Can we say baby brain? I seriously can’t even remember what it’s like to have a newborn in my home or in my arms. As the countdown is on (when was it off? hehe), I have been trying to remember what I did/bought/borrowed/prepared for the arrival of Baby #1. I have not been very successful in remembering (or in accomplishing for that matter, nap time is WAY too sacred) what I “need” and I have had to refer back to my trusty old spreadsheet I created last pregnancy. With my review in progress, I have provided a detailed list for all you first time Mamas and also all you Mamas who are in a constant fog like me.
Note: this is definitely what I would like to call a “first world baby list”, because really, all a newborn needs is a boob and some diapers. I have listed things that I have found helpful, but remember: you will figure out your own style and your own needs. For example, I didn’t use a stroller often and much preferred a baby carrier. Another example, I didn’t want to buy a baby monitor until I knew what my life looked like. I rarely use a baby monitor to this day.
Pre-labour / Early labour
- Car seat installed
- Shower curtain liner on bed
- Shower curtain liner and towels in car
- Birthing ball
- Midwife contact information
- Birth plan in place
- Documents for hospital/midwife filled out
- Child care for toddler
- Tens machine
Birthing centre bag ( I do not know what is required for the hospital)
- Sweat pants and nursing tank to wear home (or something comfortable like a maxi dress). If you want to be more glam, feel free. In my case, I just want to get up, get home and get into my own bed to snuggle with my little family. The only people that are allowed to come visit on this first day are Nana and Grand-Poppy. Nothing can shock them – you should see what I wear to their house every Sunday morning for breakfast, I shock myself in fact. When it comes to glam, I also don’t plan on bringing a hair dryer or make up. That is the LAST thing I want to do when, I’ve metaphorically speaking, run a marathon. Note: If you do show up at my door, please leave the mojito under the rug and back away slowly. Hehe.
- Hospital/birth centre documents
- Health care card
- A few pairs of underwear
- Showering toiletries (hair brush, shampoo, soap, etc.)
- Swim suit for birthing tub
- Loose nighty (not your Sunday best, if you know what I mean)
- Sweater – even though it was summer when I delivered my last, I could not warm up after delivery.
- Warm socks
- Flip flops
- Clothes for hubby
- Two sleepers for newborn
- Onesie for newborn
- Hat for newborn
- Baby scratch mitts
- Baby blankets
- Disposable diapers for newborn – I used disposable for the first week. I liked Earth’s Best and the Honest Company brands. This time I am trying Superstore’s “Green” brand. I’ll let you know how it goes!
- Pads – at least 6 jumbo-mumbo pads for that first day
- Phone charger
- Essential oils (Doterra’s Clary Sage, Lavender, Serenity and Frankincense are in my bag.)
- Essential oil diffuser
- iPod with playlist
- Frozen grapes
- Drinks and snacks both for you and hubby
- Tens machine (or Dr. Ho)
- Organic olive oil
- Optional: breastfeeding pillow
- Not optional: A bottle of red WINE
- Swaddling blankets
- Swaddlers – I used a cheap and easy brand and this worked best! I loved the Summer Infant Swaddle Me 2-pack.
- Soothers – Avent soothers
- Sound machine / Music dock – I used this cheap and easy sound machine last time, but have ordered this combined sound machine and music dock by Graco for Baby #2.
- Baby monitor
- Pack n’ play – this was by far one of my best investments. I was able to set up a “bed” on the deck or on the main floor throughout the day for Baby. I was also able to bring it along to my mom and dad’s on numerous occasions. The uses for this travel cot are astounding and practical. (I bought mine used and I didn’t buy it with any gadgets. It only needed to provide a safe place for my child to sleep and to be compact to pick up and go!)
- Peri bottle
- Pad-sicles (seriously, miracle. I didn’t rip or tear, but I was very sore and bruised. These were very soothing!)
- Epsom salts (for post-partum epsom salt bath. I bought mine at Superstore)
- Baby Day-by-Day – I loved this book. I had the pregnancy version as well. It had developmental milestones outlined what to expect during different stages and development, and was overall just a great and informative book.
- Ignore schedule, list of to-dos, chores and social obligations. You won’t get this time back. Relax. Enjoy. Stay home.
I used disposable diapers for the first two weeks, especially while baby had the yucky mucconium black poop, and then used cloth for the remainder of my diapering days (I have disposable available for caregivers).
- Diapers (two sizes: your baby might skip the newborn stage right away!)
- Wipes – Costco . You’ll go through ALOT of these. Save a dime where you can!
- Garbage can
- Change pad
- Diaper cream (My daughter has RARELY needed diaper cream, but it’s good to have it on hand!)
- Hand disinfectant
I like to create a breast feeding station which includes:
- Water bottle with straw and an additional pitcher (seriously, I have never been more thirsty as when nursing). I also bought a Costco 3-pack of BPA free reusable Aladdin water cups with lids and straws. These are a must in my books!
- Breast feeding pillow
- Nursing cover
- Bamboo breast pads – Bamboobies
- Nursing bra
- Nursing tank – Undercover mama, Glamour Mom, Target
- Nipple cream – I like Lanolin cream the best. The brand I used is called “Lansinoh” and can be purchased at any drugstore. I had a few other “natural” bottles on hand, but this was by far the most effective for me!
- Burp cloths
- “Busy basket” for toddler – I am going to create a “busy basket” for my toddler next to my main floor nursing station. I will pack it with fresh library books, shakers, play dough, stickers and quiet play items. Pinterest has a plethora of ideas. Here, here and here.
- Breastfeeding tea – for first time Mamas, this is good to have on hand to help your milk come in strong and steady!
- Breast pump – not required right away (per se). I used this later once breastfeeding was established.
- Breastfeeding “troubleshooting book” – I liked have a few books to refer to about breastfeeding. From latch, to positions, to quantity, to instilling confidence – these books have it all! The Complete Book of Breastfeeding was awesome! As are any of Ina May Gaskin’s books.
- Baby bottles – Glass Avent bottles
- Car seat – Maxi-Cosi or the lightest, most compact car seat you can find. You will be hauling this thing all over town. You say you won’t. But you will. Trust me. You will.
- Stroller – City Select Baby Jogger. If you can buy it used, like me, all the better! (Gotta save a dime, right?!)
- Baby carrier – Tula with infant insert
- Ring sling – Sakura Bloom Note: If you have a local “crunchy” baby store like I do (Babes in Arms), don’t be shy – go visit the store! Try out what works for you. Even better, bring your baby with you. They will show you how to place your baby in the carrier safely and securely, but will also help you select the best carrier(s) for you, your body type, your needs and your lifestyle. I still baby wear my toddler and love it.
- Baby bag – anything that can convert into a back pack! I have a Petunia Pickle Bottom but would love to try out the So Young Charlie diaper bag.
- Extra outfit for baby
- Extra shirt for you (those milk generators are on high the first few months. I soaked through my share of shirts! Or, I had throw up or some other foreign liquid on my shirt too often to count.)
- Wet-bag – to store all your baby soiled clothing!
- Baby bath tub – get something cheap and basic. This doesn’t need crazy gadgets or features!
- Wash cloths
- Slip mat
- Gentle soap
- Nail clippers and grooming kit
- Baby swing
- Vibrating chair – this Bright Starts baby bouncer is inexpensive and amazing. LOVE!
- Play time mat
This list is long. I know. And it all isn’t necessary or even necessary right away. But I wanted to provide a comprehensive list of what you could plan or budget for depending on your needs/lifestyle. I’ve listed some brands that I would recommended based on experience, but in other areas, I am not set on any particular item.
I have included a few links to some other comprehensive lists with free printables which I found on Pinterest. However, some of these items weren’t necessary for me, but may suit your situation if you’re giving birth at home or in a hospital: