The moment you realize you will become a Mom is the happiest moment of all time in your life, and one you will remember forever. You are so excited. The next step is usually running to tell your partner who is equally overjoyed. After that, a Mom will take a day or two to absorb the exciting news, tell her family and friends, and then wonder, where do I start to prepare?
Try not to fall into the new-mom trap of focusing on baby clothes (though they are adorable) and forgetting all the other essentials your baby will need. There are so many things to do before baby comes into the world. These things don’t have to be done in the first few months. However, after that though, it’s best to have some sort of plan.
But how? The answer is with lists of course! The right kind of lists will help you organize your time, your budget, and get yourself and home baby ready in time for the big day. If you have the natural tendency to procrastinate or are a messy person, then making lists will help you stay organized and prepare for the day you finally meet your new addition.
These future baby lists will make being a new mom for the first time or even the fourth time easy as pie since you'll know what you have and what you need at every turn.
7 Baby Room List
Now, baby’s room does not have to look like something out of a fancy magazine if your budget is more frugal than that. As long as you have the essentials, a sturdy change table, crib, and drawers to put ALL the diapers, sleepers and baby clothes that will be coming, you are in good company.
Baby furniture places often have good specials at certain times of the year, as do the bigger retail stores. If that is not feasible for you, ask your Mom friends if anyone is finished with their baby stuff and would be willing to sell/give it to you. You’ll get newer state of the art baby furniture, and you know it’s good quality as your friend’s kid/s just used it.
6 Diaper and Cothing List
Yes, stock up on those diapers now, cloth or disposable. There are sales or sometimes you can even get them for free. If not, buy when there are sales. This is like toilet paper and other non-perishables. You can have a whole cupboard full for several months and then no need to panic by running out and having to pay full price.
Start with all sizes from newborn to two years. Don’t buy beyond that in case your child is into training pants. As for clothing, the best advice I was given as a new mom, was to buys LOTS of baby sleepers. Your child will seriously LIVE in diapers and sleepers for the first six months anyway, no matter what time of year they were born.
Sleepers can be bought at most big retail stores and are not too pricey. Higher end baby stores have great specials though. You can order online (convenient), and save lots of money that way. As for other clothes, stick with sweat pants, and comfy tops. Save the designer jeans for when they are older. Then you can snap some trendy pictures of your cute kiddos!
5 Toys List
This is easy. I wish someone had told me how the simpler the toy, the better for baby and their brain, as babies have to work to manipulate the toy, and this makes it challenging and fun for them. It also makes it cheaper for Mom and Dad. No batteries. :)
But seriously, soft baby bath books and regular books are great, big trucks and cars that the child has to move (not electric), stuffed animals (a few, but don’t go overboard like my partner and I did), and puzzles with BIG pieces for the first two years so there is no choking hazard. Other things that are good are objects they have to manipulate with their hands like shape sorters, boxes with different shapes that have to fit into the tiny little hole so kids learn triangles, circles, square pieces etc.
Toy pianos, drums, are good as well, if your ears are ready for it! Also, big beach balls for throwing, blankets for hiding under in peek-a-boo games, and toys they have to push like little carts and wheelbarrows, are all good bets. Getting baby to move around by placing toys on the floor, is great too. They and you both get some exercise!
4 Breastfeeding or Formula Supplies
If you are planning to breastfeed, make sure to invest in a good breastfeeding pump and a few nursing bras. It’s important whether you go brand-new or secondhand from someone you trust, that it is a good quality breast pump that will do the job of pumping out milk for your little one.
The best thing to do if you encounter problems, is to consult a lactation specialist. You can find many at clinics, hospitals and pharmacies, who, if it’s your first baby, help you pick out a pump suitable for your breastfeeding supply. If you decide to go with formula, also read up and see what is available and best. You can probably stock up a bit on supply there too as with diapers, but check with your Mom friends to see what is the best way to go.
3 Outdoor Baby Equipment List
Equally important is your outdoor baby equipment list. This includes, big carriage, portable stroller (for going to the park or light summer days), car seat, and baby pool and sleigh for winter time. Obviously things like the car seat, carriage and stroller are the main ones that are important, but other little baby things like a small wading pool, sleigh, tricycle or baby trike are good as baby gets older.
Have the other ones on your bucket list. The carriage, car seat, and stroller need to be in excellent shape as you will be using those A LOT. If it’s in good shape second hand is fine, though be careful with baby car seats as they have expiry dates on them for safety. Also never accept a car seat that has been in a vehicle that has had an accident.
The other toys are usually cheaper at the end of the season they are used in, or you can hit garage sales in your neighborhood. We found a stroller for my son, a sleigh AND a toy kitchen and none of them cost over $10.00!
2 Baby Books List
Ok, here it depends on parents’ taste, but most of us I’m sure would agree on the following titles being a part of baby’s future library: “Good Night Moon,” “Because I Love You”, “On the Night You Were Born,” anything Robert Munsch, Dr. Seus, and any children’s pictures books where the pictures are as vivid as the words.
I was lucky to have a baby “book shower” thrown for me by one of my writers’ groups. There is no reason why you can’t have your own mini book shower. Ask friends and family which books make up their baby’s library, and you will be sure to get lots of great suggestions. Also, check out bookstores and libraries for great books and books to buy.
Baby Milestone Albums
The hard copies of these are becoming less popular as there is more and pics being done digitally, but having a hard copy of baby’s first smile, sitting up, walking is priceless. I received a baby piggy bank along with two little containers, one for baby’s first lock of hair at first haircut, and the other for baby’s first lost baby tooth. This is also priceless.
I even bought a baby scrapbook to put hard copy pictures in. If you decide to go the digital way though, a milestone journal/diary is the way to go. There are lots of ways to build these and tools out there on the baby sites. This where as a Mom you can chronicle your pregnancy and later your child growing up. It is a great way to remember your first pregnancy, as well as experience as a Mom.
1 Baby Food List
Make a point of looking for whole and nutritious snacks for baby, and if you can, make your own baby food with your food processor or blender blending fruits and veggies until they are ready for solids.
Rice cereal and oatmeal are good staples at the beginning for breakfast or even other times of day, and puree or cut up meat and hard substances that are choking hazards. Read the labels on baby snacks and cereal bars. Many are good, but some contain higher levels of salt and most parents don’t want that for their child.
Baby Crib List
The best rule of thumb is to stick to a thin sheet material like cotton, non allergenic, but remember for the first year when you cannot put anything in the crib that can be harmful to baby. Blankets of any size should not be in the crib until baby is at least a year old due to SIDS risk.
You can never have enough sheets, though. Until they are toilet trained and can get up and go clean themselves, there will be many times Mom and Dad have to change those baby sheets. It’s always good to have many clean backups in the drawer so laundry can be postponed a little longer.
Baby Outerwear List
It’s important for Mom and Dad to have one coat for each season, fall, winter, spring and summer. Shoes are important as well for each season, though you don’t have to go crazy and buy too much. One pair of comfortable slippers, baby sneakers, boots and sandals should do. Remember, other than in winter, baby will be going barefoot or in socks most of the time in the house or playgroup. This has actually been proved to be better for their development.
There is also the decision many Moms-to-Be will never whether to use a baby sling or front carrier. This depends on Mom and baby's preferences, and there is a lot to choose from out there. Go with what is most comfortable for your family.
With these lists in hand, you should be all ready and set for baby's arrival. But remember, the most important thing is for Mom and Dad to rest themselves, so that they will have all the energy they need when their little miracle comes into the world.
So there you have it. These would be most of the essential things to have for baby's first year. By keeping lists of all these articles either virtually or on paper, Moms and Dads will be better organized and ready to enjoy the next big step in their lives: parenthood. Welcome to the adventure!