If you’re expecting a baby, you may be overwhelmed when you think of all the items you need to prepare to bring home for your new bundle of joy. What does a baby really need in the first weeks at home? The answer is – not as much as you may think! Dr. Cynthia Boes with Lake Health Women’s Health Specialists shares the basic baby needs checklist she recommends for her new parents:
Having a simple checklist will help you choose those baby essentials, often called the layette, that your little one needs to have in the first precious weeks of life.
Being prepared with the following items will get you through the first days and weeks without having to interrupt any of your nap or shower time to head to the store.
Clothing and layette
- 5-8 onesies, rompers or other soft outfits, depending on how often you want to
- 3-4 baby sleepers or sleep sacks
- 5-7 pairs of baby socks
- 1-2 newborn hats, depending on climate and season
Diapers and bath
- 2 packs of disposable diapers or enough cloth diapers for at least two days. Newborns can go through 10 to 12 diapers a day!
- 1 pack of disposable wipes or 12 cloth wipes
- A cloth-diaper detergent, if you will need to wash diapers
- Waterproof pad for diaper changes
- 3-5 baby washcloths
- 1-2 hooded towels, if desired; adult towels will work, too
- 1 bottle of baby wash or some infused baby soap sponges
- A baby bathtub, a bath sling or a plan for bathing the baby safely in a sink or
- Baby nail clippers
- Digital thermometer
Bedding and sleep
- Crib, cradle, bassinet or other safe sleep space for baby (preferably one that can be placed in the parents’ room for the first few months, according to safe sleep
guidelines). If the crib has been used before, make sure it has all of its pieces and meets current safety standards.
- Crib mattress or a mattress that fits properly in the cradle or bassinet
- 3-4 fitted sheets for crib, cradle or bassinet
- 1 waterproof crib mattress cover, unless your crib mattress is already fully sealed, or a waterproof pad to lay under the crib sheet
- 3-5 lightweight blankets or swaddlers
- 1-2 heavier blankets, depending on climate and season
- 10 burp cloths
- 5-8 bottles, if you’re bottle feeding
- A bottle brush, if you’ll need to wash bottles
- Breastfeeding pillow, if desired. A breastfeeding class can help you determine any other supplies you may want for breastfeeding.
- Car seat. This can be an infant-only or convertible model with a lower weight limit appropriate for newborns.
That’s it! While there are many baby products on the market that make a parent’s life easier, most are wants, not needs. While it may be tempting to buy every gadget on the shelf, remember, your baby will be just as happy with the basic items that he or she really needs.
Beyond the basics
If you’re a minimalist or your budget requires baby gear purchases to be spread out a bit, don’t worry about buying everything at once. Some items such as car seats have an expiration date that applies whether you’re using the product during that time frame or not. It’s best to wait to buy larger car seats and booster seats until you’re ready to use them. Otherwise, a big percentage of the item’s lifespan could be spent unused.