First-time parents-to-be… Here is a list of pretty much everything you’ll need for your upcoming baby.
Keep in mind all of these things are not necessary. When you see the word ‘SUB.’ I am meaning… You could SUBSTITUTE IT WITH _______. When you see ‘MUST HAVE’ it is an item I feel very passionate about. While I do feel that anything on this list without the word ‘SUB.’ next to it is almost necessary, it’s the ‘MUST HAVE’s that people may not typically think of which I’ve found to be extremely useful. If there are things that you have thought of or other substitutions that I have missed, please comment below, I’d love to hear them.
- Car Seat
- Extra car seat bases for additional cars.
- Stroller that allows the car seat to lock into it. Snap it in and stroll and when the baby gets older, snap baby in and stroll.
- Bottle Sterilizer- SUB.= (SUBSTITUTE IT WITH….) sterilizing with boiling water. Or SUB with these amazing Playtex bottles.
- Bumper Pad- SUB. don’t use one.
- Becco or Bjorn- SUB. Buy a less expensive brand or use a wrap. UPDATE- With my second baby (who is very needy) I bought a used Becco Gemini and I LOVE it. I just had to carry her around at a blogging conference for two days straight and with the Becco’s straps crisscrossed on my back it was super comfy and my 15 pound baby felt really light. A carrier is a MUST HAVE for needy babies who always want to be held.
- Baby Bathtub- SUB. Borrow, use a foam pad, or use a sink.
- Baby Changing Table- SUB. Use a dresser.
- Clothes 0-12 month (you may need bigger sizes) we used up to 18 months in the first 12 months.
- Boppy and cover- SUB. Use pillows.
- Bouncer/jumper- This is a life saver if you want to get something done, they’ll jump while they watch you or a show.
- Baby Bullet- SUB. Use a blender.
- Diaper bag- SUB. Washable, easy to use bag.
- Garbage can with a lid-If you can run poopy diapers out then a garbage can is great for peed on diapers. I recommend a smaller size like this one so you are forced to empty it before the diapers begin to stink. I’ve used this for the last 18 months and it has worked great! If you can’t run the poopy diapers outside each time then a Diaper Genie is probably the best bet.
- Umbrella Stroller
- Safety kit
- Nursing cover- SUB. Big lightweight blanket like an Aden and Anais blanket worked great.
- Breast Pump
- Changing pad
- Changing pad cover or sub with this new style of changing pad that can be wiped up easily.
- Mattress sheets (you’ll need at least 2)
- Tummy Time Mat
- Nose Frieda– This is a snot sucker that actually works and can be easily cleaned. Forget those old school bulbs that rarely get the gunk out. At first sight, this looks creepy. Once you have a baby who is congested and having a hard time breathing the creepiness turns into pure relief. I LOVED this tool. Our son had a congestion problem and this ALWAYS cleared him up. You don’t have to take my word for it either. Amazon has almost 3000 5 star reviews on it.
- Nursery set- SUB. Go without, or make your own.M
- Waterproof mattress cover
- Mittens to prevent fingernail scratches
- Jolly Jumper Carseat Cover- MUST HAVE for cold climates. We had the coldest winter in years here in Utah and this always kept our newborn warm and safe from people who wanted to touch him without washing their hands.
- Formula- SUB. Breast milk
- Breastmilk Storage Bags- SUB. Water bottle.
- Breastmilk Fridge Organizer
- Dishwasher Basket For Bottle Parts
- Baby wipes
- Diaper Cream
- Diapers- Huggies are my favorite. I wrote on many ways to save on diapers.
- Book shelf- SUB. Omit or use a box
- Rocker/ rocking recliner- SUB. Use the furniture you already have.
- Rocker Foot stool- SUB. Use an ottoman you already have
- Baby Swing
- Diaper Changing Mobile- SUB. You could omit these but I made one and it really entertained my son.
- Shelving units- SUB. Dresser
- 9 Linen storage totes- SUB. Dresser
- Paint and supplies- SUB. Don’t repaint.
- Graco pack and play
- Jogging stroller- MUST HAVE, if you run a lot (which I was doing) you will want one.
- High chair
- Catch-all Mat for high chair- MUST HAVE. This item is a back saver. I can’t tell you how many pieces of food that I couldn’t clean up immediately that have been caught by this mat; it has saved my back from scrubbing our floors repeatedly. SUB. You may be able to make something similar to this.
- Fisher Price Swing This one comes with a Plug-in-Adapter- My son slept better in the swing than anywhere else. I’d recommend not getting a battery-powered one.
- Baby food
- Vibrating/bouncer Chair
- Baby Jungle Gym- this entertained my son for months and months.
- Car seatbelt covers- Keeps babies from rashes created by seatbelts SUB. Make your own
- Snuggle nest Co-Sleeper-. We used this and our swing for 4 months and LOVED IT.
- Baby gowns for easy access to diapers at night.
- Bath lotions
- Bath soap/shampoo
- Bath towel- SUB. Use a soft towel of your own
- Baby Bathtub
- Bath toys- SUB. Objects that can get wet.
- Baby Wash cloths- SUB. Use towels of your own
- Baby Spoons
- Silicone BPA-free Food Holders these are great for fresh fruit and no need to pre-blend them either!
- Baby tube for the lake- MUST HAVE if you go swimming or to the lake a lot. We used this all the time and my son just loved it.
- DVD CDs for white noise SUB. Use library card.
- Aden and Anais blankets-MUST HAVE…OR SUB. Make your own
- A few decorations for the Nursery
- Free and Clear detergent- SUB. make your own.
- Rectal Thermometer
- Baby Monitor/Owlet or Sub. Leave door open or sleep in the same room or both.
I bought most of these items at a fraction of the price and saved $10, 516.37 in my son’s first year by following these 23 unique steps.
Is there anything I forgot? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your feedback.
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Great list, happened upon it through pinterest.
Just a question, when you say bumper pad do you mean a bumper for in the crib? I noticed that throughout your list you put a (well-deserved) emphasis on infant sleep safety, so I was surprised to see a bumper on the list and wondered if you were referring to something else? Bumpers are incredibly dangerous and discouraged by paediatricians, particularly in Canada where I live.
Anita Fowler says
Thanks for your comment. Yes bumper pads are dangerous and my son never slept in a crib at all until he was 4-5 months old. He slept in a co-sleeper or a swing. Once he was four-five months old he could easily move his head and roll over. At first I tried having him sleep without the bumper pad. He kept hitting his head and would wake up 10+ times a night crying in pain. As soon as we put the pad into his crib he slept for 4-5 hours and would wake up only to be fed. I put a bumper pad in the article because for us it was an absolute necessity. After a week of getting up every 45 minutes I put it back in and after a lot of research I found that they weren’t nearly as dangerous for babies that were old enough to roll easily and lift their heads.
SIDS is a terrible thing. If you really look into it the American Dr.s and experts still cannot tell you what causes it. They say it is the bumper pad, loose blankets etc. but the professional journals admit to ‘not really knowing the cause’. Multiple professional studies in New Zealand and other countries found that SIDS has less to do with what is in the crib and more to do with the chemicals coming from the mattress’ which inhibit the baby’s ability to breath. Here is the link to the site with the official information http://www.babymattresscovers.com/. They did a side by side comparison and not one baby died that used the mattress cover in the same time period that over 975 died without it from SIDS. The rate of reduction in New Zealand for SIDS once mattress wrapping became popular was 72%! Yes, I place a lot of emphasis on safe sleeping. I would never put an infant that couldn’t roll over or lift his head in a crib with a bumper pad but I believe that North Americans do not quite understand SIDS (as professionals admit to). It’s good to do research on the subject for sure. Do everything you see fit to keep your baby(ies) safe. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your concern on the subject.
I’m really enjoying your articles, especially as my husband I are weighing the costs of babies and me staying home, which I would love to do. I am a teacher at a children’s center, with 1-2 year olds, and I have found that placing a cute dollar tree vinyl tablecloth under the children’s chairs when they eat is a great substitute for a high chair food mat.
Anita Fowler says
Mollye- What a wonderful idea to use a dollar Tree vinyl table cloth as a splash mat! thank you!
Heidi L says
Instead of buying pre-made baby food, I love making my own using a Bebea Babycook food processor. It’s super easy to throw frozen fillets of fish and chunks of raw veggies (even hard carrots or potatoes) inside, press a button to steam them and then you press another button to puree them perfectly!
Anita Fowler says
I’ve never heard of the Bebea Babycook Food Processor but I love the fact that it cooks/steams and purees. Wonderful, thanks for the tip!
Great list! I would add Nose Frida.
Thankfully someone gave me one before my daughter was born. We still use it. She’s 4!
Anita Fowler says
Lisa, I have no idea how I forgot the Nose Frieda! It was by far one of the most useful baby tools EVER! I’m adding it to the list now.
Vitamin e oil can become toxic to the baby if you putting it on your nipples. One thing to try colostrum and let it air dry on there. The other thing is that your nipples shouldn’t get Raw, try to get the nurse to help you with the latch 🙂
Anita Fowler says
Thanks for the tips!
We’re tight on money and our son is due in a few weeks. I found someone selling their old changing table really cheap and bought it and are using the shelves below for his since we dont have the room or money for a dresser.
Anita Fowler says
great idea! Yeah using a dresser really only saves money if you already had it. In my first nursery here, I bought a used Changing table for $20 but then I gave it to a friend in need when he grew out of it. For our second nursery here I already had the dresser-type thing so I just used that to save money. Whatever is the cheapest will work!
Susan Watson says
Good job buddy! I liked this checklist, we used a lot of the same stuff with our daughter.
Anita Fowler says
Thank you! There sure is a lot of stuff to get but it is super helpful to have the items on hand when they arrive!