Stuff we need to get before our baby is born?

What baby gear will we need to get before our baby is born? She’s due 8/13.

I know we need:

Diapers (we’re planning to use disposables)
Wipes and diaper rash cream
A car seat (I know they probably won’t even let us bring the baby home from the hospital without this)
Somewhere for the baby to sleep (I want to get a bedside co-sleeper, and a crib for when the baby outgrows that)
Something to bathe the baby in
Changing table

We’re planning to breast-feed, so bottles shouldn’t be necessary. Or should we get some anyway?

What size of diapers and clothes should we be getting?

I want to get a baby carrier. I’ve heard good things about the Ergo Baby carrier, and that Baby Bjorn is hard on your back. When can I start carrying the baby in a carrier?

How do baby sizes really work, anyway? I know they are by age, but I also know that my niece was always wearing sizes larger than her actual age (she was almost 10 lbs at birth. I’m hoping our baby is not that big, but I know it does happen).

At my last ultrasound, last week, they said the baby was about 3 lbs 14 oz. I assume that means she’ll be at least that big when she’s born. Babies can’t lose weight in utero, can they?

Any recommendations or things to avoid on any of these things?

Since you’re expecting in August, the baby will probably live in onesies (those undershirts that snap under the crotch) and one-piece jumpsuits (with feet if you can, the little socks tend to fall off easily). You need a bunch of these as you will be changing baby more than once a day (they do tend to get drooled, spit-upped, peed, and pooped-on at various places and times). Target or Kmart are great for these, you don’t need to spend a fortune on stuff that’s going to get stained, and they grow out of them in a few weeks anyway.

Some baby washcloths and towels, much easier to handle than normal washcloths and towels.

A few cheap bibs, again to protect clothes from drool and spit-up (easier to change a bib than the whole outfit)

Even though you are using disposable diapers, pick up one package of cloth diapers. They make great spit-up rags, easy to throw over your shoulder or wipe baby’s mouth, then toss into the wash, and they are soft.

Thin receiving blankets (cheap ones) are great to put down under baby when you’re changing diapers away from home (changing tables in stores can be nasty)

Unless your baby is exceptionally big or small at birth, start with newborn size diapers - they were big even on my 7-pounder.

Baby sizes run APPROXIMATELY by age, but I always tended to buy a little bigger so they’d fit longer. You can always turn back the cuffs when they’re little.

You’ve definitely got a good start. Babies actually require very little, it’s their parents who need stuff. :wink:

My daughter was 9 lb 6 oz at birth. I think we used 1-2 packages of newborn diapers before just going to size 1. The only benefit to the newborns it that some have a notch cut out for the umbilical cord.

I’d get some bottles just in case. Will you be working and sending the baby to daycare? If so, you’ll want to get the baby used to taking a bottle beforehand, and also pumping some. You may want to get a pump anyway to help build up your supply and create a stash in case you’re away from the baby.

I didn’t really use a baby carrier until my daughter was four months old or so. I primarily used a ring sling. I can still use it with her, and she’s about 25 pounds now.

As with diapers, you’ll only use newborn clothes for a very short time. A few newborn sleepers will suffice. I loved infant gowns for the first couple of months. My daughter, being a larger baby, only wore newborn things for about week, then moved up to 0-3 months. She grew out of that size pretty quickly, too, but was in 3-6 for a while. It just all depends on the baby, really. My daughter always outgrew stuff in length before width. Still, I wouldn’t buy a whole wardrobe of newborn stuff. As they age they don’t grow out of stuff quite as fast. My daughter can actually still wear some of the 12-month stuff from last year and she is 20 months old (she normally wears 12-18 or 18-24 month stuff).

One thing you didn’t mention was a diaper bag. You don’t need to spend a ton on one, but they are nice to have.

The Ergo isn’t okay for newborns unless you get the infant insert, but is otherwise an awesome carrier. I use the Bjorn when they’re tiny or I need to be able to get them in and out easily- the Ergo is harder to do up and undo.

Most baby clothing is sized both by age and weight. Newborn is 6-10lbsish. I’d go with newborn diapers but not a lot until you know how big your baby is. Most of mine were in bigger diapers by the third week.
I don’t think a changing table is necessary, but changing pads are a great thing. You’ll probably change the baby wherever you happen to be, and changing supplies and mats in a couple of areas make it easier.

Baby clothes with zippers are easier than snaps when you haven’t had any sleep in a week. Hard to find, but much easier.

Diapers: the hospital will almost certainly provide size N (newborn) diapers. Your little squirt won’t stay in them for long. I’d have one pack of N and one of size 1 diapers at home, and buy more as needed. You know you need a bigger size when the baby starts having blowouts.

Baby carriers are mostly rated for babies 8 pounds and up, so you’ll probably be good to go within a week or two. I never had luck with them, my back is too weak.

I would buy size 3 month clothes right from the start. Newborns grow astonishingly fast and there is a good chance that your baby may NEVER fit into Newborn clothes. If you have in-home laundry you only need about 6 outfits. The gowns that cinch at the bottom with elastic make for the easiest midnight changes. Most babies, it seems, do wear larger clothes than their age-size, but I think half the time it’s because it’s just easier to get those clothes on and off of them.

Any large box will do for a baby sleeper at the beginning. I put my daughter in a quilt-lined cardboard boot box on the bed with me in the first week. Empty drawers are good too. If you wanna be spendy, go for a Moses basket or similar.

You will want something to put the baby down in. Bouncy seats are great–comfy from the start and a lot of fun for them when they begin to kick their legs. Something like this.

Now, ABOUT BOTTLES. I tried to breastfeed, and it was the worst two weeks of my life, and then I got mastitis and gave up, and then my daughter began to thrive. Now I have strong opinions about it, so there’s my background.

*You should have some formula and a bottle in the house, period. *People who say you shouldn’t are more interested in the abstract ideal of breastfeeding than in the health and well-being of you and your baby. I suggest you start out with the little two-ounce ready-feed bottles for emergencies; it’s cheaper than buying both formula and real bottles, if it turns out you won’t need them.

Only one other must-have comes to mind, and that’s a SwaddleMe. They come in fleece for winter and cotton jersey for summer. We tried swaddling with blankets, and at two weeks old our daughter broke out of it and the blanket ended up* around her head*. Don’t use blankets. Use a swaddler.

Get 20 white onesies and 5 sets of feety pajamas, both in size 3 months and you’ll be golden.

Oh, and a rocking chair.

How long do those keep for? If I bought some now, would they still be good when the baby is born?

I don’t think my niece Hazel (the near-10-pounder) ever did. I have heard that all babies grow out of clothes really fast at first, so I don’t want to spend a ton of money on newborn clothes.

When can I start putting her in a bouncy seat? Do I have to wait till she can hold up her head, or anything like that?

Also, do they make bouncy seats in adult sizes? They look like fun.

Do they sleep in the swaddler, do they wear regular pajamas underneath it, or what?

I know not to put blankets, stuffed animals, or crib bumpers in the baby’s sleeping area.

The little 2-ounce ready feed bottles are shelf-stable for a long time. I think they would be fine if you bought them now… but they’re available at every drugstore and grocery store, so it’s fine to wait :slight_smile:

Babies can go in the bouncy seats right from the start. The seats recline so much that their heads and necks are amply supported. They’re much better for the baby than being in a car seat… which is what we put our daughter in for the first few days, till we discovered bouncies.

Yes, they sleep in the swaddler. You’ll have to gauge how warm the baby needs to be based on time of year, your thermostat settings etc. If it’s really cold you’ll put the baby in jammies, then the swaddler, and zip a sleep sack over it just for good measure. In the heat, a onesie and the jersey swaddler or just the swaddler is fine for sleeping.

I suggest getting Lansinoh or a similar product for your nipples. Breastfeeding was really painful for me for a while and that helped a lot. Oh, and at least one nursing bra and cloth or disposable absorbent nursing pads.

A pediatrician. Then talk to your pediatrician about what to have on hand for a newborn. Its changed a lot since my teenagers were babies and we gave them all sorts of stuff that apparently should have killed them. But whatever it is, you don’t want to be running to Walgreens at 2am when you need it.

Expect lots of things to show up when baby is born - blankets, onsies, all that “stuff” So don’t go overboard on the stuff until you know what doesn’t appear.

I agree with Sattua on the bottles. I did manage to breastfeed my daughter eventually, but the fact that my son was a bottlefed kid and we had bottles and formula in the house was sanity saving when my milk didn’t come in for a week, she wouldn’t latch, and I had PPD.

Make sure you have the heavy duty overnight feminine pads in the house. They are something many husbands dislike buying and you won’t want to go out for them. And there will be a week of “bleed like a stuck pig” days.

Our hospital actually sent us home with a bunch of those two-ounce bottles because we were having trouble with breastfeeding.

And the bouncy seat is definitely great. I used to plop my daughter in it when I needed to shower or pee or whatever.

One thing I forgot before: a boppy or similar u-shaped pillow. They’re great for breastfeeding and we often used it to prop my daughter up in. It’s nice for tummy time, too. (never leave baby in unattended, blah, blah)

A changing pad wouldn’t be a bad idea as an addition, or possibly even a replacement, for the changing table. The table’s main advantages are that you do changes standing up and it comes with storage space for changing gear. The flip side is that it’s not portable, it occupies a footprint in some room of your house, and it’s more expensive. We got by just fine with a couple of changing pads. The pad can also double as a portable sleeper- it was our first baby’s preferred option for a while. If you do get a pad, get a backup cover or two- they have a tendency to get gross on a regular basis.

It’s not like you’ll need a stroller the day you’re back from the hospital or anything, but given the various types with various features available, it may be something you’ll want to put a little thought or research into. This may be easier to do now than when you’re exhausted/busy/hormonal/strung out from new mom-hood. While you don’t need the stroller itself before the baby’s born, at least having an idea of what you want might be helpful.

If they don’t make adult-sized bouncy seats, they absolutely should.

Mr. Neville is really good at researching stuff in Consumer Reports and comparison shopping for them. Researching strollers is a job for him.

Or just buy a package of Depends. I ended up with a C-section, and they were a godsend because the high waists didn’t press on my incision, the way all my panties did. I had bought a 20-pack in preparation and just used it up–by that time I’d bought some granny panties to wear instead.

While we’re talking about embarrassing stuff, I also bought one of those absorbent, water-blocking bed pads. I put it on my side of the bed in the last couple weeks in case my water broke in the night. After Mimi was born, I would put her on it for Naked Baby Time. It was definitely worth the $20 purchase price.

I was just coming in here to say this. Other than this, I think you’ve got all the basics covered.

You need to get some sleep.

Seriously, you are going to only have vague, fond, memories of a full night’s sleep for quite some time to come.

I’m surprised this hasn’t been mentioned yet, but pacifiers can be a godsend.

Can you start with those right away?

Also, recommendations on a good dishwasher-safe pacifier would be welcome.