Having a baby can seem overwhelming. What do you really need when baby comes home from the hospital?
Car seat. I went to a baby Expo before Clarissa was born. They said that every car seat on the market has to pass certain standards, so get what you can afford. I will say that we started with Graco Snugride Classic Connect Infant Car Seat, but after a few months, she felt confined and we ended up with Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Car Seat, which she still loves. Also, if you have more than one car, I recommend buying a base for each car. Makes life easier.
During winter our Car Seat Cover was extremely helpful in keeping baby warm during car trips.
Sleepers. A lot of my friends raved about swaddle sacks. Clarissa didn’t like feeling confined. She was also born in August, so it was hot anyway. I really liked footed pajamas with a zipper. Way easier than snaps for middle of the night diaper changes.
Somewhere for baby to sleep. I really like Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper because she could sleep right next to my bed. I could hear her breathe, stir, and cry. Plus, she hated to be on her back and this kept her at an angle. And if she started moving a lot, it would rock her back to sleep. (She seriously slept in this until she was eight months old and figured out how to sit up and roll over in it. I only moved her to the crib because it wasn’t safe anymore.)
A place to feed baby. A friend gave me a Swivel Glider and it works wonderfully. But you can breastfeed or bottle feed from a chair or couch just fine. Find something comfortable for you because you will spend a lot of time there.
Somewhere to change diapers. I have an oldschool changing table from a friend. But you can put a changing pad on a dresser or even on the floor.
A few bottles. Even if you will breastfeed, you will want bottles so that someone else can feed baby while you sleep.
A breast pump. You can read more about the benefits of pumping.
A place for dirty baby laundry
Baby shampoo or body wash. I say or because the ingredients are typically the same!
A friend let me borrow her Portable Swing. Clarissa wanted to be held most of the time. But she could rock in this while I did dishes, made dinner, or took a shower. We have a large dog, and this swing was great because Josie couldn’t knock it over.
Once Clarissa was closer to three months old, she really enjoyed playing in her Baby Einstein Adventure Gym. That was nice because she could either use this or the swing so I could get a few things done around the house.
Socks. Unless it is winter, I would not worry about socks. Clarissa moved her feet so much that they kept coming off and then I was losing them all over the place.
Bibs. Clarissa hated bibs! She would scream when I put them on. In the beginning, I had too much breastmilk and it would spray her face and get on her clothes. But I had plenty of clothes, so I just changed her onesie after a feeding if I needed to. If you want to try bibs, get cloth bibs that snap or velcro. It is hard to tie a bib on a wiggly baby and when you are finished with the bib, you can just throw it in the wash.
Baby towel and wash cloth. You can always use the normal adult ones.
Baby bath tub. We washed Clarissa in a wash basin in the kitchen sink until she outgrew it. Then we moved her to the bathtub in the bathroom.
Baby monitor. If your baby will be sleeping in a different room, you will want a baby monitor. A simple sound monitor will do. It doesn’t need to be fancy.
Stroller. If you plan to be out and about, a stroller will make your life easier. There are so many to choose from. I like Graco LiteRider Classic Connect Stroller because it is light and folds up easily.
Baby carrier. Clarissa did not like the one I have. But the problem may have been the fact that it was summer and so she would get hot easily.
Pacifier. Clarissa randomly took a pacifier at six months and again at ten months. But other babies take them all the time.
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