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9 Things you Need Before Your Baby Arrives

Sara Connolly, MD, FAAP, Board Certified Pediatrician
January 3, 2019 . 12 min read

Expecting your first child can be totally overwhelming. So much to learn, so many doctor’s appointments, so much advice! But what do you really need for that day when you bring home your baby?

1. A safe sleep space—Babies can sleep almost anywhere, yet most people overthink this one. A crib, bassinet, or pack-n-play is really all you need when baby first arrives. If you plan on having your baby in your room, consider space issues when deciding what to purchase. If the baby will be staying with you for a while, a new pack-n-play might be all you need until months later, when it’s time to transition to a crib. Some pack-n-plays have bassinet attachments and diaper changing attachments that make them very useful in the first few months. 

2. A new car seat—“New” is key here. Spend the money and invest in a seat that can be easily removed from your car. If you have more than one car, invest in two bases so each car can be used. Avoid used car seats at all costs. You never know if they have been involved in a car crash that might have compromised their integrity.

3. Lightweight, easily collapsible stroller—A lightweight stroller that meets your needs is worth its weight in gold. It must either fit your car seat or have an attachment that lets you use your car seat. If you can open and close it with one hand, and it fits easily into your trunk, it’s a winner!

4. Baby monitor—This might not really be a NEED, but a good monitor can be very calming to anxious parents. Look for one that is affordable but gets great reviews. Amazon shoppers are great about entering their reviews.

5. Thermometer—A fever in a newborn is a big deal. Have a thermometer at home, and ask the nurse at the hospital how to use it!

6. Changing pad—A small, foldable, washable changing pad that can go everywhere is a must. These are cheap, and it’s nice to have a couple so you can do quick diaper changes in more than one room.

7. Breastfeeding supplies: nipple cream, breast pads, pump—You will NOT want to shop for breastfeeding supplies three days after you deliver. Buy a box of nipple cream and pads, and get your pump and supplies all squared away before delivery. If you are concerned you won’t need/use them, then keep the boxes closed and sealed and the receipts handy so you can return them. 

8. Baby nail clipper—Newborn’s nails grow amazingly fast. Have a baby nail clipper handy.

9. Lightweight washable cotton/muslin blankets—Forget the fancy blankets and outfits, a few soft muslin blankets will serve multiple duties during the first few weeks. 

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