Baby Essentials Shopping List – What To Expect

Baby Essentials Shopping List – What To Expect

When it comes to preparing for the arrival of your adorable munchkin, there are many things to consider. You would want to choose the cutest clothes and of course, the most comfortable sleeping bags and feeding accessories.

What Are The Must-Have Baby Items?

This post has been put together to help you buy everything you need to welcome your bundle of joy into the world. There are plenty of baby essentials buying checklists to help you keep track of the shopping process and make product selection process a lot easier.

Before we have a look at must-have baby items, let’s see how you should prepare a checklist for essential baby items.

1. Items For Feeding

You may already have decided how you want to feed your baby. Regardless of the method you choose, you need to buy everything to make the feeding process as convenient and comfortable as possible.

Bottle feeding a baby

You now have the option to choose from stylish nursing bras as well as nursing creams and shields to protect your skin. If you decide to go for bottle-feeding, you can easily pick from a variety of feeding bottles that are available.

Most first time and even experienced moms like to keep a bottle sterilizer handy to keep the feeding bottles squeaky clean and safe for the baby. You can also consider investing in a support pillow as well as many types of muslin to clean any spills that might happen.

2. Baby Must-Haves For Sleeping

Health experts advise that your newborn should sleep in your room for the first few months. To make your baby’s sleeping experience more fun, it is worth investing in a:

Baby Cam For Toddlers

Once your bundle of joy can sleep in his or her room, you might want to buy a cozy mattress with waterproof cover and fitted sheets. Other things you can add to your shopping list include baby sleeping bags, and some cute mobiles.

3. Baby Gear For Dressing Up

Buying cute clothes for your baby is such an exciting experience. Basic clothing you need to have handy for your baby when they are born includes:

  • Sleeping suits
  • Body suits
  • ​Pair of socks
  • ​Blankets
  • Hats and other head gear
  • Scratch mitts – babies love to scratch their face
Baby Clothes on a Hanger

Once you have selected the basic items, you can add in more outfits such as jackets, jumpers and cardigans depending on the season.

4. Baby Essentials For Bath Time And Nappy Changing

It won’t take long before you can learn the best ways of changing your baby’s nappy. Ideally, you will need:

  • Baby wipes
  • Nappy sacks
  • ​Diaper bag
  • Diapers and nappies in the correct size

It’s recommended that you carry a nappy disposal system or a convenient nappy bin to keep the dirty nappies in. You should also get a nappy cream in case your munchkin has a painful sore bottom.

Angel Care Nappy Bin

Newborns don’t really need lots of bathing essentials – all you have to do is wipe them clean using a soft sponge or cotton wool. However, it won’t be long before your newborn looks forward to splashing water around in his colorful baby bath.

To make bath time fun and more importantly, safe, you can buy

  • A baby bath
  • A bath support
  • ​Baby towels
  • Non-slip bath mat

Because babies are particularly relaxed after a comforting bath, it might be a good time to trim their nails. This means you can invest in a nail clipper especially designed for infants.

5. Playtime And Other Activities

You would love to spend time with your baby and there are so many toys to choose from. To make playtime more fun and interesting for babies from zero to 6 months, you can consider buying:

Baby Rocker for toddlers
  • Bouncing cradles
  • Baby swings
  • Play mats
  • ​Baby books
  • Musical toys – your baby would love something that glows in the dark and lights up.

Do I Need To Baby Proof My Home?

Your baby will get curious as he or she grows older and it is crucial that you baby proof your home to prevent accidents. There are plenty of baby proofing choices available for your home including:

  • Stair gates
  • Smoke detectors
  • ​Electrical plug/socket covers
  • ​Window catches
  • ​Fireguards
  • Furniture corner protectors

How Do I Plan Shopping For My First Baby?

Shopping for your first newborn can be a daunting task especially if you are overwhelmed by such a huge variety of baby essentials. How many body suits should I buy? How many feeding bottles will I need? Do I need to buy burping cloths? Will my little one play with toys? What diaper cream should I stock up on? What all should be carried in a diaper bag?

Baby Travel Bag with Gear

This section will cover the newborn essential list and will help you figure out exactly what you need to buy to keep your baby safe and happy for the first few months. You can take this checklist along the next time you go out shopping.

Diaper And Nappy Changing

You will need:

  • Ointment or cream to treat diaper rash
  • Diaper changing table
  • ​Rattles or other small toys to keep your baby busy while you change their diaper
  • ​Nappy bin for keeping dirty diapers
  • ​Baby wipes
  • ​Diaper changing pads
  • Newborn diapers
Standard Baby Wipes Container

Clothes

  • Long and short sleeve rompers
  • 4 to 6 t-shirts
  • ​4 to 6 pajamas
  • ​4 to 6 pair of socks
  • ​3 to 4 pairs of booties
  • ​Body suits
  • Couple of stretchable cotton pants
  • Bins
  • Sweater, jacket or cardigan
  • ​Knit cap and/or hat
  • Sweatshirt
  • Baby hangers

Feeding Accessories

  • Nursing pillow
  • Feeding bottles (4 to 6)
  • Bottle brush
  • Nursing bra, nursing pads
  • Wash cloths
  • Feeding nipples designed for newborns
  • Cream for treating sore nipples
  • Breast pumps

Bathing And Cleaning

  • Washcloths
  • Cotton wool and swabs
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby body wash
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Infant/ baby bath
  • Small bath tub
  • ​Baby nail clipper
  • Soft comb
  • Hooded towels

Nursery, Linen

  • Baby blankets – 3 large blankets and 8 to 10 receiving blankets
  • Cradle or baby bassinet
  • Baby monitor
  • Crib mattress
  • Waterproof liners
  • Crib mattress
  • Baby audiotapes (lullaby for putting your baby to sleep)

Travelling With Your Baby

  • Car seat – make sure you buy one head support
  • Stroller
  • ​Sun shields
  • ​Diaper bags
  • Some parents prefer investing in a sling or soft front carrier
Baby Travel Bag

Playing With Your Baby

  • Baby books
  • Baby music CDs
  • ​Play mat
  • Toys that are safe for babies – should not contain toxic materials or small parts
Reading a Book with a baby

How Often Do I Need To Feed My Baby?

Congratulations on the arrival of your angel and you surely have many questions in your head at this point. Well, you might have a hungry newborn on your hands and you just cannot predict how many feeding bottles you need to get through the day comfortably.

This section looks at some of the feeding essentials you need to buy so that you and your baby are well equipped and prepared for mealtime.

1. Feeding Bottles

It’s recommended that you have at least 6 to 10 feeding bottles on hand – this way you will at least have one clean bottle at all times.

Baby Bottle 4 ounce

Newborns don’t need more than 4-ounce milk for the first few weeks. This means you can buy 4-ounce bottles for your baby and then slowly transition to bigger feeding bottles when your munchkin grows. No, you don’t have to throw away the smaller bottles – they come in handy as extras

2. Nipples

Have at least 5 to 10 nipples and make sure you have a few extras because they can go missing. Like feeding bottles, nipples also come in a variety of different shapes, flow speeds and sizes. You might have to experiment for a few weeks to find a nipple that works best for your baby.

3. Dishwasher basket

This basket is quite useful for holding nipples, feeding bottles and bottle caps so that they don’t disappear after cleaning.

Dishwasher Basket for Dishwashers

If you are washing or cleaning bottles by hand, you can consider buying a bottle drying rack.

4. Bottle brush

Even if you are cleaning your baby’s feeding bottles religiously, these brushes are still a good investment. You can use them to scrap away any old ‘dried’ milk when needed.

5. Cotton cloths

Small cotton cloths are excellent when it comes to cleaning all kinds of mess. Remember your baby would be throwing up quite often so you need to have many burp cloths handy.

6. Nursing Pillow

If you don’t want to buy a nursing pillow, you can use a spare bed pillow for holding your baby during feeding. Keeping your baby at a 45-degree angle during feed prevents swallowing of extra air and at the same time, minimizes gas.

Additional Feeding Gear You Buy

Bottle Warmer

If your bundle of joy prefers warm milk, all you have to do is use this versatile equipment. Remember, you should never heat feeding bottles in a microwave. In case you don’t have a bottle warmer, just place the feeding bottle in a plastic bowl of warm (caution – the water should be warm, not boiling). Yes, buying a bottle warmer is not mandatory, but it can make your life easier.

Bottle Sterilizer

Whether you are breastfeeding your baby or you prefer formula feeding, you need to keep the deeding equipment and bottles clean and germ free at all times.

Bottle sterilizer can protect your angel against infection and experts recommend that you sterilize bottles, breast pump and other feeding accessories until your child is one year old. If you start feeding solids to your baby once he or she is six months old, you need to sterilize feeding spoons and bowls as well.

What Do I Need To Know About Sterilizers?

There are three main types of sterilizers available in the market.

  • Cold water sterilizer
  • Microwave sterilizer
  • Electric sterilizer

You will need sterilizing tablets or liquid in addition to a large plastic container to cold sterilize baby items. All you need to do is soak the items in the sterilizing solution for at least 30 minutes. Items can be left submerged for up to 24 hours in the solution (but never longer).

Microwave sterilizers require no chemicals. They kill bacteria and other harmful toxins using the heat. The time required to completely sterilize the items will depends on your model type and wattage of your microwave.

Baby Bottle Sterilizer Elecric

Electric sterilizers have become quite popular for the fact that they are so simple and convenient to use. You need to simply plug in the unit and your baby’s items will be sterilized within 15 minutes. Depending on the model you have, you could be done even in less than 6 minutes.

What Size Electric Sterilizer Should I Buy?

Electric sterilizers as stated earlier have varying capacity. If you intend to formula feed your baby, you should invest in a larger unit that can hold up to 6 bottles. If you are planning to solely breastfeed your baby, you may skip buying a sterilizer. However, you would still find them useful for breast pumps.

Perhaps the best thing about electrical sterilizers is that you can keep the bottles and other items sterile for almost 24 hours if the lid is kept on.

Some models come equipped with extra features such as:

  • Timers
  • Automatic sterilization
  • ​Space for extra bottles or sippy cups
  • A indication or signal that the unit is hot

Little Help For Nursing Mothers

Breastfeeding allows you to create a strong bond with your baby, but sometimes things can get painful.

If your angel’s been feeding for a long time, you might get cracked nipples. Using a nipple shield can take pain out of breastfeeding. Also, you can use a cream or lotion to help the cracked nipples heal faster.*

Remember, there are creams that do not contain any harmful preservatives so you don’t have to wash them off completely before feeding your baby.

Nipple Shield for Baby Feeding

If you are shy about feeding your baby in public, you can easily get some privacy with a nursing cover. Yes, you can comfortably move around people without second thoughts and even peek in to see how your baby is doing from above.

Leaking breasts can get ugly – what’s worse is that the embarrassing wet spot can appear on your shirt when you least expect it. Nursing pads are a good option to keep your clothes clean. You can even find nursing pads made using cloth, which can be used repeatedly.

Does It Really Matter Which Breast Pump I Use?

You may notice that almost all ‘expecting moms’ shopping checklist include a breast pump. So the question is, how should you decide which breast pump is the best to buy.

An important thing to understand is that breast pumps will only be needed if:

  • You cannot breastfeed your baby directly
  • You will be separated from your baby because of work or other commitments
  • You want to increase your milk production

Expecting moms who will be staying home after the birth of their baby and can nurse them directly may not need a breast pump at all.

Breasts Pump for the working mom

Like any other equipment, there are different kinds of breast pumps for different situations. For example, if you are unable to nurse your baby after birth, you can use a hospital grade pump. Most hospitals have these available for you to use during the time you stay at the facility.

If you want to return to work after a few weeks, you can invest in a personal breast pump. When buying a personal jump, you need to remember that not all models are created equal. You should check the pump’s warranty and at the same time, consider whether the brand offers different fit options.

Interestingly, pump fit is not about the size of the breast. Instead, it’s about nipple size. Make sure your nipples fit well into the pump tunnel or opening during pumping. Generally, there are three kinds of breast pumps in the market – pumps for occasional use, pumps for regular use and breast pumps for mothers who don’t have enough milk supply.

Occasional use breast pumps carry only a 30-day or 90-day warranty and are quite noisy. They can become expensive in the long run because the batteries need to be changed quite frequently.

Breast Pump

As stated earlier breast pumps for regular use are useful if you want to go to back to work and still want your baby to benefit from breast milk when you’re not around. Manual breast pumps aren’t the best choice because they are not as effective as electric or battery powered pumps and need to be operated by hand.

Top-end electric breast pumps are a popular choice among working moms who need to stay away from their baby for a long time. As the name suggests, these pumps are fully automatic and you can even adjust suction levels to minimize nipple discomfort. Few models allow you to pump both breasts at once.

Modern electric breast pumps are designed to mimic your baby’s sucking patterns. That’s right. Ease of use and convenience are two of the main reasons why working mums choose an electric breast pump.

The more expensive electric pumps have a number of adjustable features that you might find helpful. The pumping function can be customized to mimic your baby’s sucking action to express milk quickly. Some models start with short, quick sucks and then move into deeper sucks to make pumping more comfortable.

Mandela Breast Pump Settings

Some first time moms find that they are successful with one type of pump model and not with others. If you buy a pump that doesn’t work, get a refund rather than assume you cannot express milk. Perhaps the only downside of electric pumps is that they come with accessories like storage bags, clips, labels and bottles. They can be cumbersome and noisy which makes discreet pumping difficult.

Nursing mothers who have trouble breastfeeding can now make use of hospital grade breast pumps. Your doctor may recommend this type of pump if your baby isn’t able to suck properly or you don’t produce enough milk.

A high quality, heavy-duty hospital grade breast pump is much stronger than electric pumps you find in a baby store. Some models are powerful enough to cut pumping time in half and they are quite useful in pumping both breasts at the same rate as your baby.

Are Manual Breast Pumps Any Good?

Well, manual breast pumps allow you to control the suction by hand – some moms find it more natural. These pumps are smaller and more affordable than electric breast pumps. Manual models appeal more to moms who only want to pump occasionally and they typically empty one breast at a time. However you can find models that are designed for emptying both breasts at a time.

Manual Breast Pump are they good?

The downside of manual breast pumps is that they are slow and tiring. Some moms complain that manual pumps do not empty their breasts completely which leads to a reduced milk supply. If you are interested in buying a manual pump, make sure you stay away from older models that are quite similar to bicycle horns. Old models use rubber balls and are extremely difficult to clean properly.

Useful Things To Talk About When Buying A Breast Pump

1. You should never buy a used pump. Furthermore, health experts also advice that you don’t share or borrow a pump from your dear friend. Remember, breast milk can contain viruses and bacteria, which may contaminate the pump and even harm your baby. Things can get more complicated if droplets of contaminated milk get into the internal parts making them unfit for use.

Baby Bottles Full of Milk

2. If you’re only using one side of a double electric or manual breast pump, don’t forget to seal the other side. This will help maintain pump efficiency and prevent the seal from deterioration.

3. You should keep a close eye on your nipple while pumping. If you notice that your nipple turns red or white or feels painful, you need to adjust the setting. You can seek help from a lactation consultant who would then help you find a different breast pump shield to prevent sore or damaged nipples.

4. You should always clean each part of the breast pump after use. Check your model’s instructional manual for more information.

Wash and Sterilize your pump often

5. Last, you should not touch the inside parts of the breast pump that might come in contact with your milk.

Shopping For Baby Clothes For The First 6 Weeks

Even a little preparation goes a long way when you are selecting clothes for your baby. Because newborns can be messy, you’ll be changing your angel’s clothing several times a day.

Health experts recommend that you buy simple, uncomplicated outfits for your baby to keep yourself stress free during the first few weeks. Generally clothing made with soft cotton works well and keeps your baby comfortable.

What Clothing Size Should I Choose?

It’s difficult to predict which clothing size your baby will need at first. Some babies are large and start with 3 -6 months sizes. Similarly some babies are tiny and wear clothing designed for preemies during the early days. A smart thing to do is to buy baby clothes in several different sizes and return the ones you don’t use.

Baby Clothes 3-6 Months

The following baby essential checklist covers the clothing needs of your baby. Remember, this checklist only provides a rough guideline and you can consider shopping for other baby essentials that you seem necessary.

1. One-piece suits

These are very convenient for the first six weeks and are available in short and long sleeves. Some basic one pieces come with snaps, while there are ones with a zipper. Since your baby would be keeping you awake, you will be thankful for zipper style one pieces.

2. T-Shirts

Look for comfy t-shirts with plenty of room around the neck so that they can slip easily over your child’s head. Side snap t-shirts are perfect for newborns as they can be put on and taken off easily.

Babies Newborn T-shirts

3. Pajamas Or Pull-on Pants

Look for pajamas made with stretchable material so that they fit easily over your baby’s diaper. Cotton pajamas and pull-on pants can easily expand as your newborns gain weight and you won’t need a new outfit soon.

4. Sweater Or Cardigan

Most babies hate clothes being pulled over their head so you can warm up your angel with a cardigan or jacket that has buttons on the front.

5. Fleece Outerwear

If your baby is born in winter, you can buy a warm fleece suit to keep him comfortable when outside the home. Some fleece suits come with a hoodie and are a better option compared to bulky snowsuits.

Fleece Outware

6. Socks And Booties

You’ll want to get lots of socks and booties to keep your baby’s feet warm. Booties that tie at the ankle are excellent choices for keeping your baby’s little toes warm and covered.

7. Headwear

A soft knitted hat that covers the baby’s ears is a great choice for winters. If you have a summer baby, you can choose a broad brimmed hat. Newborn caps are designed to fit tight to your baby’s head and keep him cozy. These colorful caps limit loss of body heat and stay securely on even if you are taking your baby outside the home.

When buying clothes for your baby, stay away from outfits that have buttons, hard zippers, ribbons and other fancy items. You need to be especially careful when buying outfits with buttons because they can become a choking hazard.

Newborn Hat for Babies

The clothes you buy for your munchkin should fit the baby. Try talking to your angel as you change his clothes so that he will look forward to spending special time with you.

So In Summary

  • Newborns clothes can fit babies weighing 5 to 7 lbs.
  • Most babies outgrow newborn clothing in the first 6 weeks so keep your shopping simple
  • The number of bodysuits, one pieces, pajamas, shirts, socks, booties and caps you need will depend on your load of laundry. Remember you will be dealing with a number of messy spit ups.

How Should I Buy A Baby Bathtub?

Bathing your newborn is nothing less than a nerve wrecking challenge, but you can make your life easier by selecting the right baby bathtub.

Interestingly, you have a lot of baby bathtub choices these days. You can go for foldable tubs, inflatable tubs and ones that fit in an adult bathtub. Moms that have experienced a c-section delivery find standing up tubs more convenient.

Baby in a Bathtub

Convertible baby bathtubs are designed to grow with your baby. These products usually have a removable hammock to create more room for your toddler to sit comfortably and splash water around. If you are buying a convertible bathtub, make sure it has a gently incline to support your newborn and keep it closer to you.

Some parents prefer baby tubs made with hard plastic. The modern hard plastic baby bathtubs have a contoured shape to make bathing more fun for your child. Models that come with a plug at the base are more convenient as you can easily drain out the water.

Foldable tubs are a good choice if you will be traveling with your baby.

Baby bath seats are also becoming increasingly popular, however they should only be used (under adult supervision) once your child can sit up without your help. Remember, whenever you bathe your baby, make sure you don’t leave them unattended, not even for a split second. If you have to answer your phone or check the doorbell, grab a hooded towel to wrap your baby and take him along.

Checking Baby Bath Temperature

The right baby bath temperature is the biggest concerns for most new moms. Is the water too hot or too cold for your baby? How on earth do I set the right temperature?

Generally the ideal water temperature depends on the age of your baby. Newborns don’t have the ability to regulate their body temperature and their skin is really sensitive to temperature changes. Sadly your newborn’s skin is so delicate that it would take less than 5 seconds for hot water to cause a 3rd degree burn. On the other hand, bathing your child with cold water can create problems too.

Checking baby bath temp

To be on safer side, make sure the room you choose to bathe your baby is warm (75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit). The water temperature should be close to your baby’s body temperature.

Moms often use their hands or elbows to check water temperature. However, this isn’t the most accurate method. If you don’t trust yourself, you can use a high-quality baby bath thermometer to check if the tub water has the right temperature. Some baby bath thermometer models can be used as floating toys to make bath time more fun for your baby.

Packing The Perfect Diaper Bag

A well-stocked diaper bag is definitely a lifesaver, but the question is what should you really put in there? The way you pack the diaper bag depends on the age of your baby, how long you will be out, and how prepared you want to be.

If you look at the essentials, you will need one diaper for each hour and it’s always useful to pack a few extras.

Baby wipes come in handy as well and it’s better if you use the plastic box for storing them. Travel wipes can get messy if you try to open them with one hand. Baby wipes not only are good for a diaper change, but you they can also be used for cleaning sticky hands.

Babies with different dipers

A hand sanitizer is useful for cleaning your hands especially if there’s no time or no place to wash your hands.

Some diaper bags come with a changing pad but some parents prefer to buy one separately. You can use disposable changing pads for traveling especially if you have space constraints. In case you forget changing pad at home, a hand towel would also work well.

Unless your baby is a calm soul, don’t forget to pack a couple of toys in your bag. These items should be safe for the baby and more importantly, they should keep your baby entertained during the diaper change.

It’s not surprising that your diaper bag will only have lots of diapers and baby wipes. But you can pack a few things for yourself too. Make sure you have an extra set of clothes for yourself and your child. Depending on the age of your baby, you can keep a jar of baby food and a few snacks for yourself. A sippy cup is a good choice for toddlers.

Baby Food Jars

If you’re not carrying a separate bag, make sure you pack all your essentials including your phone, wallet, keys, sunglasses, water bottle and extra clothes in the diaper bag.

Breastfeeding moms can keep a nursing cover for feeding the baby in public. You can also slip in a few nursing pads to prevent embarrassing breast milk leaks on your clothes.

A small blanket is always good to have in the diaper bag for a variety of reasons. You can use the blanket to keep your baby warm or even use it as a nursing cover. Wrapping your baby in a blanket will also keep them clean if you need to put them down.

Which Baby Stroller Is Right For Your Baby?

A baby stroller is one piece of equipment you will need right from when your baby is born until your child is able to walk on his own. Selecting the best stroller can become overwhelming because there are so many different types available.

Active moms and dads prefer to buy a sling for holding their baby and at the same time invest in a rugged jogging stroller that can be taken along when running or hiking.

Baby Sling for Active Parents

If you are buying a baby stroller for the first time, you will most likely use it for your newborn. Ideally you should look for a reclining stroller that has adequate head support for your baby. If you have twins or triplets, you might want to buy a stroller especially designed for a crowd.

The type of stroller you buy depends a great deal on where you will be using it. For example, if you will be running a 5K marathon with your baby, the stroller you choose would be a lot different from the stroller you need to walk leisurely in a park.

Jogging Stroller for Very Active Parents

Baby strollers are evolving and you can find models with extra storage space, washable and padded seats, multiple terrain wheels, safety locks and snack trays. There are a few basic types of strollers:

  • Umbrella strollers are the most common ones and are usually lightweight and inexpensive
  • Car seat strollers use car seat as the base of your stroller which is a huge advantage as you don’t have to wake up your sleeping baby before putting them into the car seat.
  • Sturdy jogging strollers are designed with multi-terrain wheels and these strollers are the best choice for outdoor use.
Guide To Baby Essentials

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Conclusion

Remember that no one knows your baby better than you and hopefully now you have a good idea about the things you need to buy before welcoming your bundle of joy into this world. You can continue to add items to this shopping list and make bonding with your baby even more special.

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