The task of shopping for your first baby can be exciting and overwhelming. It is hard to distinguish between the “wants” and the “needs” and extremely hard to stay focused on your first trip to Babies “R” Us.
Below you will find a list for baby gear, toys, feeding, & sleeping. I do not address what you will need for grooming, diapering or clothing; make sure you add these items to your list.
Infant Car Seat: you will need a rear facing infant seat. I am a big fan of the Graco Snug Ride.
Diaper Bag: Invest in one that will last, is easy to clean, and easy to organize. Make it stylish, too. A Polka Dot Moon offers many hip choices.
Stroller: Some lifestyles call for a jogging stroller while many parents can get by with a simple umbrella stroller.
Carrier: You will have several options in this category and it is a very personal choice.
Most of my friends swear by the baby Bjorn front carrier, but many love using a sling, especially one with a fun pattern like the ones from Serena & Lily. Personally, I preferred the stroller and the infant carrier inserted in a stroller. As my babies got older, I found I had a lot of use for a frame backpack, but this should really not be on your “need' list as you will not use it right away. If this is your fist baby I suggest waiting until after the baby is born, take baby with you and try on several carries to find what you are comfortable using.
Toys: For the first weeks your baby will enjoy your face the most, but eventually your baby will like some variety. A rattle with bright colors, black white patterned books and anything with a variety of texture are all good choices.
Activity: A bouncy seat or swing will be the prefect solution to giving your baby a new view of the world. Fisher price makes a handy portable swing that works great for home and travel.
Bottle Feeding: You will need to start with 4 ounce bottles and change to the 8 ounce as your baby grows. You may want to invest in a variety of nipples until you find what your baby prefers. If your baby is formula fed it is helpful to have enough to get your through the first week home. Your doctor can advise you on how much this may be or you can use this guide: Multiple the baby's weight by 2.5 ounces of formula.
Breast Feeding: Nursing bras- 3 to 4, nursing pads, nipple cream and a breast pump. There are several options available: manual, personal, electric and hospital grade. Usually the biggest factor when making this purchase is budget.
Burp Cloths & Bibs: Purchase several of these and keep them close by: In the car, the diaper bag, stroller, nursery and kitchen.
Sleeping: Many parents are very eager to get the crib set up before the baby comes home from the hospital, but the truth is, most babies don't sleep in one for a few weeks. If you are going to start the baby in your room, a bassinet, Moses basket or co-sleeper will keep the baby close and safe. A moses basket is a great option if the baby will be sleeping in different rooms. It is easy to transport. As a safety precaution you should not transport the Moses basket with the baby inside.
Other Sleeping items include:
Crib & Mattress: Choose a mattress that is not too soft, a firm mattress helps prevent SIDS.
Fitted Crib Sheets: Have at least 3 on hand to make middle of the night changes much quicker and easier.
Waterproof liners: These help protect the mattress from accidents.
Swaddling Blankets: A blanket specifically designed for swaddling works much better than a receiving blanket. A well swaddled baby often equals a comfortably sleeping baby. Buy 2 to make laundry time easier.
Monitor: For many parents this item falls into the “want” category while others cannot live without it. If your house is not too large and you feel confident that you will easily hear your baby then you will probably not need a monitor. If the monitor will give you peace of mind, then it may be worth the cost.