Getting Ready at Home

Newborn Babies - Getting Ready at Home

Preparing for a new baby doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience. Experienced parents have learned that newborn babies need just some basic items at first—a warm and safe place to sleep, food, clothing, and diapers.

Many baby stores offer a gift registry service so that you can list the items you prefer for others to consider when buying a baby gift. Although there are many baby products now available, listed below are the essential items you'll want to have ready for your new baby.

Choosing furniture and furnishings for your newborn with care

Safety is an important issue when choosing your baby's new furniture, especially for the bed and bed linens. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers recommendations for many of these items.

Supplying your home appropriately for your newborn's arrival

It is recommended that you have the following items on hand before you bring your newborn home. However, you can purchase the minimal amount and always add more.

  • Three to four fitted crib sheets
  • Two waterproof crib pads
  • Two lightweight cotton crib-sized blankets (no fringe)
  • Three to six receiving blankets
  • Four waterproof lap pads
  • Crib bumper pads that attach securely
  • About 10 to 11 disposable diapers per day for the first few weeks, or 48 cloth diapers (plus three to five diaper covers or wraps)
  • Diaper stacker
  • Diaper pail at each changing area
  • Diaper wipes
Bath Items
  • Baby bathtub
  • Four to six baby washcloths
  • Two to four hooded towels
  • Mild bath soap
  • No tears baby shampoo

Choose simple clothing that's easy to get on and off, without long strings or ties that might be a choking hazard. Make sure sleepwear is flame-retardant. You may want to buy mainly six to nine month sized clothing and a few newborn items.

  • Four to six receiving gowns
  • Two to three one-piece footed sleepers
  • Four to six undershirts
  • Two to three pairs of booties or socks
  • One to two blanket sleepers (depending on the season)
  • One to two dress up/special occasion outfits
  • Bonnet with brim
  • Bibs
  • Sweater
  • Pacifier
  • Baby brush and comb
  • Baby nail clippers or scissors
  • Baby acetaminophen drops (given as advised by your baby's physician)
  • Bulb syringe for clearing baby's nose
  • Humidifier
  • Rectal or digital thermometer
  • Decorations for room
  • A front baby carrier or backpack
  • Laundry hamper

As you prepare your home for your new baby, look for sturdy furnishings and equipment. Be sure that all products meet current safety standards. This is especially important if you're borrowing or buying items secondhand.

What to know about preventing SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths

Here are recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sleep-related deaths from birth to age 1:

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Online Resources of Pregnancy, Birth, and Baby Center


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