Baby shopping can be a daunting task, especially if you’re a first time mum. Your mind is already operating on half its potential thanks to the pregnancy hormones, and on top of that you have no idea what stuff is absolutely essential for your baby and what isn’t. Visiting a baby shop makes you even more confused because of the variety of options they have (or don’t have!).
I recently gave birth to a baby boy, so I had done most of the homework when I was shopping for my baby’s arrival. I thought I might share it with you guys so that new mums could have a reference point for their own shopping lists and know at least where to start from!
Please bear in mind that there is tons of advice on the internet (especially on Youtube from where I did my research on baby shopping), what’s important is for you to consider only that which works best for you and your baby. How would you know what works best for your baby before her arrival? Well, you basically get only the absolutely essential stuff and add up later once your baby arrives. This is the approach I followed. Of course, it added up some work for me and my husband during the overwhelming postpartum period, but it helped us not over shop and over prepare. Also, no matter how much you prepare beforehand, there will be something or the other that your baby needs that will send you running to the mall for a shopping trip!
I’ll jump to the list now. You’ll find my personal comments beside the items. Let’s go!
- Car seat – Saftey first!
- Cot/Bassinet/some kind of sleeping arrangement – depending if you want to co-sleep or not. Ideally a baby should sleep in the same room as parents till 6 months to 1 year of age to avoid SIDS.
- Baby bouncer or swing for day-time lounging – get this ideally when baby is one month old and out of the fragile new born phase.
Note: If you plan on getting a travel system (car seat + stroller combo), please bear in mind that they are a bit bulkier than general strollers. At least that’s what I realized when we got ours. Also before buying, make sure that the stroller you get is travel friendly. You don’t want to be lifting and pushing something that breaks your back in the process.
Wardrobe (0-3 months)
- warm clothes if it’s winter season
- trousers (with and without built-in feet)
- bibs/drool cloths
- Burp cloths/muslin cloths
- Swaddling blankets
- Warm woolen blankets
Note: Babies need diaper changes quite frequently so you should want to get clothing that provides ease of access to the baby’s bum. Get sleepsuits with zippers or easy buttons so that you can easily undress baby from the bottom down for a nappy change. Secondly, do not dress baby in several layers of clothing while they sleep to avoid the risk of overheating. If you’re worried about hot/cold, it’s recommended to keep the temperature in the room favorable instead of putting baby under lots of blankets to avoid suffocation. Lastly, because I did not want to hoard, I only shopped for new born and 0-3 month sizes and told all the friends and family that if they plan on gifting any clothes for the baby they can shop for 3+ months clothing! 😉
Bath, Body and Grooming
- Changing station or changing pad (for at-home diaper or outfit changes)
- Plastic changing sheet (For diaper changes when you’re outdoors or in the car or when you do not have access to a changing room)
- Bath tub
- Newborn size pampers (Do not hoard on these because baby will outgrow the size eventually and you can’t estimate how many you’ll need. I got one pack of 136 newborn diapers initially and have been reloading once the pack finishes. Keep in mind that babies will dirty up 8-12 diapers a day depending on their age.)
- Bath towels
- Face Towels (these came in handy to me for wiping off their drool and spit-ups too)
- Water wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Cotton buds
- Baby bath, shampoo, lotion, massage oil
- Nappy rash cream (I use sudo cream)
- Baby Comb/Hair brush
- Nail clippers/baby file – Use a battery operated nail file like this one if you’re scared of using nail cutters on your fragile baby as I was! I swear by this product.)
- Baby Nasal Aspirator/Snot Sucker/Suction Bulb (basically this is a mucus extractor in case baby gets flu, it comes in handy to suck out the mucus. Otherwise, for general day to day nose cleaning I’ve been using cotton buds very carefully.)
- Nursing cover – if you ever wish to feed comfortably in public, that is, if you master the art of breastfeeding at all.
- Nursing Pillow – Get this if you’re having trouble breastfeeding. Especially for csection moms, the first week of breastfeeding is quite challenging as you can’t tolerate any pressure near your incision. So a pillow comes in handy to prop your baby up. Try using a general pillow to see if that helps, then get a specialized nursing pillow if you still need support.
- Nipple shield (Just in case you face a latch problem or your nipples go cracking and bleeding and you start to have suicidal thoughts, this thing might save your day. Not recommended for prolonged use though).
- Bottles and nipples (if you plan to formula feed or if nature somehow forces you to resort to this option!)
- Bottle Sterilizer (or you can do it the basic way by boiling the bottles in hot water for 5 mins).
- Breast pump + pumping bra + milk storage bags/zip lock bags (if you plan on pumping)
Note: If you plan on pumping milk, which sometimes we have to (to relieve engorgement or to simply accelerate our supply), then get a double breast pump. I have the Spectra S1 Plus and it’s a wonderful device. For an easy pumping experience, you MUST get a pumping bra and go hands-free. Trust me, it’ll save your life. Also, some mums swear by the haaka breast pump too. It’s a manual pump but I wouldn’t recommend it for full blown pumping though. It’s great for times when you’re breastfeeding and your other boob starts to leak and you want to catch all that golden juice rater than wiping it off. (Sorry for the TMI but well that happens!).
- Baby sling/wrap – Your baby would want to be held and cuddled in the initial months. This thing will come in handy and give your arms some rest. I’d recommend you get this when baby is at least 1 month old and out of that fragile new born phase.
- Baby bag
- Baby nest bag – something like this to make baby feel cocooned when he sleeps during the day or while you’re out somewhere.
- White noise machine – comes in handy when you want to put baby to sleep and also want to block outside noise. I have the SnuzCloud which came in with the SnuzPod (the bassinet he sleeps in). But sometimes I play white noise from SoundCloud to put him to sleep as it has the repeat option and larger variety of sounds.
- Baby monitor – I haven’t gotten this yet because baby is mostly around me.
- Rattles/toys – Good distraction when baby is at least a month old and can identify sounds and objects.
- Temperature monitor
- Colic drops
- Nursing bras
- Nipple Cream
- Maternity tights/jeans
- Comfy trousers/pyjamas/sweatpants
- Maternity nightsuit (front open for easy feeding at night. As a general rule, try wearing clothes that provide easy access to baby’s food).
- Sanitary napkins/pads – you’re going to bleed till 40 days at max. Some people bleed less, some more. You won’t know which one you are until after delivery, so yeah, stock up on pads. You don’t need any special maternity pads (unless you’re bleeding too much) and some hospitals even provide those for you to take home.
- Disposable breast pads or reusable breast pads – If you plan to BF, this is a must. I found the reusable ones much better as I could simply wash them at the end of the day and they were cost-effective too.
- Comfy open slippers because your feet might swell in the last trimester and even after delivery.
Side Note: Can we all just agree that finding GOOD maternity clothes is such a hassle! I couldn’t even find ONE GOOD maternity bra and it was SO frustrating!
That’s it for now. I’d keep adding to the list if I have missed any item and later remember. I hope this helps new mums out there in their baby preparedness! It could become a little overwhelming at times but it’s also quite fun to shop for this new phase of your life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂