Before my beautiful niece was born, my sister asked me if I had any tips on getting the house ready for baby’s arrival. And so this insanely comprehensive list was born. This list has been passed on again and again so I thought I would share it.
Just a few notes before getting started.
- I am admittedly a bit crazy when it comes to list making so be warned that this might be a tad overwhelming
- I understand not everyone will have each and every one of these items on the list, and many items are more based on convenience than necessity (this list is meant more a a jumping off point and by no means is everything on this list a must-have item)
- Do what works for you! Maybe you want your whole house organized before the baby or maybe you just want to see how things go before setting anything up. Please remember that we all parent differently and that’s okay
- Our NICU nurses gave us so many helpful set-up tips so I absolutely need to give them credit!
- I was unable to breastfeed or pump for an extended period of time due to my leukemia and therefore this list includes information about bottle-feeding. If these parts don’t apply to you, feel free to skip them.
Diaper Change Area
I would recommend either designating a drawer or getting a basket to carry your supplies.
**Make sure you take everything that the hospital will give you, they will likely give you diapers, cream, vaseline etc.**
- Change pad cover + one spare cover washed and ready to use
- Diapers – Newborn
- Diapers – Size 1
- Diaper cream
- Wipe dispenser (could be a wipe warmer or one of the refillable plastic tubs)
- Pump hand sanitizer
- Box of tissues
- Face and hand wipes or Boogie Wipes (for wiping his face)
- Diaper disposal system set up and ready – see below re: Diaper Genie
We also keep the following things in a drawer in this area:
- Nail clippers
- Nasal aspirator
Note on the Diaper Genie – so we have the Diaper Genie Elite but I’m not sure that it is the best option. After about 6 months it really started to smell, and it also requires special bags which can add up and become an extra expense in the long run. When the boys started to get larger, so did the diapers so we switched to just throwing pee diapers into the regular kitchen trash and putting poop diapers into a small trash can (with lid) that we kept on our deck and emptied weekly. If you are really interested in a disposal system, I have heard amazing things about the Bubula Diaper Pail. It is stainless steel so it retains less scent, it uses regular trash bags and the compartment with the diapers is kept separate even when you open the pail to deposit a diaper. It is significantly more expensive than the Diaper Genie though – $129.00 vs. $49.00 – but I have heard that you can use the 20% off coupons at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
- Sleeping area(s) for baby set up
- Bassinet set up and ready
- Crib set up and ready
- Nightlight set up
- Monitor set up, charged and ready (if you don’t have somewhere for the moniotr to sit near the baby’s crib you can use the 3M velcro wall mounts like we did. Just make sure the cord is at least 3 feet away from the baby’s crib)
- Mobile set-up and batteries installed (if you are using one)
- White noise machine set up – if you are using one, we have the Cloud B Sleep Sheep
- Bathtub set up and ready to use – My recommendation is the Summer Infant Right Height tub
- Washcloths and towels washed and ready
- Baby wash
- Baby lotion
- Flannel receiving blankets (if you are planning to do swaddle baths)
- Baby clothes washed
- Sleepers washed – My recommendation would be to purchase sleepers with zippers as they are infinitely than snaps
- Swaddle blankets washed
- Sleep sacks/sleep swaddles washed
- Bassinet sheets washed and put in bassinet
- Back up bassinet sheets washed
- Crib Sheets + two spare sheet sets washed
- Mattress protector washed
- Mattress protector and crib sheets put on mattress
- Tags removed off toys
- Bottles washed and sterilized
- Drying station set up
- Bottle sterilizer set up – I highly recommend getting either an electric sterilizer or the microwave version (we had the Dr. Brown’s electric one and loved it)
- Sensitive or scent free dish detergent
- Pump parts washed and sterilized
- Pump set up (make sure that you know how it works)
- Bottle brush ready – make sure you get one that has a nipple brush
- Large bowl for washing – We like to wash our bottles in a large bowl because this way they aren’t exposed to any germs in the sink.
- Feeding pillow ready with cover washed
- Burp cloths or flannel receiving blankets washed/ready to use for feeding time
- Phone app for tracking – we used the Baby Tracker app. I found it was the best because Mike and I could both add to it and it keeps track of absolutely everything. Plus it’s free!
- Pacifiers sterilized and ready
Living Room/Living Area
- Pack and play with bassinet set up and/or bouncy chair set up (you will want to have a safe place to put baby down)
- Extra burp cloths/receiving blankets
- Swing assembled and ready
- Extra pacifiers
Car / Travel
- Car seat installed – If you are in Canada, check to see if you can meet with a certified car seat technician. They can very helpful with car seat installation and use.
- Mirror set up
- Sun shade set up
- Stroller assembled
- Stroller car seat adapter installed if necessary
- Diaper bag packed – if you want to pack it early it can be helpful
- Know how to use carrier or wrap – if you have a carrier or wrap it can be helpful to watch some YouTube videos to make sure you know to wear it properly.
- Water bottle that can be easily used with one hand (you will be really thirsty when you are pumping or breastfeeding)
- Comfortable clothes washed and ready – make sure you have lots of comfortable clothes ready for yourself
- Nursing bras washed
- Nursing tank tops washed
- Comfortable shirts for nursing/pumping washed
- Maxi pads
- Extra large underwear (preferably pairs that you don’t mind throwing away after)
- Peri bottle – do not forget to take this home from the hospital!
- Nipple cream
- Breast pads
Around the house
- Baby laundry detergent
- Lots of snacks
- Freezer meals
- Extra pet food – if you have pets
- Treats for pets
Other things to keep in mind
- Create a plan with your partner on who you think you will want to visit and when – who can come see you in the hospital and when, who can come visit you at home and when etc.
- Create a plan with your partner on how you want the birth announced – this sounds so silly, but it’s really important to be on the same page as to if you want to announce that you’re in labour or share pictures of the baby etc.
- If you have pets, you should have a plan on how the baby will be introduced to the pet(s) and how the pet(s) life will change when the baby comes home, for example maybe the pet will no longer be allowed to sleep in your room etc.
I hope that you found this list helpful. Let me know if you have any suggestions or feel free to share what has worked for you.