Baby on the way? You already know you need to stock up on bibs and diapers. But what about that bouncy seat with all the bells and whistles, or an all-terrain stroller?
It's easy to feel overwhelmed figuring out what exactly you need for your baby. To make it easier to get your ducks in a row before the stork arrives, we put together a complete baby checklist of what to pick up or add to your baby registry.
If you're planning to use formula:
Get varying sizes of feeding bottles: 8 oz and 6 oz, plus cleaning brushes for both the bottle and nipples. You might also want a thermal bottle carrier.
If you're planning on nursing:
If you're breastfeeding, you may find you don't need much equipment. But nursing bras and breast pads can go a long way in easing discomfort. If you're planning to return to work while still breastfeeding, The Bump recommends renting a pump from the hospital—they're often the best quality, and you can return them if something goes wrong.
Tear-free, natural shampoo and body wash
As NY Magazine's The Strategist says, "Figuring out how to bathe a tiny baby can be stressful at first, so it helps to have a dedicated no-tears baby soap that's free of additives and chemicals."
Our Puracy baby care set is an excellent "all-in-one" bundle for bath and skin care.
Whether it's before or after the baby arrives, self-pampering is always a good idea. Our natural bubble bath is safe for grown-ups and little ones alike.
Newborns go through a lot—really, a lot—of clothing changes. So for the first few months, you'll probably want to stick to the basic outfits. Stick to onesies that are conducive to quick changes, like wrap-front tops or snap-crotch bodysuits, plus footed PJs for nighttime.
Let's face it: When you're buying baby clothes, you're also going to need a good stain remover. (And be prepared in advance for any spills or accidents by brushing up on how to get rid of the most common stains in baby clothes.)
Bibs, burp cloths, and towels
Aim for 10-20 burp cloths, depending on how frequently you do laundry. Towels are always handy for drool and accidents, though you can recycle old towels or soft cotton T-shirts rather than purchase new ones. You can get away with using small cloth bibs (to catch spit-up and drool) for the first few months until your baby is on solids. Once baby is eating solids, we recommend using bibs with pouches in the front to keep falling food from tumbling into baby's lap and highchair.
The type of crib you get for your baby depends on budget and preference, but Consumer Reports advises buying one new, since that's the surest way to know you're getting one that meets the latest safety standards.
A crib mattress and cover
If necessary, The Strategist recommends saving on the crib and splurging on a nicer mattress, since a more indulgent mattress can be hypoallergenic, breathable, washable, and recyclable.
If you're planning to use cloth diapers, remember that the average newborn needs to be changed every 1-3 hours, so count on using 12+ diapers a day. If you're planning to use disposable diapers, you may want to start with two to three large packages of sizes 1, 2, and 3. Make sure you have a diaper pail handy, too; options vary and depend on preference and budget. For many, a simple diaper pail and a supply of plastic bags, emptied nightly into an outdoor trash can, does the trick.
Rather than springing for a costly diaper changing table, consider using a sturdy changing pad. Opt for one with comfy contours that can be easily positioned on top of a regular set of drawers.
Swaddling is great for fussy babies, since it replicates the comfort of being in the womb. If you do opt to get a swaddle, make sure you know the safety protocol.
If your home or apartment is small enough, then you might not need a monitor. But having one can come in handy, especially if you want to keep an eye on baby when you're in another room.
A comfy chair for nursing
Baby is going to need a lot of feedings. Make it easier for you (and whoever else is doing said feedings) by investing in a comfy chair for the nursery. Hint: A rocking chair is a classic for a reason.
A night light
The problem: Baby needs a late-night feeding. The other problem: You don't want to keep him (or yourself) awake by turning on a bright light. The solution: A night light that's bright enough for you to navigate the nursery, but dull enough to keep baby soothed overnight.
Whether you go for a convertible car seat or an infant-only seat, just like with the crib, purchasing a new car seat ensures it's up-to-date on consumer safety.
Carrier and/or stroller
Whether your fussy newborn requires a close-holding sling or you can get away with a stroller, the type of carrying method depends on your lifestyle, personal needs, and abilities.
A diaper bag
Keep it stocked with wipes, hand sanitizer, stain remover, and more diapers than you think humanly possible.
Although babies can sleep in a crib from Day #1, a lot of new parents like the comfort and convenience of an easy-to-transport bassinet, which can be placed next to the bed. But keep in mind, babies quickly outgrow bassinets, so if you're looking for a long-term bed for baby, a crib is your best bet.
Got everything you need for baby's arrival? Don't forget one final fixture: Your peace of mind. As the due date approaches, take the time to sit back, relax, and get excited to meet the newest member of your family!