20+ Things to Buy Before Baby Arrives

A few friends are pregnant right now and it got me thinking about baby stuff. You know, the stuff you register for and actually NEED before baby makes an appearance. I’ve had a few friends ask me about the essentials in the past, so here’s my list of things you should register for or buy yourself with all of those gift cards you get at your shower!

For Mom:
Nursing Tank Tops. You will live in these. Buy at least three. Thank you, Target!

Lanolin breast ointment. Trust me on this one.

Nursing pads to prevent leakage. Again, trust me. This one will sort of surprise you.

Mother’s Milk Tea to increase milk production, especially if you are planning to pump in between nursing to start storing milk for when you go back to work. I found that it’s cheapest on Amazon.

For baby:
5-7 pairs of pjs that snap on the bottom for easy changing.

Car seat strap protectors. I really like these from JJ Cole.

Changing pad liners. They lie on top of the main changing table cover and come in a pack of 3 so if there’s an accident you don’t have to take the entire pad off, just throw these in the wash.

Newborn and size 1 diapers and wipes so you don’t have to run to the store all the time.

Swaddling blankets or swaddling sack. My favorites are from Aiden and Anais. Totally worth the extra money. I’ve seen them on sale on Gilt and sometimes at Nordstrom Rack and Home Goods.

Baby bathtub with newborn insert, like this one from Target.

Baby soap. I like the Babyganics brand but I know other moms who are big fans of Burt’s Bees and Aveeno.

Aquaphor. I used this to prevent diaper rash, under the nose when his nose is runny, etc. This is an amazing product!

Nasal aspirator. Unfortunately you may have to use this sooner than you think.

Thermometer. We had to take P’s temperature the first day he was home.

Baby nail clippers.

Diaper Genie. Yes, it’s not the most attractive item to put in your nursery, but trust me. Buy one. I’m sure Pinterest has some tutorial on how to make a pretty cover.

Travel system. I would recommend the BOB stroller and Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat.

Graco Pack n Play with newborn insert. If you’re like us, baby will sleep in your room for the first three months.

Baby Bjorn. Other moms I know swear by the Ergo baby carrier. I loved our Baby Bjorn but P. outgrew it far too soon. The Ergo lasts a lot longer as far as weight goes. If we have another kid, I will likely save my pennies for an Ergo.

A really comfortable rocker for the nursery or wherever you plan to nurse baby at night. We ended up using a hand-me down, ugly-as-sin recliner from my grandparents. But it worked.

Dye-free laundry detergent. I don’t think you need to spring for the expensive baby-specific laundry detergent but we switched over to dye-free, scent-free detergent before P. was born.

One or two books to read to baby. It’s never too early! I highly recommend
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

If you are an REI member, now is a great time to buy a BOB stroller or Ergo baby carrier with your dividend and 20% off coupon!

Another money-saving tip: check out Baby Bargains from the library. It has great ideas about how to save money on furniture, clothes for baby and mom, and rates strollers, car seats, etc.

What about you? What’s on your list of must-haves for bringing baby home?

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4 thoughts on “20+ Things to Buy Before Baby Arrives

  1. Burp rags. Lots and lots and lots of burp rags. Anything made by Aiden and Anais, yes to the Ergo (with the infant insert), something portable like the (how I hate this name) snugabunny rock n’ play soother to let the baby nap in different rooms, more baby pjs than you think you will need, Bringing up Bebe, a white noise app on your phone, a soothing source of music for the baby that doesn’t make the parents lose that sliver that is left of their minds (we had a baby U2 cd, heavy on the xylophone), Netflix and a DVR.

    • Yes, Bringing Up Bebe is now my parenting bible and required reading for all my new parent friends! I wish we had better success with the rocker/soother. You are absolutely right on the burp rags. We ended up also using cloth diapers as burp rags that someone gave us (was it a hint?).

  2. Definitely second the Aiden and Anais swaddlers – they were the only ones that worked for us. The first few days we had so many blow-outs everywhere that having more than 5 – 7 sleepers ended up essential to not try to do laundry every single day. After the first few weeks 5 – 7 was totally all we needed.

    I was also SO grateful for our Amazon prime subscription to keep us from having to go to the store constantly for the stuff that wasn’t needed immediately.

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