Hooray! I hope you are feeling well and are having a healthy pregnancy.
The following is a list that my sister, Lisa, and I have compiled over the years. Between us we have three children -- two girls for her and a boy for me. We had amazing guidance from our mom, Jennifer, who has spent a lifetime caring for babies as a pediatric nurse, mom, and now grandmother.
Really, it doesn’t take much to keep a baby happy. It is when they get older that they get more complicated! But people will tell you to buy things -- they will give you things… these are the items we felt were most helpful with our new babies. If it isn’t on this list, we didn’t need it. The list started with an actual inventory of my nursery when my son was about 6 months old. Lisa has added to it a bit over time, too. But truly, if it isn’t on the list: we didn’t need it.
A few other notes:
- Be prepared: people will give you tons of clothes. Tons and tons of clothes. I didn't really have to buy much until he was in 18 months clothes because we received so many clothes. However, no one gave us newborn-sized clothes. Mom and Lisa had to go out and buy some when we came home from the hospital because nothing I had fit him!
- We both highly recommend breastfeeding if it works for you, but that is a very personal thing, and it doesn't work for everyone. I was set up with bottles and a pump before Bambino was born. He nursed like a champ, so we didn't really have issues, but I was prepared for both scenarios.
- If you are going to breastfeed, you'll also want:
4 nursing bras minimum (2 sleeping bras and 2 for day)
Pajama tops that button for the hospital if you plan to have visitors. The gowns are less than flattering, and often don’t offer good access for nursing (which doesn’t make sense).
Breast pump and bottles: Lisa writes, “If you plan to breast feed and will need to pump, I highly recommend the Medela freestyle hands-free pump. Probably the most expensive one but this is a necessity. Freeze the milk in bags. I tried several different options but bags were the best. I also used Medela bottles, but everyone has different opinions about bottles.” I second all of this. Freezing milk in the bags is really easy. And a good pump makes all the difference!
- Also: diapers, wipes, etc. It is all cheapest at Amazon.com. Sign up for Amazon Family and then do Subscribe and Save on diapers and wipes -- it is awesome. I had 2 cases of diapers and a case of wipes delivered each month which was the perfect amount. And I literally NEVER ran out of diapers.
The Big Ticket Items
Stroller: Uppababy Vista -- love it! Love it!
- Accessories: cup holder, snack tray, and bassinet stand
We used the bassinet and stand for months as Bambino slept in our room until he outgrew it. Loved it for middle of the night feedings. It is great.
Car seat: Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 30/30
If you have 2 cars, you will want 2 bases. You can buy the bases separately.
There are hundreds of baby books out there, but I found that many of them just made me anxious about whether my child was on target (he was) or healthy (he was). So, these are the three I ended up using most. The parenting classes we took at our hospital used the Happiest Baby information as a big part of their curriculum, and those techniques are fabulous. If you only get one baby book, make it the Happiest Baby book!
Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp:
This is the BEST book out there about babies, sleep, and just general baby parenting. And the video is great. I recommend watching the video first, and then reading the book. He introduces the 5 S’s which are truly wonderful for making sure your infant is happy and getting good sleep -- which means you will be happier and get better sleep, too!
Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Dr. Harvey Karp:
This is great, too. As babies grow their needs for sleep and their schedules change. This book will help you navigate those changes, and keep your child on a predictable schedule which makes for a much happier family! I still dip back into this book on occasion as it covers children even into their older years.
Your Baby in Pictures: The New Parents' Guide to Photographing Your Baby's First Year by Me Ra Koh
A friend gave this to me, and it was the absolutely best shower gift ever! I loved it! Such a wonderful resource, and I have lovely baby pictures as a result.