Preparing to Bring your Baby Home: A Checklist for New Parents
Bringing your new baby home can be a scary thing to new parents. Do you have everything you need? What do you still need to get for the first week? What if something goes wrong? These are questions every new parent asks themselves. The better prepared you are for the arrival of your new baby, the more confident you will feel when it’s time to go home from the hospital. Here are a few suggestions to prepare for your trip home from the hospital.
- Frozen meals: Prior to delivery have a freezer full of pre-made frozen meals, there will be no time to cook once the baby is home.
- Diapers: Whether you’re going the reusable or disposable route, you’ll need plenty on hand. (Diapers.com offers convenience and great deals).
- Disposable wipes: Always have a few packets on hand—this is not an item you want to run out of.
- Diaper pail: Choose one that you can operate with one hand, one that uses regular garbage bags, and has an odor control system.
- Diaper bag: Make sure it hangs well from your stroller handlebars.
- Vaseline: If rash redness occurs use diaper rash cream.
- Thermometer: Doctors recommend the rectal kind for the most accurate reading.
- Nasal aspirator for clearing stuffy noses.
- Baby nail clipper or file.
- Alcohol swabs and bandages (to clean the umbilical cord).
- Burp cloths: The old diaper clothes work best.
- 6 or 8 pacifiers, if you want to use them. Be sure to get ones labeled “newborn.”
- Bassinet and/or Pack n’ Play. It’s so nice to reach over to the baby at night.
- Infant bathtub or seat with a newborn “sling”.
- Baby shampoo, cleanser, and lotion.
- 2 to 3 hooded towels that let you swaddle baby post-bath.
- 6 bottles, including nipples: Make sure you buy nipples for newborns. (4 or 8 oz. bottles last longer than the newborn 2 oz.).
- Bottlebrush and baby-friendly detergent. Drying racks are also nice to have.
- Breast pump: Go for the fancy automatic double pump if you’re going back to work.
- Nursing pillow.
- Nursing pads and Lanolin lotion.
- Breast milk freezer bags or storage cups.
- Formula: Even if you’re breastfeeding, having some on hand for “backup” is great.
- Gripe water: Soothes colic, gas, and reflux in babies.
- Keep a feeding diary.
- Baby monitor: New high-tech ones include night vision and touch-screen.
- Crib and a firm mattress.
- 2 to 3 fitted crib sheets.
- 2 waterproof mattress pads. The zippered ones make changing sheets much easier.
- Changing table with pad (you can also convert an existing dresser by adding a topper with a pad).
- 2 or 3 changing pad covers.
- Rocking chair or glider with ottoman.
- Activity mat (also called the baby gym).
- Mobile for the crib: Think music, lights, and movement. We like ones you can turn off remotely.
- Laundry hamper: Keep dirties all in one place, plus easy transport to the washroom.
- Night lights: Have them in the kitchen, baby’s room, and your
- bedroom, it helps keep from waking up the whole house.
- A rear-facing infant car seat with a base. If you have two cars, you’ll need a second base. Don’t forget the shades for the car!
- Baby car mirror: So you can see if your baby is awake or sleeping.
- Baby carrier and/or sling.
- Stroller: Baby won’t sit up for a few months, so you’ll need a Snap ‘n Go, a travel system, or a model in which baby can fully recline.
- 6 to 8 onesies, short sleeves, or long sleeves, depending on what time of year your baby is born.
- 6 to 8 sleepers (aka coveralls) with built-in footsies, or rompers if it’s spring or summer.
- At least 3 sleeping gowns should have built-in mittens to cover fast-growing baby fingernails and avoid scratches on smooth baby skin. Fleece or cotton depending on the time of year the baby is born.
- Sleep sac, for when baby outgrows the swaddle or sleep gowns, but is still too young for a blanket in the crib. Short sleeve or long sleeve, depending on what time of year your baby is born.
- 1 to 3 sweater cardigans or zip hoodies, depending on the season.
- 8 pairs of booties or socks.
- 2 to 4 hats, including at least one sun hat.
- 4 to 6 receiving blankets. One should be soft and thick enough to be a blankie contender; two should be thin enough for your diaper bag.
- 8 to 10 bibs. The plain white ones are the most useful since they don’t go over the baby’s head. At least two should be waterproof. Once baby starts solids, you’ll need something you can just hose off.
- Dreft or a fragrance/dye-free detergent, everything must be washed prior to baby wearing.
- Velcro swaddle. Not a necessity, but some parents prefer it.
- 1 snowsuit or winter bunting, easy to use bunting zips right into car seats or strollers. (for winter babies).
- 1 to 2 pairs of mittens if they aren’t included in the snowsuit (for winter babies).
Great extras to register for:
- Swing and/or bouncy seat. The movement makes almost all babies very, very sleepy.
- Portable crib, commonly known as a Pack ‘n Play, for when you visit the grandparents.
- Baby Mozart DVD’s, melodies of the maestro can improve verbal ability, spatial intelligence, creativity, and memory.
- Classic baby books: Good Night Moon, Pat the Bunny, any of your childhood favorites.
- Stroller items: Bug net and waterproof cover.
- High Chair.
- ExerSaucer: You won’t use it for a few months, but once your baby hits 4 or 5 months, it will blow his little mind.
- Baby wipe warmer: Makes diaper changing less dramatic.
- Bottle warmer/and or sterilizer: Convenient for any time feeding.
- Mini fridge: Provides easy access to bottles for late-night feedings.
- White noise machine: Helps baby sleep by blocking out household noise.
- Delivery service subscription: Such as Amazon Prime, free two-day delivery is great when you can’t make it out of the house for basics.