Leading up to the birth of your baby you’ll probably receive all sorts of gifts from friends and family. On top of that, you’ll receive advice from basically every single person you run into, whether you ask for it or not. With so much coming at you at once, knowing what you actually need at home for your first child is a challenge. To help sort everything out, here are the must have essentials you need to have when you bring your baby home from the hospital.
You need to bring your baby home, and gone are the days when you could ride in the front seat, holding your newborn. Having a secure car seat is a must. And don’t worry, if you’re struggling to set up the car seat for the first time (they can be a bit tricky), feel free to stop by your local fire department. Local departments often hold free child safety seat inspection services and would love to help out.
Crib and Crib Mattress
You’ll need a place for baby to sleep, so make sure your crib is ready and set up. Now, there’s a good chance someone in the family will try to pass down their old crib. As long as you inspect it and the crib is secure, there’s nothing wrong with taking a hand-me-down crib (it’s a great way to save money). It should come with a mattress, but if it doesn’t, make sure to invest in a crib designed made for the specific dimensions.
Mattress Pads, Receiving Blankets and Waterproof Liners
You’re going to go through more laundry than you ever have before. Sheets and receiving blankets are common place and, if you have a baby shower, you’ll likely end up receiving more than you know what to do with (more is always better than less though). One thing you might not consider though is waterproof liners. Your baby will mess their diapers while in the crib and you need to protect the mattress. Waterproof liners help extend the life of your mattress and save you on scrubbing.
Plenty of diapers. You’re life is going to become extremely hectic, so you won’t have as much time to run to the store. Make sure you’re stocked on this. Have on hand at least two 40-count newborn diapers. A great way to prep for this is to monitor diapers the last few months of your pregnancy and pick up the diapers when sales hit. Combined with money saving coupons and you can save a good amount of money, as long as you prep accordingly.
On top of the diapers though you’ll need disposable wipes and diaper rash cream/powder, which is easy to forget (or not know about) if this is your first child.
If you’re planning on nursing your baby, have at least four nursing bras and pick up breast pads, as well as lanolin cream. A dozen or so bibs and burp cloths are a must, as well as a nursing pillow. Also make sure you have a breast pump and milk storage containers so you can pump and have milk on hand for those times you can’t directly nurse.
Bringing home your first child is an exciting time. Whether you have people coming in all directions to help or you’re more or less on your own, you can prepare your house ahead of time by investing in these handful of items. Each helps keep your child safe while ensuring you’re ready for life with your baby. Everything else beyond these items may just make things a little bit easier.