It is hard for me to believe that we are only a few short weeks away from bringing home baby! This summer is very literally flying by!
The last time we welcomed a baby into our home was three years ago! And while it might not seem like that long ago, I feel like a new mom all over again.
At that time we were living in a one-story ranch home and had a newly two-year-old toddler. So needless to say there wasn’t much of a “shock” with the new baby. We were pretty used to diaper changing and nursing.
For this little one though, we are in a position where diapers haven’t been used in quite a while. And all our tiny clothes and baby trinkets have been tucked away for some time.
Bringing Home Baby Checklist
Since it has been a while since we have had a baby in our home, I wanted to create a checklist of all that we needed to do to get this (new) home ready for our new baby.
Even though it has been a while since we have had a baby in our home, it has been recent enough that I remember what I found necessary in our home and what was added “fluff” that wasn’t as helpful.
Below I am sharing with you my “No Frills” Bringing Home Baby Check-list. This list reflects to-dos that will make my life as a mom of two AND a new baby easier.
Grab your own Free Bringing Home Baby Checklist printable at the end by signing up for access to my Printables Vault
1. Prepare Clothing For Baby
If there is one thing all moms will tell you, it is that babies grow quickly and they are messy. Knowing this you will want to have clothes on hand for baby.
Whereas most adults and even some children can last a whole day in one outfit, most babies will use 2 or more outfits in a day. Between blowouts and spit-up, you will go through clothes. So it is best to be prepared.
With this in mind, it is a good idea to have a reasonable stockpile of clothes for baby. And though the cutesy outfits are fun, they aren’t always practical or comfortable for baby. I would recommend keeping plenty of cotton sleepers, gowns, and onesies on hand.
The exact number of outfits to have for baby will depend on several things including how often you plan to launder clothes, the space you have available to store clothes, and personal preference.
After my first two, I learned that babies grow almost too quickly to actually wear very many outfits. I found 8-10 of basic sleepers, onesies, and gowns would easily last us nearly a week. This collection is stretched by the addition of a few cutesy, fun outfits.
2. Create Easy Clothing Storage for Baby
In addition to clothing for baby, you will need an easily accessible way to store baby’s clothes.
There are many ideas and pretty closet displays on Pinterest, but for me personally, I have always found a dresser the easiest way to store baby clothing.
Baby clothing is so small for much of the first year, that hanging each piece will add extra work (and stress) to your new-mom-plate. Drawers provide easy to use (and hide) clothing storage.
I recommend keeping one “type” of clothing and clothing size per drawer if possible. For example, I store all of our 0-3 month sleepers and gowns in one drawer. Because onesies and pants at this size are so small, I have both 0-3 month onesies and pants/shorts in another drawer.
I also recommend using drawer organizers or bins to hold smaller items such as socks, bibs, bows, etc.
Additionally, it is helpful to keep available only one to two sizes at a time. Rather than trying to find a space for a whole first year of clothing, keep only newborn – 3 months and 3 -6 months clothes on hand.
As baby grows, swap out the drawers of outgrown clothing with clothes of the next size.
If using a closet is your plan, I recommend considering small bins or pull out drawers for the smaller sized clothing. You can then hang outfits and larger clothing on a hanger.
3. Create Diaper Changing Spaces
For both of our first children, we lived in a single-story ranch home. This meant we could easily do all of the diaper changing in the nursery space.
Using a large, antique dresser I created a changing space that included a changing pad and a basket with all our diaper changing needs. Because we cloth diaper, I made sure to have a diaper pail and trash can next to the changing table.
In our current two-story home I am preparing two diaper-changing baskets. One for upstairs and one for downstairs.
Here is a list of what I will have in a basket for diaper duty.
- Diapers. Whatever diapers you choose to use, have them front and center. We usually start the journey with disposables from the hospital but once baby is through those we switch to cloth. Here is my favorite all-in-one cloth diaper brand. We’ve used them for all our kiddos.
- Wet bag. Because we cloth diaper we need a place to put the dirty dipes but this isn’t necessary for disposable diapers.
- Wipes. Whether it is disposable wipes or cloth wipes with a water spritzer, you will need a moist mode of cleaning.
- Diaper cream. I personally love this Healing Balm from Lemongrass Spa.
- Changing Pad or Blanket. In our space upstairs we have a changing table pad atop the dresser like with our previous kiddos. But for downstairs, I have a simple fold-out changing pad I can lay on the floor.
4. Feeding Space Created
As you grow in motherhood, you will find what works best for you, but for many having a designated feeding/pumping area is helpful.
For moms utilizing a nursery, crib, or bassinet, you may find that a designated space with a comfy chair, side table, and lamp are useful tools.
If you opt to co-sleep/breastsleep, having a small table within reach might still be helpful for housing anything you might need quick access to.
5. Feeding Supplies Prepped
No matter how you decide to feed your little one, there will likely be supplies you need to have on hand. Creating a space or spaces with these supplies stocked will save you time and energy later.
Whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, it will be helpful to have the following items on hand in a small bin near the places you will most likely feed.
- Burp cloths. Babies are messy and spit-up and vomit happen no matter the food source. Keeping these on hand will help ease the cleanup.
- Diaper and wipes. Babies often want the full spa treatment when they wake so keep a few diapers on hand for pre- or post-feed changes.
- An extra outfit for baby. Messes happen so in case of a midnight mess, have an extra outfit on hand.
- Water and snacks for mom. Babies aren’t the 3-meals-a-day type so you might find yourself munchy or thirsty come feeding time.
If you are breastfeeding/pumping mom, here are some specific supplies you might find helpful to have on hand.
- Breast pads. Leaking happens, these will help. There are reusable breast pads and disposable breast pads available. Find what works best for you.
- Lanolin cream. Nursing hurts sometimes and I have found Lanolin cream quite helpful.
- Cord access. You will need this for your pump. With both of my older children, I pumped at night, in the beginning, to maintain supply. If you are pumping, having the pumping supplies ready-made the whole process easier.
- A basket of extra pumping parts. Bottles, flanges, valves, etc. Whatever pump you use, make sure you have extras of each part on hand. I recommend storing an extra set in a basket near where you pump. As an added tip: I recommend storing another set in your pump bag if you are needing to pump on the go (ie: work).
- Small cooler with ice packs or small fridge. There is literally no worse feeling than finding pumped milk the next morning. By having a method to keep milk cool, you can save yourself trips to the kitchen to store milk.
- Boppy Pillow or another nursing pillow. Nursing pillows are not for everyone, but after my c-section with Ellery, the Boppy pillow was a lifesaver when it came to nursing.
Bottle Feeding Moms
- Bottle warmer. If your little one prefers their milk warm, having a warmer in your feeding space will be incredibly helpful.
- Prepped or Partially prepped bottles. If your baby is using breastmilk, having bottles prepped in a small, chilled cooler or small fridge will help save you trips to the kitchen. Additionally, having water in bottles and powdered formula or chilled ready-to-drink formula on hand will save time just the same.
6. Post-Partum Supplies for Mom
Don’t forget that you will also be healing and need supplies to do so. I recommend having a small basket in your bathroom(s) that include the following:
- Menstrual Pads. Take the giant ones from the hospital and then purchase some smaller ones for as you progress through the post-partum time.
- Witch hazel or Tuck’s Pads. I personally found both very soothing after birth. Whatever pain management you prefer, have some on hand in your bathroom(s).
- Peri-bottle. The hospital may give you one of these but if not something similar can be purchased here.
- Extra panties. I am talking about your big ol’ comfy granny panties here. No shame in comfort after you have a baby.
7. Gather and Clean Other Baby Supplies
If you are like me, you might have an attic full of tools and gear from previous babies. If that is the case make sure you get down everything you think you will need and give it a good cleaning!
Here is a list of some items you might need to prepare:
- Baby bath supplies. This may include hooded towels, washcloths, a baby-sized tub, and washing soaps and lotions.
- Carriers or wraps. I am a HUGE fan of babywearing so gathering all of my slings and wraps and having them handy will be a top priority.
- Diaper bag. You likely won’t need this until after you bring baby home but it is helpful to have it ready.
- Bed linens. If you plan to use a crib, bassinet, or pack-and-play, make sure all sheets are clean and the bed is dressed properly.
- Other equipment you see yourself using: Such as stroller, swing, pack, and play, etc. If the equipment you are using was not purchased new, always make sure it is clean and safe before using with baby.
8. Install the Car Seat
Make sure if you are using a car seat from a previous pregnancy that the car seat is in good condition and most importantly, is still within the manufacturer’s expiration guidelines.
Since babies can come earlier than anticipated, I recommend getting the car seat installed by at least 38 weeks.
9. Pack your Hospital Bag
Get what you need ready by 36 – 37 weeks. Keep the bag by the door or in the car, just make sure it is easy to find!
This go around I am not messing with adding anything last minute. I have purchased travel sizes for all of my toiletries and a few new other items so I can be confident what I need is in that bag.
10. Prep Meals or Create a Plan to Feed the Family
The first few weeks home after baby is born should be focused on mom healing, mom and baby bonding, and the family settling into a new routine with this new little one. One thing that can often create stress is how and what to feed the rest of the family when you are too tired to care.
Good nutrition is important all the time but especially when healing, so give yourself a leg up and create a meal plan for 1-2 or more weeks after birth.
This can include prepping freezer meals and even setting aside an out-to-eat or take-away food plan.
By having a plan you will save time, energy and money in the weeks after baby is born. Read here for more tips on meal planning to help prepare for after baby’s arrival.
Related: Meal Planning Tips
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