Your baby needs so little at first. As they grow older you’ll find the exact tools you need to parent happily. This list should be enough to get you started, without being overwhelmed by new gear. To buy these products online, click on the image of each item.
Somewhere for baby to sleep.
This can be a crib, a bassinet, or anywhere regulated by AAP for sleep. You’ll likely want a crib, as your baby will outgrown a bassinet in just a few months. During the early days, our favorite is the Halo swivel bassinest. It’s easy to move to either side of bed, swings so baby can be in your bed but still in their own sleep space, or totally out of your bed.
A way to get the baby from point A to point B
You’ll need a carseat to leave the hospital, and really to go anywhere with your baby. There are two types of car seats for infants, bucket seats, or convertible car seats. In San Diego we don’t deal with extreme weather, so we can skip the bucket seats. However you can buy multiple bases for installation into different cars, which is pretty awesome. Convertible car seats can be used for much longer. Our favorite is the Chicco NextFit. It is super comfy, sleek, and can be used from 5lbs to 65lbs.
Places to set your baby down
If you don’t want to hold your baby all the time you’ll need a safe space to set them down. This can be their bassinet, a blanket on the floor, a swing, or our favorite a bouncer. It can be moved from room to room, and babies are usually very happy to hang out in them. This Fisher price bouncer also gives your baby puppy ears- a huge plus!
It’s likely that your baby will find a lot of comfort in being swaddled. You can buy fancy sleep sacks and swaddles with velcro that are supposed to make it easier. We suggest you ask your postpartum doula to teach you how to swaddle with a cloth. Our favorite swaddle cloths are the muslin blankets. They are forgiving while you’re learning the swaddle, and make awesome blankets as your child gets older. They are also light and airy, perfect for our socal weather.
Enough Outfits as you want to do laundry
It could be hard to limit this, as baby clothes are so adorable. The average baby uses about 3 outfits per day. You’ll need more if your baby spits up, or is prone to blow out diapers. We think onesies make the best first outfits as they are easy for diaper changes, and are comfortable enough to sleep in.
A way to carry your baby
You may want to hold your baby all the time. If that works for you great. If you want greater use of your arms while you are shopping, walking, or outside with your baby you’ll want a stroller or baby carrier. There are endless styles of baby carriers. For tiny babies we love ring slings. We find them easier than wrapping, and very comfortable for carrying tiny babies close. If the ring sling is intimidating you may want a soft structured carrier- like a tula. As an added bonus- Tula is a San Diego company and we love supporting local businesses.
The odds and ends that make your life easier
Easier, or maybe just less challenging. You’ll want to keep a few burp clothes, a baby bath-tub (check out this awesome blooming bath created by a group of Dads in Carlsbad), bottles, a breast pump (your insurance may cover this), a changing pad, a few teethable toys, and some board books. All of that should get you through the first few months.