What do you really need to have on hand before the baby arrives?

Choosing your baby gear can be exhausting with all the new products available. Pamela gives us some helpful advice regarding what is needed for your new baby.

By Pamela Diamond



The baby product market is loaded with amazing-looking gear. The truth is much of it is not needed, or you may only use it for a brief amount of time, making the cost unrealistic. Many of these items don’t need to be bought before the baby arrives, giving you time to decide if it’s something you really want. This will help reduce the clutter and overwhelm from all the gear that can take over your home.

To make it easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of items I recommend you have on hand to be ready when you bring home your baby.

Diapers (cloth, disposable, or a combination)

Wipes (disposable or washable/reusable)

Lots of generously-sized swaddle blankets – can be used for swaddling as well as stuffing under an elbow or behind the baby’s back while nursing for good positioning

Package or two of inexpensive cloth diapers to use for burp cloths, dripping milk catchers, pee shower shields during diaper changes, etc.

Two caddies or baskets set up for portable changing stations equipped with waterproof changing pads, diapers & wipes. A portable contoured changing pad is great, too. It can be used on a coffee table, the floor, etc.

Diaper rash ointment to be used when necessary (in diaper changing caddy)

Items for umbilical cord care per doctor’s protocol – may include alcohol wipes or alcohol & cotton swabs or nothing (in diaper changing caddy)

Bottle of hand sanitizer (not to replace hand washing but for quick use after a change (in diaper changing caddy)

Baby lotion or baby massage oil for quickie infant massage (in diaper changing caddy)

Burp cloths (see cloth diapers above)

Sling, wrap, or soft-sided baby carrier (Maya Wrap or Moby Wrap are two of my favorites)

Hands-free pumping bra if you’ll be pumping regularly (can be homemade with a sports bra, too)

Boppy pillow with washable cover for a comfy, confined spot to place baby under supervision

Soft baby washcloths and towels (much softer and less abrasive than regular cloths and Towels)

Baby body wash & shampoo combo.

Lots of onesies (long sleeve or short sleeve, depending on the season)

A portable, flat-bottomed bassinet that is lightweight and easy to move. Baby doesn’t mind if she has a fully furnished & decorated nursery at this point in her life.

White noise machine (small, portable is good)

Small, soft quilted blanket for putting baby down on the floor

Comfy two-piece pajamas or nursing gown for mama to feel special in while lying about nursing your new baby and being waited on by everyone else

Nursing/feeding basket for nursing station stocked with bottled water, high protein snacks, remote control, and cell phone.

Bottles, pacifiers, and accessories (wait to establish nursing and/or discuss with a doula or lactation consultant before purchasing)

High-grade pump – may be provided by health insurance (if needed to get on pumping routine)

Hand-held, manual silicone pump for occasional or passive pumping


You’ll have plenty of opportunities to buy more gadgets and gear once you have settled in and gotten to know your baby. And keep in mind many communities have groups offering items for free or resale at prices much lower than retail.


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