The big baby stuff post

Forgive the long, boring post. Does anyone else lose things if they’re not immediately moved online? And yes, I could use Google Docs, but I find it easier to get to my blog than to get to Google Docs on my phone. Sorry!

Birth Center stuff…

Unlike a multi-day hospital stay, women with normal deliveries stay in the birth center for six hours (though medical needs might extend to twelve hours). This freaks me out, as we’ll be heading home PDQ. Bright side: not as much to pack!

What to Bring in Labor – Mother:

Labor foods: soups, juices, popsicles, frozen yogurt, hard candy, frozen juice cubes

High protein meal for after the delivery (may want someone to bring this to you after)

Loose, comfortable gown or oversized t-shirt to wear during labor

Night gown for after the delivery, bathrobe if desired

Loose-fitting clothing for the ride home (5-6 month pregnant size)

Slippers, socks (3 pairs)

Six pair of underpants (old ones will do)

Toothbrush & toothpaste

Shampoo, brush, comb, hair ties

One large box of super absorbent maxi pads

Plastic bag for soiled clothing

Lotion for massage

Extra blankets & pillows for family members (they provide for me)

Childbirth class notes

Postpartum handbook

Camera, iPod w favorite relaxing music (iPod dock for HippieBirthing)

What to Bring in Labor – Father:

Nutritious snacks

Toilet articles (toothbrush, hairbrush, razor)

Box of tissues

Extra change of clothing (doula recommends a button-down shirt for skin-to-skin contact)

Swim trunks!

Money for food runs (optional, obviously)

Paper plates & cups, plastic eating utensils (state health code requirement – must be disposable)

Laptop charger, phone chargers, camera charger


3 – 4 receiving blankets

Four diapers (cloth or disposable)

2 – 3 t-shirts, onesies or gowns

Soft baby hairbrush


Going home outfit


Stuff to Buy

I got the big ol’ list from here (note: go to the link for the full list… I’m removing the irrelevant things).



[  ] 4-8 bodysuits or onesies (wide head openings and loose legs)

[  ] 4-8 undershirts or vests (snaps at neck or wide head openings, snaps under crotch)*

[  ] 4-8 one-piece pajamas*

[  ] 1-3 sweaters or jackets (front buttoned)

[  ] 1-3 rompers or other dress-up outfits*

[  ] 4-7 socks or booties (shoes are unnecessary until baby walks)*

[  ] 1-3 hats (broad-brimmed for summer baby, soft cap that covers ears for winter baby)*

[  ] No-scratch mittens

[  ] Gentle laundry detergent



[  ] Crib, cradle or bassinet*
[  ] Firm, flat mattress fit snugly in crib (less than two fingers should fit between mattress and crib)*

[  ] 1-3 washable crib mattress pads

[  ] Bumper pads covering inside perimeter (secured by at least six ties or snaps, with all extra length removed — we suggest breathable bumpers)

[  ] 2-4 fitted crib sheets*

[  ] 4-6 soft, light receiving blankets*

[  ] Rocking or arm chair

[  ] Music box, sound machine or CD player

[  ] Crib mobile with black and white images (remove when baby can support self on hands and knees)

[  ] Baby monitor

[  ] Nightlight

[  ] Dresser

[  ] Toy basket

[  ] Swing or bouncy chair



[  ] Changing table or cushioned changing pad for low dresser or bureau, with safety strap or railing*

[  ] Changing table pad*

[  ] Changing table pad cover

[  ] Diaper pail

[  ] Diaper pail liners

[  ] Diaper cream*

[  ] Unscented baby wipes (causes less irritation)*

[  ] Soft washcloths*

[  ] Tissues (for you)

[  ] 6-10 dozen cloth diapers and 6-8 diaper covers, or 2-3 large boxes of disposable newborn-size diapers*



[  ] Baby bathtub

[  ] Baby soap*

[  ] Baby shampoo

[  ] 2-4 soft towels or hooded baby towels

[  ] Baby hairbrush

[  ] Soft washcloths (use a different color or pattern than your diaper washcloths!)



[  ] 10-16 bottles and nipples, both four and eight ounce (if fed strictly by the bottle, baby will go through about ten in the four ounce size per day)*

[  ] Liners, for disposable bottles

[  ] Bottle warmer (cuts down on nighttime trips to and from the kitchen)

[  ] Bottle sterilizer (if your dishwasher doesn’t have one)

[  ] Bottle brush

[  ] Dishwasher basket for small items

[  ] 4-8 bibs

[  ] Burp cloths (or cloth diapers)*

[  ] High chair

[  ] 2-4 pacifiers

[  ] Formula (if not nursing)*

For nursing moms:

[  ] 1-3 nursing bras (Breasts swell following birth, so start with one size larger than your maternity bra. Wait until size settles down — about two weeks after birth — to purchase additional bras.)

[  ] Nursing pads

[  ] Nipple cream

[  ] Nursing pillow

[  ] Pump (even if you plan only to nurse, a pump will allow you to leave milk for baby if you want or need to separate)*

[  ] Milk storage bags*

[  ] Really big water bottles


Medicine Cabinet

[  ] Baby nail clippers or blunt scissors*

[  ] Cotton balls (don’t use swabs to clean baby’s nose or ears)

[  ] Baby thermometer*

[  ] Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator

[  ] Medicine dropper or spoon with measurements

[  ] Petroleum jelly and sterile gauze (for circumcision care)*

[  ] Infant acetaminophen (Tylenol)

[  ] Antibiotic cream

[  ] Saline nasal drops

[  ] Baby gas drops

[  ] Disinfecting hand soap (for you)



[  ] Infant or convertible car seat*

[  ] Stroller (reclining to almost flat for infants)

[  ] Diaper bag

[  ] Changing pad

[  ] Baby carrier/sling


For Mom

[  ] Ice packs (in case of tearing during birth or swelling after)

[  ] 2-3 week supply of ultra absorbent sanitary pads

[  ] Panty liners

[  ] Hemorrhoid wipes and cream (can become necessary after labor, even if pregnancy was free of problems…sorry)


The Bump Editors




8 thoughts on “The big baby stuff post

  1. If it makes you feel more prepared, then of course go for getting everything! But I had a baby 4 months ago, and ended up not using (ever) a lot of the stuff that I bought (including mittens, baby monitor, baby bathtub, baby hairbrush, baby gas drops: didn’t work at all, etc.)

    You might want to reduce the list to the bare essentials, because you can always buy more stuff later, as the need becomes apparent (esp. if your husband is home for the first month: then you have an excuse for a little outing).

    • @Grace, That’s a great point. I was surprised to see the baby hairbrush (really?), etc, etc. I think I’ll skip mittens since most of our little sleeper things have mittens on them. And since I haven’t found a bathtub I’ve been compelled to buy, I think I’ll skip it, thanks!

      • @Marisa, Yup, the only reason I even have the hairbrush is because it came in a kit I got that also had nail clippers, baby emery boards, and other assorted things. I use it a lot more than I’d have thought because my kid has lots of hair that sticks up funny after her bath, but it’s so not something you need right away.

  2. Out of curiosity, what are the swim trunks for under the father list? This list makes me think you’re packing for a week’s vacation. This whole hospital bag is kinda scaring me at the moment. I don’t know what the hell to pack. Thanks for the list!

  3. I have a tip for your “Celebration Meal.” It took me a lot of thought to find something that would be appetizing enough to pack and I ultimately ended up on preparing waffle batter ahead of time. We did breakfast – whole wheat waffles with scrambled eggs. It was delicious and the timing worked out great since the baby came at 6:17 am. I wouldn’t have wanted something like a big meaty casserole. And maybe some birthday cake 🙂

  4. You may want to consider bringing your own pillow — I don’t know about your birthing center, but the hospital I was at had the worst pillows ever. I was so glad to have my own, and my husband wished he’d brought his own because he had to make do with the crappy flat cardboardy one they gave him.

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