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If you are expecting a little bundle of joy, you'll want (and need) to be well organized by the time they come.
With so much choice out there, and so many options when it comes to baby essentials, you might feel a bit confused. Don't worry: our detailed new baby checklist will have you covered for the first few months of baby's life.
Just read on to find out how to prepare for a new baby before your biggest adventure begins.
Dressing Your Baby
So, what do you need for a new baby? Let's start with something pretty obvious: plenty of clothes and diapers. The amount of times you'll need to get your little one changed, especially in the first few weeks and months, will surprise you.
A good range of clothes will typically include short and long-sleeved vests (buy around ten), rompers (around five-ten), sleepsuits (again, around ten), hats (a couple should suffice), mittens (a few pairs), and socks (a few pairs).
If your baby is due to arrive in the winter months, make sure you also get a couple of cozy sweaters and a warm coat or jacket for those chilly stroller walks.
Breast or Bottle? The Essentials for Both
Whether you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or doing a bit of both, you'll need some equipment.
Let's start simple: a burp cloth is an essential item to put on your list. And because newborns often spit or regurgitate milk, you'll go through a huge amount of these so we recommend stocking up.
Bottles with teats, caps, and sterilizing equipment are also needed, as well as a breast pump (manual or electric, or both) if you are nursing and plan on feeding your baby some of your milk through a bottle.
Breastfeeding moms will also find nursing bras super useful, as they provide easy access for baby while being discreet enough if nursing out and about. Breast pads should also make this list, as leaks are very common in the first few weeks and months. Last but not least, it's good to get a nipple cream. Pure lanolin creams work wonders on cracked, sore nipples, which are an annoying but very common side effect of early breastfeeding.
Getting Baby Nice and Clean
Just as babies go through countless changes of clothes in one day, they also need their diaper changed frequently. How often? Allow for up to 12 diaper changes a day.
You can opt for traditional disposable ones, or more eco-friendly reusable cloth diapers. In the case of cloth diapers, you'll likely need at least 20 to start with: you can pick and mix different styles and patterns, to make changing those cheeky monkeys a bit more fun!
Another item you'll want on your list is baby wipes. Again, you can choose between disposable ones (scented or unscented) or cloth wipes.
Now for the logistics. Where will you be changing baby? A good idea is to set up a fully-equipped changing station, consisting of a changing table, an easy-wipe pad, and a diaper bin. You will also want to get a smaller, foldable changing pads for changing your baby when you're on the go.
Once baby is all changed, you might want to give them a lovely bath. You can of course do this in the kitchen sink or in your bathtub, but investing in a small baby bath might be best, at least for the first few months.
Remember that baby skin tends to be very sensitive, so you don't want to irritate it with harsh or perfumed bubble baths or lotions. Choose a scent-free, delicate body and hair wash, and massage some gentle cream or diaper rash cream before getting them dressed and ready for sleep.
Speaking of sleeping, you'll of course need quite a few items to make sure that baby rests comfortably and safely.
A bedside crib or cot with fitted sheets is a great option, as baby will sleep in your room at the beginning. You could use a swaddle when baby is still almost entirely immobile, but when they start to roll over it is recommended to move them onto a sleeping sack or wearable blanket.
You might also want to get other nursery items sorted out sooner rather than later. A nightlight (with or without sounds) is a wonderful little tool to help keep your baby calm and soothed in the dark. And when you're ready to transition them into their own room, you'll want to keep an eye (and ear!) on them with a good-quality video and audio baby monitor.
Out and About
From the moment you take your baby home, to their first holiday and countless more journeys, you will need a good-quality car seat. You must choose one that is compliant with the latest safety regulations, and try to opt for a model that will last you a good few years. They tend to be a bit more pricey, but will save you money in the long run.
For daily walks to the park (or cafe!), you'll need a sturdy, comfortable stroller, and a few accessories to put in it such as a well-stocked changing bag. If you and your baby are fans of baby wearing, then we recommend investing in a baby carrier or sling. There are so many types out there that you will surely find one that's perfect for you both.
When you're planning your next trip out, why not consider taking your little one to have some super-cute photos taken? Newborn photographers specialize in snapping adorable, artsy shots of your bundle of joy while they're still tiny.
Learning and Playing
Babies really do learn and play with anything that is available to them, which doesn't always mean toys. Still, you might want to get a few bits to strengthen your little one's development and ensure they are stimulated.
Activity and play gyms are awesome for newborn babies. They provide hours of safe entertainment while helping with their motor and coordination skills. Play gyms are usually made of a soft, colorful mat, with cute little toys dangling from a plastic or wooden arch. Play gyms come in all shapes, sizes, and styles: from jungle animals to sea life, from cityscapes to farms and countryside. Some of the fanciest even have lights and sounds!
Soft toys, rattles, and some basic musical toys will also be a hit with newborns, as well as interactive board books.
Ready to Get Shopping for Your New Baby Checklist?
Now that you found out what all the must-haves are for your new baby checklist, you can get started with the fun bit: shopping!
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