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Among the top questions I am ever asked by expectant moms is: What do I need before my baby comes? A sling! Is usually my first answer, followed closely by a co-sleeper,  breast pump, the Dr. Sears Vaccine Book and cloth diapers.

Before their baby was born in January, my brother and his wife asked me to sit and write a comprehensive list of what exactly the need to have which they would then take with them to register. I did and the last couple of times I’ve been asked, I told the inquiring expectant parents to watch for the list on my blog. Here it is! Finally.

  • Breast pump- The very best you can afford. Preferably double, electric. Otherwise, get a lower grade and plan to rent a hospital-grade pump for the postpartum period. Trust me.
  • Receiving blankets- Don’t try to swaddle your baby with these, they are too small. They are good for setting on the floor to change baby, catching spit-up, keeping sun out of baby’s eyes and so forth.
  • Gowns- All you need for around the house during the heavy diaper changing period (boys and girls)
  • Onsies- Great under a swaddling blanket.
  • Solana Swaddle Wrap– The perfect super-light blanket to keep your baby bundled but not too hot for her first four months or so.
  • Pacifiers- Don’t use them right away but it’s better to have them on hand. I like the green Soothie pacifiers.
  • Bouncer- Be sure baby doesn’t spend too much time here to avoid possible spinal issues.
  • Lansinoh- For judicious use when nursing. (Too much will cause baby to slip off the breast.)
  • Hydrogels (Medela or Lansinoh brands)- Can use one set for 6 days, rinse after each nursing with warm water. Do not use with Lansinoh cream.
  • Cloth diapers- For baby’s bum if you want to jump on the bandwagon, otherwise to be used as the world’s most effective burp cloths, cushions, props and nursing drop cloths.  (You will find a million uses for these.)
  • Baby bathtub that fits in your sink. Or you can just use your sink.
  • Baby or regular soft washcloths
  • Baby soap- Unscented, natural is best.
  • Diapers
  • Unscented wipes
  • Unscented laundry detergent (think All Free and Clear)
  • White noise machine- If it’s your first and you have no other kids in the house you will want some noise going all the time so your baby isn’t startled by noisy environments.
  • Flat (not fitted) crib mattress pads for your bed if you plan to nurse your baby there. (Sometimes a good idea anyway right out of the hospital.)
  • Boppy or other nursing pillow
  • Infant Tylenol- Your baby won’t need this right away but you won’t want to run out of the house in the middle of the night to get it when she does.
  • Rectal thermometer- Gotta have one for newborns. Sorry.
  • Car seat
  • Stroller
  • Diaper bag- Look for lots of pockets and space for a change of clothes. Should be stain-resistant or easily washable!
  • Lansinoh nursing pads- These won’t look like headlights under your shirt like some do.
  • Nursing bra- Easy access is most important in the beginning, support later.
  • Baby socks

For (circ’ed) boys*:

  • 1 box extra gauze squares
  • 1 small tube of Vaseline

* The hospital should send you home with these things but it doesn’t always happen.

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