Expecting a Baby? Here’s Checklist of What to Buy Before Baby Arrives

It is exciting times when you are expecting a baby. You cannot wait to spoil them with every little thing they ask for. Getting ready for the baby’s arrival is among the first things you need to worry about as far as spoiling baby. 

There is a lot to shop for when preparing for the baby. New mothers are often left jaw-dropped once they realize all they have to buy for before the baby is here. No need to worry though. That is what we are here for, to help you get all you need.

Many of the shopping checklist you find online have an alarming number of items for you to buy. The truth is, you could do without some of it. We have sifted through these so that you have a comprehensive list to ready you so that nothing catches you by surprise.

Before You Start Shopping

Shopping for the baby can be very costly. The sheer number of items you have to buy will drain your resources. 

Your friends and family can help you with this. Ask them to donate any baby items they can and see what you get before you start planning your shopping. You may be surprised to find out how much they save you with the things you can collect. For the items donated, make sure you disinfect them before your baby can use them. 

Disinfecting stuff is not to say that your friends are dirty or have bugs. Disinfecting is a safety measure that you will have to take regularly. Below is a list of what to buy before baby arrives and what to consider too. 

1. Safety for the Newborn

A lot can go wrong with a baby in the house, so you want to have the environment as safe as you possibly can. One of the first things you want to do before the baby arrives is to baby-proof the house. There are many things to take into account depending on what baby-proofing needs you have. 

Here are some of the essentials you need to have in place:

Baby Monitors

Baby monitors are gadgets used to monitor baby sounds and movements. They are handy, especially when you are a busy parent who would like to do some house chores as the baby takes a nap. 

Some baby monitors have a talkback function where the mother can pacify the baby as soon as they wake up to prevent them from crying or feeling alone.

If your budget allows, you can invest in a baby monitor that can take pictures and videos, otherwise known as a baby cam

The baby cam is one of the smartest inventions around since the baby can even use them to learn how to talk. The downside, however, is that babies outgrow things quickly, and it could be one of those things that you buy and never get to utilize fully.

Catches for the Cabinets and Windows 

They are typically installed at the bottom, top, or edge of cabinet doors or windows to keep them closed at all times

Although this is required when the baby starts to crawl, it is crucial to budget for them and get them installed well in advance

Babies tend to be attracted to open cabinets, windows, and fridges. An open cabinet could hurt their fingers or even give them access to things that could hurt them. Imagine what would happen in cases where the baby successfully opens a window, and the caregiver is busy elsewhere. 

Catches for the cupboards and windows is one of those must-have things in any home with a baby. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

Covers for Socket Outlets

Covers for sockets outlets are vital, whether or not a baby is in the house. It is one of the security measures that every household should have in place. 

Electric shocks and accidents caused by electrical faults are hazardous and may be fatal. Electrical proofing is done to protect the entire family as much as it is for the baby.

Buffers for Furniture Corners 

These are wooden or plastic smooth buffers placed at the corner of furniture. They are easy on the hand and safe in case a baby comes into contact with the furniture.

When babies begin the natural process of standing up, they tend to hold on to furniture around the house for support.

You don’t want the baby to get hurt doing this, so it’s in your best interest to secure all your items. It keeps you less worried.

Stair Gates

All staircases should be secured with a gate with small spaces between the rails. Stair gates will prevent the baby from rolling over as they play. 

As much as possible, try to protect the baby from falling at any stage of their growth. It could cause a lot of problems, especially when they are not able to communicate their area of pain.

Playpen

A playpen is also advisable since it helps the baby stay in one position for a long time and enjoy it as you go about your business around the house. 

A playpen should be very colorful and baby-friendly. 

Cartoon-themed mats and musical gadgets are advisable. 

This is where baby monitors come in handy too.

Medical Manual

A medical manual for common illnesses that affect babies as well as a medical thermometer, can be instrumental when the baby’s condition changes suddenly.

You should also consider getting a first aid kit to keep around the house if you ever need it. However, it is advisable to have a pediatrician on call in case the baby experiences sudden temperature changes.

Fireguards

Fireguards are synonymous with fire screens to prevent fire sparks from indoor fireplaces that could hurt the baby. Babies get attracted to color so much so that they are tempted to touch flames. Fireguards will help prevent that as well as allow the home to be warm and safe for everyone.

There is a lot you can do when it comes to securing the house for the baby. Get as much information as you can from other parents in your circle as well as the internet. 

You can learn a few useful tips from other parents, some of which you may have overlooked. Always remember that a baby is a little human being— the more comfortable and secure they are, the happier they become!

2. Nursery Items

Here too you will find that there are things you should buy and others that you can stay without buying. Here are the absolute must-haves for your baby’s nursery.

Co-sleeper or Crib

A co-sleeper or crib is a baby’s bed fully secured with rails to protect the baby from falling out. It is advisable to fit it with hanging crib toys to keep the baby busy and entertained once awake. A co-sleeper or crib is the best place to fix a baby monitor too.

Mattress for the Crib

The mattress for the crib is one of the most important things to put into consideration when purchasing. It is the one thing that will determine whether the baby will sleep peacefully or not. 

The choice of mattress should be well-thought-out. It should be very soft and comfortable. Manufacturers have this in mind, too, so it is pretty easy to get what you are looking for in the market. For this, don’t look at the price but the quality.

3. Things That You Might Consider Buying

  • Vaporizer or humidifier
  • Glider or rocking chair
  • Chest/ dresser
  • Baby monitor
  • Changing table

When it comes to the nursery, you can do as much as you like to make it as cozy as you would want it. Do something with the paint and the furniture. One thing to avoid, though, is getting a second-hand crib. It is better to get a new one for safety’s sake. 

If you are, however, tight on budget, you can get a second-hand one, but be careful to look out for bed bugs and other safety scares. Remember, the critical thing is to make the baby as safe and comfortable as possible.

4. Toys

Toys are the most critical items when adding stuff to the nursery. They are not only fun to play with but also help your child develop skills that sharpen their abilities.

There are plenty of fun and safe toys suitable for babies between the ages of 0 to 6 months. Here are some suggestions you can get on the internet;

Teething toys they can nibble on and small rattles.

These are not only used for play but will also help pacify the baby when they start teething. This stage can be quite uncomfortable, and anything to soothe the baby is welcome.

Baby Books and Mirrors

Baby books with textures that they can touch and shiny mirrors be sure to have the mirrors well-polished and thick enough to avoid breakage. The thickness of 6mm and above is recommended.

  • Musical toys and those with lights
  • Bouncing cradles play mats and swings for small babies

Aside from the toys you get for the nursery, you may also need some toys for when you are traveling. The rigors of the journey can unsettle the baby, so it is best if you invest in some car toys. These will take the baby’s mind off the ride and give you all a more relaxed time on the road.

  1. Bath Time for the Newborn

Babies don’t need a bath just after birth. The water may be too cold or warm for their sensitive skin. New mothers are advised to wipe the baby using a sponge or cotton wool

After two weeks or so, then you can start introducing the baby to bathing. They quickly get used to the water, and soon, bath time is a fun time for them!

Here are some of the things you will need when the time comes for the baby to take a bath:

Bathtub or a Bath Basin

The bathtub should be separate and exclusive for baby bath only. Babies are quite sensitive to infections and diseases. They should have their basins and tubs, which must be clean at all times.

Once in a while, preferably weekly, take time and disinfect them to kill any possible germs.

Baby Shampoo

Choosing baby shampoo should be very intentional. Features to look out for are tear-free, hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and sensitivity to the skin. A wrong shampoo choice can cause skin rash or cuts in babies.

Some mainstream products have been tried and tested for years and years and are quite popular. The market, however, has other different and excellent products that you could try but read the ingredients carefully. Some babies just get irritated by shampoos. Depending on how your baby reacts, you can decide to use soap.

Baby Hairbrush

All you need to look out for are the soft bristles, and you will be good to go.

Baby Soap

Just like baby shampoo, you should read the instructions and ingredients carefully to avoid exposing your baby to skin irritations. Natural non-perfumed soaps are the best in this case.

Washcloths to Wipe the Baby

Get a different color from the diaper washcloths.

These should be very soft, but with the ability to clean the baby very thoroughly. You should invest in a reasonable number to help you clean, dry, and air them sometimes. 

You also need to dispose of them regularly. Three months of usage is more than enough.

2-4 Pieces of Hooded or Regular Towels

These should also be very soft, warm, and clean at all times. You need two to four because in case of bad weather and one does not dry. You will have the other to use. 

Towels, just like any other baby stuff, should be exclusively used for the baby and not any other person, not even the caregiver. Towels should be disinfected regularly, too.

Laundry Detergent Formulated for Babies

Laundry detergents come in liquid, powder, or granules forms.

It is advisable to use liquid detergents to avoid particle residues remaining on baby clothes. For this reason, liquid detergents are relatively costly, as most people tend to like them. 

The good news is, you can still use the other detergents and achieve the same results, with a little more rinsing. Three to four extra rinses are advised. 

Just like with baby shampoo, you should look out for features such as hypoallergenic, fragrance-free natural products. Top brands have such products, but you can get excellent features from other products in the market too!

Bath Thermometer

You will need to check the water temperature before the baby can start splashing in the tub. Get a bath thermometer to ensure the water is just perfect, which is between 90ºF – 100ºF.

Baby Nail Clippers

Once you are done bathing the baby and they are calm, then this is the ideal time to trim their nails. They have been in the water for a while, and the nails are tender. They will not be too fussy about it.

6. Linens

Linens are some of the most accessible items to find, but you have to be careful to buy the right quality of the fabric

The necessities for linens include:

  • Crib bumper that holds on securely to the crib-the crib bumper is one of those baby items that mothers cannot agree on whether to buy or not. On the one hand, you have mothers who feel that it exposes the baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). On the other hand, you have those who want to protect their babies from knocking on the bars as they sleep.
  • A couple of mattress protectors (water-proof)— this will help a great deal, especially when potty training. Even before we get there, the baby once in a while needs to be off diapers for some time. You want to achieve this without spoiling the mattress. Ensure the protectors are soft and light because you will need to clean them once in a while.
  • 4-5 receiving blankets made from thin cotton
  •  Two crib sheets all in soft cotton fabric

With these, you have all the essentials but can also add some more stuff if you want to. A matching crib skirt or quilt is not so bad, although it is not something you need since it is merely decorative.

There are also things to avoid when you are shopping for linen. Top among the list of items to leave out are pillows. These are a SIDS risk. Leave mattress padding and sleep positioners out of your list of things to buy as well, as they too are more of a risk than a benefit.

7. Diapers

New parents often worry about diaper changes, mostly because they think it is a complicated affair that needs some skill. The truth is, you get the hang of it after the first few diaper changes. A checklist will also make things easier for you. 

Here are some supplies you should get;

  • Diaper changing cream
  • Diaper bag
  • Liners and diaper pails
  • Baby wipes (the unscented type is better for the baby since its kinder on their tender skin)
  • Changing pad with cushioning or changing table

8. Feeding Your Baby

Babies should eat as many times as possible because their growth is quick during this period. That means that you should always be ready to feed the baby at any time of day or night. You will need the right gear, whether you are bottle-feeding or breastfeeding. Add these items to your checklist for the baby’s feeding purposes.

For Breastfeeding

Bags for Milk Storage

This item has gone through a lot of changes over time, and designers have come up with some concepts that would keep the baby’s milk warm for quite some time. It will call for a little investment but is the best option. 

Bags for milk storage will come in handy, especially when you travel with your baby. You won’t have to worry about warming baby food.

Pump 

A pump is a small mechanism used in extracting breast milk. It can be manual or automatic, depending on the mother’s preference. Breast milk is vital for babies as it aids their growth and development.

Most moms (if not all) go back to work soon after the baby is born. A pump is essential because it allows them to extract breast milk and leave it behind for the baby to be fed while they are away. It is, however, crucial to get good quality rubber choices that will not hurt the mother.

If you feel this is extra or too much for you, then you can use your hands to release the milk. It is doable, although time-consuming.

Nursing Pads

These are pads placed between a mother’s breast and her nursing bra to help absorb drops of milk that could otherwise stain their dresses. 

The drops of milk stains are very common, especially if you stay for a very long time without breastfeeding and drinking warm liquids. It is a natural occurrence, but controllable with breast pads. 

Childbirth and growth is a beautiful thing, but it can get a little messy. Imagine walking into a board meeting with a breast milk stain on your chest. It is not funny at all. People will focus on the stain and miss your presentation. 

This item is a must-have for every nursing mom out there.

Nursing Pillow

Nursing pillows are essential to both moms and babies. When breastfeeding, it is vital to maintain an upright posture throughout the process. 

A nursing pillow is a smart purchase because you do not want to develop back or chest issues as you feed your baby. The choice of pads should be taken into consideration too. 

Do not choose one that is too big and overwhelms you. Also, don’t go for one that is too small because it beats the very reason for a good posture.

A nursing pillow is only used when the baby is still unstable and cannot sit upright to breastfeed. The implication is that you will only use it for less than six months. Going for a costly pad will not make much economic sense. Less is more. 

Nipple Cream

Most of the time, breastfeeding is harsh on the nipples, especially for first-time mothers, and when the baby gets to the teething stage. Nipple creams take care of that as it soothes the nipples and heals any wounds.

However, you should be careful with the cream you buy. Unscented and natural creams are advisable. Your pediatrician can also advise on the best type of cream. 

Make a friend out of your pediatrician!

Breastfeeding Bras

Breastfeeding bras is a critical asset to have for every mom. It is designed to help moms breastfeed without having to lift their dresses or tops

The bras have openings and clips designed for accessibility.

For Bottle-Feeding:

Dishwasher Basket to Clean Small Items

The central and most crucial ideal in raising a baby is cleanliness. Cleanliness will save you a great deal in terms of finances spent in hospitals to treat hygiene-related diseases. As mentioned earlier, prevention is better than cure. 

The cleaner the baby’s environment is, the safer they are. 

All small feeding items should be collected in a clean dishwasher basket and cleaned together. Investing in such a thing will give you a chance to maintain proper hygiene.

5-10 Bibs

Bibs are little clothes that are tied around the baby’s neck to prevent food from dropping on their clothes. It is a necessary investment. 

The choice of bibs should also be taken into consideration. 

Some have water-proof cloth on one side and cotton on the other side. These are the best since they protect even liquids from reaching the baby’s clothes. 

To add excitement to the process, choose those with beautiful messages on them. The lighter they are, the easier it is to clean them too.

3-5 Pacifiers

You should get pacifiers and small gadgets to soothe the baby when they cry. It’s advised to buy new and not to buy used. Although it will calm the baby down, it may pose a bit of hygiene issue. 

The baby puts it in the mouth and after some time, loses it in between the furniture. Then it goes back to the mouth as soon as he finds it again. Without thinking of the dirt, the pacifier may have collected. 

The baby may also become too dependent on it such that he becomes a bit fussy in case it disappears. It is good to have one, but let it not be the only thing they depend on to calm them down.

Formula (for mothers who are not nursing)

Breast milk is the best for the growth and development of any baby. It is, however, understandable that some moms cannot nurse for various reasons. 

The formula has been designed to have almost the same nutrients as breast milk to support such moms or even supplement for nursing moms. 

Carry out research and settle on one brand of formula that you will use for the entire time the baby needs it. Feeding your tot from different brands is not advisable.

Burp Cloths

These are little cloths placed on your shoulders to prevent the baby from soiling your clothes when they burp. It is a cloth that can easily be ignored but is one of the most critical items a nursing mother needs to have. Again, it should be a cotton fabric, which is easy on the baby’s skin and light enough to be kept in the baby bag.

9. Grooming the Baby

Your baby needs to stay neat, too, so you should have a grooming kit for them. You won’t need to use these very often, but you want to have the right items in your grooming kit. 

Here is the list of things to buy:

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit should be at the top of the list when purchasing stuff for the baby. Babies are prone to sicknesses and infections. 

It is good to have a kit that is fully updated so that you provide first aid for your baby before taking them to the hospital.

Sterile Gauze and Petroleum Jelly

For care during circumcision.

Baby Thermometer

Baby temperatures keep fluctuating from on point the next. It is essential to monitor this because it could a sign of an underlying issue. A thermometer is a must-have.

Blunt Scissors and Nail Clippers

Babies tend to scratch themselves a lot and could hurt if their nails are too long. It is crucial to have their nails trimmed and neat at all times. Nail clippers and scissors are a requirement for that. 

The other reason for keeping short nails is because long nails become a haven for dirt, which poses hygiene issues in the long run.

10. Baby Gear

You need baby gear for feeding or traveling. These are must-haves and will cause you to spend a bit, but you are also very likely to find them among friends.

Before you make this purchase decision, it is crucial to speak to friends and relatives who could still have some that their babies have outgrown. They are not the most important things out there, but if the price is right, get them.

However, if you are operating on a tight budget, you can make do without them.

Here is a quick list:

Bouncer or Baby Swing

A baby swing supports the baby during playtime and helps in skill development.

Infant Carrier or Stroller

An infant carrier will ease your arms, especially when your baby grows older because the baby gets heavier.

High Chair

Used in feeding the baby and will help you concentrate all the food droppings in one area. It simplifies your cleaning process

Infant Car Seat

It is used to fasten the baby to a seat as you drive. A significant percentage of accidents involving babies have been avoided thanks to a proper car seat.

The Baby is Here!

Now that your little bundle of joy is here, at last, it is time to make sure that their introduction to the world is as seamless and as comfortable as possible. The shopping list laid out here will go away toward helping you cope with the nuances of motherhood.

Do you have any specific products you swear by that fellow new-mamas should know about? Drop a comment down below!

For additional new mommy tips and recommendations from Smart Money Mom, check out our articles on the Best Strollers When You’re on a Budget, 7 Ways to Feed Your Family for $25 a Week, or even Secure Attachment Bonding (Mom & Baby)!

Be sure to join us on Facebook and share similar stories around the world from mothers also going through similar struggles as you. We’ll see you there!

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