I do have a few tips and advise to go with The List:
Diapers and Wipes: you need these, duh! Don't be afraid to put them on your registry, ask for a variety of sizes. There's no telling how fast your baby will grow so get a couple packages of each size to start with. I can't tell you how happy you'll be to know you have a stock pile of diapers and wipes, one less thing to worry about when you're getting used to your new role as a parent whether it's to one or one of many! I like pampers newborn diapers best, after that don't be afraid to try the cheap ones. My kids weren't sensitive, so they all used the Walmart brand and they were just fine. I like regular A&D for diaper rash, but all kids are different so trail and error. Some people consider a changing table a must have, I do not. My kids got changed on the bed, couch or floor with a waterproof changing pad and it was just fine.
Clothes: Same deal, get a variety of sizes. Exactly what you need will depend on where you live and the time of year. For example if your baby is born in December in a place where it snows, you need a snow suit and lots of Onsies to layer and stay warm. If you live in FL, not so much. When you buy outfits for sleeping, think about this...it's pretty difficult to do up all those little snaps at 3 am with no sleep. Zippers are awesome and the open bottom gowns are even better!
Bedding: There are certain guidelines to follow regarding your baby and sleeping to prevent SIDS. So before you go crazy and buy that super cute matching crib set, just know it's only for decoration because you can't bury your baby in that huge overstuffed comforter. Your baby will have a diaper leak in the middle of the night at some point, make sure you have back up bedding.
Feeding: You need bottles, small and large. If you're nursing you might want to invest in a breast pump and storage bags. You need insulated carriers for all this milk when you leave the house too. I'm also a fan of the travel bottle warmers. You can plug it into your car, it's great if you take long car rides. There are tons of cute burp clothes out there, I like the good old fashioned cloth diapers. Before you know it, that tiny baby will be eating actual food! You need spoons, bowls, cups and bibs! The point is, think ahead and add all these to your registry.
Health and Safety: Go ahead and get the Tylenol, teething gel, saline(for boogy noses) and gas drops now. You'll need it at some point and better to have it now than wait till you need it and have to make a midnight run to the pharmacy. I didn't include a nasal aspirator on my list because the hospital gives you one that works better than the little store bought ones. They'll give you a thermometer too, but I like to have a backup because I always loose them! Even though your baby won't be mobile for a while, this is a good time to look into baby proofing. Check out some great child safety tips here from a professional child proofer! At the very least get some outlet covers and cabinet locks for hazardous chemicals and medicines. You might also want to add baby gates to your registry.
Entertainment: As babies get older, they stay awake longer, get bored and need stimulation for their development. Get toys, rattles, walkers, travel toys for the car seat and stroller. You need a chair of some kind. I like the bouncy vibrating chairs that play music. You can't carry that kid everywhere and he or she will not want to be out of your sight. Because it's mobile, this is a great place for baby to hang out while you cook dinner, take a shower or even go to the bathroom! Baby swings are awesome! I didn't have one with my first son and I managed but they really are wonderful and most babies love them.
Gift Registry: Baby showers are absolutely fantastic! You know some amazing, generous people who want to buy stuff for you...let them. Register for everything! When people go to buy gifts, they have all different ideas of how much they want to spend, if you include all the cheap little things, that stuff adds up and you'll end up with more of what you need and less of the junk that people pick out themselves because they don't want to go for the big ticket items! Save all your receipts, you might buy something then someone else may give you the same thing. At least you know you will be able to take one back. If you're reading this and you are going to a baby shower, please include a gift receipt with your gift! For various reasons the parents might not want or be able to use what you gave them. Give them the option to change it for something they can use. The bottom line is that you want to help them out.
Saving Money: No doubt, kids cost a ton of money, but you can be smart about your buying and save a bit. First of all, take advantage of that baby shower! Wait till after the gifts come pouring in, then take those gift cards and go buy what's left that you still need. Check places like Craigslist for any of the big stuff you don't get as a gift or don't want to pay full price for. If it's your first kid, everything the best and brand new wears off fast when you see how quickly they grow out of it. People sell good clothes on ebay too! Hand me downs are a wonderful thing. Most friends and family will be more than willing to share stuff that they don't need anymore. Don't be afraid to try the store brand baby items. I always bought generic everything...diapers, lotion, soap, rash cream, pain reliever, it all worked just fine for me. I understand some children have sensitivities to certain brands and products and that can't be helped, but try and see what works for you.
Baby Buying Checklist Enjoy this free printable checklist I put together of all the things I think you will need for a new baby!
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Pack For The Hospital: Here are some things that you don't want to forget to take to the hospital when the big day arrives!
- PJ's, you don't want to wear a hospital gown for two days
- Go home outfit for you, something loose and comfy
- Go home outfit for baby with hat(washed)
- Blanket for baby
- Feminine Pads(the hospital ones are horrible)
- Car seat for baby, you can't leave without one
- Toiletries for you
- Some diapers and wipes(the hospital will give you some, but it won't hurt to take a couple just in case)
- Nursing bra if breastfeeding, tight fitting bra if you're not
- Computer, ipod, tablet
My go-to baby shower gift is a diaper cake. They look great and are full of things any new mom would need. Go here to find out how to make one!
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