I learned two things about my friends when I got home from my first baby shower: they were generous AND practical.
As I sorted through all the beautiful gifts, I started to notice that all the clothes were size 3-6 months or bigger and the boxes of diapers were all size 2. Hmm. My friends knew that babies don’t stay tiny for very long, so they gave me clothes and diapers that would be perfect down the road.
But then I started to wonder . . . what do I really need when I bring the baby home?
I posed this question to friends (and strangers with tiny babies in the aisles of Target).
Here’s my list:
A certified car seat. Did you know they have a date on them just like milk? If using a hand-me-down, check the date.
A bed for baby. Lots of options for a newborn: crib, bassinet, Moses basket, cot, or co-sleeper.
Size 0 and size 1 diapers, diaper cream, and wipes in every room of the house. (Well, not every room, just the rooms you might be in with the baby.) When the baby needs a change, having a basket of these essential items nearby is a BIG help.
Bodysuits (AKA onesie) and open-bottomed gowns with an envelope neck. These are inexpensive, easy to wash, and, when you open the neck, you can pull the garment down to get it off rather than over the baby's head—always a good plan.
Tiny socks and newborn hats are great to have on hand. Babies' bodies don’t hold heat as well as ours, so keeping them in another layer or two is a good rule of thumb.
Extra swaddling blankets and sheets for the crib. When things get dicey with a diaper in the middle of the night (and things will get dicey with a diaper in the middle of the night), you want extra blankets and sheets ready to go!
Burp cloths! Loads of them! 10-12, at least. These will be your new companions for months. Use them for everything—nursing/feeding, burping, a changing pad, etc.
8-10 bottles (4 oz to start), nipples, and a bottle brush.
And for you . . .
A water bottle. You are going to be super thirsty, especially if you are breastfeeding. (Hey, you're having a baby—splurge on a fancy one!)
And, if you are planning to breastfeed, go ahead and have the pump/case, nursing pillow, modesty cover, nursing bra, nursing pads, nipple cream and shields ready to go.
And, finally, food in the freezer.
Learn about all the services offered by our team at Tennessee Family Doulas. We love to help our new mamas and babies during these early days!