Two months before my due date, I decided to start building our baby registry. I was already in panic mode by then, because in the event we had the baby earlier than planned, we had nothing but a crib with a mattress and a changing table.
Adding stuff to the registry was overwhelming, even if I had a couple checklists pulled from the Internet to guide me. It’s crazy how a little tiny person can need so many things! After about a week of headaches trying to figure out what I thought we needed, I finally completed the registry and after a couple baby showers, we were all set. Or so I thought.
Now, two months after having our baby, I realize that most of what we had were good to have after baby is a few months old, and had it not been for my dear co-worker’s “Basket of Love,” we wouldn’t have had what we needed for baby’s first two weeks.
So I made a checklist of what I consider the absolute necessities:
Baby’s Clothes and Nursery:
- Side-snap shirts. The long-sleeved ones are particularly helpful because the cuffs fold out to serve as baby’s mittens, so it buys you a little more time before cutting those teeny-weeny nails. They’re sold by Gerber as preemie wear, although it can probably fit a 7-lb baby.
- Clothes in NEWBORN size. I’m putting this here, too, in case I’m not the only stupid new mom who didn’t know that size 0-3 months wasn’t the smallest size in baby clothes.
- A dozen burp cloths or cloth diapers (to serve as burp cloths) MINIMUM, unless you want to do laundry everyday.
- About 4-5 receiving blankets. I like the stretchy ones (Gerber thermal) and the big ones for swaddling baby. The regular blankets couldn’t hold up to our swaddling escape artist.
- About 6 pairs of socks to keep baby’s feet warm.
- A hat for baby’s trip to his 4-day checkup, especially if it’s chilly in your area.
- About 6 pairs of mittens. Babies’ little nails are surprisingly very sharp. Mittens do a good job of protecting them from scratching their delicate faces.
- A couple packs of size 0 or N diapers. We’re lucky, the hospital gave us a few packs. Otherwise, we would’ve had to run to the store before going home from the hospital.
- Soft paper towels cut up into baby-wipes size, or sensitive baby wipes
- Cotton balls for baby’s face and diaper area if you don’t want to use paper towels or baby wipes
- Diaper cream to prevent diaper rash
- Petroleum jelly for baby boys, if baby has been circumcised. This prevents the diaper from sticking to him.
- Cotton swabs to clean between baby’s fingers and toes
- Alcohol for baby’s stump
- Baby wash. However, I switched to Dove Sensitive because my baby developed eczema when he was about 2 weeks old. Apparently, my baby needed more moisturizing.
- A dozen wash cloths. This can also serve as a little towel to wipe baby’s butt dry after a nice wash in running warm water.
- A few hooded towels
- Some small bowls/containers to hold his warm water for sponge baths
- Speaking of baths, until baby’s stump has fallen off (when he is 1-2 weeks old), a sponge bath is all he will really need. So that infant tub you now have? Find a place to keep it until baby is stump-free.
- Baby nail clippers/rounded scissors. I got mine from a set of Safety 1st grooming items. You’re gonna have to attempt to clip his nails sooner than later. Mittens can only do so much.
- Bulb syringe. You’d be surprised how much gunk baby can produce in that tiny nose. Speaking of gunk…
- Baby saline nasal spray to help moisturize nasal passages and clear congestion. This is very helpful when you start hearing baby snorting.
- A post-partum band or underwear. It helps tuck in the “mommy fluff.” I have yet to get the tummy-control underwear, but the post-partum band is available in most baby stores.
- An electric pump. I had no idea I would need to use it on day 4 and my husband had to run to the store to get me the Medela Swing before I died of engorgement.
- Breast milk containers
- Nursing bras and breast pads. This comforts and helps protect sore nipples, aside from absorbing leaks.
- A digital clock to time baby’s feedings per breast during the first 2 weeks.
And if you plan to breastfeed:
Last but not the least: a little planning and organization, to help you remember where you put all of these. With the mom-nesia you might have after birth, believe me, you'll be needing this.