Before your baby arrives, you probably want to do some nesting or preparing for baby’s arrival. A large part of nesting is making sure that you have all the baby gear and supplies that you need for the baby’s first month or two of life. While it is possible to buy lots of wonderful things for your baby and you are certainly free to do so, babies actually do not absolutely need all the gear and supplies that retailers might want you to think they do. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basic things to make sure that you have on hand when your baby makes their appearance. And if all this sounds overwhelming and expensive, don’t worry. Many of these baby supplies can be purchased used or obtained as hand-me-downs for free.
One of the main things babies do is pee and poop a lot. For the first six weeks of baby’s life, you can expect to use something like 10 to 12 diapers per day, for a possible total of more than 500 diapers. Whether you plan to use cloth or disposable diapers, it is a good idea to have plenty of diapers on hand for baby’s first month or so. Size-wise baby might fit in newborn diapers at first, but you can also be prepared with a few packages in bigger sizes.
A Place to Sleep
Babies also spend a lot of time sleeping in their first few months. There are plenty of options for safe sleep surfaces for your baby and you can read more about them in this blog post. One thing to be ready for is that the place you pick for your baby to sleep might not work for them. While some babies are fine sleeping on their backs in a crib or bassinet to start with, other babies refuse to sleep anywhere but on their parents. For this reason, it is a good idea to have a few options available so that you can try them out and figure out what works best for your baby. Don’t forget to also have a couple of changes of the appropriate bedding on hand, too.
Whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, you might need some supplies. Even if you want to exclusively breastfeed, it is a good idea to have a pump on hand, or perhaps both a manual and an electrical pump. That way, if breastfeeding is tricky at first, you have to option to pump to maintain your milk supply. It is also smart to have bottles on hand, regardless of how you plan to feed your baby. You might want to have a few different kinds of bottles around in case your baby prefers one type over another. If you plan to formula feed your baby, you can buy a few cans of formula in advance. And check out this blog post for some ideas about nursing supplies for you if you plan to breastfeed and other things that might be helpful postpartum.
Clothes and Sleepwear
Between spitting up and diaper malfunctions, babies often need several wardrobe changes throughout the day. And since you do not know how big your baby will be when they are born, it is a good idea to have plenty of changes of clothes in several sizes for baby’s first six weeks. Also, you should have a few weights of pajamas or baby nightgowns and swaddling blankets in different sizes so that you can try things out to find out what works best for you and your baby.
If you plan to put your baby in a car, you need a safe car seat for them to ride in. You have a couple of car seat choices for a newborn, including an infant seat, which is typically only used for babies younger than one year, or a convertible car seat, which can be used for young babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Whatever car seat you choose must be safe for your baby’s size and must be installed properly. You can get help with installing your car seat or checking that it is properly installed at most fire stations or from a Child Passenger Safety Technician, a person who has training in installing car seats.