Friday, June 14, 2013

Newborn Baby Checklist

You may ask your grandmother what baby items you'll need, and they may say, "all babies need is your breast and a blanket!" Obviously this doesn't suit a modern woman...hello, diapers, anyone?
This list is for my expectant friends about the most useful baby items - believe me, I've tried them all!


1. Car Seat - This is mandatory - you have to have one to leave the hospital. Any car seat will do - they are all the same. Just make sure it is compatible with your stroller.
2. Car seat padded insert - great for the first 6 weeks. They are usually too little for the car seat and it helps to keep them all snug inside.
3. Stroller - get one with a big basket - you'll use it! The actual seat for the stroller isn't for babies until they're about 5 months, so you'll either use the car seat top OR a bassinet top. If you like to go for more walks, the bassinet top is better so they can lie flat. The car seat is not supposed to be used for more than 3 hours at a time (bad for the developing spine)
4. Stroller add-ons - a kiosk where you can put your keys/drink, a bassinet top (as mentioned above), and a car seat adapter.
5. Baby carrier - the Baby Bjorn is a must!!! There is a reason why everyone has one - you will NOT regret this purchase. They are lightweight, snug, and have really good back support. We got one when the baby was 3 weeks and it changed my life! Babies looooooove carriers. Pop them in there if they're fussy. They pass out in it! This is great for dads too - so at least they can see what we've been carrying for 9 months! Especially handy if you want to walk the dog. Sometimes I like the carrier better than the stroller.


1. Bassinet/Crib - this is a personal choice. If you want the baby in the same room for the first few months, get a bassinet. If you want the baby in their own room, get a crib. They'll be sleeping in a crib eventually. A pro about the bassinet is that it's portable. I like to move it from room to room. I used my stroller bassinet top and got a rocking basket stand (so she wouldn't be at the floor level for my dog)
2. Waterproof mattress pad for bassinet/crib - you only need one of these because they're waterproof!
3. Fitted sheet for bassinet/crib (get two)
4. Swaddlers - these are heaven sent. Babies don't sleep well unless they're wrapped tightly. You can use any loose blanket but because I'm a paranoid mother, I sleep better knowing they're velcro-ed in and secure so that they can't suffocate. It looks like a straight-jacket but it totally works! Cotton is best.
5. Blankets - something really soft. I have light blankets and heavy blankets. I use these while I'm out an about - either for the stroller or baby carrier. Perlimpinpin are my favorites - they are cotton bamboo and good for all seasons. They keep you cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. You'll also use blankets to shield the baby from the sun, either in the stroller or the carrier.
6. Baby monitor - great to have. Sometimes you just want to put the baby in the other room while they are sleeping so you don't disturb them. I have an Avent and it is perfect.

FEEDING - Breast/bottle combo

1. Breast pump RENTAL - once you leave the hospital, they will give you a list of all the places where you can rent breast pumps from. This is totally sanitary, as you are only renting the machine. You purchase your own separate tubing for $50 or so. It is better to rent a breast pump because each one is different, and some work better than others. Finding the perfect breast pump is like trying on different bra's. You have to try it on to see which works the best. If you are pumping in the early days, or not getting enough milk, a hospital grade breast pump extracts milk the best. The hospital grade breast pumps run for about $700, but you can rent them for $40/10 days. Once your milk flow is well-established (after 4 weeks) and if you wish to continue to breast feed, you can purchase a pump. If you want to purchase your own, I recommend Medela swing.
2. Lanolin nipple cream - get a bunch of these - you will use them! Lansinoh is the best and most moisturizing. You don't have to wash it off before a feed.
3. Breast pads - so you're not leaking everywhere. You'll leak anyway, but these are better for when you're in public. Lansinoh breast pads are the softest.
4. Nursing bra - for at home or in public. You can go bra-less but you'll leak everywhere! Just get a stretchy one for the first few weeks until you know what size you are. 
5. Sterilizing steam bags - these are so handy. Wash the bottles and pop them in here, then into the microwave and voila! No waiting for the water to boil.
6. *****Medela Calma - this is the best bottle nipple on the market. The baby uses their own suction to get the milk out, so they don't get lazy. They control the suction and stop/start when they want to, so it doesn't just drip into their mouth.
7. Bottles - any will do. The bottle nipple is the most important.
8. Bottle brush - very useful for cleaning. One that stands is great so it stays sanitary.
9. Dapple bottle detergent - safe for babies and specifically for getting rid of milk grud. Not as scented as regular detergent.
10. Lots of bibs and burp cloths - They spit up. A LOT!!! I think I have 20 and I still have to do laundry every week.
11. Electric Tea Kettle - this is way faster for boiling water to heat up the milk. I boil the water and pop the bottle in for a few minutes while I'm doing a diaper change. I also use this for boiling water to make formula.
12. Formula - even if you're exclusively breastfeeding. Just in case of an emergency. They are all the same - just get one that's probiotic and omega-rich.
13. Pacifier - these are the best. They just love pacifiers!!! It's great when they are out and start to fuss. It's called a soothie for a reason! It gives them a lot of comfort if you can't get them to stop crying.

1. Infant Tylenol - in case of a fever or cold. You'll need this before their 8 week vaccination appointment.
2. Thermometer - just a basic one. You put it under their arm.
3. Nose Frieda - for when they have a stuffy nose or a cold. They only know how to breathe thru their nose.
4. Shampoo/Body wash - any.
5. Massage oil/body lotion - any.

1. Changetable & waterproof change pad & change pad covers(x2) - I like having a station in my nursery, which I call diaper central! I use the shelves underneath for diapers, wipes, towels, shampoo, etc. It puts everything in it's place.
2. Infant Bathtub - I love mine. It's the perfect size. I put it on my changetable and give her a bath. I got this one because it's slanted with head support, and it has a spot for shampoo.
3. Diaper Genie - a MUST! You can stuff at least 50 diapers in it, without even smelling a thing! Easy to assemble.
4. Diapers - at 3 months old, we go thru about 10 diapers a day. I like Pampers Swaddlers because it has a blue line on the front so you know when they've peed.
5. Wipes - they are all the same. You will use more of these than diapers. For every 1 diaper, I use about 5-10 wipes. Buy in bulk.
6. Diaper cream - the best I've tried is Weleda Calendula Diaper Care (especially for the first month because they're so sensitive) and Vaseline Baby Petroleum Jelly
7. Baby Laundry Detergent - a must. You'll be doing a crap-load of laundry and the baby detergents are lightly scented for them.
8. Mirror for Car - this is definitely an essential for when you are driving without your spouse. The infant car seats are rear-facing so you can't see the baby unless you have a mirror. And the babies also like it for their entertainment!

Totally Useless Baby items
1. Wipe warmer - they get used to the cool wet wipes after the first few days.
2. Bottle Warmer - you can even run the bottle under warm water from the tap. This will just take up space in the kitchen!
3. Car sun shade - these totally don't work. The sun still gets in their eyes!

Things I used from 8 weeks onwards:
1. Bouncing chair - I got this one, but I wish I got this one instead. My girl is so tall that her feet hang over. These are helpful, in case you want to put the baby down where she can see you so you can eat/wash dishes/change/etc. I got the Bright Starts one because it looked more entertaining, but all she does it watch me around the house - so I could have got the minimal Baby Bjorn one - that one has more bounce to it.
2. Activity Mat - these are great and so interesting for them. Everything is detachable so you can use it as a mat, or the dangling toys separately. It's great for tummy time to strengthen their necks. It's so fun when they start swatting the toys.
3. Soft chewy toys/rattles - for when they start to put everything in their mouth!

These are the essentials. When the baby arrives, all they want to do is sleep, eat and be held. They are only alert in very short intervals. They don't get too alert until after 8 weeks, then you can stimulate them more and they won't get overwhelmed.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the great review! Like you, I mainly use my stroller to bring the 2 year old along on our drop the big kid off at the bus routine. The crummy umbrella stroller I have doesn't really cut it in the snow. This looks perfect!


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