The following is a list of baby items that may be helpful to have prior to bringing your baby home. You can give the list to friends and family when they ask what you need.
Infant Car Seat
You’ll need a rear-facing car seat to bring your baby home from the hospital. Make sure you know how to install it safely into your car’s backseat. Your baby will not be discharged without the staff first checking the car seat with your baby in it.
- Three to seven undershirts
- Three to eight sleep gowns
- If using cloth diapers, three to four waterproof pants, diaper covers or diaper wraps
- Two to three pairs booties or socks
- Three to six stretchy pajamas with feet for fall or winter
- Two to three stretchy pajamas for spring or summer
- Two to three blanket sleepers for late fall or winter
- Three to six rompers (one-piece, short sleeved, snap-at-the-crotch outfits) for summer
- One to three sweaters; one for summer or three for winter
- One to three hats (For cooler or windy weather be sure the hats cover your baby’s ears. For sunny weather, be sure they have a brim for protection.)
- Six to eight receiving blankets
- Four to five fitted sheets for each crib and bassinet
- Three to six waterproof pads for protection
- Two washable blankets
- Two to three each soft washcloths and towels with hoods
- Twelve square cloth diapers for burp cloths
- Diapers — whether you chose cloth or disposable diapers, your baby will use 60 to 70 diapers per week for the first several weeks. The “newborn” size will probably be outgrown by the time your baby is one month old. Keep this in mind when buying.
- Diaper wipes
- Diaper cream
- Baby shampoo and soap
- Saline nose drops
- Baby bathtub or pad for sink to prevent slipping
- Baby hairbrush or comb
- Baby fingernail clippers or scissors
- Mild laundry soap
- Cotton swabs and/or cotton balls
- Soft cloths or disposable wipes for cleaning after diaper change
Baby First Aid
- Digital or rectal thermometer
- Baby acetaminophen
- Rubbing alcohol, if you’re told to use it for cord care
- Petroleum jelly or other lubricating jelly
- In general, look for items with smooth edges and rounded corners, made with lead-free paint and that won’t tip over.
- Make sure that furnishings have safety restraints, when appropriate.
- Stay away from items with sharp points, loose parts, exposed hinges or springs, or with strings or ribbons.
- Follow directions and frequently check for loose parts and signs of wear.
Here are several of the furnishings that you may need:
Make sure the slats are no further than two inches apart. Crib should not have a drop-down rail.
You’ll want to find a firm crib mattress with pocketed-coil innersprings. The mattress should fit snugly into your crib with no more than two adult finger-widths between crib and mattress.
A changing space, or changing table, may be combined with a chest of drawers for storing your baby’s clothes. Make sure the height is at a comfortable level for you. Make sure it has a safety strap and washable padding. Having storage space within reach for changing supplies is helpful.
A diaper pail is needed if you will be washing your own diapers, or even if you’d like a handy place to put your used, disposable diapers. Be sure the pail is easy to wash and has a tight-fitting lid that your baby can’t pry open when she is older.
Helpful hint: You can use your kitchen sink for baths until your baby outgrows it. This may be easier to use since it’s at a comfortable height and may save you a backache. Be sure to place a washcloth in the bottom of the sink so that your baby doesn’t slip. Cleaning your sink before and after the bath is essential to avoid spreading germs. When your baby is a few months old, you’ll probably need to switch to using a baby tub, but you can hold off on buying it for a while.
Look for the certification seal Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a broad non-tip base, large wheels, good brakes, restraining straps, easy foldability, lightweight, sun and rain shields, hinges that won’t let in wandering fingers, and a comfortable handle height.