The Essential Checklist For Your New Baby

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Making sure you have everything you need in the nursery minimizes stress so you can enjoy your little one to the fullest. This list of nursery essentials will help you prepare for your new arrival.

Bedding For Your New Baby

Babies spend many hours sleeping, although they may not sleep during the hours you prefer. Make sure your nursery is safe and comfortable for your newborn with these important items:

  1. Crib and mattress: Safety standards for cribs are frequently updated to give your baby the safest bed possible. For this reason investing in a new crib often makes more sense than giving your baby a treasured heirloom. If you do decide to use a second hand crib, do your homework and make sure it conforms to the latest safety standards.
  2. Crib linens: You'll need at least two sets of crib bedding including sheets, bumpers and blankets at the very least. This way if one set gets wet or soiled, you'll have clean baby bedding available while the dirty bedding is being washed.
  3. Mobile, crib mirrors and safe toys: Provide fun and brain stimulation when your baby wakes up.
  4. Light baby blankets: These are just right for keeping your baby warm and giving her a secure, bundled feeling when you hold her.
  5. Rocking chair: Rock your baby to sleep and spend some quality bonding time together.
  6. Fan: If your baby is having trouble sleeping, the white noise from a fan may be very comforting for her.
  7. Pacifiers: Help keep your baby calm and able to fall asleep in his crib.


Keeping Baby Clean

A good deal of nursery time is spent changing and cleaning your baby. You'll want to have these things handy to make baby's hygiene routines easy and convenient:

  1. Changing table: You can change a diaper anywhere, but having a changing table is much easier on your back. Plus it will have lots of room for your changing supplies so they'll be within arm’s reach when you need them the most.
  2. Diapers: You may be shocked to find your precious new arrival goes through up to 10 diapers in a single day! Start with a supply of 100 newborn diapers or more so you won't have to make a trip to restock for a few weeks.
  3. Diaper pail or garbage: Have a convenient place to throw out disposables or store soiled cloth diapers until your service picks them up/you have time to launder them.
  4. Wipes: Gentle wipes keep your baby super clean and comfortable at changing time. Pick up a generous supply.
  5. Diaper rash ointment: You'll be glad to have this around if your baby develops a painful rash.
  6. Bath Supplies: Some people like to take care of newborn baths in the nursery, right on the changing table. If you're one of these, your nursery will need a small baby tub, washcloths, non-tear baby shampoo and wash, and some soft baby towels.

General Health and Grooming Supplies

Hopefully your baby will always enjoy glowing health. These healthcare supplies will help you maintain baby's health and be prepared to help if he isn't feeling well:

  1. Baby nail clipper or scissors: Keeping your baby's nails trimmed will keep her from scratching (and possibly injuring) herself.
  2. Soft baby brush: Keep baby's hair neat and styled.
  3. Rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs: Keep baby's belly button clean so it can heal without infection.
  4. Thermometer: When your baby isn't feeling well, you'll need to know if he or she has a fever.
  5. Baby acetaminophen: If your baby has a fever and your pediatrician recommends treating it, you'll be glad you don't have to run out to the store.
  6. A medicine dropper: Be prepared to give your baby whatever medicine the doctor recommends.
  7. Baby lotion: Keep your baby's delicate skin hydrated and comfortable.

Your Well Dressed Baby

Everyone needs a wardrobe and babies need lots of extra changes of clothes. You'll probably be surprised how often you have to change your baby's outfit because of diaper leaks or spitting up. These next few nursery essentials make up a starter baby-clothing kit:

  1. Five tee shirts
  2. Five onesies
  3. 10 diaper wraps or plastic pants
  4. 10 pairs of socks
  5. Six to eight pajamas or sleeper gowns with one cold weather sleeper.
  6. Outerwear including a sweater, light jacket or snowsuit, depending on the season
  7. Six to 10 cute baby outfits in newborn and 0-three month sizes.

Feeding Your Baby

Most parents feed their newborns in the nursery, so depending on whether you breast or bottle feed, you'll want to stock your nursery with some of these basic feeding supplies:

  1. Burp cloths
  2. Formula
  3. Bottles with lids and nipples
  4. Breast pump
  5. Mini-fridge to store extra formula and/or pumped breast milk.
  6. Nightlight so you won't stumble and fall during those3:00 AM feedings.

The time spent gathering nursery supplies will really pay off when your baby comes home and you've got everything you need within easy reach. When picking up your nursery essentials, be sure to remember the other items your baby will need for his safety and comfort outside nursery including a car seat, stroller and diaper bag.

Last Updated: July 11, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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