While working on setting things up for baby #2 I started realizing the amount of effort and angst that had gone into creating baby room #1 and all the things we worried about, here’s a minimalist list of what I think you need to have in place.
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You can also do baby’s first month with a towel, some swaddling cloth, and breastfeeding, so take this list entirely as what it takes to make everyone’s life easier and non-stinky.
This is a work in progress, if you have any suggestions, comment and I’ll add them.
- Bassinet or rocking sleeper
- Swaddle blanket
- Pacifier – get glow in the dark if you can, you’ll understand why later
- Pacifier tether – while baby can’t throw paci far, you’ll be freaking amazed at how far they’ll travel
- Something cute that makes noise for a long time like a glow-worm. You’ll keep it out of reach, but gives them something to pay attention to.
- Blackout curtains
- Newborn baby bottles
- Formula – I suggest having one pack ready even if you’re breastfeeding – I’d also suggest getting it at Target or Costco as it’s much less expensive.
- Drying rack
If you got a bassinet with a changing table you can probably skip some of this
Get a Costco membership, not Sam’s, you’ll save a fortune. Alternately…
- One pack newborn diapers
- One pack size 1
- If you suspect you’re giving birth to Godzilla, one pack Size 2
- Diaper Genie Elite (after a day of poop, you’ll understand – I hate the product, love the results)
- Diaper Genie refills or compatible refills – I suggest Costco or Sam’s for these as online pricing is pretty pricy
- Wipes – get whatever you like, but be aware some wipes just are meh. I suggest Kirkland wipes from Costco. You’ll get these cheaper in person. Skip Amazon wipes.
Peace of mind
As you’re likely going to be freaking out about SIDs, I’d suggest getting a Snuza Hero. While we haven’t used ours yet, from what we had happen and our experiences with the Angelcare Monitor I’m betting this will work out perfectly.
Also grab a webcam to view your baby from another room. Babies wake up absurdly easily. Some people find it odd to let your baby rest in peace, but imagine you were woken up every time someone wanted to check on you, you’d be a cranky bastard. I’d suggest you look into a Foscam or ComfortCam. Foscams can be found for less quite often by signing up for their newsletter and seeing what’s on sale, they also seem to be performing better than the current ComfortCam systems in my office.
Little stinker’s going to stink pretty quick. While you can hospital wash, you might reach the point you need to soak the poop off. We used this, it worked pretty well.
- diaper rash cream
- soothing teeth stuff (whether the numb gum is in or out this week I don’t know, tablets, gels, etc) none of it will help much nor be needed in month 1 for 90% of babies, but might as well load up
- baby tylenol or similar – you’re going to have a fever at 2-3 weeks and it’s going to be handled easily
- alcohol – the sterilizing kind
- cotton balls – your baby’s belly button is going to need to be cleaned gently for a while. It’ll be nasty.
- Non-cloth sealed clothes hamper or place you can throw soaked or vomited on clothing
- Unscented laundry detergent – you can go full hippy here if you want, but unscented All seemed to work fine, scented Gain seemed to slightly annoy newborn skin but nothing now.
- Extra towels and washcloths. There will be many many incidents. I advise keeping baby off of absorbent furniture or place a very thick towel over it. Babies barf more than you would believe.
- Carpet cleaner / Shout – they do the same thing and are made of the same ingredients, pick what you want. It’ll work.
If you’re breastfeeding and planning on returning to work, grab yourself a pump. You’ll want to start early on so things are going good by daycare time.
What you can pass on in month #1
Newborns don’t move much, you can put off baby proofing everything unless you’ve got an athlete.
Chances of teething at this stage are next to none. You can skip most of the teething stuff.
Get baby a toy or two, but don’t expect them to do things older babies do. They’ll look at something and touch it, but meh. That child’s going to be mostly a lump for month 1.