General Question

fuzzyjay's avatar

What will we need for our first baby?

Asked by fuzzyjay (252points) September 20th, 2008

My wife and I are expecting our first child, and were wondering what sorts of things we will need to get.

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20 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Patience, and a lot of it! Always remember, the reason God made babies so cute is so that we don’t eat them.
Oh, and congratulations.

srmorgan's avatar

A sense of humor,
Patience, lots of patience,

the material things that you will need will become apparent to you as you speak to other parents, siblings, your parents and grandparents and friends.

It’s the intangibles that are what you will least expect to need.

When people tell you that your life will change, it is not the 2am feedings or the diaper changes or the trips to the doctor or the cessation of spontaneous trips to the movies.
What hits you is the awesome responsibility that you now have the moment you hold your own beautiful but helpless child. You suddenly realize that you are going to have to raise this child, raise him or her in the right manner, and that you never, ever will feel again the way you felt before the birth.

And you will never ever again go to sleep without wondering if he is safe and well wherever he might be, even if you are in the ninth decade of life. (as my father used to tell my sister and me)..

Best of luck


AstroChuck's avatar

Also, some advice from someone with three (two of them grown) kids. Try and give your child a name that ends in a vowel. That way when you yell their name carries.

fuzzyjay's avatar

Thanks so much AstroChuck. Those are great pieces of advice. My wife says that she loves the idea of the baby’s name carrying when you yell it. It appeals to the Australian in her (they like to shorten any word and if they can add a vowel to the end of it even better!).

fuzzyjay's avatar

@SRM – Thanks for the great advice as well. We’re looking forward to the changes!

srmorgan's avatar

@fuzzyjay and @ astrochuck


And this is strictly my own opinion but I don’t believe in saddling a child with a “cute” or “different” or otherwise strange or uncommon name unless there is a good reason to do so.

My children’s names are traditional with standard spellings although two of the three have names that have become “popular again” in the last 25 years. That is the roll of the dice, my wife selected an out-of-fashion name for our first-born just as this name became trendy and is now one of the top ten names in the US according to a recent census publication.

But avoid anything trendy if you can: no Britney’s no Paris, no Madison (don’t get me started), no Bristols or Trig or Pack or Van Halen. <<< Van halen palin>> Yikes.

And Robin is not spelled with a Y and Zachary is not ZAK and Caitlin is not Katelyn or Catelyn and Declan is not Decklyn
and Chelsea is not Chelze. My gosh..

The other side of the coin would be if your surname was Smith, or Brown or Williams or Jones or something very common, in which case something like Bill Smith or Ted Williams or Paula Jones might not really set someone apart from the crowd but maybe a Murphy Brown might work.

Also a close friend of ours is named Robert W. T***** VI (the sixth) and his first-born was named the VII and I understand that completely even though it would not happen in my family. I would extend family tradition in that manner if that were the case for me.

Sorry for the rant but this stuff drives me nuts.
But naming the baby is very personal and believe me Grandma and Grandpa will be thrilled even if you name the baby Spargluck or Dumbledore or even Track.


Lee_27's avatar

You will definetly need lots and lots of diapers. If you are having a girl I loved the layettes, it makes it so much easier for changing them in middle of night. Don’t waste your money on tons and tons of clothes, chances are they will grow out of them before they get to wear most of the clothes you buy. Get a great baby swing, both of my kids loved rocking in the baby swing.

jca's avatar

a changing table is helpful, brings the baby up so you’re not bending over a bed or something and getting a sore back. have a good supply of bottles, blankets. clothes, don’t buy too many in small sizes i.e. 0–3, 3–6, because the baby grows so fast in the beginning, try to get more 6–9 and 9–12. have a bunch of diapers and wipes. i buy mine at costco. have a couple of crib sheets, the rubber pads that go under the sheets. don’t worry about baby-proofing the house in the beginning, baby won’t be going around on his or her own till about 6 months at least. also, have some rattles and baby toys to keep baby’s interest. and of course, you’ll need car seat and carriage. i had one that was carrier, car seat and stroller into one. that was convenient. it was called a “travel system.” most of the other crap you see in the baby store you’ll not need.

St.George's avatar

A nap.

Seriously though, from experience, you don’t need half the crap folks try to sell you. Get one small, good stroller that your kid can grow with, and a baby sling. Buy bottles that don’t have those PCBs or whatever in them, get a breastfeeding pillow (if you plan to breastfeed), you really don’t need anything else.

The baby sling will allow you to be mobile which will help things feel more normal. Things will not be normal, not for a good long time. Getting outside and being around people helps a lot.

Enjoy your new kid!

Snoopy's avatar

I agree w/ JCA & Megan—Most of the stuff marketed to you, you won’t need. The rest (at least most of it) is common sense….

You will need a place for the baby to sleep. If you are tight on cash or aren’t sure what you want a Graco Pack N Play is about $100 and is fine for a virtually immobile newborn.

You will also need food and bottles if mom isn’t going to be the supply chain.

Diapers and wipes. Start w/ a pack or two of newborn. You will quickly move into Size 1–2. Costco or comparable are great places to buy this stuff. They frequently have coupons making it cheaper than anywhere else. (Trust me.)

Clothing. You really don’t need anything but socks and sleepers to start. Again, if you are really short on cash.

Burp cloths. This can be anything. Even a hand towel. It cuts down on laundry.

Diaper pail. Not absolutely necessary, but it is nice to have something in baby’s room to chuck the stuff in straight away. (You do NOT need a diaper genie. Just something w/ a lid)

Mild soap and lotion.

Car seat and stroller. The Graco Travel system is a stroller and car seat deal that is about $200. Car seat clicks right into stroller so you don’t have to disturb the wee one in the transfer…

Look for clothing in consignment stores. Especially for this age. Kids go thru the clothing quickly so it is in excellent condition. And you get it for pennies on the dollar.

Good luck and Congratulations.

basp's avatar

I always found that less “stuff” is better. Keep it simple, get lots of rest, and don’t lose your sense of humor.

St.George's avatar

Oh, one big thing that I wish I knew about was don’t buy a high chair, buy one of these instead: Booster chair. If I could go back in time, this is the one thing I would buy. Baby sits in it, it attaches to one of your existing dining chairs, easy to clean. Amazing!

Mugsie's avatar

And ~

What does a baby really need in the first weeks at home? The answer is – not much. This baby needs checklist will help you choose the basic baby items, often called a layette, that a baby needs to have in the first precious weeks of life.
Baby Needs: Clothing and Layette

5–10 onesies or rompers, depending on how often you want to do laundry
5–7 baby sleepers or nightgowns
1 cold weather sleeper if necessary
5–7 pairs of baby socks
1–2 newborn hats, depending on climate
Baby Needs: Diapers and Bath Items

2 packs of disposable diapers or enough cloth diapers for at least two days. Newborns can soil up to 10 diapers per day.
1 pack of disposable wipes or 10 cloth wipes
Waterproof pad for diaper changes
3–5 baby washcloths
1–2 hooded towels, if desired. Adult towels will work, too.
1 bottle of gentle baby wash
Baby nail clippers
Digital thermometer
Baby Needs: Bedding and Feeding

3–4 fitted sheets for crib, cradle, cosleeping bassinet or traditional bassinet
5–7 lightweight blankets
1–2 heavier blankets, depending on climate
10 burp cloths
5–8 bottles, if you’re bottle feeding
Breastfeeding pillow, if desired

Mugsie's avatar


reymysterio619_369's avatar

I would definetly suggest a breast feeding pillow even if you are not breast feeding my friend had a baby and i took care of the little one and had the breast feeding pillow and it was alot easier with that then when they forgot to bring it for feeding the baby when i babysat.

augustlan's avatar

I have to disagree with one thing…I never had a changing table, and never missed it. Here’s what we did instead: 2 baskets w/ handle(s) – 1 for upstairs, 1 for downstairs, each large enough to hold a two day supply of diapers, a box of wipes, and a plastic changing pad topped with a cloth diaper or hand towel (otherwise, pee will roll right off the pad!). This method allows you to change the baby quickly and conveniently, wherever you happen to be. No running up and down the stairs 10 times a day.

Some more tips: Make up the crib/bassinet in layers: waterproof sheet, regular sheet, waterproof sheet, regular sheet. This makes it a snap to clean up middle of the night accidents without completely remaking the bed (a crib is a major pain to make up!). If you are bottle feeding: On trips out of the house, fill bottles with room temperature water, and carry pre-measured powdered formula (you can do this yourself in small ziplock bags). No need to keep unmixed bottles cold and no need to heat them up when mixed. When baby is hungry, just pour formula into bottle and shake to mix.

knittingandcanning's avatar

I agree completely – a sense of humor, patience, and love are essential! Also, it helped me a lot when I realized that the relationship between my daughter and me & my partner would not automatically be perfect. We had to work at it – we had to get to know her and she had to get to know us. It’s a lot of work and will take time, but it will happen!

The two things that have helped my partner and me the most, in terms of tangible items: diaper service and our New Native baby sling! New Native Baby Sling In the long run, having diaper service is cheaper than disposables, not to mention cloth diapers are more environmentally friendly. Also, my partner and I have noticed that our daughter gets less diaper rash with cloth diapers. The diaper service that we use comes every Wednesday to drop off enough diapers for one week and picks up the dirty diapers. It’s so easy, I can’t believe more people don’t use it! And instead of using store-bought wipes we use wash cloths with warm water. Works great and less chemicals touching and irritating her skin. As for the sling, it’s absolutely great for a newborn, you know he/she is safe and close. It’s also great for when your baby turns into a toddler, he/she is just in a different possition than before.

We use Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo because it doesn’t contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which means it is less likely to irritate her skin (my partner and I are both sensitive to it). Receiving blankets are a big help! They can be used for anything! From a swaddler to a burp cloth – really great and inexpensive!

We don’t use a changing table. We bought waterproof reusable mats to place under her during a diaper change. They’re also great for “tummy time.” She can lay on her tummy with her diaper off (more freedom of movement) and we don’t have to worry about a blanket getting wet or dirty.

I disagree with the statement that baby clothes in sizes 0–3 months and 3–6 months are not useful. Our daughter was 8 pounds 4 ounces when she was born but lost weight (as most do in the first few days after birth) and weighed in at 7 pounds 4 ounces. The 0–3 month size was very useful for quite some time, roughly 3 1/2 – 4 months actually. Our daughter is 5 months and about 13–14 pounds now and we’re still using 3–6 month sized clothing. A friend of mine had a baby 4 months before me – he weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and grew fast! They didn’t use the 0–3 month sized clothing for very long at all. It really depends a lot on the baby. I would suggest at least having some in each size just in case. Sleepers are very handy, especially for the first month.

We never used our baby bath, I always take my daughter into a normal bath with me. It’s great especially for the first few baths – if she got upset half-way through her bath I was able to sit there and breastfeed until she was in a better mood then quickly finish up.

I highly recommend breastfeeding – it’s healthier for both mother and baby and so much less work then having to make up a bottle at night or when you’re out-and-about. If mother is breastfeeding, drink lots of water!!! It’s really helpful for me to carry around a water bottle everywhere I go Klean Kanteen. And eat all through-out the day, more snacks/small meals rather than 3 large meals.

You have probably already heard a lot of people saying how bad and unsafe it is to have your baby sleep in your bed. This is completely untrue. Our daughter has slept in our bed since she was a week or two old. We started out by putting her in a bassinet to sleep but she didn’t take to it at all! So, we pushed our bed up against the wall, she sleeps between me and the wall and my partner sleeps on the other side of me. She feels so much more content and so do we. It’s also great for night feedings – my daughter can eat while I lay down then we both fall asleep, making sure she is on her back while she sleeps of course!

I hope all of this helps! Congratulations and take care!

jca's avatar

SarahMacaulay: i didn’t say baby clothes in small sizes are not useful, i said “don’t buy too many in small sizes because they grow so fast.” the small sizes are definitely useful, but it doesn’t pay to have mostly small and not many larger (6–9 and 9–12) because they’ll fly through the smaller ones so fast, if you have too many they may not have a chance to even wear them all…....(i just hate being misquoted or misunderstood)........

smendler's avatar

1. Plenty of sleep (the person whi said “naps” was right on ;*). “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is not a bad rule of thumb.

2. Time. When our daughter was young (she’s now 15) my wife and I were both under-employed… but that turned out to be a plus, as we spent more time with her than most parents (particularly fathers) do, and now we are a very tight family as we navigate the stormy seas of adolescence and teenagerhood.

3. Support. Spend lots of time with the baby with other folks, other babies, young children, etc. The more interactions she is part of, the more words she hears, the better.

Also, feel free to utilize your support network when you are getting stressed out. (And please note: at some point, you will get stressed out. This is normal, and does not mean you are anything less than a wonderful parent.)

4. Music. The ”Music for Little People” catalog is wonderful. Sharing music with your little one is a gerat bonder, and lots of fun. (Not also “kid’s music” is Barney-cute, by the way – some of it is designed to speak to you as a new parent as well. Check out the amazing Priscilla Herdman‘s work, for example – not to mention Tom Chapin and others.

5. Books. Hopefully, you have a public library nearby. Let it become one of your best friends!

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