These are the must-haves and the didn’t-need essentials when you’re expecting your first baby. Of course it’s my opinion within the context of my own experience. Every baby is an individual person with different needs and wants. But I still think it’s a pretty universal starter kit from someone who had thoroughly researched baby items and scoured other blog lists on the internet only to find items I never needed 6 months into my first baby’s life. Now I’m on my second baby- a 3 month old- and, though they’re very different babies, the items that were useful still are and luckily I can reuse what I had. What a savings! Here’s the list:
- Rock and Play (I needed this with Isla, my first, but not with Wyatt, my second. With him we put him in the crib for sleeping but for her she spent a good deal of time sleeping in this next to our bed. I think she needed the rocking feature more than he.)
- Diaper pail and refill bags
- Infant Tylenol
- Formula (start with a small sample to see which brands and kinds they like. My daughter liked Enfamil Gentle Ease and my son likes Similac Pro Advance. With both my kids I never produced enough milk so I had to supplement with formula.)
- Baby Bath Tub
- Onsies and Pants
- Footed long sleeve body suits
- Fingernail clippers
- Bottle brush/dry rack
- Muslin burp cloths (These are the most absorbent.)
- Plush blankets and swaddle blankets
- Underarm thermometer
- Diaper rash ointment A & D
- Socks in 0-6 months, 6-12 months and 12-24 months
- Diaper bag
- Bulb syringe and saline drops
- Cotton hooded bath towels
(They sell them in polyester which is so strange and non-absorbent. Make sure to get 100% cotton.)
- Mobile activity gym
- Baby body wash and bubble bath
- Baby bouncer
- Baby swing (We bought the 4moms swing and have hated it from day one. It starts knocking and bucking when the baby moves so I would do something like the link this time.)
- Newborn antiscratch mittens and the size up in case your baby is big. By 2 months you don’t need those anymore.
- Breast pump
- Bottles with various nipple sizes and ounces (nipple: NB, 1, 2, 3)
- Baby carrier (I didn’t care for the Boba fabric ones. I felt like the baby was falling down.)
Things that were useless:
- Pacifier thermometer
- Nursing pads (but I didn’t produce much milk)
- Baby powder (Advised not to use by pediatrics now.)
- Hoodies and t-shirts (Hoods get in the way and t-shirts ride up.)
- Bottle warmer
- Boppy (Although this did come in handy for my broken tailbone so maybe get one just in case.)
- Rubber duck that reads bath temp. Just use your wrist.
- A bunch of bath toys. Isla plays with 3 things.
- I barely used our porta crib. Don’t get a fancy one. Just a container for sleeping is all that’s necessary not the mobiles and changing stations and infant convertible stuff.
- A pacifier (neither of my kids used them)
- Stuffed animals. Isla just started carrying those around at 2 years old.
Also, things you’ll want for yourself:
Lavender Epsom salts (a few bags because you put a whole cup of them in the bath for sitz baths that your OB will want you to take 3 times a day. How on earth will you find time? I have no idea! I was lucky to do once a day. Another tip: no more than 15 minutes in a sitz bath each time. You do not want your stitches to fail like I experienced.)
Maternity lounge pants (black) and maternity tank tops, a sweater, flip flops, maternity underwear (Black. Those mesh panties they give you are a joke. You can use your own underwear.) for the hospital.
Miralax (Colace did nothing for me and you do not want hard stool.)
I hope this was helpful and just remember that these items just make parenthood more convenient but they shouldn’t be intimidating or overwhelming. And also, babies are just the best!