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Whether it’s your first baby or you’re familiar with what’s required for a baby, it’s good with every baby to figure out what you already have and what you still need. And in addition to stuff like clothes and equipment, there are other things to do while preparing for baby that you might have forgotten about since the last baby! I’ve been around the block a few times with preparing for baby, so I want to give you my checklist of everything you need to know and do before that sweet baby arrives.
Preparing for Baby Tips: Everything You Need to Know
If this is your first baby, especially, then you hopefully have people who would like to help you get what you need for your new baby. I put together a list of 20 baby registry must haves that I think are the top things you need for a new baby. And even if you don’t need a lot of things, you should definitely consider making at least one registry at a retailer that provides a welcome box or bag when you make a registry. I’ve reviewed the top 5 and shared what was in each box, so check out my Baby Registry Welcome Box Reviews Round Up to see which one you should sign up for.
In terms of getting your home ready, you need a place for the baby to sleep. All babies need is something to wear to sleep in (see below for tips on clothes) and a safe place to sleep like a bassinet, pack and play, or crib. You might decide to keep baby nearby in your room for the time being, but if you plan to have baby in his or her own room, check out these DIY Baby Nursery Ideas.
Another important thing to consider before baby arrives is to make sure you have a baby carseat that is installed properly in your car. All baby seats must meet safety requirements, so which one you choose is up to you. But once you have the carseat, check out CarSeats for the Littles to ensure your baby will be safe in your car. The experts in the group will look at pictures and give you guidance on making sure the seat is installed correctly.
Now we get to baby’s arrival! If you’re delivering at a hospital, you’ll need a hospital bag. Many moms choose to have a bag at least partially packed just in case the baby comes before you’re expecting, but even if you go without everything you need (which has happened to me), you can give a friend or family member the Ultimate Hospital Packing List after the fact and have them bring it to the hospital.
If this isn’t your first baby and you have older kids, another thing to do before you go to the hospital is to leave instructions for your older kids. Try to have clean clothes ready and notes about whatever is relevant while you’re gone for a few days.
Baby is here, and now you’re headed home. Let’s walk through what kinds of things would be great to have waiting for you when you get there, or things you can do once you’re home to make the coming months easier.
Freezer meals can make the difference with a newborn. Check out some of my favorite freezer meals that you could make ahead of time and have waiting for you when you get home.
If you’re breastfeeding, then you might want to start making batches of lactation cookie bars to help your milk supply (these are also yummy even if you’re not breastfeeding!).
Another favorite postpartum snack of mine are these no bake energy bites. You’ll have to hide them from the rest of your family, though!
One of my favorite breakfasts with a new baby are overnight oats, because you can make them the night before and don’t have to make yourself breakfast if you’ve been up with the baby. You can adjust the flavorings however you want—see how to make overnight oats.
Things you need for baby
The first obvious item you need is clothes! Wondering how many of each item you need? See this list of how many baby clothes do I need.
The other most obvious items are diapers and wipes. I’ve always told folks to start buying diapers as soon as the test shows positive! Check out how to stock up on diapers and how many of size to buy.
While you’re out there looking for baby stuff, keep in mind my list of the 11 Things You Don’t Need for Baby—save your money for the most important stuff! This list always gets folks talking about things they love, but if your trying to save money nothing on the list is truly essential…
If you plan to breastfeed and think you might pump for when you’re away from baby, most insurance companies now pay for a free breast pump. Aeroflow Breastpumps helps you navigate the insurance guidelines to get your free pump.
If you want to save money over multiple kids, then you might decide to use cloth diapers. Here are my best tips for how to save money on cloth diapers.
Finally, not surprisingly, there are lots of great apps that can help you track sleep, feedings, and more. I compiled a list of the best apps for new parents, so try them out ahead of time and decide which ones you might want to use.
For more, see How to Save on Everything for Baby!