Nursery tactics: what to buy BEFORE your baby arrives

In preparation for our first baby, I spent countless hours searching for a site or a blog that had everything we needed to know about purchases we should make before our first baby arrived. How many diapers? what type? How many onesies of which size? how many crib sheets? you get the picture.

I intend to tell you all about my experience in this and more blogs to come. Here is a list of everything we ended up getting. Use this list as a starting place. Keep everything on hand and re-order items as you figure out what works best for you and for your baby. I hope that this list is helpful as you work on your baby registry.

The obvious:

  • Crib
  • Crib mattress. Make sure you air it out first. And read the instructions. With some mattresses, one side is firmer than the other, be sure to start with the correct side (infant side is firmer).
  • Three crib sheets (we bought Burt’s Bees Baby Organic Jersey fitted crib sheet). I love these sheets, so very soft and remain soft wash after wash.
  • Two crib mattress protectors (we bought Margaux & May)
  • Changing pad
  • Changing pad liners. I bought two boxes of Bamboo Changing Pad Liners (each box has three). These are soft, durable and very absorbent. I keep one in our diaper bag.
  • Two changing pad fitted sheets
  • Dresser
  • Rocking chair
  • Diaper pail and bags
  • Baby monitor
  • Swaddles- buy 3 (whether you plan to actually swaddle or not! they also work as light blankets).
  • Swaddle wraps (we bought SwaddleMe 2pk from Target). I absolutely love these!
  • Washcloths (we bought 2 boxes of Bamboo Baby Washcloths)
  • Bibs: look for ones with snaps on the side (not the back) it is Soo hard to snap those on when a baby doesn’t yet have strong neck muscles and their head wobbles all over the place
  • onesies, buy 6-10 in size 3-6. Keep on hand (unopened) 3-4 in size 0-3. These often shrink. So buy a bigger size. I found that the Gerber brand shrinks; however, carter’s did not and is by far the best (especially if purchased directly from their store). The quality differed! Trust me on this one.
  • 2-4 hats
  • 2-4 mittens.
  • 2-4 socks (buy size 3-6)
  • 2 Hooded towels
  • 1 big box of wipes
  • 1 box of size N diapers (return if not used)
  • 2 boxes of size 1 diapers (at first, you will likely be using 10-14 diapers a day, this number goes down as your baby gets older).
  • Cute outfits. I won’t give you a number, buy all that your heart desires.
  • Shoes, also buy all that your heart desires. Keep the weather in mind. You won’t need sandals in winter etc.

The not so obvious:

  • Suction. We bought the Briggs baby nasal aspirator. I love that you can open it and clean the inside. I hated the one they gave us at the hospital. You can’t open it nor can you clean it well. I threw it out shortly after we arrived home.
  • A thermometer.
  • Nail clipper. You will be surprised how soon you need one.

Another tip is to keep the receipts to most if not everything you purchase. Unopened items are almost always exchangeable for a different size.

Are there products you found helpful which are not on the list? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Lena Alaw

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