Prepping for a new arrival can be overwhelming. The baby care market is a booming industry. With all the stuff on the market, figuring out what’s really needed when bringing home baby can be a challenge for new parents. Fortunately, a baby’s true needs are pretty simple in the first year. Here’s a shortlist of essentials you’ll want to have on hand, for baby, and for mama!
New babies need to be kept comfortably warm, but not too hot. A good rule of thumb is to dress baby in whatever you’re wearing, plus an extra layer. Newborn clothes should be simple, breathable and comfortable. Look for clothing with zippers in instead of snaps to make the undressing and dressing process easier.
- 8 onesies, in a mix of both short and long-sleeved. Look for foldover cuffs on long-sleeved garments, which guard against fingernail scratches while baby learns how to control those tiny hands.
- 5 pairs of pants. Soft, stretchy cotton pants are more comfortable than other fabrics and easier to get on and off.
- Pajamas. 3-5 gowns (for simpler middle-of-the-night diaper changes) and 6-8 one-piece sleepers. Zippered closures save time while diapering, while footed jammies eliminate the need for socks.
- 6-8 pairs of socks
- Soft shoes for extra warmth
- 2-3 sweaters or cardigans for an extra layer that doesn’t add bulk
- Bunting bag or snowsuit for winter babies
- 2 warm hats and 1 hat with a sun brim
Around the House
Newborns don’t need a fully decked-out nursery! A comfy and safe place to sleep is key, along with a few more items that make daily activities (like diaper changing) just a little bit easier.
- Somewhere safe to sleep. Depending on your preference and your space, this could be a bassinet, crib, co-sleeper or Moses basket. Make sure that all spaces intended for sleep meet up-to-date safety specifications.
- Change of sheets for baby’s sleeping space
- Baby monitor
- Swaddling blankets. Look for oversized, lightweight muslin blankets that can double as an extra nursing cover.
- 1-2 sleep sacks or sleep swaddlers
- 1-2 lightweight, easily washable blankets for extra warmth as needed
Whether you use cloth, hybrid or disposables, diapers are one thing you don’t want to run short on! Plan to go through around 10-12 diapers per 24 hours in the first month, and 6-8 diapers per day until about six months of age. That’s around 2,200 diapers in the first year of life!
- A 2-3 week supply of diapers; multiple sizes may be needed
- Disposable or reusable diaper wipes. When choosing disposable, look for chemical-free brands that are easier on baby’s skin.
- Diaper changing pad with 1-2 removable, washable covers
- Diaper pail if using disposable diapers
- 2-3 wet bags if using cloth diapers
- Diaper cream
- Diaper bag
- Portable changing pad
Bathing and Health Care
Bathtime can be fun and not frustrating with the right supplies! When it comes to body care products, keep it simple. Baby’s skin is sensitive, and most often, nothing more than water is required.
- Infant tub for safer bathing
- 3-5 washcloths
- 1-2 infant towels
- Infant nail clippers
- Soft-bristle hairbrush
- Infant Tylenol
Whether from the breast or from the bottle, feeding takes center stage in the early days! Breastfeeding mamas won’t need too many supplies, but there are a few items recommended to make nursing more comfortable.
- Breast pads (disposable or reusable)
- 3-4 nursing bras, including 1-2 comfortable bras for overnight wear
- Nursing cover if desired
- Nursing pillow
- Extra cover for nursing pillow
- Lanolin or another natural nipple cream
- Breast pump and accessories
- Freezer bags if using
If Bottle Feeding
- 4-12 bottles, beginning with 4 oz. size
- Infant formula if using
- Electric bottle warmer if desired
For All Methods of Feeding
- 2-3 pacifiers
- 10-12 burp cloths
- High chair
Getting baby home from the hospital is just the first step in getting around! Here’s what you need to step out on the town with baby. Most items, excluding car seats, are easily found secondhand if you’re looking to save money.
- Infant car seat
- Hands-free baby carrier, if desired. There are many different options when it comes to babywearing, and you might want to try a few to find your best fit. Check Toycycle often for pre-owned carriers at great prices.
- Travel high chair, if desired
While not necessarily essential, some items are designed to give tired parents a break. You won’t need all of the items on this list, but it’s worth trying different options to see what pleases baby the most. Big-ticket items can be expensive; purchasing second hand through baby and kids consignment shops is a great way to save cash while you find what works. Don’t forget about a few toys to engage baby! Now is also a great time to begin your library of children’s books! Studies show that children who are read to often have a richer vocabulary by age two than children who aren’t.
- Vibrating chair or bouncer
- Baby swing
- Floor gym for tummy time
- Baby seat
- Baby toys
- Baby books
Browse for all of these essentials in Toycycle’s kids and baby consignment store. We’re here to save you money, and to bring a bit more sustainability to caring for your baby.