what essentials do I need for baby?

Well, it’s less than one month till my due date, which means that I may officially be kicking it into panic mode. There’s still so much that I want done around the house, and I’ve refused to let myself buy any baby supplies until the house and baby room are completely in order. So seriously, I’d better get things in order fast.

Part of the stress of being a first-time mom is just feeling overwhelmed by a new responsibility. I’m going to have to care for this infant, and I really don’t know the first thing about babies or infant care. Last week, a friend offered me her favorite brand of butt paste, which was really nice of her. But then I went running to Mike and said, “Butt paste! I haven’t even thought about butt paste! I don’t know when or why to use butt paste! How am I going to care for this baby?” And then Mike, because he’s a perfect husband, reminded me that I didn’t know the first thing about gestational diabetes, but as soon as I found out I had it, I learned quickly what it was and how to manage it. He assured me that having a baby will be just like that. And that successfully calmed me down.

And of course, my mom will be in town and my mother-in-law will be really close and always available to help, too. Thank goodness for that!

But since I really don’t know the first thing about what to expect, I need to rely on lists of baby essentials that I’ve found on the internet. Here are a few links that I’ve found helpful in creating my to-buy list. Are there items on these lists that you’d skip? Some that you’d strongly recommend NOT skipping? Or are there some secret weapons that you have found that aren’t even mentioned on these lists? I’d love any help or input that you have!


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  1. --r :

    this is terrific! i’m also counting down to my first and have yet to buy more than one pair of pj’s and a nightlight. clearly a checklist of some kind is in order!

  2. Sara Christine :

    Here is one tip:
    Buy TWO crib sheet protectors and crib sheets. Why?? Because you can do this with your child’s sheets-crib protector,sheet, crib protector,sheet. Because those late night blow outs or throw ups you can strip one set of sheets and you have another set! I tell ALL new moms this.

  3. Jenny :

    I couldn’t figure out why they wanted you to get alcohol pads. Then I remembered maybe for a belly button. You can just have your pediatrician give you a fistful if your babe needs them, cause like you’re ever going to use them after that.

    You can’t give a kid motrin until they are like a few months old, so I’d hold off on that. It’s much more exciting to go buy it at 2am from WalMart in pjs.

    Also, I had these crib quilted pads that were a small square that I laid on top of the sheet so when my daughter barfed I didn’t have to change the whole sheet, I just tossed the little pad in the laundry.

    You can survive without a nightlight if you don’t have one. Lamps and hall lights do the job.

    If you have a snotty or crusty nose baby, the little noses saline drops are fabulous.

  4. Noelle :

    a humidifier. it is a winter babies must have. often times their little noses seem stopped up but it is usually that they are so dry they get all swollen and crusty in there. just have the humidifier on in their room all day, all night.
    another must have? http://www.familydoctor.org . they spell everything out in layman’s terms.
    another factoid: most babies will have atleast 6 cold throughout their first year and with each cold running a few weeks, that’s a lot of running noses. so that ladies saline drops are a must and one of those nose sucker bulbs. make sure it has a small enough end to really get up there. :) they LOVE that. ha ha.

  5. KJ :

    don’t need: a wipes warmer or fancy bottle warmer. You won’t need baby food and related items until 5 or 6 months of age. Do need: vaseline (for his little parts), lots of onesies to get you through a few months, cozy sleepers/PJs with feet. The kind with fold-over mitts on the sleeves help if your babe is a scratcher with his fingernails. Plenty of burp cloths and receiving blankets. Extra crib/bassinet sheets and waterproof pads (they come in 2-packs at Target). And the butt paste: for diaper rash, which happens. We put it on baby’s bum every night at bedtime and in 2 years, only 2 or 3 rashes that went away in a day with Desitin. I also recommend a mesh lingerie laundry bag for laundering tiny baby things so they don’t get lost. And Dreft laundry soap is great for baby stains.

  6. Jennie :

    I second the recommendation for the humidifier, and depending on where you deliver you may be able to get a cheapo one for free from the hospital. I delivered at UVRMC, and they gave us one for free.

    Speaking of free things from the hospital, be sure to take advantage of whatever they have to give you. We walked away with two free diaper bags filled with random free samples, a humidifier, a long-sleeved onesie and a hat (though I’m not sure they meant for us to leave with those), a soft hair brush (you know the rectangle kind with a sponge on one side), a suction nose thingy, a nipple shield, and several other little samples that helped me decide what brands to purchase in the future.

  7. Hanna :

    I have 2 thoughts…if baby’s nursery is kind of small, I would skip the changing table. We put a changing pad on our daughter’s dresser and a basket with diapers, wipes, etc. next to it. I loved that because once she outgrew the changing pad, I was able to have a dresser to adorn with knick knacks.

    Also, make sure you have your car seat installed professionally (by a police officer or fireman that is certified.) They can teach you how to do it, but a staggering 80 % of car seats are not put in correctly.

    Congratulations! Enjoy every minute…it goes so fast!

  8. the emily :

    I would strongly recommend investing in oxyclean. It gets poop and spit up stains out amazingly well. If you’re nursing, I would recommend renting a good medela pump (or purchasing if you have the cash and plan on having more kids) and make sure to wear a soft bra at night. And Lansinoh nursing pads. The BEST. I would also get some fingernail clippers, tiny ones, ’cause those baby nails HURT.

    And in response to Hanna, you can call your local health department and have a car seat technician install it for you–that’s part of what my husband did for the SLC health department for 5 years.

  9. ashley marie :

    Dreft is a waste of money. I would just use normal detergent unless you notice your baby having an abnormal rash that you think may be from the detergent you use. I just use the costco brand detergent and both my kids are fine, and one even has pretty sensitive skin. Secondly, the comment above says to buy oxyclean but it doesn’t work NEARLY as well as Shout Advanced (it’s in a tiny blue squirt bottle). It is absolutely amazing and has gotten out stains that oxyclean, regular shout spray, spray ‘n wash, etc. haven’t. Seriously, buy it today