After just welcoming my fourth baby last month I have been getting a lot of baby questions:) One that I keep hearing is, what baby things should I buy before birth. I have compiled a complete list of what I thought was most helpful to have on hand before baby arrived. And also, what I thought wasn’t needed and I would recommend not purchasing. After 4 babies, I think I have finally figured out what I actually need and don’t need and I am sharing it all with you!
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When Should You Start Purchasing Baby Items During Pregnancy?
I think it depends on if it’s your first pregnancy or if you’ve had multiple pregnancies. If it’s your first I would recommend starting around week 20. It can seem overwhelming with the first to look up all the things and order them. This way you have some time and can enjoy it.
If you have had a baby before and already have a lot of the needed items, I like to start preparing the last three months of pregnancy or the start of the third trimester. I still have a good amount of energy then. It also feels like I can actually wrap my mind around all the baby things and get in that mindset. It gives me enough time to start ordering, and getting things in their proper place. A lot of things even when you get them need to be prepped. Like washing blankets, clothes, and sanitizing pacifiers. Plus, it gives you a chance to get a baby room together if you’re going to have one and see what you have room for and where the best spot is for everything. If it’s your first baby it’s also nice to get a head start on buying a lot of the large baby gear like cribs, car seats and strollers so they can off gas some before baby comes.
Must Have Baby Things to Buy Before Birth
It’s nice to have a crib or bassinet ready before the baby is born so you can of course have somewhere to put the baby. A lot of people like to have a bassinet. It can easily be moved wherever you want. Co-sleepers are a great option now too. In the first few months it can be especially nice to have baby close. I also like to have them in advance so they can off gas some before baby is born. This is the nontoxic crib I’ve had with all my four kids and we love it! Budget Friendly too. Get it here.
Another great thing to have ready to go when baby is born. This is also a great item to get so you can have it off gas too. I recommend getting an organic mattress. It will be free of flame retardants and other harmful chemicals. Get it here.
Check out my review on the Naturepedic Crib Mattress here!
Darkening shades work too. Any type of blinds or curtains that’s going to keep out the light can really make a difference, especially if it’s the summer months and you’re trying to get your baby on a schedule. Get them here.
This is a definite must in my book! Swaddles can really help baby sleep and when you’re a new mama it can make all the difference. I’ve tried a lot of swaddles but this one is the one that I love! Works so well. Get it here.
These are definitely invaluable! Whether you’re wanting to use them to keep your little one warm or use them as a burp cloth, a changing pad in a pinch or even to shield the sun from your baby’s eyes while they’re in their car seat, these can be clutch. We love these bamboo receiving blankets. Get it here.
I mean this is definitely a no brainer! Having diapers ready to go is essential before baby is born. I like to have some newborn, and then wait and see how big baby is and order more once they’re born. I’ve found I use a lot less newborn diapers and I’m always wanting the next size up. Might not be the case for you, but it’s nice to not have an overabundance of one size if you don’t need them. These two brands are my favorite natural diapers, here and here.
Check out my post on the Best Organic Diapers here!
Another must have before baby comes. Don’t stock up on these like crazy as well. I found out with my first she was more sensitive so I ended up making wipes for a while, and had to buy a wipe with minimal ingredients. Maybe test out a couple brands at first and see what you like before committing to buying in bulk. These are my favorite natural store brand wipe, these are my favorite sensitive skin wipe.
Portable Changing Pads
These are great! It makes it nice because then you can stash some diapers, wipes and diaper cream in the changing pad and just grab it instead of a large diaper bag. Essential for traveling too when you want a clean space to change baby! I like this one.
Hands down a must! No one wants their baby to have an irritated bum. I keep several at different places in my house and one for travel so we always have one on hand. I love this natural brand and this natural brand too.
Car Seat and Stroller System
Of course you want to have your car seat ready to go before baby. You might not be heading out too many places in the beginning but you’ll have doctor’s appointments for baby. It’s nice to have everything already set up. A stroller system can be helpful for going places. Being able to just click a car seat into a stroller and move is so nice! Especially the more kids you have. I love this nontoxic car seat and stroller system here.
Baby Wrap and Carrier
This is always such a great gift to give to a new mom in my opinion. I use my wraps and carriers so much! They really can make life so much easier, especially the more kids you have. It frees up your hands from having to hold baby, yet you still have them close. It’s the best of both worlds. They love the feeling of having mama close, you can still make dinner. I love this wrap and this infant carrier.
If you’re going to breastfeed your baby, having a pump is pretty crucial for so many reasons. Obviously it can help free you up if you’re wanting to be away from your baby for a certain period of time, then you can pump milk and give them a bottle. It also is great for engorgement if you have an extra supply of milk. In the beginning I like to pump even more to really rev up my milk supply for my freezer but also it helps your body to produce more. I’ve tried many breast pumps and this one is my favorite!
Having a pacifier on hand is really helpful if for some reason your baby likes to suck a lot and you need a break from having them suck on you or your finger. Sometimes it’s all they need to help soothe them to go to sleep. I really like these pacifiers.
Again, I would start out with one and see if your baby even likes it before investing in a ton of the same brand. I’ve found this out through trial and error. Some babies like certain bottles, others don’t. It’s hard to predict what your baby will like. It is nice to have a bottle on hand, they say you should try and get your baby to take a bottle after 4 weeks to ensure they will actually take a bottle in the long run. Don’t wait until you need to be gone months later, they may not take one! Plus, then you can see if the bottle you got is a good option or if you need to try a different one. This is the one I’ve used for the last two babies and they’ve loved it. It’s similar to breast and I’ve read that’s why a lot of babies take so well to it.
This is a definite must in my book, especially in the beginning. It can feel so awkward at first when trying to breastfeed a newborn! They’re getting the hang of it, so are you and anything that makes it easier is definitely a win in my book. I like this nursing pillow in the beginning when they’re smaller and then as they get bigger I’ll use this one. The second one is also great for propping baby up and having them do tummy time as well.
Nursing Tops and Bras
Another must have! Again it just makes nursing so much easier when you have these on hand. It makes the whole process so much more efficient and less hassle. Great for in the beginning when you’re just getting the hang of it if you’re a new mom and also because baby just eats so much more too! I love these budget friendly ones!
These aren’t absolute musts but I do think they’re needed if you have a baby that spits up a lot. I always end up buying them a month in because I’m tired of changing my baby’s outfit so many times throughout the day. These can really help save an outfit! I love these neutral ones.
I love having some washcloths that are dedicated just for baby. I don’t like to bathe my baby a lot in the beginning, I want to keep all their good skin microbiome intact and I just don’t see the point. Typically they’re not going many places. I’ll give them a sponge bath with a bamboo washcloth and I love how gentle they are on their skin. I like these ones.
Haakaa Breast Pump
This is a recent must have since my last baby. It is a breast pump that is manual but also to me the greatest perk of it is that it can catch your milk on one side of your breast, while the baby is nursing. When you nurse on one side, you typically have a let down from the other side, meaning milk is released. Instead of it just going to waste, you can catch it by using the Haakaa! Just suction it on to your opposite breast before you start nursing. It really helps to build up your milk storage so easily! Also, clutch if you need to quickly pump and you’re out and about. Highly recommend! Get it here.
These are for sure a must have item! No one wants to look like they’re leaking milk through their clothes. These help to soak up the excess milk and keep you looking fresh and not like milk factory! I love these bamboo ones!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this! Sometimes you just need reassurance that your baby doesn’t have a fever. The digital forehead thermometers are so handy and really are clutch when you need them. Plus, you’re going to want one eventually, so you might as well get it in the beginning. This is the one I have.
Baby Nail Clippers
It might seem silly, but babies nails grow alarmingly fast and can even be super long when they are born. Having a good pair of baby nail clippers on hand helps to ensure you have less chance of cutting their skin! Plus, babies can scratch themselves pretty easily, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of trimming them. The pair I have even have a little light so you can really see what you’re doing. Check them out here.
Breast Milk Storage
It’s a good idea to know what you’re going to store your breast milk in before baby is born then you don’t have to think about it when the time comes. I like using silicone trays for storing my breast milk and then putting them in silicone bags or mason jars. You can check them out here.
This can be really handy, especially if your baby is stuffed up for some reason. You can easily take a nasal aspirator and help to break some of the mucus. This is the one I have.
Might seem like a no brainer, but often new mamas can be so enthralled in all the new baby clothes that they don’t pay much attention to sleepers. Having a good amount of sleepers on hand is a must. They’re so easy to get baby in and out of and since they sleep majority of the time, they’re kind of essential! I prefer zipper sleepers since they’re easier to get on and off in the middle of the night feedings. Check out some organic ones I like here!
Check out the Best Baby Pajamas here!
This is really nice to have in the beginning stages when you’re feeding baby a lot at night. It helps to keep baby asleep and also not wake up mama too much either. I really like salt lamps. I have one right by my bed when I feed baby and it helps to keep a sense of soothing, calmness, instead of a bright light. This is the one I have.
This is something you might not think of if you’re a first time mom. Having some comfortable nursing friendly tops or nightgowns is really essential in the beginning for those late night feedings. It makes it so much easier to nurse! I really like this one.
Don’t miss my Natural Baby Swaps Guide!
What Baby Items to Skip Buying Before Birth
There are a lot of things I would actually not recommend you buy for baby or at least not in the beginning. Every baby is different and what works for one baby might not work for another. Also, what works for one mom, might not work for another as well. Some moms want all the baby gadgets, other moms are minimalists and prefer less or just don’t have the space for everything. I’ve found some things are best if you wait and see if you really need them until after your baby is born.
I don’t think you need a swing for your baby. Is it nice? Perhaps, but they also can take up a lot of room and not every baby loves them. It also depends on how many kids you have too. With my last baby I hardly used one at all. It just took up too much space and I found my two older kids actually entertained my little guy really well. Some mamas love them, and maybe that will be you, but I definitely don’t think it’s a must have item.
I had a diaper pail for my first two but didn’t with my last and I didn’t miss it at all. I found I still had to change it just like any other garbage and it would just get so smelly instead of me just throwing a diaper away each time. Plus, they take up space too. Definitely not a need in my book!
I might get some kickback for this but I don’t think you really need a diaper bag. I really have only had a diaper bag with my first baby and I felt like I barely used it then. If anything my hubs used it more! I don’t love how diaper bags look and I just felt like I could fit everything in a large purse anyways. That’s why I love using a disposable changing pad. I just tuck everything into one of those and I’m good to go!
Baby Bath Towels
Might be nice to have these but definitely not a necessity. Just use regular towels in the beginning. I don’t give my baby a ton of baths anyways because I don’t like to disrupt their skin microbiome. All the baby towels I have were given to me, but I don’t think they’re a must.
Again, I don’t think this is a must since I don’t think you need to bathe your baby a ton in the beginning. If anything just use a warm washcloth and wipe them down. I have found I rarely ever used mine and it just took up so much space. My hubs or I always take a bath with baby in the bath tub too, so there is no need for an extra baby bath.
This can be nice to have, but most of the time I end up changing my baby on the couch, bed, floor and not specifically on their changing table. I actually feel like they are safer not on the changing table! It seems so narrow and hard to keep them on once they’re rolling over. I also think I probably don’t use it as much since I have more kids now. Definitely not a must for me!
I know I might get scolded for this one too, but I don’t think you have to have a baby monitor! Think of how many moms didn’t have a baby monitor back in the day? And somehow they survived! I had one with my first and second but didn’t use it as much with my second and then didn’t use one for my third. I found the more kids I had, the less they were just in their room and by themselves. Usually I was wearing them in a wrap or they were sleeping right next to me while I worked. I know every mom has a different level of comfort, so you do what feels best!
Bottle Drying Rack
I don’t think this is a necessity. I have one and hardly use it. If anything I set it out and it collects dust! Since I have nursed all my babies I rarely have used a bottle that much. It’s for a night out here and there. I easily just wash the bottle and leave it out to dry, I don’t need a special rack for it.
And there you have it! What I would buy for baby before birth and what I would either skip completely or wait to decided on.
Did I miss anything you found essential to buy before birth?
If you like this post, check out these past posts:
- Best Organic Baby Clothes (Brand Reviews)
- Woolino Sleep Sack Review
- The Best Pregnancy Safe Protein Powder