Preparing for the arrival of a baby is exciting. However, if it’s your first, it can be a bit overwhelming. What are some of the must-haves. What are some of the things that are recommended but not necessary. First-timers tend to buy it all. Follow the baby checklist to make sure that you don’t overspend but also don’t miss the necessary items. This post contains affiliate links. Please read the affiliate disclosure on the legal disclaimer page.
Below are products that we used and liked but please do additional research before making a purchase. FoodLifeAndMoney does not claim responsibility for accidents occurring from the use of any of these products. Through this blog I want to share some of the things that worked for us as new parents. At the end of the blog, there is a summary of the baby checklist. You can input prices for all the items to help budget the expenses.
Crib – These typically cost anywhere between $100 and $500. Children typically sleep in a crib until they are 3 years or so .We had one which was slept in only for 6 months. We used a hand-me-down from our close friends. It belonged to their daughter. Hand-me-downs are great way to save some money. When our daughter refused to sleep in the original crib at 6 months, we bought a cheaper one from Ikea. It’s called
SUNDVIK and cost about $!40. It was a nice crib but unfortunately, it was only used as storage.
Crib mattress – These sell anywhere between $50 and $500. Look for one that is reversible. One side is typically firm for infants and the other side is softer for toddlers. We used an organic cotton mattress from Naturepedic. This is a light-weight mattress which making changing sheets extremely easy.
Waterproof lining for mattress – If your mattress didn’t come with a waterproof lining, you will want to buy one separately. There will be accidents, even with a diaper, especially in the initial months. This lining will help protect your mattress.
Crib sheets – I recommend having at least 3 sheets. Each one would cost approximately $10 to $20. I personally prefer cotton but there are a lot of different options available.
Bumpers are not recommended for babies.
Swaddle blankets – Babies sleep best when swaddled. These blankets below have velcro and are difficult for babies to remove their hands out of. Babies will spend a lot of time napping in the first 3 months. If you prefer the conventional swaddling blankets, get those but these ones from Amazon are absolutely amazing.
Basinet – I realized that I slept much comfortably when I was closer to the baby in the first couple of months. We used a basinet on our bed. That helped us monitor the baby through the night while keeping the baby safe.
Baby Monitor – If you are in an apartment, you will hardly need a baby monitor. Our baby screamed quite loudly and we lived in a two bedroom apartment so we didn’t use one. If you need one, there are several options available, some with video monitoring and connect to your cellphone. There are also some options that monitor sleep and breathing. Monitors sell anywhere from $15 to $500. This one from Miku is expensive but has a lot of features.
Night lights – You may need some night lights. These are the ones we have and they are energy efficient. Also, the light is not too harsh or intrusive.
Diapers – Plan to go through at least 10 diapers a day for the first month. In our case, Pampers didn’t work and always gave the baby a diaper rash. Huggies were really comfortable. Amazon subscribe and save helps save a ton on diapers.
Wipes – Again, Amazon subscribe and save will help you save some cash.
Diaper cream – Desitin and Aquaphor are both great for diaper rash.
Diaper pail – You may say that you don’t need this product. Trust me, you do. I had one kept right next to our changing table and it helped contain the odor of dirty diapers. The Munchkin Diaper Pail starter set comes with a month’s supply of pail liners and a scented baking soda puck that absorbs odors.
Changing table/dresser – Again, a very useful product. You will be changing your baby’s diaper 10 times a day. Doing this on a bed may not be the best for your back. Spend a little on a good changing table and your back will thank you. Typically, these are priced between $100 and $500. We got the SUNDVIK from Ikea. But if you want to save a trip to Ikea, the below table from Amazon is also good. Both have storage underneath, especially if you don’t have a lot of space.
Changing pad – If you have a changing table, you need a changing pad. We didn’t have a separate cover for the pad but you can buy one if you want to. We bought the below changing pad.
Breast pump (if you plan to breastfeed) – Most health insurances cover one breast pump per pregnancy. If it doesn’t, the Medela breast pump is a great option. Connect everything and make sure the pump is in working order before you bring your baby home. The Medela pump comes with a couple of storage bottles. There is an option to buy additional accessories such as the cooler bag and additional storage bottles.
Nursing pillow (if you plan to breastfeed) – This is optional but highly recommended. It helps provide good back support and helps position the baby better during nursing. There are several options available in nursing pillows and cost between $30 and $40.
Feeding bottles – Most babies are very colicky in the first few months of their lives. There are feeding bottles that help reduce gas. I highly recommend the Avent bottles below. Expect to pay about $7 to $10 per bottle. Depends on whether you breastfeed, pump and feed or formula-feed, and the number of times you wash and sterilize the bottles, you will need between 3 and 6 bottles per day.
Bottle sterilizer – There are many options available but a lot of them are bottle specific. Instead of a sterilizer, you may just use a regular steel pot to boil water and sterilize the old-fashioned way. If you have the Avent bottles, the below option is good.
Bottle brush – Munchkin sells small brushes to clean small bottle parts. You’d want to get at least 3 tiny brushes.
Bottle drying rack – Here’s a nice drying rack for all the baby bottles. It should cost about $15.
Formula (if not nursing) – Check with your baby’s pediatrician.
Bibs – About 6-8
Rocking chair with ottoman – Again, not a necessary item but recommended if you plan to breastfeed. Will help your back and comfort you and your baby. These can get very pricey. Here’s an inexpensive one from Amazon.
High Chair – You won’t need it until the baby is 4 months or so. We like the Summer Infant 3-Stage Seat, which doubles as an activity chair. It can be strapped on top of a regular dining chair or can be kept on the floor.
Baby Utensils – You’ll need these when your baby starts eating solids.
Bath and Grooming
Baby tub – Before your baby can sit, you may need a tiny bath tub that can sit on top of your sink. Please don’t leave your baby unattended in the tub. We used a tub similar to this one from The First Years.
Baby body wash/shampoo – Use a mild baby shampoo for bathing the baby. There are many products to choose from. Aveeno and Johnson and Johnson are my favorites.
Wash cloths and hooded towels – You will need about 2 hooded towels and 6-7 washcloths.
Grooming kit – Baby nail clippers, soft hairbrush, nasal syringe, thermometer, etc. are some of the essentials. This Summer Infant Grooming Kit is a good value for money and comes in two colors.
Laundry detergent – Use a mild detergent to wash baby clothes. We used Dreft for the first couple of years. Use subscribe and save for additional savings.
Bring the baby home
Car seat – This is the most essential item. The hospital staff will not give you your baby without a car seat. They make sure the baby is strapped in correctly before handing the baby over to you.
Stroller – There are a lot of different options available in strollers. There are compact lightweight ones, there are jogger strollers, travel systems, etc. When our little one was born, we got the Graco Jogger Click Connect travel system. This one folds easily to fit in a car. The carseat clicks to fit on top of the stroller and it’s great if you want to get some exercise around the neighborhood with the baby.
Baby carrier – A carrier is a great way to walk with your baby and also run errands. Please don’t cook while carrying your baby.
Baby health – Please ask your doctor before using any of these products
Baby thermometer –
Mittens, hats and socks
Onesies – You will need about 8 to 10. Carter’s sells 6-piece, 3-piece sets for good value.
Baby gym – In the first few months until your baby is able to crawl and move around, the baby gym will provide your baby with a lot of exercise and help develop head control.
Mobile for crib
To summarize, here’s a list of everything you will need. This baby checklist will also help you budget all your expenses.
While you prepare for your baby, also consider making wise investments to secure her/his future. Follow this link to learn about investing.
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