which you need if you plan on doing any traveling.

    Baby Tub- Until my little ones could sit up, I put them in one of the Fisher Price adjustable (size) tubs. You could put the little mesh hammock across or when they are bigger they can sit down in it. It made me feel better not putting them directly in the tub.

    Swaddle Blanket – They have come along way and I used the ones with velcro. So easy!!!

    Stroller/Carseat Combo- I really liked mine and got a new one with each baby. We were always on the go and it made it easy to “click” the car seat into the stroller. and, when they are big enough, go directly into the stroller. I walked the neighborhood, the mall – all over.

    If I think of anything else, I will post again. Especially the “nice to haves” and “borrow if you can” items. Because all babies are different! My first two LOVED the swing. We gave away the swing after #2 thinking we were done and when I found out #3 was coming, had to get another one. And guess what – he didn’t care for it!! And, he liked the Baby Bjorn, but the other two did not. All trial and error!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ If you do think of anything else in the “nice to have” and “borrow if you can” categories that would be wonderful too. YAY!!!

      P.S. What is the brand of the stroller/carseat combo that you like?

      • Julie says:

        Hi, Karen – with all 3 I used the Graco brand. It comes with the car seat, stroller and base They have different versions, and if you have more than one car, you need an extra base -which is cumbersome. But it worked for us and I liked it. Mine stayed in that seat until they were too tall, which was about a year and half on average for each (maybe less). I know there are others out there! For the next level car seat we used Britax and really like it.

        • Karen says:

          Thank you Julie! It sounds like something I’d get a lot of use out of, because we’re usually out and about. Your list was so helpful! Can’t thank you enough. πŸ™‚

  8. Nikki says:

    I use a Rock n Play for baby to sleep in at night next to our bed (my baby girl is almost 2 months old and it has worked great for us so far), but if you’re wanting a bassinet/co-sleeper I’ve heard great things about the Halo Bassinest! It’s pricey but I’ve read a ton of reviews and everyone says it’s amazing!

    • Nikki says:

      Oh and Aden + Anais swaddle blankets are our favorites! They’re soft and breathable (and the patterns they come in are adorable!)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Nikki! What would you say are your must-haves in terms of baby gear? What do you find that you use every day? I have no idea where to start.

      • Nikki says:

        This is what we use on a daily basis–

        Car seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 Magic — one of the safest car seats out there and super easy to use. We also have the matching stroller and the two have worked great for us, but the stroller takes up a lot of room in our SUV which is the only downside.

        Boppy pillow: if you plan on breastfeeding I definitely recommend this! And bring it to the hospital when you deliver (I didn’t bring mine and I wish I had!)

        Boppy lounger: it’s convenient to set baby in when I have little things to do around the house, I keep it close so I can always watch her in it though!

        Swing: we use the Ingenuity Inlighten Cradling Swing and baby loves it, and it folds up easily which is nice.

        I haven’t bottle fed baby yet, but I do have the Tommee Tippee bottles for when I do start pumping since I read great reviews on them. I also have the Tommee Tippee
        Microwave Steam Sterilizer which is great for bottles and pacifiers/teething toys as well! And the Boon Lawn drying rack is great for all those bottles and parts (and it’s cute!)

        I think that’s it, haha!

    • Sandy P says:

      My niece also loved the Rock n Play. Her baby had reflux and had to sleep in a semi upright position. This is what her pediatrician recommended. She also swears by the Zippee, which was on Shark Tank, after the babyis too big to swaddle.

  9. Julie says:

    I just saw the post on the nursing pillow! I totally agree!! The Boppy is good for when they are bigger or if someone else is actually feeding. But for nursing a newborn you need something that is firm and I think there are a few out there, I used one called Kushies. I just googled and saw Boppy has a two sided one now -firm and soft!

  10. Rina says:

    You don’t need so many things for sleeping, just a crib. We found the co-sleeper just got in the way, it was easier having the baby in the bed without it. As I was advised, you won’t roll on the baby, you’re sleeping, not unconscious. I mainly co-slept with all three of my kids with no problems. For naps the little car carrier is as good as a bassinet if you don’t want to use the crib. Too many newborn clothes won’t get used, they either are too small at birth or grow out very quickly. I found the long nightgown style sleepers very convienent for diaper changes. Diapers are the best to stock up on. You go through a lot. They only need a few toys, classics like blocks when she’s older she’ll get a lot of use of. A few blankets is good, they burp or mess a lot so having enough on hand will free up your time. Sleep when she does, and treasure every moment! Even the crying ones πŸ™‚

  11. Dawn says:

    Bassinets are really convenient if you don’t have a crib in your bedroom. Esp if you have a master bath and that’s where you shower, etc. It gives you a close, always ready, safe place to put the baby down while you go about your hygiene related stuff. Downside is that Baby Girl will outgrow it quickly.

    I coslept with my kids. It’s all about what works for you and the little one. They sell tons of cosleeping “aids”, pillows, dividers, etc. Be really careful when considering those. Check for recalls and go with your gut on safety. They all sound helpful but they can be dangerous.

    Even if you breastfeed, it’s always good to have bottles and milk storage stuff on hand.

    If it’s cute and tugs on your heartstrings, buy it. This is your first baby, so enjoy all the accessories. 8)

  12. Jennifer says:

    Oh, I’m so excited for you and El Hubs and Tabs. Happy days are ahead, my friend.

    What I ended up not using: a diaper genie, a changing table, a co-sleeper and a nursing pillow. the diaper genie we tried to use but found it didn’t work very well at all for reducing odors. Everything else really went unused. I always ended up changing Michael wherever we were hanging out–the living room floor, the bed, when he got older and was standing I just changed him standing up.

    I’m a minimalist so keep that in mind, but the following are the essentials:

    –a car seat
    –a stroller (a really sturdy one, for trails and such cause I know you walk)
    –a crib
    –a baby Bjorn (you know, the little pouch you wear, like a backpack only for your stomach and instead of books, it carries the baby), some women like those slings. But, they just looked too complicated to me. And I worried they weren’t sturdy enough. Baby Girl will probably be a delicate little wisp of a baby. My baby came out at nearly 9 pounds and 22 inches long. He was a big’un. Hah!
    –a baby swing (the kind you stick the baby in and push a button so it rocks baby girl)
    -a really great mobile to hang over the crib, maybe a few to switch out
    –a rocking chair/recliner
    –diapers, wipes
    –a baby tub to fit in the sink or bathtub to wash her (so much fun!)
    –baby washcloths and towels (they have delicate skin so you really need a delicate cloth)
    –a few bottles in case nursing doesn’t work out or you need to pump and go out without her for an hour of peace.
    –a reliable pump
    –clothes, of course
    –books and toys (duh)
    –a good pediatrician (find one before she’s born)

    I wouldn’t buy many if any zero to three month size clothes. For one thing, you’ll get a lot of these at your baby shower.
    Plus, baby girl will grow so fast that she won’t have time to wear everything you get before they don’t fit anymore.
    If she’s a good sized baby like my son was, they won’t fit even when she’s just born. He was so big the newborn stuff didn’t fit and I ended up giving away a lot of nice clothing with the tags still on. (I had a couple of long-distance showers in addition to a local shower).

    Whew, I’ll send you further thoughts as I think of them πŸ™‚
    Jennifer recently posted … Your Guide to Halloween Treats + Tricks

  13. Ellen says:

    Mom and doctor here – definitely get infant Tylenol, diaper cream (love sudocreme from Amazon), rectal thermometer, nail clippers/file, and a nose freida!

  14. Julie says:

    I totally agree with a comment above: the Rock N Play is the way to go for a bassinet… It’s cheap, you don’t need a pricey bassinet, and it travels with you! Karen, I’m beyond happy for you!! Love to you and Baby Girl!!

  15. Jessie says:

    Just had my first in March (how can she be 6 months?!)
    1) Bouncer that vibrates to sooth baby and give her somewhere to lay safely
    2) infant boppy (you only use it for 1 or 2 months)
    3) Crib (no bassinet, co-sleeper) she went right into her crib, its great because we dont have to worry about transitioning her
    4)play mat
    5) SWADDLES! I love the Ana and Eve Swaddle strap vs a million other swaddles, just 1 or two will do because they dont get dirty every night
    6) baby carrier (bjorn or we LOVE the Onya, great for travelling b/c turns a chair into a high chair), I never could figure out the wraps.
    7) diaper rash cream (not desitin… it burns them if the rash is bad)
    8) some babies love swings, mine didnt care for it and preferred her bouncer
    9) sign up for Amazon mom, we get our diapers automatically sent to us every month… and you get 20% off!

  16. Sarah says:

    Hi Karen! Our little boy was born in March (March babies represent!) and here is what we wouldn’t have survived without:

    – rock n play – not only was the crib too big and not cozy, but our little guy refused to sleep flat on his back (which apparently is very common and no one tells you until you are googling WHY WONT MY BABY SLEEP ON HIS BACK sometime on the 4th day of life). The RNP can go right next to the bed, folds up, and is easy to bring along with you. We used it for 4 months.

    – pump (medela) and bottles – I nursed but pumped at least once a day so that my husband could put him down with a bottle at night and I could have a little bit of time to myself. We tried lots of bottles and settled on the joovy boob bottles.

    – angelcare bath support – we have used this since he was two weeks old, first in the sink and now in the tub

    – a swing – I almost didn’t register for one because I thought it was huge and ridiculous. Someone gave us one and it literally saved our life – we used it for 8 months

    – baby ktan wrap and ergo carrier. We used the ktan when he was tiny (so much easier than a moby) and switched to the ergo around 3 months. We got the ergo 360 so that he can face out sometimes and use it all the time when we are out. I have found that it is by far the most comfortable (I borrowed a bjorn and it wasn’t nearly as comfortable for either of us)

    – you won’t need a lot of toys for the first few months, but we did use a baby mirror and the fisher price kicknplay activity mat (which he still uses because now he can be seated at the keyboard)

    -aiden and anais swaddles, miracle blanket for when they can bust out of the swaddles, comfy soft clothes (baby gap is my fave) – baby shoes are cute but a total waste of time and pain when you are changing diapers every 20 minutes.

    – boppy pillow

    – white noise (we use a dohm sound machine)

    Congrats girl!!

  17. Lauren says:

    – Rock N Play but it must be the one that auto-rocks. I literally wouldn’t have been able to survive the first few months without it.
    – Swaddle. We used the Woombie. It’s a stretchy material that zips in both directions, so you won’t need to remove it for diaper changes. Since there is no wrapping involved, its foolproof and there is no chance of baby busting out of it.
    – Bottles. Babies can be very particular on what they like. I bought 4 different types, just 1 of each to try out and then stocked up on the ones that worked best for us (Dr Browns Natural Flow Wide Neck is our bottle of choice)
    – Solly Wrap. It’s a lightweight, breathable fabric that is relatively easy to use. I found that I liked this vs a structured carrier (like a Ergo) for around the house so I could wash dishes, cook and get the mail all while keeping him close (and asleep!)
    – Boppy. Not only used for feedings but as baby gets older, it’s for propping up and tummy time so I feel like I’m getting a lot of miles out of it.

    And just a suggestion, for NB and 0-3 size clothes, only wash a few outfits of each size. You never know how big/small she’ll be and you don’t want to have a ton of clothes washed and folded that will never be worn. I learned my lesson the hard way but I’m just keeping everything in storage in case another boy comes along one day πŸ™‚

  18. EM says:

    I was a preemie, and my parents were caught totally unprepared. I slept in a empty drawer for the first week or so.

    You need a car seat to get home from the hospital, and diapers and bottles for the baby. Everything else can wait.

    As long as amazon has 2-day shipping, why don’t you just wait and buy things as needed? You will have a better sense of what suits you and yours.

    • Whitney says:

      I’m with you…as long as you have a pack of wipes, some burp cloths, diapers, blankets, a few white t-shirts you are good. Use Amazon and Target to get what you really need after she is born. Otherwise you just end up with tons of baby crap.

  19. Ashley says:

    A baby carrier is helpful, I used the ergo and it was great! Hubby doesn’t mind using it either πŸ˜‰
    A pack-n-play is a must, we kept it in our room and I would always put both our kids to sleep in it to start and then bring them into our bed if needed, but it helped getting them used to sleeping in a crib! You can also travel with it and use it as play area to keep them contained if needed πŸ™‚
    A good stroller, always nice for long walks and super helpful when you want to start exercising again!
    Breast pump is a life saver, I loved the double Medela one!
    Diapers, blankets, etc of course and one last tip is that I wouldn’t buy too many girl clothes to start because you will get a ton from family/friends! Have a few outfits in newborn and 0-3 months and then wait to fill in the gaps after your baby shower!
    Good luck and don’t get too overwhelmed with the stuff πŸ˜‰

  20. Nisha says:

    Hi Karen,

    For my first child, we bought way too much stuff and my second guy barely got anything. Anywhoo, I found one really doesn’t need everything at the store!
    1. Good car seat that fits your car and doesn’t take over the backseat. I like combi, they are very compact and sturdy. I bought 3 different brands of car seats till I found my HG combi! Strollers- on the fence. I really like baby wearing, so my strollers have gathered dust.
    2. Lots of newborn onesies with mittens. My kids like to claw their faces and end up looking pretty rough with all the scratching. And you can find the onesies with mittens pretty cheap at target.
    3. Lots of burp clothes, rags or towels- whatever will clean up the puke on you and in your hair. My second child is always spitting up!
    4. Baby bottles of your choice. I used Dr. brown for both my kids. I haven’t used a different brand, so I cannot say with absolute certainty they are the best! They do have lots of bits and pieces that can be a pain to wash and assemble.
    5. diaper rash ointment, because sometimes diaper rashes happen despite changing baby constantly.
    6. Swing. Seriously, my swing has saved my sanity many, many times. On a side note, it can double as a tabby hangout.
    7. Formula- because sometimes you just need a break from breastfeeding.
    8. If you plan on breastfeeding, I recommend renting a hospital grade breast pump because they are fast and efficient.
    9. Sleeping arrangements- I got more use out of pack and play then bassinet. The pack and pal was multifunctional, sleeping, changing diapers etc. the bassinets only fit my son for a short period, then became kitty bed.
    10. Diaper caddy to organize all the essentials.

  21. Tulipthecat says:

    Let me start by saying I don’t have any kids of my own but I have 3 nieces, 1 nephew, and a whole lot of godchildren.

    If your parents are anything like my parents you won’t need too may clothes. My mom basically bought all the kids their own wardrobe. The things you will need:

    – diapers (lots of them in different sizes…don’t buy a lot of the smallest one because they outgrow them really fast)
    -swaddling blankets or receiving blankets. The more you swaddle them the more they don’t cry as much
    -a co-sleeper. My sister in laws had cribs but didn’t really use them that much. They used the co-sleeper and one of my sister in laws had a packable one that she would bring over when they came
    -my sister in law loves her ergo…she still uses it with my niece and she’s 2 years old.

    Both of my sister-in-laws had multiples of car seats or car seat bases (so they could leave the kids with the grand parents) and pack and plays (each set of grand parents had one). There were diapers, burping cloths, bibs at the grandparents house too so when they came over they didn’t have to bring anything. We even had diaper rash cream, baby soap, and extra clothes.

    When my last niece was born some one gave her a my little pony πŸ™‚

  22. Dallyan says:

    Aww, how exciting! I found this list a good, no-nonsense guide to what is actually needed (though I think the quantities were a bit high):

    And this is a random thing that was SO, SO useful: It’s just great to change your baby on top of and prevent messes. Then you can throw them out after a couple of uses or when it gets dirty.

    When it comes to cribs, we got one of those co-sleepers that goes next to the bed, which was nice for the first couple of weeks but eventually we just started co-sleeping in the bed. lol

  23. Amy says:

    I have 2 boys and remember being overwhelmed with the amount of stuff they recommend. You really don’t “need” most of them but I would recommend:
    – diapers, sign up for Amazon Mom and get them delivered to your house. So much easier than running out to the store.
    – bottles, don’t worry about fancy bottle cleaners or sanitizers though
    – swaddlers/blankets
    – a good breast pump (if you plan on breastfeeding). They aren’t comfortable but definitely useful if you are out of the house or need to save up milk.

    Best of luck!!!!!

  24. Laura G. says:

    I have 4-month-old twins and I recommend the following:

    -lots and lots of burp cloths. They can easily go through 3 in one day. I especially like the ones made from terry cloth since they pick up every trace of spit up.

    -a bottle warmer. It makes warming baby’s milk a breeze… especially at 3am when I’m zombied-out.

    -a day bed. We keep it in the living room so the babies can be closer to us when we’re in the kitchen/living room. We keep them in their cribs throughout the night and whenever we happen to hang out in the bedroom.

    -a membership to a Costco/Sam’s where you can stockpile diapers and baby wipes. You’d be amazed at how much poop can come out from a tiny human.

    -lots of pacifiers (if baby girl happens to like them). My babies tend to spit them out quite frequently, landing on the floor. Instead of running to wash it every time, we purchased several, and wash them all at the end of the day.

    -As for a swing/bouncer, I’d say every baby is different and some don’t like them. Maybe test one if a friend/relative has a spare one before jumping to buy one.

  25. Natasha P. says:

    OMG Karen, congratulations!! How exciting, and a little girl πŸ™‚ I’m so happy for you!

    Things you actually NEED, I would say, would be the following (I’m 25 weeks now actually, but this is kind of all new to me again because my daughter is almost 11, so I’ve honestly forgotten just about everything!):

    – Crib, crib mattress
    – Rocking chair (I didn’t have one with my first, but now that I have a huge human-like dog who still acts like a puppy, I’ll need one because I won’t be going downstairs with him late at night when he wakes up, so I’ll need to rock him to sleep in his room)
    – Infant car seat (we got one that came with a stroller, that came super handy for me during my first pregnancy)
    – Convertible car seat for when the baby outgrows the infant one
    – Breast pump (if you plan on breastfeeding or pumping)
    – Dresser/chest – for me, I plan on putting a changing pad on top of it. I don’t feel a changing table is necessary at all!
    – Diapers (I stocked up quite a bit @ Target – they have a good deal going on this week with getting gift cards back!)
    – Baby wipes
    – Diaper rash cream
    – Bottles
    – Swing or Bouncer.. I don’t think both are necessary, but it wouldn’t hurt if you were able to πŸ˜‰
    – Baby Bathtub
    – Thermometer
    – Baby monitor
    – Carrier or wrap if you plan on carrying (Beco, Tula, Ergobaby,
    – Diaper bag
    – High Chair
    – Play Yard

    – Things that you’ll need, but you may be showered with plenty already and probably won’t have to worry about as much – clothes (onesies, sleepers, socks, mittens), burp cloths, swaddling blankets, crib/carseat blankets, robes/towels, washcloths, toys (car seat toys, baby gyms, walkers, etc.), books, etc.

    Good luck with everything! I hope you’ll be posting more about baby things now, and updates (or maybe you already were and I somehow missed them!)

  26. Maria T says:

    You really don’t need everything when she comes, you’ll also figure out what you’d like to have more of after she arrives. Diapers is always good to have a pack of when you get home so you don’t need to run to the store right away. Stroller and a car seat needs to be ready and a bed for the cutie. A few pacifiers, I didn’t think I needed but a friend of mine gave us their bottles and they had twins so we had a bunch but by the time we were going home we actually needed them..But just have a couple don’t buy a bunch you buy more later if you ever need…You get starter kits with different baby remedies like cream for their little butts so you don’t need to go buy all at once before you see what you like to use. Basically you want to go shopping after she arrives + you will get much in gifts too..Do not go crazy and buy the whole store before you see what you like to use just have a little starter kit so you don’t need to go out shopping the first days if you don’t feel like πŸ˜‰ Good luck with your princess. I have two of my own one is 10 and one is 6 and both times it didn’t turn out the way I imagined but it always adjust it self when you get home. Bet you can’t wait to meet her πŸ™‚

  27. E. Jones says:

    1. Diapers, diapers, and more DIAPERS, LOL
    2. Wipes
    3. Bassinet
    4. If you breastfeed, I would get a breast pump
    5. Hand Sanitizer for yourself and others
    E. Jones recently posted … In the Kitchen with E: Stove Top Chicken

  28. Betsy C. says:

    Dear Karen, I had my “baby” (who is now 43, lol) during the dark ages, when none of the stuff available today was available. Some things that will definitely come in handy and be helpful are:

    *Cloth diapers, even if you aren’t using them as a diaper- they are great for burps, little spit ups and big spit ups. When Baby Girl is bigger, they’re the best household cloths in the world!

    *Onesies and soft nighties are great. They used to make long gown type of pajamas that had a string to pull and enclose the baby’s feet so they didn’t get cold. They were awesome!

    *A rocking chair is wonderful for the both of you. I remember drifting off and sleeping the same time my little boy did. It was lovely!

    *Diaper rash ointment. I second the vote for Caldesene powder to keep the butt area dry, and for rashes, Balmex was wonderful. Yes, it is still made!

    *A soft, soothing baby lamp for her room. Saves you stubbed toes, and the little ones like it.

    *I have lots of friends who have had babies in the past 5 years, and they all swear by the Diaper Genie.

    ***Finally, the best asset you have- and you already have it is the innate good sense that God gave you! Use the power, girlfriend! It is there, waiting to be brought to the forefront. Babies need less than you think, and your love and bonding makes all the difference. I had my only child, my little Mike, the same week I turned 17! A few months later, his paternal unit decided the family life wasn’t his thang, so at 17, I was lucky enough to move back in with my parents for a year to regroup. They were very understanding, but the deal was that care and all of my son’s needs were to be met by ME. It made for a wonderful Mom and Son bond that happily continues to this day! You’ll make mistakes, we all do! However, you and Baby Girl will be wonderful. You can and will do better than you’d ever imagine. Just love each other, realize you have all you need in you already, and enjoy the time. It does go oh so very fast! God Bless!

  29. Stephanie says:

    I highly recommend Lucie’s List and Pregnant Chicken’s lists of things you need (and don’t need). I also highly recommend not stocking up on too much stuff since you never know what baby will like and won’t like. For example, my kid hated being swaddled, so the easy velcro swaddles went unused.

  30. Casey says:

    Ergo Baby Carrier, well – any baby carrier will do. It all comes down to personal preference. I used the carrier often. It made navigating public places much easier than trying to push a stroller through a store. It also leaves both hands free! Invest in a great one, and know that each person is different. So what works for your BFF may not be the best for you.

    I also swear by the Honest Co. products. I know people have varying opinions on them, but for my family it worked out great.

    Congratulations, and I can’t wait to see all the updates.

  31. Sakura says:

    I’m not a mom, but my friend told me that there was one thing she absolutely needed when she was breastfeeding-nipple cream.

  32. Tiffany says:

    EEEEEEK. Here are my must-haves after 2 baby girls… I didn’t buy half the stuff that people recommended lol…

    Sleep – a crib, crib mattress, sheets, pack and play (this is great for sleeping in your room when she is tiny and then for traveling) and white noise machine.

    Eat – breast pump (contact your insurance) and bottles and boppy pillow (if you plan to breastfeed). I recommend getting the sleep nursing bras (I got mine at target) and wait to buy real nursing bras after you know what your size will be. also disposable breast pads and lanolin. nursing tanks are great too.

    Gear – infant car seat, stroller (preferably one your car seat clicks into), monitor (we use an IP camera – way cheaper and can view it when away from home), and play mat.

    Other stuff – diapers, wipes, diaper cream, pacifiers, clothes, pajamas. Huge water bottle for yourself when nursing. Books to read to her <3

  33. Kim says:

    Karen, you will absolutely get things that you will NEVER use because it’ll take some time to figure out what works for you and Baby Girl. But here are the things we found indispensable when the fellas were newborns:

    Probably the #1 item is a video baby monitor. These things are the bomb and, even if you’re only in the next room, you’ll want a monitor.

    Receiving blankets – used to swaddle, to roll up and form headrests like an upside down “u” to give their little necks extra support when changing, bathing, etc, and as burp cloths.

    Bouncy seat – Baby Girl can recline, even in the first couple of months with neck support so you’re face to face and hands-free; this will also be a go-to item when she’s a bit older because it’s so portable and lightweight AND she will love the vibration/bounce. The ones with the removable toy bar are awesome:

    Baby Bath Tub – it seems like “oh, we’ll just use the sink”. Don’t fall for it; get one of these for safety in the sink or tub.

    Changing pad – we said “oh, we don’t need a table – we’ll just do it on a pad on the floor”. Your back will not like you after the first week of floor changing! BUT, the pad can be used all over (table, counter, dresser, bed… EVERYWHERE). It takes up very little space and is SO portable/versatile.

    Be prepared for sleep options and see if you can borrow some stuff before you commit. That was our other big lesson. We thought we had to buy new “everything”. Some parents have their kids sleep with them until they’re nearly teenagers (not judging) but if you know that you don’t want to do that, definitely get a crib. At some point, even if you start out co-sleeping or with a bassinet (our boys hated theirs), you will eventually need a crib. And don’t be afraid to get a used one in good condition. And you don’t need one that converts to a toddler bed, unless you really like the look. When Baby Girl is ready to come out of the crib, she can use a regular bed with safety rails.

    Crib tent cover (sorry Tabs). We had these and they were amazing for keeping kitties out, having very easy access – and were super simple to install – and they had the added bonus of keeping the kids IN the cribs when they got older.

    Pack and Play (but it can wait a few months) and Activity Gym(can also wait but was a big hit with my boys):

    We got carriers and almost never used them BUT we were often outnumbered (one parent at work and one home alone with the boys). Lots of people use them and love them. I think you and Baby Girl would love it. πŸ™‚

    A stroller – you’ll want to get out and about almost right away; and your family and El Hub’s will definitely want to be showing Baby Girl off as much as possible when they visit. Everyone will use the stroller. I can’t tell you the miles that were put on ours. Caution: we bought a jogger with a fixed front wheel and that was a HUGE pain. Just a thought. πŸ™‚

    I think those are probably the key things we used most. If you need any advice, you know where to find me! Work email will always be the fastest because I’m awful about checking the gmail. πŸ™‚

  34. Stefanee says:


    I see there’s a lot of things up there. Something that no one told me about as a first time mom was to have a lot of heavy overnight pads on hands for yourself. Definitely needed those for the heavy period after giving birth.

  35. I actually did a blog post on that in November 2014 that I can leave you a link if you care to read, but to be honest: You don’t need a lot.
    Of course it depends on whether you want to breastfeed exclusively or not, but the main essentials for the first time would be:
    – Diapers
    – Wipes (wash cloth and warm water do work well too, just in case you run out)
    – Onesies. A lot. Baby poop gets everywhere. I opted for ten.
    – Hat(s)
    – Mittens
    – For sleeping I bought a BabyBay with wheels attached. It was next to me at night and I took it wherever I went in the flat throughout the day.
    – Sleeping bags for the baby (two are enough)
    – Baby monitor. I don’t recommend the ones that transfer to your phone. You need your phone for Instagram when she sleeps.
    – Baby milk/ bottles/ sterilizer when feeding milk
    – Boobs, patience and nipple cream when breastfeeding
    – a tub/pot to bath her in
    – Car seat
    – A stroller/baby carrier, whatever you prefer.

    For yourself:
    – Stretchy pants
    – Precooked meals in the freezer
    – Nursing bras without wires to sleep in
    – Trust that you will be doing the right thing. Google is NOT your friend!
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … In for a surprise – Garnier Fructis 3 minute hair mask for curly hair

  36. Melissa says:

    My baby just turned 6 months old, so hopefully my list is fresh.

    – diapers or nappies: decide if you wanna use disposables or cloth and get the appropriate size. As a newborn, they’ll need to be changed every 2-3 hours. Don’t go nuts buying too much cuz babies grow and you don’t want to be stuck with too many you can no longer use. As long as you can go to the shops every week, you’ll be fine. Also the weight range listed on the diapers isn’t a bible. If your baby’s poo consistently explodes out of the diaper, go up a size.

    – cleaning: wipes, burp clothes, a safe place to change baby (preferably at waist height or higher to save your back)

    – clothes: my son lived in Bonds Zippy Wondersuits for the first couple of months. They’re a one piece bodysuit with sleeves that could be flipped to include mittens and the legs did the same for socks (good when he outgrew in length – I could still use them by not flipping them over). They also have a double-direction zip that runs the length of it, making it easy to change his diaper without undressing him. We needed only 6-8 of them and did washing once a week.

    – feeding: if you’re breastfeeding, a breast pump would be good and you’d need some bottles and teats. Otherwise, just nursing bras, breast pads and boob accessible tops (low neckline or v necks of stretchy tops can work). Also try lactation cookies!

    – transport: a car seat is compulsory. A pram is good to cart around stuff even if you decide to babywear.

    – sleeping: if you decide to co-sleep, you won’t need Moses baskets, cots, bassinets, sheets, monitors, etc

  37. Denise S says:

    You are on the right track with minimalistic purchasing. Because babies grow so fast don’t buy too many tiny clothes. Also a rocking chair or good comfortable chair where you can put your legs ups and rest while feeding and comforting your baby is invaluable .

  38. Chrystal says:

    The one tip that I was given before the birth of my son, was:

    Do not buy burp cloths, it’s a waste of money! Instead purchase a few packages of plain white cloth diapers. They are a heck of a lot softer and cheap- a package of 10 Gerber Cloth Diapers is $12 bucks at Target.

    One thing that my pediatrician told me just days after taking my son home- in the midst of me pulling my hair out and calling her on speed dial- daily…. is that no child has ever died from crying – believe me you will feel like you are hearing her heart breaking screams – After you have checked her diaper, fed her, burped her, and she doesn’t have a fever and she is still crying- it’s okay to let her cry.

  39. denise says:

    Like a few others have said, you really *need* very little, especially at first. I have 3 kids and there are so many new things that have become popular in the 12 years since my “baby” was a baby. πŸ™‚

    The most important thing you need is an infant carseat. You can’t leave the hospital without it!

    The big thing to know is that you can easily acquire anything you find you need after the big birth day that you don’t already have. If you use one of the many available lists to shop, you’ll probably end up with a random closet filled with things that never get used because they are impractical or you (or baby) don’t like them. If you can’t resist doing some shopping, set up a private wishlist on Amazon with the things you’ve picked out already so that it’s easy to hit “ship” if you find you need it after getting home.

    The one book I highly recommend to expecting parents is “The Happiest Baby on the Block”. I’m sure there are parts of it that are controversial (as with all baby-related books!) but adapting the ideas in it for our life really did give us a happy, happy baby. It wasn’t around for my first two kids but we used it with my third and she was the happiest, easiest baby by far.

  40. Shadowy_lady says:

    you got some good are mine:

    1. baby needs love of his/her mom and dad πŸ˜‰
    2. diapers – but don’t buy too many of the same kind before baby is born. You never know what kind she won’t like. Also don’t buy nb size until you have the baby as you won’t know their size. Mine was 8lb 11oz and went straight to size 1.
    2. Something to swaddle her in – I adored Woombie
    3. Breast pump if you are planning on breastfeeding
    4. Car seat to get her home from hospital
    5. baby clothes in nb and size 0-3. Don’t buy fancy dresses and stuff, onesies are what newborns will wear trust me…also zippers over buttons πŸ˜‰
    6. little tub to bath her in
    7. some kinda white noise machine
    8. either a basinett or co-sleeper to attach to your bed. My daughter hated the basinette but loved the co-sleeper
    9. a baby wrap (either stretchy or woven, we had the Moby wrap). Trust me you will need this and babies nap in it while you go about your day. They need to be close to mommy when they are very little.

    For you:
    1. lotsa pre-cooked meal in freezer
    2. pads for postpartum bleeding
    4. nipple cream
    5. Nursing bras and sleeping bras. Again for the nursing bra wait till closer to delivery time. My boobs went up 3 cups from 6 months to week before delivery!

    All other stuff you can get later (like stroller, high chair, structured carrier…) these are just the new born basics

  41. denise says:

    And I forgot…I am a huge fan of the old-fashioned baby gowns for those early days! They usually have elastic around the bottom now rather than strings but they are by far the easiest clothing for diaper changes. Remember in the early weeks you usually have a diaper change every time the baby wakes in the night. It’s really hard to do up snap pjs when you’re working on hardly any sleep.

  42. Maneesha says:

    Hi Karen! Congratulations!! I have a 17-month old and another on the way in April! Here’s my list of must-haves for a newborn:

    For Bebe:
    1) Emery boards/mittens/outfits that cover hands: One thing that I noticed right away in the hospital was that baby boy had nails! Babies scratch themselves a lot and it’s best to cover the hands or, if you are brave, file them. Get the Safety First baby nail clippers with a flashlight for when you are ready to clip (I have two, its the best!)
    2) Swaddle blankets: Swaddling is key! The Aden and Anais are the best – lightweight and large! Will last you a long time and get softer with each wash
    3) Some sort of baby detergent: I am still doing my son’s laundry separately with Dreft. This is because I bought the Costco size bottle…regardless, it comes in handy!
    4) Crib/Bassinet/Pack n’ Play: We started co-sleeping after a couple months, but when the baby is brand new, it’s nice to have a separate place for the delicate little one.
    5) Baby monitor: To give you peace of mind and the chance to walk away!
    6) Co-sleeper: We used the Baby Delight Snuggle Nest once the baby was over a month old. This is super easy to travel with and has a built-in sound machine
    7) Diaper pail: Anyone will do, you will need one though! New babies poop all day!!!
    8) Burp clothes/Baby wash clothes: Stock pile these! Can never have enough!
    9) Water wipes: These are the very best baby wipes I have ever found. Made from just water and 0.01% fruit extract, they are very saturated and so safe! You can find these sometimes at Walgreens, but I order mine in bulk from Amazon.
    10) Keekaroo diaper changing pad: This is a bit of a splurge item, but a cloth diaper changing pad kinda makes me queasy. There is only so much poo I can handle. This is a rubber changing pad which is nice and soft for baby and super easy to clean for parents! Super durable and look really nice in your nursery too!

    For Mommy:
    Especially if you are breastfeeding, these are the things that were super helpful for me:
    1) Nursing bras: I started buying these around the 3rd trimester because they were comfy and I also got fitted for some at the hospital. I would stay away from styles with underwires, engorgement is no joke!
    2) Lansinoh adhesive breast feeding pads: I leaked a lot and these were life savers. Easy to change out and keep you feeling fresh.
    3) Yoga pants with the fold over panel: These were so comfy for the extra support that you need for the left over baby belly postpartum. Also, I had a c-section and this was one of the only pant types that didn’t irritate my scar.
    4) Button down tops/nursing tops: just to make your life easier, newborn feed constantly! Consider this for pj’s too!
    5) Glider: Pricey but its the best place to feed baby. Make sure you are near a TV, unlimited supply of water bottles and easy to grab snacks. This will be the place where you are the most!!
    6) Dry Shampoo: In the beginning, you’ll want to nap instead of shower when you get a free moment. Dry shampoo will be your best friend, embrace it, this too shall pass!

    I hope these tips help! All the best and congratulations, again!!! During the hard times, remember that this is temporary and you are strong! On the plus side, you’ll get to enjoy lots of sunrises with baby girl πŸ™‚

  43. TerriB says:

    Have Tabs add the following to your registry:

    –Baby Bjorn carrier
    –Changing table with LOTS of storage or a table/shelves within reach. I underestimated how many things I would need in close proximity to the changing table top. Stock that thing or keep a storage solution right next to it.
    –Boudreux’s Butt Paste
    –Dedicated stack/container of wash cloths just for bottom cleaning–pick an easily recognizable color and use them for just one area; store them away from other wash cloths
    –Regarding the swing: I would borrow one and try it before investing in one. My son never liked the swing at all, so I’m glad I had a loaner from family.
    –My favorite thing: Good swaddling blankets. Those calmed my child when nothing else worked.
    –Careful with powders and scented products: They can be very unsafe.
    –Baby Einstein videos: many babies love to chill out to the music ones.
    –Lounging clothes for you: If you find an outfit for around the house that you love and feel super comfortable in, buy four or five of them. It makes a huge difference to be able to change–even if into the same thing–without feeling grubby. I thought I would be all comfy-cute for post-baby time at home, but I ended up wearing one or two favorite outfits too much and feeling crummy. Splurge on these : )

  44. Jenny says:

    I just had my second baby boy in September! With my oldest, I bought anything and everything…and used maybe half of it. This time, I tried to be way more practical (my kids are 4.5 years apart and I had gotten rid of quite a bit).

    If you are nursing, I recommend the My Brest Friend pillow. I had a Boppy and this pillow the first time and the Brest Friend is so much better! It’s flat on top so baby doesn’t roll so much.

    The automatic Rock and Play from Fisher Price has been a God send this time. It rocks, plays music, and has a bit of an incline so my little guy with reflux is much more comfortable.

    The Aden and Anais Muslim swaddle blankets are awesome; they’re big and versatile.

    Lots of receiving blankets (can be used as burp cloths, changing pad…great in a pinch!) Burp cloths. Sleepers with feet; it’s pretty much the only thing my little one wears. The cute stuff is tempting, but trust me, cute goes to the wayside when you are changing the 10th outfit of the day!

  45. Amanda says:

    Hey Karen!
    Looks like you’ve gotten lots of advice already (and I haven’t read all the comments yet) but here is my two cents!

    -sleeping: we didn’t do bassinet and crib and co-sleeper. We actually put Baby Girl in her crib in her room straight away. Our upstairs was very small so it was easy to get to her quickly. However we did have a pack n play, and sometimes she would sleep downstairs while my hubby was up and “on duty”. But I was pretty adamant about her getting into her own room with the lights off to get her days and nights figured out. The pack n play has been great as she gets older and we travel to my parents, and also to have a safe space for her to play while I’m in the bathroom or such. We usually leave the pack n play downstairs all the time. bedrooms are upstairs.
    -stroller: we have 2, which I was totally against at first, and thought was crazy. BUT-we do have a BOB jogging stroller, which I love for neighborhood walks, but it was just way, way too big and bulky to take into stores. So I have a super easy, smaller one hand fold that I leave in the car.
    -we did a baby bjorn- hubby LOVED this! hands free, easier than a stroller, and baby seemed to like it. Now that she is two I’m kinda wishing we had done the Ergo instead of the Bjorn-the bjorn is really only for infants, the ergo can transition to a backpack for toddlers. (we may end of getting an Ergo this winter-we have a trip to Hawaii planned, and hands free/no stroller is really great for airports. I think for hiking around Hawaii too I may want a carrier!)
    -lots and lots of people will say a bobby/nursing pillow. Well, I hated mine. I felt like it just got in the way and I could never get comfortable using it. But everyone’s experience is different.
    -i excursively breast feed, and didn’t really use a pump. I did have one, but maybe used it twice. I did use the Medela hand pump a lot though. that thing is great. speaking of breast pumps, insurance may cover it so be sure to check/ask.
    -lots of burp cloths, lots of onesies. For newborns the Gerber side snap undershirts are the BEST, since you don’t have to get them over baby’s tender little wiggling head.
    -muslin blanket for swaddles (aden and anis brand). Great, great, great. pricey but breathable (I was kinda a control freak about crib safety and SIDS) and after you aren’t swaddling you can use them for other things.

    I must say my hubby and I have tried, and I think are succeeding, in being more minimalist in all the “stuff”. It will feel like a lot a times but really there is not a lot that you truly, truly need. Many things will make like easier and more convenient, but are they really a necessity? probably not! πŸ™‚ Feel free to message me if you have more questions. my little girl just turned two so I’ve made it to the other side, but am still close enough to the the action offer some advice.

  46. Annie S. says:

    How big is your apartment (You live in a condo, right?)? Will baby girl have her own room or share yours for now? I think that the answer will determine how much furniture you buy now. I also agree with stockpiling diapers- you don’t want to run out (who knew that babies pee so much?). Also if you are buying clothes now, be sure to get them in different sizes, you won’t believe how fast she grows!

    And another thing to make you anxious- have you packed your hospital bag yet? I know that it is way early but you have to start preparing :)!

  47. Fran says:

    Oh, Karen, believe me, you do not need a whole ton of stuff cluttering up your space and demanding to be cleaned and taken care of! Plus, you have a husband who can go out and get stuff or you can order it delivered overnight if you figure out later that you really, really need it.

    The one thing that you can’t take her home from the hospital without is an appropriate car seat. They will want to see you put her in it before you leave. (Or at least that’s how it was in PA 24 years ago.)

    She needs a safe place to sleep, a safe place to play (or just look around while awake at the beginning — some people use a car seat that goes from house to car), something to keep her warm (basic clothing, blankets — don’t buy too much clothing until you find out what size baby you have — I had an awful time finding things for my tiny preemie 24 years ago — plus, people will give you tons of cute stuff), something to bathe in, something to pee and poop in, something to burp up onto. Some cream or ointment to protect her little bottom and something to wash her with. Something to eat or some kind of emergency back-up if breast feeding doesn’t go as planned. A few things to look at/listen to, but she’s mostly going to be interested in you in the beginning (this can be stressful at times). Something to tote her around in, something to take her out in if you don’t want to always carry her (I actually never used a stroller or carriage, just a sling, because I liked carrying him until he could walk, and then he insisted on walking, but I’m unusual, and even I had an umbrella stroller that I just never used). He also had a bassinet and crib but ended up sleeping with me a lot of the time because he was so sick. I do think it’s really good for a marriage if the baby has her own place to sleep, even if she sometimes (often) joins the parents. I slept in a wicker laundry basket for the first few months until my cousin Dan outgrew the family crib. It worked fine. A baby monitor can be helpful if you can’t hear sounds easily from one end of the condo to the other.

    That’s already a lot of stuff! But really, for the first few weeks, she’s mostly going to be interested in eating, sleeping, and her family. Once you get through those few weeks you’ll have a better idea of what kinds of things you’ll want for the next few months.

    People have been raising children for thousands of years with very little in the way of supplies. I understand people wanting to be over-prepared, but, when you’re working in a small space, all the stuff can just add to the stress.

    One thing I hate to mention is that I ended up having to give away my beloved cat of 12 years because he scratched my son when my son pestered him too much (this was once my son could get around on his own). Geronimo could have easily gotten out of my son’s reach, but I think he felt privileged, having been there first. I was not all that worried at first, figuring they would work it out (ouch! does that sound relaxed or negligent?), but my (very supportive) pediatrician warned me that they (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) had seen some really, really unfortunate injuries caused by jealous cats. So strategizing how to manage the feline/baby relationship could be important. I didn’t really plan ahead for it, had too much else going on, maybe I could have prevented it. Just a word of warning to the wise!

  48. Iris says:

    Hi Karen,
    so excited about your little girl arriving! My son just turned two and we are now expecting twins, which will probably arrive around the same time as your girl (yes, we are still reeling from the shock).

    My list of must-haves:

    1. Bottles and milk powder (I used formula all the way, and my son is perfectly healthy. It was pain-free, relatively stress-free and predictable. There’s a lot of pressure to breastfeed but it’s only pressure if you let it get to you.)

    2. Bottle steam sterilizer

    3. Pacifiers (get a few different models as you don’t know which one baby will like). My son was very fond of his and weaned off them around 1.5 years old, when he had a cold and had to breathe through his mouth.

    4. Muslin cloths for burping and swaddling

    5. Infant car seat and stroller. We used the Bugaboo Bee with the Maxi Cosi Pebble. I loved the Bee as it is lightweight, has a compact fold and stylish. We’ve also travelled everywhere with it (UK, Greece, Singapore and now US). Best to test this out in person to see what fits you, your lifestyle and car.

    6. Baby monitor (we’re still using this now).

    7. Basic baby toiletries (for bathing and cleaning), especially diaper cream. Rectal thermometer and baby scissors/nail clippers.

    8. Diapers and wipes (no need to stock up too much if you have easy access to the stores)

    9. Diaper bag (love the ones by Jujube)

    10. Baby bath tub

    11. Changing station (we just used a thick changing mattress placed on top of a chest of drawers that were the right height)

    12. Crib. My son ended up co-sleeping with us most of the time but the crib was still heavily used for naps and playtime. Baby sleeping bag.

    13. Rocker/bouncer

    14. Playmat

    15. Mittens and socks. Onesies (those with closed feet and sleeves that can be wrapped over their fists are especially useful). The Swiss hospital where my son was born dressed him in 2 layers (a legless, short-sleeve or sleeveless onesie inside and a closed-foot, long-sleeve onesie on top of that), so we needed more clothes than we had anticipated as every change would involve 2 layers.

    We also purchased the BabyBjorn carrier but hardly ever used it. He was perfectly happy sleeping in his stroller and carseat.

  49. Kathy S says:

    My rule is: if Target or Walmart doesn’t sell it, then you don’t need it. Which really just translates to you don’t need super specific, specialized baby gear.

    One of the most important things about the postpartum time is making sure you’re looking after YOU. Comfy clothes, snacks and water at the ready can definitely take away a little bit of the postpartum stress.

  50. Daisy D Alary says:

    great lists! so i’m only listing stuff that hasn’t been mentioned often yet:

    – baby monitor. our house is two story, so this was great when he was asleep upstairs and we were downstairs.
    – diaper backpack. check it the night before if you’re going out the next day. i was always forgetting to repack wipes/diapers/formula/extra clothes whenever we used them all up. and hubby liked carrying the backpack vs the other diaper bag.
    – thermos for formula. if you want to use boiled/filtered water.
    – baby washcloths/hooded towels. i still use them to wash/dry my baby, even if he’s not a baby anymore.
    – diaper genie. i know another poster says they didn’t use theirs, but we loved ours, it really kept the smells down.
    – bibs.
    – books! read to your baby every night, it’s great bonding time and instills a love of reading.

    fun to haves include:

    – plastic bags to hold dirty diapers. like the little doggie poop bags but for dirty diapers. they’re good for when you’re out and don’t want to put a smelly diaper in a public trash can. but honestly, any plastic shopping bag will do.
    – specialty nursing cover. we just used a receiving blanket instead.

    don’t bother with baby shoes, i know they’re ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE, but most people recommend babies only wear socks until they can start walking.

    happy shopping! πŸ™‚

  51. Nicole says:

    Hi Karen, Nope. You do not need all that stuff!
    Here is my top 10:
    1)pumpkin seat- It goes into a large stroller and the car and you can set it anywhere and rock it.
    2) Stroller. I would start with that big daddy one that the pumpkin seat fits. But, down the road, when the baby can hold her head up. I think you will want a good jogging stroller. Umbrella strollers are nice to have too for quick errands when she is older.
    3)Swing- a Godsend
    4) diaper bag or a large purse. At some point when my daughter was a baby I got sick of 2 bags and started throwing it all into one huge purse!
    5)Changing pad- We had a changing station that converted to a dresser that my daughter still uses at the age of 10. So, don’t spend a lot unless you will use it for a long time.
    6)Diapers- a lot-lots of sizes
    7) wipes
    8)Burp cloths
    9)pack and play- most have a shelf type thing that allow them to be converted a bassinette type thing.
    10) Lots of books
    Now, stop worrying. It’s gonna get crazy busy soon. She’s going to be sitting across the desk from you soon looking at you like a teenager- before you know it. Just hang on and enjoy the ride! <3

  52. Kwmechelle says:

    *Chiming in to add nothing of real value to this conversation because a) I don’t have kids and b) I’ve never been pregnant.” But, I vote for baby Uggs & baby Timberlands. I mean, I know she’ll be a newbie & will prolly only wear them for a good month & I know they’ll cost more than a large pack of diapers. And, let’s face it, she might spit up on them once (or twice), thus diminishing the value that you paid for them. But in the name of high fashion & everything pink, buy the shoes! Or, just add them to the baby registry so someone else can buy them. Really, Karen, your husband will come around to seeing things my way. After all, don’t you think you can get good advice from a woman with no kids whose never been pregnant?! πŸ˜‚ (Now to read the above comments from responsible moms who a) have a child, and b) prolly birthed said child! And I also vote for chocolate. πŸ™‚

  53. Ruth says:

    Start out as a minimalist.
    Every baby item you buy will need to be cleaned, maintained, kept stocked-up… That uses up tons of your energy and time, keeping track of “things.”
    The best advice I was given was to NOT pack a baby bag. If you’re nursing, just stick a diaper and a pack of wipes in a larger purse and you’re all set. I kept a backup diaper/wipes in the car.
    Right now, get a crib, changing table, rocking chair, and diapers/wipes and you’re ready to go. Resist buying clothes, as sizes are hard to guess and can change quickly. Stuffed animals pile up and are hard to get rid of (charities won’t take them).
    Enjoy Baby Girl and don’t stress over “stuff.” If she has you, she has everything she needs!

  54. Courtney says:

    We just had our first baby (a girl) in April. We bought a million things we didn’t need. We had a million things for her to sleep in and the absolute best thing ever was a Rock n’ Play. It’s a miracle worker in terms of getting a good nights sleep (our little one has slept through the night since 7 weeks, which was shortly after we got the RnP). It’s also the easiest thing to transport since it only weighs like a pound. It’s much more convenient than a pack n’play and will last the baby up till 25 lbs (though we transitioned to her crib earlier). The vibrating motion was a godsend. Babies love vibration.

    I’d recommend a white noise machine too. Homemedics makes a portable one that’s only $10 that works great.

    In terms of diapers, I wouldn’t stock up too much. Our baby was allergic to any diapers/wipes that weren’t Pampers so all the diapers we stored up we had to donate. She also came three weeks early so we had her in premie diapers for about a month before we got into newborns. I would buy a few packs of newborn diapers and see what she can use and then stock up on bigger sizes when she is smaller. Amazon has the best prices on diapers, especially if you do subscribe and save.

    For clothes, stock up on onesies and sleep and plays. There are tons of cute outfits for babies but 99% of the time your baby will be in one of those. I also recommend a couple of good swaddle blankets. We like the summer infant swaddle me blankets.

    You’ll need several receiving blankets (when I was pregnant I couldn’t imagine using them but I used them a lot) and burp cloths (cloth diapers work great for this).

    For diaper cream, go with one that has 40% zinc content as this is the thickest kind and works best. We didn’t have an issues with diaper rash until she started baby food and then it was awful. What worked best was 40% zinc diaper cream with Aquaphor or Vaseline on top.

    A baby swing is nice but our baby hated hers until she was about 3 months old. It’s definitely an item you can wait on and don’t necessarily need right away. The same goes for bouncers.

    We used a changing table every day and still do. We actually started out with a pack n’ play with a newborn napper insert (like a little bassinet/basket thing that sits in there) and changing table combo set up in the general living area and then we used the rock in play in the bedroom and would move it in the living area when needed. This way you have two places for the baby to sleep and a changing area in the common area. If you don’t mind walking back to your baby’s nursery you can just change her in there though.

    On feeding, I planned to breast feed then had lots of problems and exclusively pumped for 10 weeks. The Medela breast milk storage containers were great. In terms of bottles, our baby initially liked Avent, then hated them after a month, switched to the Playtex with drop in liners, those lasted about 6 weeks before she no longer liked them, and we switched to Tommee Tippee and she’s been on those for several months. I would advise not stocking up a lot on any particular brand but maybe getting a starter set from 2 different brands just to be safe. If you end up doing formula Tommee Tippee bottles are nice because they sell formula container inserts(sold separately) that you can prefill with powder and then fill the bottle with water and set the formula container inside. It keeps the formula dry until you use it and saves a ton of space in the diaper bag.

    Speaking of diaper bags, you’ll need at least one. I suggest two, with at least one of them being neutral so as not to embarrass the hubby. A baby monitor is a necessity once the baby sleeps in their own room but if your little one is going to sleep in your room for the first few months you can wait on it.

    Pacifier. I would get one or two to start with. Don’t get the orthodontic (traditional) pacifiers from the get go because most babies don’t like them until they’re older. Go with a larger pacifier like the Avent ones.

    Baby bathtub. You don’t need anything too fancy, just a plastic tub that doesn’t leak. I like the ones with the newborn slings that come out.

    Boppy pillow. Whether you breastfeed or not it’ll come in handy. We used it for playtime, assisted tummy time, helping little visitors hold the baby, etc.

    We ended up getting a wipe warmer (the munchkin one with the sprayer). When she was a newborn she would scream whenever a cold wipe touched her bottom. The wipe warmer cut out a lot of the drama with diaper changes. It’s not a necessity but it’s nice to have.

    Carseat/stroller combo. I’d recommend the Chicco Keyfit 30. It’s been routinely rated the best infant carseat for safety for several years. It’s also super easy to use and install.

    If you’re breastfeeding you’ll want lanolin nipple cream (which is also great for chapped lips). Lanisol makes a good one.

    Medela makes great steam sterilizer bags where you can sterilize pump parts, bottles, pacifiers, etc. in the microwave. They aren’t that expensive and last for 10-25 uses (can’t remember the exact number).

    For nails, I highly recommend nail scissors from Pigeon They work so much better than traditional nail clippers and you can see so much better so you won’t accidentally clip the baby’s skin.

    A play gym once the baby gets to be about a month old. We like the fisher price one with the little piano at the end that the baby can kick. I have a friend who has a skip hop play gym that her little one loves.

    As for high chairs, you won’t need one for awhile. Our little one is 6 months old and we have been using a space saver high chair (with the tray off) since we started baby food at 4 months. It works great and saves a lot of space in the kitchen. You can also put it on the floor and feed them there too if you don’t have a ton of kitchen space.

    Finally, while not 100% necessary, I’d recommend a forehead thermometer. We have one by Braun. It’s so easy to use and the baby tolerates it so much better than the traditional digital one in the armpit.

    Hope this helps! Congrats!

  55. Lisa says:

    Check out for great ideas. Babies need less than you think. just had a baby and made a baby blog with reviews of stuff she has and loves.

  56. Kimm says:

    Hi Karen! omg there are so many things you don’t need and some you do for sure.
    A co sleeper is awesome. Or a bassinet. Not both
    A swing is a must!!! I heard rock-and -plays are the best. They are newer but I think just get one not both.
    A breast pump for sure. For sure for sure for sure. The day or two after you get home from the hospital your milk will come in and you will want to cut your boobs off. I didn’t have one w my first and I sent my ex husband to the store to get a pump and he walks in and I’m sobbing, trying to squeeze the milk into a bottle with my crying newborn lying on the bed next to me.
    A baby carrier like an ergo
    Baby bath stuff
    A boppy or other nursing pillow.
    Coconut butter for diaper rash. Mix it w diaper cream and it will keep rashes from turning into yeast infections too. Oh and if your baby gets a bad rash, give her a bath w a little baking soda.
    They have these little swaddling sleeping bags. You zip the baby up in it and can wrap the arms and Velcro them. I suck at swaddling.
    Pacifiers to shut them up. Haha. If you want to use them.
    The biggest waste of money was using the diaper genie. I used it and went through one roll and never bought more. I just threw diapers in grocery bags and took them out when they got full or pooped. I never had a wipe warmer or a bottle warmer either w any of my three kids. Maybe I will try them w my fourth.
    A play pen is great.
    Keep diapers everywhere in your house. Maybe get a cute little basket for the living room and keep diapers and baby powder and a changing mat in there.
    Aden and anis blankets are the best! Sooo expensive but worth it. Register for them. You will love them. The bamboo ones feel like heaven after you wash them a few times.
    A good camera but I think you have one. Your pics are always great.
    I think that’s it! I’ll send you a link for the swaddle bags! Yay! What a fun time!!!

  57. Kimm says:

    Here ya go!
    The halo sleep sac

  58. Kimm says:

    Oh and I forgot… Nursing pads! Kinda like maxi pads for your bra so you don’t leak. And get a nursing tank or two. Especially to sleep in. Ohh being a woman is SO MUCH FUN!!!

  59. Luv Jaime says:

    Hi Karen! I have a 9-month-old and basically, gear-wise, if you’re nursing, I would suggest a co-sleeper BUT opt for a playpen that has a built in bassinet so your baby can grow into it. Wish we did that, because we ended up buying a playpen a couple of months ago since she started standing up. Mini co-sleepers of the kind are only good before they can sit up. My babe sat up at 5 months. A high chair that fully reclines to accommodate an infant. We have the bloom fresco which we love to this day. She got to hang out with us in the kitchen as a tiny infant. They live in onesies for the first 6 months. Lots of burp cloths especially if baby ends up with reflux. Shoes? We have at least 6 unworn pairs! Socks only for the first 5 months. Mary Jane’s or moccasins fit the best since they kick em off! A car seat that you can use with your stroller. Trust me, if she falls asleep in the car seat, you don’t wanna wake her up to transfer. Aquaphor for the inevitable baby acne, great for diaper rash as well.. We LOVE (even my hubby) Noodle and Boo products. Babybling bows, Kait and Kids bows (etsy), happiness lives here bows (etsy). Oh and the best baby wipes ever? Water Wipes! No hype there. We use it to this day!

    @luv_elle (IG) momma w/ a 9-mo-old girly girl πŸ˜€

  60. Divina says:

    All the ladies have great ideas. Although it’s been almost 19 years since my last baby was born, I do recall thinking that it was such a waste of money — I bought all of mine new — to buy a crib, stroller, etc. — the big ticket items. I remember selling mine on Craigslist and the buyers were so grateful. I would consider buying them used on Craiglist or some other website. I barely used these items, and people are selling nice stuff all the time on Craiglist. I’d buy the car seat new, though, because safety guidelines chance all the time and you want the latest and safest seat. Congratulations on making it halfway! How exciting!

  61. Divina says:

    A couple more things:

    – One of those bulb syringes/aspirators just in case Baby Girl gets a cold.
    – Humidifier

    Also, if you can, keep a second diaper bag in the car with extra blankets, clothing, diapers and wipes for emergency purposes. You can use it for emergencies or just because you don’t feel like packing another diaper bag. Also, if relatives are babysitting you can just hand them the second diaper bag. πŸ™‚

  62. Cyndi says:

    Babies need very little in the beginning, and I agree the “lists” that are out there can be very excessive. Lots of gizmos and gadgets that are not necessary. Here’s what I would recommend after having 2 kids:
    1. Diapers sized Newborn and size 1 cuz you never know how big your baby is gonna be (I only had newborn stuff with me at the hospital but my son was 10lbs 5oz at birth so nothing fit him. Thankfully the hospital stocked some size 1 diapers, but he was naked for the first 14 hrs of his life till our family brought him some clothes lol)
    2. Wipes (I prefer Huggies brand, but you may just wanna sample some of each till you find one you like/one that works best for Baby Girl)
    3. Onesies in both newborn and 0-3 month size (again you never know haha)
    4. A couple sleepers … you will most likely buy/be gifted lots of clothing after Baby Girl gets here πŸ˜‰ (and as one reader mentioned sippers over buttons all the way!!)
    5. Swaddling blankets (my favorites are from Lulujo but Aden & Anais have some great ones as well!) and/or a swaddler
    6. Carseat obviously πŸ™‚
    7. Spit cloths are important cuz babies can puke a lot
    8. A crib is a necessity as they will need it for the first couple of years. We had a bassinet for both our babies but my first only lasted a week in it before I moved her into a crib/out of our room, and my second lasted two days before he was moved to the crib.
    9. White noise app!! (We use the SimplyNoise app but you can also pull it up on your computer if need be) We would not have survived without this one… babies LOVE white noise as it sounds similarly to what they heard in Utero.
    10. If you are nursing, breast pads and a good nursing bra to make you feel sexy! I always found I feel so much better when I was wearing a decent bra and actual clothes (tho don’t be afraid to rock the sweatpants for a while… your pre-baby clothes take a while to fit normal again. Mine took about 6 months before I was completely back to normal)

    Some things that are nice to have but not completely neccessary are the follow:
    1. Change table is very convenient to have but when I had my daughter I just used a change pad on our dining table/bed/floor/whatever surface was available at the time πŸ™‚
    2. Nursing pillow is nice but not neccessary as you can use a any old pillow that you sleep with
    3. Swing/Bouncy chair. We were gifted a swing and thankfully both our babies loved it, but not ever baby does, so maybe try to borrow one first before investing in one.
    4. A stroller does make life easier especially if you just need to get out of the house for a walk πŸ™‚
    5. If you choose to Breastfeed it doesn’t hurt to keep some formula and a couple bottles on hand if you need a break! We all need a break sometimes!

    All the best as you decide what’s important for you and Baby Girl, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can be overwhelming! πŸ™‚

  63. Jen C says:

    So many long lists! Let me give you one absolutely NEED list:
    1. Diapers
    2. Wet wipes
    3. If you’re not co-sleeping, a crib / playpen that can fit next to your bed for late night feelings.
    4. If you’re breastfeeding, breast pump and nursing bras. Otherwise milk bottles and steam sterilizer.
    5. Bath tub
    6. Swaddle blanket
    7. Burp cloths

    Forget about clothes, you will get tons during the baby shower, and baby girl maybe bigger than the newborn size. Strollers and carriers can be bought after she comes along so you can test it out — although, schedule lots of help so you can get out of the house!

  64. Amanda says:

    Baby Top Ten:

    1. Crib; if you want to keep your baby in your room the first 12 weeks (which I always have) buy a used or consignment bassinet. If you are co-sleeping you need to commit to that. Personally, my bed is for my sleep and nookie…no chil’ren allowed.
    2. Diapers, and get a very limited amount of the newborn size – she will be out of them in two weeks!
    3. Baby bath tub – skip the specialty “baby towels” and “baby wash cloths”…lets face it, most of us do not have the extra storage space and the stuff “we” use works just fine.
    4. Two or three swaddle wraps (the velcro kind) – so much better than attempting to swaddle with a blanket on your own and your baby will feel more comfortable and sleep well.
    5. Are you breast feeding? I tried and couldn’t because of a lack of milk supply. If you either cannot, or do not want to, buy those Playtex “drop-ins” bottles, save on the tedious washing because all you need to do is the nipples.
    6. Swing – a must! I like the kind that allow you to adjust whether it swings forward or to the side and has options for battery or electric. My baby slept in his swing for 12 weeks due to reflux and constant crying from colic.
    7. Good booties if you can find them – those damn little socks come off and are perpetually lost. If you cannot find a well reviewed pair – I could not find one by the time I discovered the need – buy all white socks so it does not matter if they do not have a “match”.
    8. Plain white onesies. Yes, buy the pink cutesy stuff too. But you have no idea the amount of spit-up, vomit, explosive poop, and leaking urine in your future. You will change that baby multiple times a day.
    9. This one is for mama – a nude/whiteish liner for your waterline to make you look awake, mascara, and a multi purpose stick for cheeks and lips. Do this daily. It takes 5 minutea but will make you look and feel alive, even after those sleepless nights.
    10. This is for you and hubs – with Christmas coming up, take advantage of the restaurants offering deals like buy $100 in gift cards and get $20 free. Save these for those nights where the mere thought of cooking makes you want to shove an organic free range chicken up someone’s tush…also, find a crockpot recipe for each week. Pre mix the ingredients for four of them and label in zip lock bags. Thaw in freezer the night before and then empty into crockpot in the morning. Make some freezable casseroles in advance.

    I hope this helps!

  65. Jordi says:

    Oh, to be asked for baby shopping advice! So much fun!

    Pack n play with extra padded mattressy bottom part and bassinet / changing area on top until you graduate to a real changing table (or attach a changing cushion on the top of the dresser)
    Fisher Price newborn rock n play – wish we had bought it earlier
    Don’t overdo it with swaddle stuff – some babies just don’t like it
    Sleepsacks (Halo makes great ones)
    Boudreaux’s butt paste
    Baby carriers – Ergo and Moby (#1 favorite but a pain to wrap out of the house)
    Fabric nursing pads (hate the crinkle of disposable)
    Stroller base that you can attach infant carseat
    Swing base that you can attach infant carseat (don’t invest in a swing at all until you borrow one – some kids just don’t take to it)
    Baby play floor mat
    Skip Hop baby changing station (so good for when you don’t need to take the whole bag but you do need a clean spot and some wipes)
    Primo Eurobath tub (useful for a long time bc it is 2-sided)
    Toys – Oball, mirrored pillow, rings, apparently everyone now has Sophie the giraffe but I’m not sure what the appeal is!
    Hooded bath towels – even neat ones with arm holes that you can use first and then you can convert so the baby can use – are fun but not necessary
    Oxiclean powder (gets any kind of baby goo out of anything, even if the worst explosions take two soakings)

  66. Michele DiCola says:

    Hi Karen,
    I am very happy for you and your husband !
    I read over the lists & I can add a few things after I think a little .
    Remember your husband ! He is going to be a dad ! So unless he’s done this before he could go to classes with you . Or, maybe get a book for newborn dads !
    And your the grandparents ! Books for them to read, videos, or DVDs for them to play for her. Let me think some more ! I had 2 baby bags : one was always ready to go

  67. Julia C says:

    You don’t need as much as they say. A crib and a rock-n-play for sleeping. I used the crib at nights from day one and the rock-n-play for naps. A vibrating bouncer is great for lounging in the day. Zip up swaddling blankets are a must. Newborn and size one diapers with diaper cream. A baby bath and some hooded blankets! A color video monitor! Muslin blankets – Aden & Anais brand! We loved Avent bottles. The boon bottle drying racks are cute! And of course a car seat!

  68. Ami says:

    I’m gonna try and cover what others haven’t:

    1. Diaper Genie. This might be considered a luxury, but there’s nothing worse than smelling the morning change the rest of the day. If you live in an apartment with a trash chute, you can probably come up with a cheaper compromise, but frankly those first 6 – 12 weeks should be structured to be as easy for you as possible.

    2. ALL THE ONSIES. Ahem. You’ll get a of these it’s true, but you should plan for your child to ruin at least one a month. Stuff happens. Etc. Also not all of your gift givers will do the growing baby math and get you something for say.. winter, that’s likely to fit a growing child. Babies grow really fast. Have several options a few few sizes ahead of your kid.

    3. Ditto with diapers. Always keep some stock of the next size. I’ve seen kids grow out of diapers overnight.

    4. Stock up on super easy to make food. This one is for you. You need to eat, but there will be times that even ordering out might feel like too much.

    5. More bottles than you think you need. Trust me. They eat every couple of hours and it’s preferable to do the bottle load only once a day instead of several. If you’re exclusively breast feeding (personal choices, no judgement or preferences here) early on it’s still good to stock up.

    6. Toys you’re comfortable with the child gumming. This isn’t really about teething so much as they put stuff in their mouths, usually whatever you put in the crib with them. Find a few small stuffed toys that are baby proof and aren’t a huge hassle to take with you when you go out. (For reference, a single freezable teething toy and that gum numbing stuff is good to have in stock early b/c this stuff sneaks up behind you and surprises you)

    7. Collect all your phone numbers. Collect the poison control #, the nurse’s hotline, the ‘I’m a new parent and I know this isn’t a thing but I need someone else to assure me” numbers. The pediatrician, your OB, the hospital you’re planning on having the baby at. That stuff. Then print out 10 copies, laminate them, tape them to a wall in every room and put it in all your bags πŸ˜‰

    8. Be prepared for baby preferences. My friend had a kid who hated cold and wet, so they got a wipes warmer. Seems extravagant, but it made diaper changes just a tad easier. Also look into a bottle warmer, don’t rely on microwaves. I mean you can and it seems like a silly purchase, but it’s a very specific tool for a very important chore and it’s worth looking into it. It’s good to imagine how hard each baby related task is when performed by a zombie.

    9. Rubber sheets. Burp clothes are great, but rubber sheets save mattresses and carpets. Modern diapers are amazing, but it’s always good to have a half dozen of these flat, water proof sheets under your baby’s preferred blankie. They come in all sorts of sizes, 2×2, 5×5, 8×8, etc.

    10. When you start to supplement with formula, be aware that some kids tummies are super finicky and it might not be your first choice that works. Changing formula is an experience for the diaper change though. As a side note that veers almost too far into TMI: nipple butter (thank you HIMYM) etc, breast feeding can actually be hard on the nipples and breasts, so I suggest doing some searches into various helpful solutions.

  69. Audrey says:

    Hi Karen,

    I know you’ve already got a million comments but I’ll add my two sense. πŸ™‚
    Don’t get a bassinet. I had a bassinet a crib and a pack n play and I hardly used the bassinet. But, the pack n play is AWESOME! You can put it in your living room or if you’ve got an outta town trip, just haul the pack n play! So cool and functional! I love functional. Crib is a necessity, in my opinion. My son slept in his crib until he was three and used his pack n play until he was at least 2. You’ll need bottles FOR SURE! A GOOD breast pump, if you’re going to breast feed. Make the investment and get the “GOOD” one, (Medela). I had a cheap $20 breast pump and if I may be honest, it totally SUCKED! If I have another baby, I’m def buying myself a Medela! Again, if you’re going to breast feed, get containers or bags that you can freeze your milk in so that you have stockpile and can leave little mommasita with El Hub while you get out and get some fresh air every once and a while! Of course you need diapers, lots and lots and lots of diapers and wipes! Get a diaper bag, of course it’ll be fashionable because you’re so fashionable! πŸ™‚ Of course you need a carseat. Get a stroller! Very nice and functional for going places! My son loved his bouncer! It was very soothing for him. If you’ve got a really big condo, you might need a baby monitor. I had one, but honestly, I never used it. Baby was always an ears shot away and I spent 99.9% of my time hovering anyway because I was so obsessed that I helped create that little bundle of magic. LOL! Baby shampoo, baby lotion, baby powder, aquaphor / butt paste or something like that. Baby will spit up a lot so you need burping clothes, receiving blankets and onesies. I didn’t have a changing table. It really didn’t bother me. I used the pack n play a lot or changed the baby on a blanket on the floor. Pacifiers are successful for some, my son would not take the pacifier so, idk… try it, I guess. lol! I had a wipe warmer and I never used but, my cousin just a had baby and she had her wipe warmer by her bed and I changed the baby and wished that I had used mine with my son. He probably would have appreciated that much more than putting those cold wipes on his bottom – poor baby. LOL! I think I’m a minimalist and so, in my opinion, the aforementioned are necessities. It’s always hard to say what is “best” or “necessary” because every baby is different so what may have been a “necessity” for my baby, may not be a “necessity” for your baby. I hope this was a little helpful! πŸ™‚

  70. Jamie says:

    Aden and Anais swaddling blankets are the best!! I used them as a breast-feeding cover, stroller cover, swaddled, regular blankets and even burp cloths if the need arises. Claire is two and she still uses them all the time. They also have wonderful crib sheets and their “Dream” blankets are thicker and amazing.

    We got a crib and a pack and play. For the first month we used the pack and play as a bassinet. As far as swings, bouncers, etc…I would wait until you have the future diva in your arms and test those things out. Some babies don’t really like swings and bouncers.

    Finally, you should get a Boppy pillow. We used it all the time for everything!

    Congrats! It’s all so much fun!

  71. Keesha says:

    Very happy to hear everything is going well, congratulations and best of luck with it all.

    I found necessary:
    – A bassinet
    – Change table
    – Clothing drawers
    – (If breastfeeding) A feeding cover (like a shawl with a head hole)
    – (If breastfeeding) A feeding pillow
    – A baby swing
    – Play mat
    – A nappy wallet and travel change mat
    – Nightlight (2 even, 1 for bubs room 1 for yours if the bassinet is in your room and your getting up to breastfeed)
    – Pram rain cover, sunshades for car,
    – Plenty of tv to watch!
    – Accurate thermometer (love the forehead one, so easy)
    – (For 4 months plus) An easy to clean highchair!
    More obviously
    – Wraps, burp cloths, clothes
    – Cloths, towels, sheets, baby wash, no tears shampoo, baby bath

    Not necessary but could be helpful:
    -Pram caddy, particularly if you don’t have much storage on your pram
    – Trolley cover if you’re concerned about the germs on a trolley but want to do grocery shopping!
    – A baby wrap but strongly recommend buying this post baby, you might be someone like me who either carried or prammed (totally a word) the baby and as such didn’t need it

    Where we felt we wasted money
    – A co sleeper, something to buy perhaps after discovering whats working for you and your family
    – Baby bouncer jolly jumper – we had clicky hips and couldn’t use it
    – Bottles, formula and steriliser, we were lucky enough to breastfeed so again you could hold off on spending too much money here until you know your individual situation (one or two for pumping for an evening out or for the first few weeks just in case is not a bad idea of course).

  72. CynthiaCCC says:

    Things I used every single day:

    A carrier. We had a Snugli, but now I’d probably get one of those free-form wrap things you can tie on a million different ways.

    A bouncy seat. As someone who also worked from home on the laptop a lot when my boys were born, I can tell you tha you need this. Put the baby in it on the floor, bounce lightly with your foot, type with your hands. Multitasking!

    A pack n play. We kept it in the living room/dining room/kitchen, so we could put the baby in it to sleep or rest during the day so he could be in the same room with us.

    Nursing pads. Oh so many. The leak problem is real. Very real.

    That kind of car seat that clicks into a base in the car and then clicks into the stroller. If you end up with a baby who falls asleep in the car easily, you will love this, because you can take them out of the car without waking them up.

    What we didn’t need:

    The wipes warmer. It’s California. They don’t really get that cold. And the warmer dries out the wipes so you end up wasting some with every wad that goes in.

    The nursing pillow. I don’t know why, but my first one hated it. And I never bothered with the second one.

    A giant fancy breast pump. I just used an Avent hand pump one, and it worked fine. I’d say wait until you figure out what you need before you blow a whole wad of cash on one.

    A baby monitor. See earlier item about trying to have the baby sleep in the same room with us.

    A baby swing. Fortunately we didn’t buy one, just borrowed from a cousin. But the baby didn’t like it, and the bouncy seat was easier anyway.

  73. Stephanie Smith says:

    Gurrrrrl, I know what you mean about everything! How’s shaving your legs going? Lol!

    The basics that you’re going to need:

    Diapers, duh. Babies go potty A LOT!
    Wipes, make sure you buy quality wipes, thicker ones. You’ll use them for EVERYTHING! I liked Pampers brand, but check a few out to see what you like.
    Receiving Blankets, again, you’ll use them for everything! Wrapping Baby Girl up, wiping up spills, covering her car seat up.
    A Pack n Play. It’s portable, they come with a changing table and bassinet in them, totally removable, she’ll be able to use it for at least a year,

    That’s the important stuff, other than outfits which you’ll figure out on your own which works best for you and Daddy. Don’t stress too much, if she’s fed and changed and interacted with, she’ll be getting enough. Cuddles and kisses are super important. Be prepared for major poop accidents, just trust me. It’ll be the best adventure ever!

  74. Malia says:

    I’ll tell you what you DON’T need. You don’t need a changing table or a diaper genie. Both are a waste of money in my opinion. Unless you are ALWAYS going to change the baby’s diapers in her room (which will never happen), it’s a waste. Just buy lots of changing pads to keep at various locations around the house, most of the time you’ll end up doing it on the floor anyway. The diaper genie is ridiculous unless you plan to store up dirty diapers insteas of dumping them outside in the trash every day.
    A rock n play was a godsend for us since our first baby hated sleeping flat on her back. Our second baby loved being swaddled. So we ended up buying the swaddle blankets with a velcro closure. They are fantastic! My only other piece of advice is not to buy too much of one thing until you are sure you will use them. For example, in our case, I bought lots of shoes and hats….used them maybe once. Also, the swaddle blankets we only used for the first 3 months, so we only needed about 3.

  75. Malia says:

    I almost forgot, the Medela Freestyle double breast pump is a MUST have if you plan to pump. Totally worth the money, even though you should be able to get it for free with your medical insurance.
    Also remember, ALL babies are different so what works for one might not work for the next so don’t get down on yourself if someone swears by something and it doesn’t work for you. πŸ™‚

  76. Rini Joseph says:

    Hi Karen,

    – Sleepsuit / Onesies (Size new born)
    – Bibs
    – Cap & Mittens
    – Burp cloths
    – Swaddling blankets
    – Baby wipes
    – Baby Face Cream , Baby lotion, Baby Shampoo & Baby Wash…Not to forget the ever useful Diaper Rash Creams/ Baby Vaseline
    – Pampers – size New baby
    – Feeding Pillow (if using)
    – Breast pump / Breast Pads / Tons & Tons of Sanitary Napkins or Tampons
    – My baby just wouldn’t breast feed…So bottles and formula milk were a lifesaver
    – If you are using bottles, a bottler sterilizer is handy
    – I opted to co sleep, so we bought a crib much much later on
    – A stroller is helpful if you guys are the out-doors type of people
    (any brand that can be used from birth onwards)
    Do not buy too much of anything as these lil’ darlings outgrow everything super fast…and by April you will know what exactly your baby reallllly reallly needs:)

  77. Trudy says:

    I don’t have kids so I can’t really help, but it looks like you have got plenty of great ideas! Just thought I’d add this to the mix: Also check out this website – – I laughed out loud while reading it!

  78. Sejal says:

    Not sure if anyone mentioned this previously but I
    Recommend getting the latest version of the book Baby Bargains. It provides reviews and honest feedback on all the latest baby gear. I’m on my iPad now but when I get to a better keyboard I will try to note my top ten items.

  79. Bridget says:

    I’m currently 34 weeks and we just had our baby shower last weekend!

    There’s a lot of good advice on here and there’s not too much to add, but I do have a few things:

    We’re planning on using a portable sleeper in the bedroom. Not a pack and play, not the crib; but the little guys that fold down rather small and are lightweight. The reasons? (1) My large dog already sleeps between us, and I like having room to sleep on the bed, and (2) I’m only 5’2″ and realized that I won’t be able to lift baby out of the crib until he can stand on his own.

    That old iPhone that was replaced last year that’s just sitting in a drawer now? Yep, that’s my new baby monitor.

    For our baby shower, I bought bulk onesies in various sizes and colorful scrap fabric onto which I added iron-on adhesive, then let our guests cut out the fabric and design their own onesies. People had a lot of fun and we got a bunch of awesome, unique clothes for baby M. We didn’t have a lot of NB-sized ones and focused more on the 0-3, 3-6, and 9 month sets, but there are still only 10 or 12 pairs of each size. I hate folding my own laundry, let alone someone else’s!

  80. Michele DiCola says:

    Hi Karen,
    My daughter reccomened being careful with having equipment too diffifficult to handle unless your husband was around. Maybe too heavy or too bulky. Just a thought.
    My son reminded that we all had to get a Tdap if no one has had the shot in the last 10 years. of course that best advice would come from your doctor or pediatrician.
    People carry Whooping Cough but it can be fatal to infants hence its included in the shot. And it won’t hurt people who are going to be around the baby to be immunized.
    If you have any more questions in that regard, just ask !
    Just email me. Ear shot away.

  81. Prue M says:

    I am currently 34weeks with my seventh.
    As heaps of people have said already – keep it minimal!
    Stuff I have used everyday with my babies for the last 18years….
    1. Crib – I have coslept with all of mine but still used a crib during the day and also for the part of some nights.
    2. size 3-6 month singlets and onesies and one or two cute outfits. Onesies with a fold over cuff on the hands are super handy as they stop bub scratching her face. You will get lots of tiny cute things that bub will wear once and then grow out of.
    3. Baby Bambeano – a baby beanbag which you can use from birth
    4. Baby Sling or wrap I use Happy Baby Wrap brand and love it – keeps bub content and your hands free
    5. nappies, wipes, cream, baby bath, soft hairbrush
    6. car seat
    7. swaddle blankets
    8. burp cloths
    9. something to use as a change table that is a good height for you – it will save your back!
    10. books – I have loved reading to all my kids even now my older ones like to listen in when I’m reading aloud to their younger siblings.
    Don’t forget yourself in your preparations! Nipple cream and supportive maternity bras (HotMilk ones are a personal fave) if you plan on breastfeeding, lots of maternity pads, fill the freezer with easy to heat meals and stock up on some easy to prepare or grab and gobble snacks in case bub is having a fussy day and preparing lunch seems like a massive challenge! Stock up on food for Tabs – things are going to busy that first 4-6 weeks while you get used to each other and get into a routine – can’t have anyone going hungry.
    I organise a cleaner for the first month, it is just one less thing to worry about ….

  82. Kate K says:

    There are some things you will need no matter what, like a carseat. But, you also need to consider what kind of parenting lifestyle you want to follow as that will help dictate some of the things you need eg. cloth diapers vs Pampers, co-sleeper vs pack n play vs crib, breast vs bottle etc. Insurance is supposed to cover a breast pump now, so if you are looking to go that route I would sign up to get one soon as there can be availability issues for specific brands/models. Don’t discount garage sales or mom swaps for some stuff. While a cradle swing was a lifesaver, for us it was only used for about three months, was bulky, and retail was more than 3x what I paid. Clothes and some toys work great from garage sales at the baby stage because they are hardly worn, and works even better for girls because friends/relatives/parents always overbuy clothes for girls. The things I used the most were Gerber cloth diapers as burp cloths, bibs (my kiddo was a spitter), Soothie pacifiers, Medela double electric breast pump and accessories, Chicco travel system, sleep sacks (both with and without swaddle), Sleep Sheep (still used now that kiddo is 3), the cheapest crib convertible to toddler bed that Toys R Us had with a mattress from Amazon (whole setup like $150), and the baby monitor. The thing that went to waste for me was the ErgoBaby carrier, as my kiddo was born right before winter and I never went anywhere. I suspect it would be more useful the second time around.

  83. Michele DiCola says:

    As you are aware all babies are different ! My son was Houdini : he could get get out of any baby device created ! That being said : be prepared !
    He climbed out of his crib at 9 months fully naked. Oh and with the sheets off the mattress! He actually flipped right out ! What a stomach ache that was!
    Au contraue daughter was content to play in the playpen all day.
    So I guess be prepared for what your child will be and embrace her .
    Remember , you are everything to her !

  84. Christina says:

    Hi Karen, Congrats! Lots of great advice already provided, so I’m just going to fill in a couple bits of advice (I have three boys):
    — If you like to walk/hike and don’t want to push a stroller, the best carrier is the Ergobaby (apparently now there is a 360 version) so you can wear your baby on your front (facing in and out) and on your back. One of my babies was very fussy and this allowed me to cuddle the baby while I got my house work / typing done without killing my back. This is the best way to calm a baby while keeping your hands free.
    — muslin swaddle blankets are the best! (like the aden + anais type). They are big (so easier to swaddle the baby), not bulky (so the baby doesn’t overheat), and can be used to screen out the sun if you drape it over your stroller or baby carrier).
    — While the following have a very short window of being useful (babies grow quick and these things cannot be used if the baby can push themselves out), if you have a fussy baby, it is good to have a baby swing, a bouncy chair, and exersaucer. Borrow these things. Basically, you put the baby in one thing and as soon as the baby gets fussy, you move them to the next thing, and so on, starting from the beginning.
    — Don’t rush to pick up the child as soon as she starts crying. I made that mistake with my first child. As soon as he so much as wimpered, I picked him up. I should have waited a little bit, and if the crying starts, then I would have spoken to him gently. If that still isn’t working, I would check that nothing is wrong (dirty diaper, hungry, etc.) and if not, I would gently pat the baby, and if that doesn’t work, then pick up the baby. This sounds so heartless, and easier said than done, but with my second and third child, because I really didn’t have a choice since I was busy with the other children, I found that oftentimes, the baby would find a way to soothe themselves. By picking up the baby too quickly, I was conditioning the baby to expect help in comforting himself. By trying all those things first, you are giving the child comfort in knowing that Mommy/Daddy is there, but also teaching the child some self-reliance. Also, babies make noises in their sleep and while you may think they are waking up, if you leave them alone, or pat them gently, they will sometimes continue sleeping.
    — trust your instincts and enjoy these special moments. You’re going to get lots of advice — sometimes critical, sometimes conflicting, sometime just way too much to process. In the end, only you know what is right for you and your baby. Books and people’s advice can be helpful, but in the end you should know that if it feels right, then it’s the right thing for you to do. Also, if you’re happy (and rested), then the baby has the best chance of being happy too.
    Good luck!

  85. Krystle Thomas says:

    1. I would recommend a bassinet/co-sleeper combo for the early months. This arms reach co-sleeper can be a stand-alone bassinet or, if your baby is a cuddle-bug like mine, you can put one side down and attach it to your bed. Plus the weight limit is 20 pounds which is much higher than the typical 15 pound limit so you can get the most use out of it. Here is a link to the co-sleeper (it comes in other colors/patterns too): and if your bed is high like mine you will probably need extra feet to make it high enough for the co-sleeper option:

    2. 3-in-1 or 4-in-one crib. At some point you are going to want to transition the babe back to her own room. These cribs go from a crib to a toddler bed to a full size bed, so this is really the only bed she’ll ever need you to buy her (don’t forget to buy all of the conversion pieces at the same time you buy your crib — you don’t want them to discontinue them before you buy them, leaving you with a crib you can’t convert). I love this one from Pottery Barn, and they have great coordinating furniture:

    3. Speaking of coordinating furniture, I love this dresser that has a removable diaper-changing topper. Again, furniture that will grow with the little one:

    4. Glider/ottoman combo. A nursery necessity! I love this one (bonus points, made in the USA), but I would recommend getting it in store so you can choose your fabric option (I am not wild about the standard one that is the only option online):

    5. Britax car seat. Pricey, but worth it for safety and convenience (you can use it with the stroller below for a travel system). Don’t forget to buy an extra base so that you have one for both cars.

    6. Britax b-agile stroller. A great stroller that you can use with the car seat when the baby is small and without the car seat when she grows up a bit.

    7. Ubbi diaper pail. Keeps odors in and uses regular garbage bags. Plus, it’s cute!

    8. A good swing. My baby was and is a finicky sleeper and only naps in a swing. This one is great:

    9. An activity gym. Tiny infants don’t really play much with toys, and this (and you) are about it. My baby loved this one:

    10. A video monitor for peace of mind. I like this one, but it has run into battery problems now (six months in) so we have to keep it plugged in:

    • Karen says:

      Hi Krystle,

      Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for this amazing list and all the links. Seriously SO helpful. I love the thought of all the convertible furniture, especially (and such a great idea to get all of the pieces at once so you don’t have to worry about the items being discontinued). This was awesome. THANK YOU!!!

      How old is your baby, by the way? Do you have a boy or a girl?

  86. Krystle Thomas says:

    Ok, just one more for good measure: an infant bath tub. This one has an infant insert, which worked so well, plus other inserts that grow with your baby:

  87. Karen says:

    Thank you everyone for these great lists! πŸ™‚

  88. zoe says:

    Karen,congrats on the baby!
    I did not read all the comments, but I am sure noone has suggested this.Buy yourselves a travel hair dryer. It has triple action:
    1.when changing the nappy,it makes sure that there are no traces of moisture on the baby’s skin so there is very little chance of nappy rash (I prefer to give my baby a quick wash under the sink instead of using baby wipes and then just diaper cream) soothes the baby since it is a white sound
    3.useful for mommy- if C-section is performed you can eliminate all moisture while healing

    warmest wishes from Athens, Greece πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Zoe,

      I think you just might be the first person to mention this here. What a genius idea!

      How old is your little one? And is she or he your only child?

      Take care!

      • zoe says:

        Hey Karen!My daughter is 2 years old (only child for now).
        Don’t worry too much about baby stuff. Probably you will realise what you really need when the baby arrives/while she grows. I relied heavily on online shopping πŸ™‚


        • Karen says:

          Congrats to you! πŸ™‚ What’s her personality like? Is she outgoing or shy?

          And thank goodness for online shopping. Many of the gals here have mentioned that it’s a good idea to do research now and then to buy things as you go along.

  89. Jennifer says:

    You will need lots of onesies!!
    As for clothes, most babies grow quickly. If Baby Girl is on formula try to stay away from white and light colored clothing because formula spit-up stains.
    Lots of diapers. I agree that stockpiling is a good idea!
    Thick wipes.
    Receiving blankets.
    We used cloth diapers for burping.
    Instead of buying a changing table we got a topper for the dresser.
    A stroller that’s EASY to use/open. You won’t have two hands available!!
    We had to buy a second car seat because our son arrived early and was too small for the first one.

    When you go anywhere with Baby Girl I recommend that you always bring an extra shirt for both you and your husband. Spit up happens!

    Our two cats were around 12 years old when our son was born and they never bothered him. Of course all cats are different.

    Be good to yourself and trust your instincts.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for taking the time out to answer this! I appreciate it. Your list was really helpful! πŸ™‚

      Do you happen to remember the brand of thick wipes that you liked?

      Also, great idea to always bring an extra shirt for both me and hubs. I would’ve never thought to do that.

      P.S. Tabs says hi to your kitties!

  90. Lorraine says:

    I agree with a lot of the comments posted above. People will be asking for lists from you soon- baby shower and loved ones WILL shower you with gifts, advice, birth stories- get ready for that! For my baby shower I asked for kids picture books to stock the home library with, freezer filler items (think meals you can just heat and eat but they were home made by a loved one with your taste in mind), diapers and gift cards to places like ToysRus, Target that you will use later. Because in truth, you won’t know what you need until she arrives and you figure it out as you go along. But now is the time to research the bells and whistles of the latest gear and gadgets. You won’t have the luxury of leisurely browsing baby gear in stores after she arrives. Thank goodness for online shopping!

    I’d say must have:
    1) changing station. this doesn’t have to be a changing table, you can get a pad and cover and clear off a dresser or table surface to secure the pad onto and remove when no longer needed. This will save you a lot of backaches!

    2) Diaper bag/tote that you and hubs are proud to carry. because you will be switching off in a hurry at times.

    3) Carseat and window shade/vinyl if you don’t have tinted windows

    4)a few cloth diapers even if you are using disposable ones(they double as burp cloths, handi wipes etc.)

    5) Oversized cotton waterproof pad, the kind that can be laid out on a bed to protect it- you can wash these and throw in the dryer reuse forever. We used them as portable changing pads when baby was in diapers and were still in use whenever she got sick. If you find a good one, get two or three so you will always have a clean one at the ready.

    6) if you plan to nurse, stock up on a few stylish nursing tops, bras and a babysling. I nursed in public using these(after much at home practice, mind you) in comfort and privacy.

    7) A list of all the family friendly restrooms, restaurants, mom hangouts, nursing spaces, baby and me activities, playgrounds etc in your immediate area. Ask El Hub to keep his eyes out to help you compile. This is key because once the post partum time ends you will want to get back into a routine and out and about. The parent network can be a lifeline to your sanity and that list will save you a lot of trial and error.

    Keep it simple as long as you can, because parenting and childhood is complicated enough without the stuff. All she really needs she already has waiting for her in you, El Hub and the extended family circle.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lorraine,

      Your list was awesome. Thank you bunches! I especially appreciate #7; it never occurred to me to list all the family friendly restrooms and mom hangouts. πŸ™‚

      Gotta get me some of those cotton waterproof pads, too!

      Thank you again, this was so great and I really appreciate it.

  91. Bea says:

    I did a stint at a baby gear store. If there’s specific questions email me. I have knowledge on all brands and all items.

    • Karen says:

      Bea, this is so kind of you. I’ll have to take you up on your baby gear knowledge because I have no idea where to start. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      I hope that you’re having a wonderful Friday so far. Do you have any fun plans for tonight?

  92. Barbara B says:

    Karen you should get a few big waterproof changing pads. You can put them under baby girl’s behind in her crib so when her diaper leaks you don’t have to change the sheets on no sleep.
    Don’t know if I missed it because I’m skimmming, but a hooded towel is
    great for baths.

    • Karen says:

      This is a great idea, Barbara! I had no idea these things existed (just googled them and they look like they’re going to be very handy). Where would I be without you and the rest of the gals here?! Probably very, very lost.

      Happy Friday to you! What’s the plan for the weekend?

  93. Daisy D Alary says:

    a tip my friend gave me, but i never had a chance to use, instead of a wipes warmer, put the wipe in the crook of your elbow to warm it up.

    and cetaphil works just as well as any specialty baby wash.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Daisy. Both of these are great tips!

      I hope that you’re having a good day so far. Any plans for the weekend?

      • Daisy D Alary says:

        going to the pumpkin patch w/ my sis and besties! the kiddies are gonna have fun. πŸ™‚

        and i have to stop by my parent’s house sometime this weekend. it looks like they got a virus on the laptop and want me to look at it.

        give tabs some belly rubs from his auntie! and have a great weekend w/ el hub too. πŸ™‚

  94. Lauren says:

    Just reading this, so I’m certain you’re full of advise! I know too many Mom’s who actually “overdid” it as far as preparing.

    1) stock up on various size of diapers and baby wipes w aloe. Also, a baby wipe warmer machine is out there (target, meijer, walmart), and a lot of women love it as the warm wipes don’t shock the baby.

    2) burp cloths. A lot. Don’t spend a fortune, my friend, they get dirty!

    3) swaddle blankets

    4) diaper rash cream…Desitin is the best!

    5) a comfy crib w “accessories” such as a newborn pillow that protects the head (I totally forget what it’s called, but prevents babies from rolling face down, and also takes pressure off the back of their head

    6) bph free bottles (if needed)

    7) a car carrier that snaps in and out of a stroller to car seat. SO many are made to snap in and out of car seats and a stroller. Babies also sleep in them. 3 in 1! My sis and bro swear by them.

    8) a bath basin

    9) I don’t know what they’re called, but they make rubber mats for cribs in case of diaper leakage…saves the sheets!

    10) mommy love. You will figure all of this out day by day. There is no right or wrong, and if you need something, you send El Hub out. Xoxo

  95. Jeannie says:

    1. Burp cloths.. At least a dozen.
    2. Freezer bag ziplock bags… for the wipes. (I’m keeping it real. I had one in my purse. I had another in the car. I had another in my hubby’s diaper bag).
    3. A daddy diaper bag. My hubby had a quicksilver mini backpack. He chose what he thought he needed when he had the baby.
    4. A new purse that I used for a diaper bag! My daughter refused to use a stroller. So I wasn’t about to have a purse and a diaper bag with just 2 arms.
    5. A bjorn… Because she refused the stroller.
    6. An umbrella stroller. The only type of stroller my daughter could sleep in. Who would have thought that $30 stroller was a blessing. And it’s very light!
    7. I nursed for a year…. If you do, you’ll need nursing bras and pads.
    8. Sleepers that have that elastic closed bottoms. When you’re changing diapers at night, it’s quicker to change them rather than having to fuss with buttons.

  96. Angie says:

    I see I lot of sound advice for you here.
    Well, after 5 kids I must say I can look back now and tell ya what you might really need to have ready for when that beautiful baby girl comes into this world to meet her mama.

    Before anything: An awesome pediatrician. Someone that you feel you can trust. That gives you sound advice. Forget about extremes. And also someone that is reachable and really cares about the patients. First time parents freak about anything. Popular pediatricians are not always the best. Visit a few and hopefully you will find the perfect one for you.

    1. A nice crib. And when I say nice I mean one that you really like and won’t get tired of. Also good quality and well made. Convertible is a plus and if you can adjust the height the better. (Changing tables are handy, but if you are low in the space area, just forget about it.
    2. A good, practical and light stroller/car seat combo. Combi and Britax make some really nice ones. You’ll be grateful to have a safe, light , compact stroller to move around with your child.
    3. A decent looking and practical diaper bag. Back in the days, when I had to use one, I loved, jujube and skiphop, keep in mind that they have to be “el hub” friendly too.
    4. Microwave oven sterilizer. A lot of brands make really good ones. Don’t let yourself be trapped by big brand names.
    5. A good bottle drier rack. That doesn’t look make your kitchen look ugly, believe me, you get tired of that.

    As for the bouncers, rockers, swings, etc. it’s all a trial and error thing. Not all babies like the same thing or get soothed by the same things. But when you find the right one for your baby you will love it more than she does.

  97. Amy says:

    Hi Karen – my son is 8 so these lists are nostalgic to see. ☺️ I can’t possibly add more. I’d just echo the comment above that Google is not your best friend in many new-mom situations. Your intuition or original thinking in the moment is. At first I spent hours frantically searching for info when every little “crisis” or unfamiliar thing occurred, and I quickly learned that while some basic info is useful to know, much beyond that can’t substitute for common sense and just thinking about what feels right to you. There is seriously a theory, website, and book (usually written by a PhD or MD) to support every opinion imaginable about how you should feed/sleep/deal with crying/bathe/talk to your baby… And when they get older, how you should discipline/teach/raise them. All of them contradict each other! Even what works for another mom might not work for you sbd BG. Just go with your gut and let yourself be on “baby time” where the day revolves around just you and them. It will only last 6-24 months before they get way more active. Lots of love!

  98. Amy says:

    Oh and one more thought – baby and kids second hand stores! There are tons of them. They vary in quality. Good ones are a lifesaver. There’s no reason to pay full price for every bouncy chair and carrier your baby will use for six months! When she’s done, you can recycle it back to the community by consigning it.

  99. alice says:

    Those baby uggs are actually really helpful for the winter months. They saved me tears and time because I could slip my baby’s feet into them and not have to worry about socks or cold feet. But you have to get the UGG ones (check ebay ~$35). Boots are a pain in the butt to get on if they don’t have some elastic and if the ankle parts are too high. I currently have some super cute pink ugg knock offs. I got them second hand so I was super happy they were brand new. Yeah, they’re brand new because no one can get the dang boot on the kid’s foot! So glad I didn’t pay anything for them.

    I have a super comprehensive list that I made for my brother. It’s yours if you want it.

  100. Kari says:

    My son is 8 weeks old today, and while I would second the diapers (just get the Pampers) and wipes (we have had great experiences with Target’s Up & Up wipes) you will also need some blackout curtains for the nursery and a comfortable rocking chair or glider that can fit both you and your husband. The crib/co-sleeper/bassinet decision is really up to you. We got the bassinet and a crib and used the bassinet one time. He just preferred the crib.

    Other than that, I swear by the Miracle Blanket swaddle ( My son has been sleeping at least 6+ hours at night starting at 5 weeks of age with this product and several friends have had similar experiences. I like the muslin swaddle blankets for day, but do the Miracle Blanket at night. Other than that, I would highly recommend a white noise machine (I bought this one, which is amazing: a travel system where the stroller clicks into the car seat. Be sure to buy one where you can buy additional bases for multiple vehicles – that way it is easy if you have multiple cars or if Grandma/Grandpa will be regularly taking the little one out and can just move the car seat and stroller base as needed.

    Another tip a friend gave me was before the baby comes, talk to the benefits folks for your insurance and fill out as much of the paperwork as possible ahead of time. You only have 30 days to add the baby after the birth, and you will be tired during that time. Save yourself the hassle now! The same goes for increasing life insurance.

    Finally, one of your other readers mentioned Crock Pot meals. Stock up on the Reynolds slow cooker liners – Crock Pot meals are a life saver, but not if you have to spend time scrubbing the crock pot afterwards.

  101. Laura j says:

    Get the book “baby bargains”. It basically lists out what you need, what you might want, and what’s a bunch of overpriced crap that’s marketed to new parents just trying their best. They review a lot of brands & give tips on what to look for in equipment (like I ended up wanting low sides to the crib because I’m short). Good luck!

  102. Lindsey says:

    Hi Karen πŸ™‚ I am a infant and toddler educator with a 2.5 yr old son. If my gf (that’s you) asked me what she should get for her baby, I recommend only get the bare minimum. Like B A R E- Diapers, place for your child to sleep, and bathe.

    Every baby is different and you might not need all the gear like swings and such. I found my son liked hanging out on the floor looking out of the window more than the swing. I never used that swing I got at my baby shower, what a waste πŸ™ My son liked his pack and play in my bedroom and I ended up using it in his nursery for a while. You can never plan a baby’s likes and dislikes.

    You will also be finding yourself at the Target all the time and you can pick up what you will end up needing, or ordering things offline. I know this is not really what you want to hear, but really a baby is something you have to “wing”. What one baby likes is not what the other baby likes and you will find yourself with too much baby gear which can only be used for 6 months or so anyways.

    So in the end, buy clothes. All babies need clothes πŸ™‚

  103. Laura says:

    Hi Karen, congrats on your baby girl! I have a 2 month old (and a toddler!) so I’m in baby gear hell. I would definitely recommend a bassinet,we use the bassinet that comes with the Uppababy Vista stroller, it’s approved for overnight sleeping. It’s a pricey stroller but you will soon discover you will pay anything to make that baby sleep! I also can’t live without the Angelcare Monitor which we put under the bassinet mattress…it gives me enough peace of mind to go to sleep. Aden and Anais swaddling blankets are amazing. The Chicco Keyfit 30 carseat is great too, used it for both kids, they both fall asleep in it instantly. We also use our swing tons, we use a fisher price swing. Hope this helps!!!

  104. Lisa Young says:

    1. The Happiest baby on the block, by Harvey karp, so you know how to get the baby to stop crying
    2. Don’t go crazy and buy all one kind of bottle or pacifier. Buy one or two of a few kinds. Babies randomly like or hate certain things.
    3. Try a few different kinds of swaddlers- our son hated the Velcro baby straight jackets, and liked the gauze anais ones, and our daughter was the opposite.
    4. Everyone will buy you newborn clothes and diapers. Your baby may wear them for a few weeks or never, if they are already bigger than nb size when born. Buy 0-3 months and bigger since most people won’t for your showers.
    5. A white noise device, even if that’s an iPod and speaker.
    6. Both of our kids kind of liked a $20 baby bouncer from target, but not the $300 mamaroo.
    7. Sleep now. Seriously. This is the best sleep you’ll have, at least until age 3.

  105. Ida says:

    So it is a little while since you asked for this, but I will still leave an answer. Since those lists of ‘baby stuff you need’ are insanely long. Also, a lot of things you can get AFTER the baby comes.
    Here is my list, after 2 baby boys:

    Things you MUST have:
    – Diapers. Whether you use cloth or disposable, you need a lot.
    – wipes.
    – vaseline for butt protection. Get more fancy diaper cream if needed later, but 100% petroleum vaseline is the basic stuff.
    – A functioning washer and dryer. We upgraded ours before baby, and it was the best baby purchase.
    – Onsies, and socks. Maybe tiny pants. Don’t buy too many, as the baby will grow fast.
    – Cheap, square cloth diapers. To wipe us spills and burps, to put under baby when changing, and much, much more.
    – swaddling cloths or swaddlers. Most babies sleep better like that.
    – car seat, correctly installed. I recommend a bucket seat (where you leave the base in the car) for infants. Extra base for extra cars.
    – If you are bottle feeding: Bottles, nipples, maybe a sterilizer, drying rack, formula.
    – a place for the baby to sleep. A baby hammock, a co-sleeper or bassinet. Or, if you defy the AAP, your own bed.
    – love. Lots and lots of love.
    – someone to hold the baby while you take a tub bath. helps healing down below.

    Things you will probably need eventually (within a month or so):
    – If you are breast feeding: nursing pillow and nursing bras
    – If you are breast feeding an plan on being without your baby the first year: bottles supplies as above, except formula, and add breast milk freezer bags. (TIP: start getting the baby used to the bottle early)
    – pram or travel system for infant bucket seat (where you click in the car seat). WE did not use a full, sit up stroller until 6 months or older.
    – baby bathtub or bather. In a pinch, the sink will do.
    – Changing table. The floor will do, but not in the long run
    – diaper disposal/dirty cloth diaper storage. Any lidded bin will do, but you can get those fancy diaper ones if you want.
    – a crib. You don’t want to put a new born in a giant crib, but it is a nice place to put them where they are safe.
    – a diaper bag to go places and carry stuff
    – carious baby clothing items, including hats
    – baby blanket for keeping baby warm on trips. Note that the AAP does not recommend putting blankets over babies when they sleep. Dual swaddle if they are cold.

    Things you don’t need, but are nice:
    – nursing tops if breastfeeding. most of the time I just pulled up my tshirt.
    – an Ergo or other baby carrying device
    – a swing – some babies like them, some don’t.
    – a rocking chair or glider, to rock the baby to sleep.
    – an ipad or kindle or nook, especially if nursing. Sometimes you end up just sitting there with the baby for a long while. Most newborns do not like being put down. Not at all.

    Things you need a little further down the road:
    – rattles and soft toys, baby ‘gym’. It is a little while before babies are even aware of these things.
    – a stroller
    – a mobile over the changing table. I thought we didn’t need this, but made a huge different.
    – baby books. Start reading early, and often.
    – immersion blender to make baby food. You don’t need a ‘baby’ food masher, just use a regular immersion one and you can use it for all sort of stuff years later. Like delicious soups.

    Things you don’t actually need, but everyone think they do:
    – baby shoes (but who am I kidding, they are adorable and we all buy them anyway)
    – a nursery. Controversial, but the first 6 months AAP recommends the baby sleep in your room. I personally recommend they sleep in you bed, but AAP doesn’t. Eventually they need their own room, but I think the North American focus on a romanticizing of the nursery is borderline absurd.
    – baby nail clippers. I just gently massaged the soft nails until the ends came off, or I used a regular nail clipper (not scissors).

  106. Katalin says:

    Karen, check out this video: Now I don’t have a baby, but I would love to try out this technique!

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