Newborn shopping can be overwhelming, there are just a lot of baby products on the market. Every person you talk to will tell you a different “must have” item. My policy was “when in doubt register for it”… Your registry list may get a little out of control. You also end up purchasing a lot of items that your baby won’t need for months. Being prepared is great, but when you are on a tight budget you may have to wait on items that aren’t needed ASAP. We now have a 6-week-old on our hands so I’m going to let you know what we actually used in the first month of his life (Before I completely forget!).
Baby’s First Month Checklist:
- Diapers – We used Newborns and just now switched to ones. I would recommend stocking up on both sizes, they will get used! Pampers Swaddlers have been our favorites but the Huggies were bad either. Just in case you baby is allegoric to a specific brand it is a good idea to buy a couple different kinds. Buy more than you think you need, you will appreciate having a stockpile.
- Wipes – I can’t believe how many wipes we have used. STOCK UP! The great thing about wipes is that the baby never grows out of them. We like Pampers Sensitive Skin, our little guy handles them much better than the regular wipes. Again, it’s great to have a couple different brands in case, like our little one, you end up not being able to use a certain brand or kind.
- Butt Cream – We have used baby powder and Aquaphor to help prevent rash. Desitin was our saving grace when we dealt with the first rash, cleared it up in no time.
- Diaper Bag – An obvious yes. We picked a gray and orange should bag. I wanted something that myself and my husband would be comfortable wearing. Some of my friends swear by the backpack diaper bags, try both before you register or purchase.
- Changing Table or Changing Cloths – We have a wonderful dresser ready with a changing pad and cover all set up in his room… we haven’t used it. For now, he usually gets changes on a baby blanket in the living room. Some people use a pack and play changing table. If you are tight on budget you don’t need to purchase a changing table, just have somewhere ready that you don’t mind getting covered in spit up, poo, or pee.
- Onesies & Pants– We were told not to buy a lot of newborn sized outfits because they would only be used the first couple weeks… well here we are at week 6 and he is still wearing newborns, he now first in some of his 0-1 but even that took a while. I’m not saying go crazy but they go through a lot of outfit changes so be prepared. Get some long sleeved and some short, also the onesies that snap at the side of the body are amazing (pictured at the side). Get a couple pairs of pants just in case it is chilly out and you want baby covered.
- Clothing Accessories – Socks, they will mostly be kicked off but have a couple for cold days. Jacket, could depend on the season but best to have just in case. Hats, both a warm hat and a sun hat. Mittens, get these for multiple reasons, in case of chilly weather but they can also be used to keep your little one from scratching his/her face. We have a scratcher, so the mittens were a must.
- Receiving blankets – I recommend the receiving blankets instead of the burp rags, the burp rags are way too small. We literally have receiving blankets all over our house, you never know when you’ll need one. It is also nice having some flannel ones and some light weight cotton.
- Swaddles – We have used receiving blankets for swaddles but we also have a few cheater swaddles. We purchased both the fuzzy warm halo swaddle and a light weight cotton. It is nice to have both depending on the temperature in your house.
- Bottles – Our little one is breastfeeding but now that I’m back to work he takes a bottle during the day. We use glass bottles that I love but for travel we have plastic Avent bottles. Be sure to have enough that you aren’t stressing that you don’t have a clean one ready when baby wants to feed.
- Bottle Drying Rack – This is great for help with keeping bottle clean but it is AMAZING for pumping. Cleaning my pumping gear is a pain and being able to lay it out on a drying rack is a great option.
- Pump – I have a Medela that works great but I haven’t tried anything else… See what insurance will cover for you!
- Breast Milk Bags – These are a must if you want to continue with breast milk but are back to work. I’ve tried the fancier ones with twist tops but the plain old bags that you can write on and have the oz on the side are all you need.
- Lanolin –I don’t need this often anymore but those first week I used this after every feeding. Nursing is rough on your nipples, you will want something to help so you aren’t dreading the next feeding.There are a lot of brands that have nipple cream, just do research on what you want before you buy.
- Pacifier – I know some people don’t believe in using a pacifier and more power to you! We love having the pacifier as an option. It is great for soothing during a crying fit but is most amazing at bedtime to help get the little one to sleep.
- Bassinet – Really you need somewhere safe for your baby to sleep, we have a bassinet that is more like a cart. I LOVE IT! The side drops down a little way and it is on wheels. I can roll our bassinet right next to our bed and have easy access to get him in and out. Have a couple sets of sheets, it won’t be fun to have to do laundry in the middle of the night because of a diaper explosion.
- Sound Machine – I didn’t think this would be a “Must Have” item but I was so wrong. We have a light up, white noise making, whale. I’m not sure if we would have survived the first couple nights without it. Our little guy loves it, we only use it at bedtime to help him from getting confused between naps and bed. I also love that it dimly lights up, it is enough that I can see at night to feed but not so bright that it wakes anyone up when I turn it on. We love ours but it does drain batteries like crazy, we had to buy re-chargeable batteries for it.
- Baby Bath Tub – We use the plastic tub that fits inside your normal bath tub and has a new born insert. I know some people like the sink options, I just feel like our sinks were too dirty but that’s just me. Look at both before purchase.
- Towels – Get a couple larger, hooded, towels for after bath time and then wash cloths for during bath time.
- Rubber Ducky – We have the safety rubber duck and it is great. The bottom has the word HOT written out and you can place it in the bath water, if HOT turns colors then it is too hot to put baby in.
- Bath Wash/Shampoo/Lotion – We have the night time set and love it. It smells amazing! The scent it relaxing for baby before bedtime. On nights we don’t do a bath, I still use the lotion on him to keep the scent connection to bedtime. It is also nice to have non-scented option, in case your little one is allergic or if you want to use it during the day.
- Baby Hair Brush – To help with cradle cap. We use it after bath time as part of our bedtime routine.
- Car Seat – You will need the car seat base and car seat before you ever take baby home. We found it easiest to buy a set that included the stroller. Our baby car seat snaps right into the car seat base and snaps right into the strollers. This makes transition the baby so much easier. It was a great buy for us.
- Carrier Cover – Great for multiple reasons; keeps the sun off the baby’s face, protects from the wind and cold, blocks light and sound when baby is sleeping, keeps other people from touching your baby.
- Car Mirrors – Ours attaches to the backseat headrest, it reflects in the rearview mirror so we can check on the baby as we drive.
- Sun Shield – Hooks to the car window to keep the sun on the baby during car rides. We have them on both back windows.
- Stroller – Again, we bought this as part of a set. I do like the 3 wheel strollers instead of four wheels, they are much easier to move around corners, etc.Make sure there is a place for your diaper bag to go, you will appreciate not having to carry it.
- Chest Carrier – This was a great way to keep baby close to me while I did chores. He was happy to be close to me and I was happy to have my hands free. It is also nice for when you are going places you don’t want to bring a stroller.
- Gripe Water/Gas Drops – Gas drops worked best for our little ones but a lot of my friends love gripe water. I didn’t think this was a “Must Have” until we had a bad gas day with the baby. These helped him feel better and mellowed the crying for us.
- Infant Tylenol – Just in case a fever ever happens, best to have on hand.
- Thermometer – As a paranoid, first-time, parent, I am so so so happy we had this. It eases your worries when you can be sure they don’t have a fever.
- Nail Clippers/File – Babies come out with some sharp nails. We used the file right away to keep him from scratching himself and us. Now that he is a little bigger we have started using the safety nail clippers.
- Nursing Bras – I have only worn nursing bras since the baby was born. Get AT LEAST 2, if not more. Baby likes to spit up and it gets your bra a lot so be ready with a clean replacement. I bought cheaper ones from Target and they work perfectly for me.
- Boppy Pillow – This pillow is great for nursing when you want your hands free. It gets the baby in the perfect position for feeding. It also can be used to help with tummy time and to sit baby up as he/she gets larger.
- Rock-n-Play – It is a great place to set baby down for a minute or nap time. It vibrates, which baby loves. Because it is light weight I could move it around with me in the house. Also, the height of it makes it easy for you to get baby in and out of, right after birth, you will appreciate not having to fully bend over.
- Play Mat – A nice place to lay down the little one during play time or tummy time. Not a must have but is a definite plus. Now that baby is seeing better, I think this will be used more often.
- Swing – Not a need but it is a WANT! The swings are expensive, we have an awesome friend that loaned us hers. It is great for soothing a crabby baby or a playful baby. Ours has a mirror he looks up into, music and a mobile. He just loves it. When we are having a particularly bad night he goes in the swing. Between the swing and the pacifier, he usually will fall asleep. If we have to set him down while he is in his amazing playful mood, the interaction with the mirror and mobile keeps him happy.
I think I remembered most of the key items you need ASAP. You’ll see that I don’t have a crib or mobile, etc. on here but that is because our little guy is still sleeping in our room. If you are on a tight budget you can space out some of those big purchases, even after baby arrives.
Everyone is different on what they use for their baby but it was very helpful for me to get different opinions to make an educated choice on what we purchased. I’ll do a registry list after more time has passed to see what else we use and love. Good luck on baby shopping!