Newborn Checklist: Everything You Need to Welcome Baby Home

Newborn ChecklistOne of the best parts of being pregnant is shopping for your new bundle of job. Besides the festive anticipation of finally being able to hold your baby in your arms, you need to have at least a few things ready for the moment you bring your baby home. If you have a little one on the way, check out this course as it teaches you everything you need to prepare in your house. We’ll go over the basics in here, in this newborn checklist.

If you are into shopping, there are about a million things you can buy for your newborn. Don’t get overwhelmed! The truth is, a baby actually needs very little in its first days into the world. It really is up to you if you want to indulge yourself in a shopping spree, or just stick to the bare necessities. If this is your first baby, have a look at these lessons on bringing your baby home. You’ll learn everything you need to know for the first days of being parents.

Now back to the stuff! If you’ve had a baby shower, theres no doubt you will already have a lot of these essentials. Spend some time and go through the gift pile one last time to see what else you need to buy!  For all you new excited mothers-to-be, here’s a list of all the things your baby needs:

Nursery Items

It’s never too early to start decorating the nursery, especially if this is your first baby. If you already know the sex of the baby, you have the freedom of going wild with pink or blue; or maybe a neutral yellow, beige or green. Be sure the nursery is open and airy, and has access to a window. It’s very important for babies to live in a room with good ventilation and natural lighting.

Though there’s no limit or restriction to what you can buy for the nursery, be sure you have the basics:

  • a good crib for the baby to sleep in (see next section)

  • a changing station or a place designated for diaper changes

  • a comfortable chair for you to nurse and rock the baby

  • a small wardrobe for storing your baby’s clothes and other items

Sleeping Arrangement

When it comes to your baby’s sleep, you have basic options of a bassinet, a crib, or a cradle. Also, if you want to co-sleep with your baby, you can either have him/her in the bed with you, or in a co-sleeper adjacent to the bed.

Though it may be months before your baby actually start to move while lying down or roll over, sleeping in a crib is the best option for the baby. Parents should be extra careful while shopping for a crib, to see if it meets all the current safety precautions. If it advisable that the baby should sleep in their parents room for the first 6-12 months of its life, so the size of the crib could be a consideration too.

Babies who need a little assistance in sleeping may require the soothing, swaying motions of a cradle. Cradles and hammocks are especially calming for premature and preterm babies, babies with colic pains, and restless nappers. If you are finding your baby has trouble sleeping, learn how to calm your little one fast in this great course. If you tend to move your baby around the house from room to room with you, a bassinet is the best choice. Bassinets are usually light and portable, but usually cannot be used for more than 6 months as they are typically small.

Whatever sleeping arrangement you choose for your baby, make sure the mattress is firm, it fills the crib/cot/cradle without any gaps and doesn’t sag. There is no need for anything else, not even a pillow for a newborn, except perhaps a soft layer of cotton sheet. If it is very cold, you can cover him/her with a soft blanket, but be sure it doesn’t – in any way – reach beyond the baby’s neck.

Food

Until the baby is 6 months old, s/he doesn’t need any outside food other than breast milk. However, you might want to stock up in breast pads to stop leakage from ruining your clothing; and be sure to invest in a good breast pump and bottles for newborns in case you to be out of the house for some time.

If you do have to start formula feeding for any reason, there are a number of instant formulas suitable for newborns to start on. As different babies have different levels of tolerance, it should be better to try different brands in small quantities to see which one they are most comfortable in. Don’t stock up too much before your baby arrives. For formula feeding, you will also need to buy at least 4-5 infant bottles, bottle brushes, a sterilization kit if you don’t have the time boil them manually, and a bottle warmer to keep the formula warm.

Diapers

You will want to start stocking up on diapers early, because it is one of the first things the baby will need once home from the hospital. Buying in bulk will save you some money, and definitely save you from any midnight dashes to the convenience store. You will also need some soft wet wipes for cleaning, and baby powder and nappy rash creams.

Many mothers chose cloth nappies rather than disposable ones, as they are more soft on the baby’s skin, can be used repeatedly and in the long run, costs much less. However, with cloth nappies, you have to check for wetness every now and then, and go through the exhausting job of washing and drying, unless you’re willing to pay for a diaper service.

Having a changing table in the nursery will save you the trouble of running to and fro to collect all items in a crisis. Be sure to get a nappy basket with a lid to store cloth nappies to wash later – the stuff coming out of your cute baby is going to have a surprisingly strong odor.

Clothing

If you are picturing your baby in pretty pink dresses or cute jeans and jackets, there is still a long time before they’ll need them. For the time being, you only need a few clothing items for the baby. First of all, you will need a whole outfit for your baby to come home. This must be something extremely soft to your baby’s skin, warm if the weather is cold, and most importantly, very picturesque since this is a milestone event and very possibly, there’s going to be a lot of photos taken.

If you want to dress your baby in hand-me-downs from your own childhood for sentimental reasons, be sure that they have been thoroughly washed and aired, and doesn’t have any strong odor.

For the first couple of weeks, your baby will likely prefer to sleep and wake in a swaddling position, so be sure to stock up on a few soft blankets to swaddle your baby in.

Among other clothing, you will need a few bodysuits, a few onesies, one or two jacket if it’s cold weather, and a few hats and pairs of socks, as well as also, three or four special outfits for visitors, photos, and visits to the doctor. Be sure to stock up on at least a dozen washcloths and hankies.These will be needed in handling spit-ups, burping, and all other messy baby activities.

Bathing

Your newborn will need to be bathed at least three times in a week, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Don’t spend too long in bath time; just focus on shampooing and rinsing the body. A small bottle of shampoo and shower gel will last for months as babies don’t need that much. Before or after the bath, babies require massaging with baby oil and lotion, and soft face cream for the dry season. Once your baby gets to be six weeks old, you can use some simple massage techniques to massage away any growing pains. Learn over thirty techniques here, and give you baby some extra love!

While shopping for a bath tub, look for one that is low and has a gentle incline, and perhaps has slots to keep the shampoos and shower gels at hand. Some tubs come with a hammock or sling for newborns that can be discarded when the baby gets older. Portable tubs are also an option.

Hooded towels are essential for after-bath drying, and have two or three separate small towels for the hair and small areas. Washcloths come in handy for rinsing and washing.

Toys and Activities

Newborns do not have much time for toys in between sleeping and eating, but if you are one those parents who love toys as much as your baby, there are some toys that are safe and will help with development.

The first thing to buy is a crib mobile, especially one with vibrant colors. In their first months, babies love toys that they can look up and listen to. A mobile with soft lullaby can help them sleep. Make sure the mobile is not too heavy and has a strong grip to attach to the crib, to eliminate any chance of falling on the baby.

Small handheld toys, soft toys they can grab on to (be sure to remove them before sleep), unbreakable mirrors for babies to get acquainted with themselves, even small household objects like measuring cups and plastic bowls – these toys will be enough for a newborn. If you buy a rattle, see that they do not make excessive noise; that can harm the baby’s soft ears.

Use sock puppets and stuffed toys to talk to your baby, make your voice sound funny and see them laugh. If your baby has already begun to suck at a thumb, teethers and pacifiers might be a good idea.

Outing

When your baby is ready to go meet the world, or go for a visit to the doctor, the first thing you need is a car seat. Many hospitals do not release a baby until you can show them a car seat installed in your ride. There are no alternatives for a sturdy and strong car seat; it is better to buy and new one rather than use a hand-me-down.

If you intend to travel with your baby, a sling or a carrier when they are a little older is the best solution. Slings give you free hands while the baby can be close to you, and help you to be discreet if you chose to breastfeed in public. Carriers give you the same advantages with a slightly older baby.

For walks around the park, or tedious waits outside the doctor’s office, strollers and prams are a lifesaver. Chose one that can be lowered all the way to the back, and your baby can spend a comfortable time sleeping.

Get a diaper bag for small outings, preferably one that has a portable changing mat. A small bag will be sufficient for a newborn, but later a bigger one will be needed to accommodate bottles, formula and bigger sized outfits.

Baby proofing

It’s never too early to start baby-proofing your home, though it will be a long time till your baby starts to crawl and walk. Open electrical output, stairs and sharp edges of tables should get attention first. Later comes work on the low drawers, low windows and open doors. Ask your doctor for a full checklist of baby proofing that needs to be done so you can be sure you don’t miss anything.

Final items

Since you are already on a shopping spree, there are some other items that you might like to consider for your newborn:

  • Baby monitors, if you happen to be in different rooms

  • Special nail clippers designed for the baby’s soft nails

  • Thermometer to check for fever

  • Hand sanitizers, for visitors who would want to hold your baby

Ultimately, it’s your baby, and no one can stop you from going overboard as you prepare to welcome the newest addition to your family. Start your preparations early and run through this newborn checklist to make sure you have everything you need. Happy shopping and congratulations on your newborn child!