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A short list of items to buy your baby

the best and only items you need to buy for a newborn

What does your baby really need when they get home from the hospital?  Here is a short list of items to buy your baby!  During your first pregnancy, other than combating the pregnancy aches and pains, one of the biggest challenges is considering what you are going to put on your registry for your baking bean.

There are two type of soon-to-be-expecting moms:

The first group:  The moms that loved to take their scanner all the way through Buy Buy Baby and Babies R’ Us while adding every little baby nick-knack in the store…have you seen boogie wipes?  These moms put them on their registry. These mom go back to the store all the time to double check the infant seats and baby bathtubs often to ensure they have the newest and highest rated model.

The other group: The soon-to-be- moms that dread the registry process and just give their user name and password to their friends  who already had kids with a plea to “please figure out what I need to register for”.

Regardless what type of expectant mom you are in – your baby still has needs things.  But how much and what they need is really up for a lot of debate and discussion.   And as an Infant and Child Sleep Consultant, I have some opinions. Here is my short list of what a baby really needs in those early newborn days:

  • Motorola Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor:  Before my first baby I purchased an inexpensive hand held voice-only monitor but it broke and we upgraded to a video monitor…which is a GAME CHANGER.  Once you own one you will realize that you were living in the stone age without it.  Yes, the video monitor is not cheap, but I think the investment is worth the price.  Just the peace of mind of watching your baby sleep and knowing they are breathing is well worth the money in my humble opinion. Just be careful that you don’t fall into the addicting habit of watching the monitor ALL the time.  If you do…. step away from the monitor.

  • Pack ‘n Play Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer: Here’s some helpful advice – before the baby is born, ask your partner where the baby is going to sleep?  It’s worth the discussion.    If the answer is in the same room but in a different bed, then I would suggest a play yard .  Have it assembled well before your due date will help you be able to hit the napping ground running when your baby comes home.  I like this relatively inexpensive Pack N’ Play since you are provided with a reversible napper and changing table.  The napper will substitute for a separate purchase of a separate bassinet which is used for such a short period of time.  I’ll save you some money too – all the bells and whistles that come on the more expensive play yards aren’t necessary, but having a dedicated area to change your baby is helpful and this Pack N’ Play has it.

  • Comfy Bouncer:  I’m a big fan of a cozy place to put down your baby.  In those early days of enjoying your newborn you will want to hold her (and so will every other relative of yours).  But in a short time, reality will set in and you will need to do the dishes or take a shower.  So, having a handy place ready is helpful.  I also think that multiple bouncers throughout the house are helpful too.  I’m also a fan of the matching swing:   Fisher-Price Cradle n Swing, My Little Lamb.  Both my babies were swing fans but since not every baby is, I would suggest the lower price option in the bouncer.  But if you want to buy both, I wouldn’t blame you. 

  •  White Noise MachineDid you know that it is loud in the womb?  Babies love and miss this noise. Using white noise is a highly effective way to get your baby to relax and sleep – not to mention drowning out the disturbances that are going on around the house when your baby is sleeping and you are living.   Having your white noise machine ready to go can be helpful in those early days.


  • A Portable Pump:  Even if you aren’t sure if you are going to breastfeed or not, having a pump at the ready will help you get going when and if you need to.   Check your local store’s return policy before you break the box open and play with all those mysterious parts. Once a pump box is open, it most likely can no longer be returned.  

  • Infant Car Seat and Snap n Go:  You probably already know, but the infant seat needs to be installed properly before you can take your little baby home from the hospital.  But, deciding which car seat to get is going to require a little pre-work.  For my first baby I bought the lightest one out there that goes to 20 lbs. but I realized that wasn’t the best since my baby got to 20 lbs. pretty quick requiring me to transfer her to a convertible seat early (no infant seat = not nearly as easy to get baby in and out of car).  I would recommend buying a car seat with a 25 to 30 weight limit.  Also, for my first baby I didn’t buy a Snap and Go, I just had an infant seat attachment for my City Mini stroller. With my second baby I had the Snap n Go which made life much for getting out and about on errands and doctor’s appointments.  I don’t recommend the Snap n Go for  long walks outside but is great from walking to and from the car to a store and can do wonders if you need to walk the mall just to get out of the house.

Before you think I’m so crazy for creating such a short list, of course there are many other things that a baby will need.  I didn’t include diapers, wipes and/or bathing items because I am assuming that you will bring them home from the hospital (helpful tip:  you are paying for all the supplies that are stocked in your hospital room, so you might as well take them all home with you).  Of course, bottles and pacis were also excluded too since those are such a personal preferences.  And, I’m a big fan of dressing a baby in footed pajamas for the first 6 months of life but you might fall into the onesie group.

Hopefully in the early newborn stage, you will be supported by tons of great friends and family that will happy pick up any other things that you may need. If you decide you needed those Boogie Wipes just ask them and maybe they can pick you up some  while they are out.

Susie Parker

Susie Parker is founder of Sleep Baby Love and a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute. When Susie's not ridding the world of sleepless families, she loves spending time with her two girls that have given her a ton of real world sleep experience head on.

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