Newborn Checklist: The Only 17 Things You Need
Baby on the way? If you’re anything like us, you’re probably a little worried about the amount of stuff that’s about to come into your home, especially when there are so many baby gadgets out there claiming to solve every little parenting problem. (No, you don’t need a wipes warmer or a pee-pee tee-pee.) Paring your must-buy list down to the absolute essentials will help keep your home tidy, your bank account bigger, and the planet thankful. Take one last look at that registry and delete, delete, delete.
Here are the 17 things we’ve found to be the most useful, new mom must-haves, most of which can be found secondhand.
1. A Diaper Bag That’s Not a Diaper Bag
Designated diaper bags have limited styles and usually come with a higher price tag and just a couple of extra pockets. Our rec? Choose a large tote or backpack that you really love and purchase any necessary extras separately.
2. Multi-Purpose Cloths
While we think it’s awesome if you want to go the cloth diaper route, we know it isn’t for everyone. But these Gerber cloth diapers from Target are essential for everything from spills to burping to wiping faces. They also double as a quick changing pad in a pinch. Just throw them in the wash and use over and over again.
3. Baby Carrier
Going hands-free allows you to do all the things you need to do while still bonding with your babe. You can easily find a secondhand carrier at your local kids’ consignment shop or posting a wanted ad on your mom’s group forum or Facebook page. We love the Ergobaby Baby Carrier—it’s super versatile and can be used (with an insert) from birth to three years.
4. Car Seat
If you use a car, you’ll need a car seat. This one is simple and life-saving. This item is best bought new but if you choose to buy a used car seat, there are just a few things you need to know.
-Make sure the seat is not expired. Most car seats expire at the 6-year mark
-Make sure the seat was never in a crash
-Make sure it comes with all the parts and that they are all in working order
5. Baby Capsule Wardrobe
So, we’re cheating a little and counting baby’s first wardrobe as one thing in our list. But this is a small capsule-size wardrobe that will get you through the first few months. These items are great to buy secondhand because people often buy multiple sizes at a time and don’t end up using them.
3 short-sleeve onesies
3 long-sleeve onesies
4 pairs of leggings
1 sweater or light jacket
2 footie pajamas
1 special occasion outfit
1 home from the hospital outfit
1 cozy hat
6 pairs of socks
1 special occasion outfit
One of our favorite things to get used (besides clothes) are books. Borrowing them from the local library is equally amazing. You’ll be surprised at just how many books you read to your babe, even when they’re just an infant. And chances are you will get bored reading the same book over and over before they do, so have a few classics in your personal library.
7. Moses Basket
Even if you’re a co-sleeping family, it’s essential to have a spot for your baby to sleep that’s portable enough to be moved from room to room. A simple Moses basket is light, perfectly-sized, and ultra-cozy. Find one secondhand on Craigslist or borrow from a friend.
8. Eco-Friendly Diapers
You need diapers but they are one of the largest contributors to landfills. Choosing an eco-friendly version can make a big difference for the planet and your baby (no harsh chemicals). We love Nature Babycare, 365 Everyday Diapers, and Seventh Generation.
9. Baby Blanket
Having a handful of muslin blankets on hand will come in super handy at all times. Use them as a swaddle, nap blanket, picnic blanket, hand towel, just about anything.
10. Baby-Specific First-Aid Kit
Best thing to do here is get a shoebox and fill it with a baby thermometer, baby-sized nail clippers, Band-Aids, medications, and any other essentials for mini emergencies.
11. “Parking” Spot
We’re talking a bouncer, swing, chair—somewhere safe to park your babe in the house. They’ll appreciate the freedom and you’ll appreciate being able to cook, clean, and take a bathroom break.
12. Baby Wipes
These are your friend. For butts, hands, faces, anything. We love the idea of only using cotton cloths but it just isn’t realistic. Today, there are many options that are biodegradable, chlorine free, and contain no parabens or phalates. Try Naty by Nature Babycare.
13. Cozy Post-Partum Clothes for You
14. White Noise
White (or pink) noise can help soothe your baby for a restful night’s sleep. If you live in a small home, it can also drown out any noise coming from the rest of the house. Find your favorite sounds on iTunes or Spotify.
15. Nursing Pillow
It’s called My Brest Friend for a reason. A nursing-specific pillow helps support and position you and your baby comfortably, reliving any added strain on your body.
16. Urbansitter App
Because you will need a night out. Using your Facebook contact list and any other social group that you select, this easy-to-use app connects you with sitters that your trusted friends and neighbors use and recommend.
17. Travel Stroller
A stroller is a life-saver but can also be one of the most expensive new-baby purchases. We recommend buying used or getting a hand-me-down from a friend. For the early months, you’ll want a stroller that carries your infant car seat and packs easily in your car.
Tell us in the comments section, what’s #1 on your newborn checklist?