Buying for Your New Baby: A Guide to Stocking Your Nursery

You have waited and waited and the time is finally near!

Your new baby will soon be with you.

Expectant parents often have a lengthy discussion about baby names, where to send the little one to school and all your hopes and dreams.

Suddenly the panic hits you. Can I do this? What was I thinking?

There is so much more to a baby and first-time parents often feel like they are fumbling about when making purchases for their nursery.

What do you really need and what is just fluff?

Chances are good you’ll get a little of both at your baby shower and the rest is up to you.


The first thought in your mind will probably be, “Where do I want the baby to sleep?” There are many alternatives including co-sleeping.

If you don’t wish to have your baby in your bed with you, you will most likely need a good sturdy crib.

Even if you are trying to save money its always a good idea to purchase a new crib rather than buying a second hand one.

If you are buying second hand or are reusing a crib from a relative or friend be sure to thoroughly check it for cracks, missing pieces and other dangers.

The crib should be solid and sturdy with all parts in place and working properly. Old cribs may be painted with lead paint.

If there is any question do not use it.

A bassinet can be purchased for newborns.

These can come in handy when you live in a two-story house.

The bassinet can be used for naps during the day and are generally small enough to fit in the corner of any room. As with cribs, you should always make sure ever part is in working order and that it is strong and sturdy.

There is no need to find the baby on the floor because of a loose or missing screw. Also, remember that some bassinets come with small wheels for mobility.

Be sure that all wheel locks are functioning correctly.

Some parents choose to co sleep with their infant.

While this can be a great way to bond with your child and will save you the trouble of getting up out of bed every few hours with a newborn, keep in mind co sleeping can be dangerous.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics both warn against infants sleeping in adult beds.

Even if you think you are a light sleeper and there’s no way you will roll over on your child you may want to think long and hard before you decide to co sleep.

If you wish to co sleep there are many great sites on the Internet that have helpful suggestions about making the experience as safe as possible.

Sleep Accessories

Don’t forget you will need sheets for your new crib or bassinet.

Make sure fitted sheets are the correct size so they will not come off the mattress as the baby sleeps.

Be sure the mattress fits securely within the crib so the baby cannot roll and be caught between the mattress and the crib railing.

Keep the crib free of bumpers, pillows, and decorative items.

These may lead to suffocation. They may look nice in the crib but they can be extremely dangerous.


Even if you aren’t breastfeeding a good, comfortable chair is needed for feedings. Look for low arms supports and comfort!

If you opt for a rocking chair, be sure to buy pads for neck and lower back support.

If you really want to be comfortable consider a footstool to go along with it.

Changing tables come in many varieties. A good choice is one that comes with storage underneath for babies other needs.

Look for one that is solid and is a good height for you to change diapers with minimal strain to your back.

As with cribs and bassinets, if you are getting a used model be sure to look it over for any flaws.


There are many types of strollers available.

You will find these to be very useful in all sorts of situations. New mom’s need exercise and a stroller ride is a great way to introduce baby to the world. Test any model before buying.

For the most versatility, you will want a model that has a reclining seat back, larger wheels and a basket. Take a test spin to determine if the handling is good.

Some models tend to be cumbersome and don’t move about easily.

You will also want one that has a sunscreen on it to keep the sun out of baby’s eyes and one that easily folds for transport.

Car Seat

The hospital probably won’t let you take the baby home without one!

Car seats are a must for any baby and you should never put a baby in a car without one.

Infants should be placed securely in a backward facing model that is strapped securely into the back seat. This is one item you should always buy new.

A car seat that has been in an accident can look perfectly wonderful from the outside but may have cracks you can’t see just from visual examination.

If you buy a used car seat you have no idea what you are getting.

Be sure to follow all safety advice that comes with your new car seat and be sure it is installed properly.

Other Items

Don’t forget to purchase a good night light for your nursery and even your hallway. Nothing is more jarring in the middle of the night than a stubbed toe!

Buy one that has very soft but sufficient light so you can take care of the baby in the night without turning on the overhead light or lamp.

Baby monitors are something you will find you can’t live without.

A good model will be portable so you can move about without worrying about hearing your baby.

A small tub made just for the baby should also be purchased. You don’t want a to be holding a slippery infant in an adult tub.

These models can be used on their own or placed inside your bathtub and often have a shape that helps you bathe your baby safely.

Highchairs are great for feeding baby even if you don’t use them right away. Buy a sturdy model that is easy to clean and has an adjustable height.

As with other baby furniture it is best to thoroughly examine a second hand model for any dangers.

Clothing and Supplies

You know baby will need clothes but what should you get and how much? Babies can be very messy and may go through clothing faster than you can wash.

You will also need bath and diaper supplies. Here is a quick list of things you will want to have ready before baby arrives.

Diapers: Buy at least 100-150 disposable or 30 cloth diapers.

If you opt for cloth don’t forget the pail, pins and diaper covers. You will also need talcum powder, baby wipes and the diaper rash lotion of your choice.

Diaper Bag: You will be using this whenever you leave the house with the baby. Look for one that is comfortable to carry and offers plenty of room for whatever you take with you.

Bath: Buy five good, soft towels and ten baby washcloths. Don’t forget the baby wash and lotion.

Burp Rags: These are great for feeding baby and keeping any spit up off of your clothing. They are also great to have to wipe up the baby when they spit up. You can use new cloth diapers for this purpose if you choose.

One-piece outfits: These cover the top and bottom of baby and have snaps for easy diaper access. You will want to get about ten or even 15 of these. Don’t forget the socks!

Outfits: Have at least seven outfits for the baby that corresponds to the time of year in which they are born. Choose lighter outfits for summer and heavier for the winter months.

Jackets and Snowsuits: These will also depend on when your child is born. Summer babies may require a light jacket and a sunhat while winter babies will need a warm snowsuit, hats and mittens for outings.

Feeding: Bottle-fed babies should have 15 or more bottles and nipples. If you choose to breastfeed be sure to buy a pump and bottles for storing expressed breast milk.

Bibs: These are used when feeding baby to keep clothing from stains and will help reduce the amount of times you will have to change your babies clothes.

Miscellaneous: You may wish to buy a baby thermometer, finger and toenail clippers and cotton swabs for cleaning around the umbilical cord right after birth.

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