The pregnancy is going by pretty fast, now that we are in the third trimester and I have finally gotten around to getting most of the things we needed in preparation of the arrival of our baby. I’m talking about purchasing the essential baby items that we’ll need. At 31 weeks pregnant, we both are starting to feel more prepared for the moment when we take our baby home using this baby checklist that I created.
Although we are super nervous, we feel a little better knowing we have everything sorted for her when she we take her home so we can focus on taking care of her instead of running around like headless chickens buying things out of emotional guilt and stress later on.
Now if you are pregnant at the moment, you can often feel overwhelmed with what you need to get for your newborn baby. I know when I was reading about what to get for the newborn baby, there was like 100 things to get and I felt completely overwhelmed and stressed out. But when I really went through the list, I found that I really didn’t need everything that was on there. I realized much like the wedding industry, the baby industry markets a lot of items as ‘must-haves’, when simply put they are not.
Baby Checklist of the top 10 Essential Baby Items
These are the essential baby items that I think are needed. There are of course so many additional things you can buy but if you really just want to get the basics and must-haves, here it is. Keep in mind that there may be more things you need to get along the way but for the most part, these will get you sorted for the first few weeks or at least the first month.
1. Crib with changing table
There are plenty of cribs on the market and trying to figure out what is best or what works for you can take lots of time researching. For us, we knew we wanted something that covers these three things:
– Safety: Our biggest concern when finding a crib was to make sure it was 100% safe for our daughter. As we intended her to sleep in crib, we wanted to make sure that we could reduce the risk of SIDS and just make her rest more pleasant. We checked international standards online and selected a brand that was internationally known to have passed certain requirements and regulations.
– Functional and lightweight: Although we have a room just for our baby, we wanted the option of having the crib in our bedroom for at least the first 6 months. As she gets older and transitions to a children’s bed, we wanted to be able to save space. Therefore, we wanted it to be collapse and fold in a smaller, more compact size that we could easily store.
– Changing Table: We didn’t want to purchase a changing table as an additional piece to the nursery. Apart from the additional costs, it also will take up a lot more room.
We ended up purchasing a crib that came with a changing table that can be removed. It weighs about 12kg in total and can be used for our baby up until she is 3 years old. The crib can also be converted into a play pen and lowered as she gets older.
Along with the crib is getting a good quality mattress. We ended up purchasing a spring mattress that was an international brand. As safety was a biggest concern, we wanted to make sure we did research to find a suitable mattress. For me, I tried looking for one that was produced with more natural or organic materials. The reason for this was to ensure our baby was not breathing anything too nasty or anything chemical based.
We also tried to find one that had more of a waterproof surface at least on one side. This just helps keep the mattress more clean from any nappy explosions, vomiting incidents and spit ups. Not to mention it will make the mattress last longer, avoiding the problem of having to buy a new mattress in a year or so.
3. Baby Pillow
I read a lot about flat head syndrome and how to prevent this from happening. Basically, a baby’s skull is super soft and can be easily flatten at the back if your baby is sleeping on it’s back for several hours every day.
Using a pillow that is not only breathable but also suited to prevent flat head syndrome. We ended up buying one from a Korean brand called Borny. They make super cute designs, the pillows are breathable and will absorb liquid in case your baby spits up or vomits while resting and has a round
When it comes to clothes, we can easily get carried away with buying too much. Since knew we would get lots of donations of used clothes from family as well as new clothes as gifts, we wanted to only get essential pieces for her. This came down to buying the following:
– 2 Swaddle Blankets (Used from the moment we take her home from the medical center)
– 2 pairs of mittens (to avoid her from scratching her face)
– 8 onesies (we ended up getting ones that are lighter due to the heat here in Taiwan.)
– 4 bibs (used during feeding times for spit ups, vomits and drool)
You may need more clothes depending on how many times you are willing to do a wash and whether you’ll be getting items from a baby shower or from friends and family. We didn’t want to get too much also because we weren’t sure what size to get. I’ve heard many times from other mothers who bought newborn sized clothing only to find their babies were too big for them.
5. Bottles and Nipple Cream
I know I am kinda cheating by adding two items as one item, but you may need one or the other. As we plan to solely breastfeed our baby, we purchased nipple cream to help with the bleeding and pain. I recommend getting the Lansinoh nipple cream as this is pretty much a cult favorite for mothers and a true life saver if you plan to only breastfeed.
We also bought 2 bottles in order to store breast milk and feed her on the go. Since we are often out and about, we thought it would be ideal to have some expressed milk on hand in case she gets hungry and there wasn’t a breastfeeding room nearby. It also meant that my husband would be able to feed her some of the time, making it easier for me to rest and have a break when needed.
6. Nappies, baby wipes and hand sanitizer
To start off with, we purchased a 3 packs of newborn sized nappies. The nurse advised us that we may use about 1 pack of 36 nappies a week, depending on whether or not we are feeding her formula or breast milk. Every baby is different and I’ve read that some babies can go on for 2 weeks without making a poop, while others require 12 nappy changes per day.
We also purchased 3 packs of baby wipes and a big bottle of hand sanitizer to put near the changing table. From our travels, hand sanitizer is so handy to have as it removes the step of running to the vanity to wash your hands. It’s a quick way to keep clean and sterilized when handling your baby, particularly for those tired late nights.
A pram is super helpful not only if you are going out with your baby but also if you want the option to rock your baby to sleep at night and have her closer to the bed. You may also need to get a car seat or a pram that can be converted into a car seat. We don’t have a car and are not planning to get one in the future. So a pram was much suited for our needs.
We purchased the lightweight pram from Joie, a UK brand here in Taiwan. I found out about the brand when we were in the large shopping mall near our apartment. The customer service staff rent Joie prams for free to parents and I thought it must be a good and reliable brand. I then went home and did further research, which confirmed what I had originally thought of the brand. We were lucky enough to find it on sale costing less than $100AUD. We wanted a lightweight pram as we plan on using it while traveling overseas and prefer something that was robust but also practical for travel.
7. Rash Cream
I use to think baby powder was the way to go but after having a quick consultation at the medical center, I found out that baby rash cream is much more easier and does the trick. We didn’t have to purchase this as the medical center gave us a small bundle of things to take home and rash cream was included. But it is differently an item that you’ll need lots of and something that we plan to buy a bigger tube of later down the track.
9. Bath Towels
In researching about bathing our daughter, we came to the conclusion that not much is needed to give your newborn baby a bath. All you really need are 1 to 2 bath towels and you are good to go. We did see baby bathtubs available at the store but found them to be too big for a newborn. Just thinking about it, it would be a little stressful for us trying to bathe her there and too dangerous as well since she would be fragile and little.
Instead, we read online that you can give newborn babies baths on their changing table by simply removing all their clothes and wiping them clean with a bath towel and warm water. This will help the baby feel safe and comfortable at all times. Using warm water only is recommended, particularly for newborns as their skin can be sensitive and may gt irritated by the soap.
10. Nappy Bin
Now there are specific nappy bins available but I found that this is way more expensive and a normal bin will do just fine. Select one with a lid and an easy to use pedal to make changing nappies more easier. If you are storing your bin near the changing table, make sure the bin has a good lid on it to avoid any odor from creeping out and smelling up the room!
In consideration of how cheap it is to buy a normal bin than a nappy bin, you could easily buy one now and buy a new one a few months later if you feel the need to. Also emptying the bin daily will help reduce or eliminate the smell.
There are probably a few more items that you could add to the list but honestly, we found that these really were the essential baby items to get us started. At the end of the day, buy what you think you will need and use this baby checklist as a guideline. As new parents, we weren’t too concerned about the costs but we did take the time to find sales and the best price for the essential baby items listed in this post. We also didn’t want to purchase things we wouldn’t ever use, or buy items we felt we wanted because other people told us to get etc. I hope this list helps any mom to be feel more ready. Good luck ladies!