Newborn Baby Essentials

Every year brings new babies and it’s always a joy to hear of a friend’s exciting news of expectation. With that comes a sense of panic in terms of what’s needed to get ready. I tried not to think to much or read too much in my pregnancy. Information overload leads to stress and who needs stress? I read that some people can spend $10,000 preparing and buying for that first year of having a baby. That’s ridiculous. I asked Ms PR how much they spent and she estimates a couple thousand dollars tops. Most of it was formula and diaper costs. That’s still a lot of money, but it was more reasonable. Our goal was to spend as little as possible. I guess we’re not the sentimental “our firstborn needs to have everything new” types. Nothing wrong with that. We’re just not like that.

So…what’s kind of the minimum you’ll need for at least the first couple months? Here’s my list:

  1. Car seat: Need this to bring the baby home so it’s a top item to buy ahead of time. I like travel systems because you can move baby from house to stroller or car without disturbing the baby. We liked the britax system. The Graco is decent too. I think those are quality midrange ones. Prices just go up from there. Car seats have expiry dates so if you buy second hand (which we did), make sure you have a few years on there in case you’re planning a second. Car seats also have to be bought in Canada and have the Canadian Safety Inspection seal sticker on it.
  2. Crib: Need this for baby to sleep in. Though I would’ve been ok letting my newborn sleep in a lined box for the first week or two. Their needs are very basic at the beginning. You need to buy the mattress separately for the crib. We were given a crib and mattress. Hurrah! Also, get
  • 2 crib sheets – so you can rotate while one’s in the wash. I also line the top with a flannel swaddle cloth so that burp-ups can be taken away quickly.
  • 2 waterproof mattress pads – or at the hospital, grab those liners that look like puppy training pads. We’ve never needed them. But in case your baby is a prolific poo-up-the-back type, it could be handy.
  • 2 light blankets – though, initially you’ll be swaddling the baby to sleep and then wrapping the baby in the blanket. When they don’t take the swaddle anymore, use sleep sacks.
  1. Diaper related stuff: Pampers swaddlers were great at the start. There’s a yellow strip down the middle that tell you if baby has wet the diaper. Good to keep track in the beginning. Superstore always has sales. We considered cloth diapers for a bit but the sticker shock to get things going stopped us. And I didn’t want to do more laundry than necessary.
  • Baby wipes – Go unscented in case of sensitivities. I bought the box from Costco. But I rarely use. At home I use a little cloth and warm water to wipe. Or I might use the wipes to get the gooey stuff off first and then finish with the warm cloth. That’s the least chemicals on baby’s skin. I save the wipes for going out.
  • Changing pad – I initially just used a folded towel….it wasn’t until a few months later we bought a “real” changing pad…and with a gift certificate so we didn’t really “buy” it.
  • Diaper bag – We bought the Columbia brand one…light weight, lots of pockets. HopSkip one looks fashionable but it’s a heavier bag. These also usually comes with a portable change pad.
  • Diaper rash cream – Zincofax or Penatin (sp?). It’s great on any rash, not just diaper area.
  1. Baby’s clothes: You’ll get a lot usually…but having a couple newborn size ones are good because ppl usually gift slightly larger. (Nessa outgrew hers in 3ish weeks)
  • 7 onesies (0-3 months)
  • 7 sleepers (0-3 months)
  • 1 snow suit ( buy if the baby is born during the winter months )
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 3 pair of mittens to prevent scratching
  • 2 hats
  • 4 receiving blankets to cover your newborn baby
  • 2 thickish blankets
  • 2 bibs
  • dozen wash cloths – different colors is good so then if you’re OCD you can color code what clothes are used with what. For me: blue/grey – bum, yellow – bath, patterned – feeding/food related, white – face.
  1. Bath items:
  • Bath tub – your sink is sufficient for the first couple months, then we used a rubbermaid tub. That way you don’t have to fill the whole bathtub and when we travel we just pack her stuff in it. Then we also don’t have to buy and bring around another tub.
  • Buy packaged bath kits that contain many acessories like thermometer, comb, scissors, nail clippers – We didn’t buy one because we had most of these items kicking around. But it could be handy to have it all in a kit.
  • Shampoo – I personally like Johnson and Johnson’s head to toe tear free baby shampoo to bath the baby.
  • Baby lotion/oil – natural organic stuff since baby can easily get it in their mouths
  • Towel – Lots of variety out there. Wash before use of course.
  • New born first aid kit – I don’t have one…but this could be useful
  • Aspirator – like the Hydrasense kit. Lets you suck snot out of baby’s nose so they can feed/sleep better. Really useful if baby catches a cold.
  1. Breast feeding equipment
  • Breast pump – See if you can borrow one for a bit before investing in one. Because maybe pumping isn’t even your thing and they’re expensive. I did buy the Medela Swing but only used it for a few months because Nessness stopped taking the bottle.
  • Nursing bras if you are breast feeding – Thyme Maternity is decent but I hear there are high end ones in specialty stores that really take care of your girls. I didn’t want to invest.
  • Breast pads – I liked the Avent brand.
  • Nipple cream – Lansinoh is really nice. Use it after EVERY SINGLE FEED…until it doesn’t hurt any more (like after 5 months).
  1. Bottle feeding items – Wait to see if you need this…like in case breastfeeding doesn’t work for you or if baby is super hungry, your milk hasn’t fully come in, and you need to supplement. (This might happen to you…I felt really really guilty, like I wasn’t trying hard enough to feed my own child, but it’s ok…supplimenting is ok and doesn’t reflect on you!)

    Sign up for those freebies with Enfamil, Nestle, Similac…you get a lot of free infant suppliment formula for those early days. Those come in liquid form that you put a nipple on so you don’t even need to buy your own stuff until you figure out how you roll.

  • 6 bottles and sterilizing equipment
  • 1 bottle brush
  • 1 bottle warmer – not really necessary…I warmed the bottle in a mug of hot water.
  1. Medicines:
  • Infant tylenol – for fever (you may need it when the baby gets immunization shots, or for teething)
  • Ovol or gripe water for gas relief
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