1. A car seat
Whether you choose an infant car seat or a convertible, you can’t leave the hospital without one. Make sure it’s safely installed in your car before you have your baby.
2. A safe spot to sleep
Some parents opt to have baby sleep in a crib right from the start, while others choose to have baby share their room in a bassinet for the first few months.
3. Diapers and wipes
Babies go through a lot of diapers — think 8 to 10 per day. Three jumbo boxes of size one diapers (for an average size baby) should get you through a couple months. And don’t forget the wipes — you’ll be using them for a long time.
4. Baby clothes
To start, plan on seven bodysuits, three swaddles, two hats, four sleepers and five pairs of socks, and keep them the same color so you don’t have to match them. Add more if you don’t have convenient access to laundry.
5. A baby carrier or stroller
A travel system — a stroller you can attach an infant car seat to — should be ready so you can use it right from birth. Meanwhile, a baby carrier or wrap allows you to hold baby, hands free.
6. Diaper bag
Stash diapers and wipes and items like a backup outfit, extra pacifier, bottles or a blanket so you’ll be prepared for (almost) anything when you’re out and about.
7. Feeding tools
Formula-feeding parents will want to stock up on bottles and formula. If you’re breastfeeding, a breast pump, nursing bra and nipple cream can help make your journey easier.
8. A health kit
Be prepared with a baby thermometer, nail clippers and a nasal aspirator at the very least. You can also buy one of the pre-made baby first-aid kits on the market.