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this is my first child and i guess that i am trying to get everything together. is it ok to stock up on baby wipes and diapers and other essentials for my baby now. i am a planner and want to have everything in order before the baby arrives in six months.”
If you’re planning to decorate the baby’s room a bit (if you haven’t already), for practical purposes it’s better to first paint, then carpet, hang your window shades and pictures, then finally put in the smaller stuff like bouncy seats, clothes, diapers, wipes and so on.
Wipes don’t go bad and you know you’ll need them (though damp washcloths also work), so stock up whenever. You don’t really need to buy newborn diapers before the baby is born, though– the hospital (if you’re delivering in one) will send you home with diaper samples. You’ll also likely get newborn-size diaper samples in the mail, and your baby will probably not be in newborn-size for very long– a week to a month, perhaps. (And the diaper stores will still be there after baby is born.) So unless you’re delivering at home, don’t invest in a lot of newborn-sized diapers.
When it comes to diapers and wipes, you don’t want to buy the “wholesale” size package of any brand until you’ve tried a test run first. Some brands of diaper just don’t fit well on certain babies, some have a strong odor you might find unpleasant, other brands might turn out to be soft but always leak, or be leak-proof or chafe your baby’s leg. So date a few brands before you marry one. You should also buy at least a couple of size-one cloth diapers, so you’ll never get stuck without a diaper should you run out in the middle of the night (which happens to even the best of planners). For more on essential clothing items, see the chart below.
You’ll also want at least one package of unscented baby wipes, and also some cheap colored washcloths for big cleanups — cheap so you won’t feel bad if one just gets so gross it needs to be thrown away, and colored so you won’t mix up the baby’s blowout and upchuck washcloths for the ones you use to wash your face. You don’t need a heated wipe dispenser– they always end up drying the wipes out– but an easy-to-open-with-one-hand dispenser that lets you use refill packs is nice.
As you stock your baby’s essentials, you should also think about what your sleep plan will be– baby in her room in the crib, or in a bassinet by your bed, or bed-sharing? You’ll need to get appropriate sheets for whatever arrangement, and wherever s/he is the environment should have fitted sheets, but no pillows, flat sheets heavy quilts, toys, crib bumpers or body-positioners. Baby should sleep on a firm mattress with no gaps between the bed or crib frame and the mattress. You’ll also want some baby clothes (of course), a changing pad and covers, feeding supplies, a car seat and a high chair. For more tips on what to organize before baby’s born, see this article.
The clothes you'll needThe minimum recommended number of clothing items to have on hand before baby.
|Type of garment||Number you'll need||Description/notes|
|Baby onesies||6-10||A "onesie" is a snap-crotch baby bodysuit. Buy two in the newborn size just to have something that fits perfectly, but buy the rest in the 6-month size, or larger. Get short sleeves for warm weather and long sleeves for winter, or a combination of the two, and use the short-sleeve versions for undershirts. Check for soft inside seams, and inspect for loose strings after every laundering.|
|Nightgowns, footed sleepers or sleep sacks||6||Since you're not supposed to put blankets in a newborn's crib, her nightgowns should be warm enough for her to not need one. Pick more thermal sleep sacks for cold weather, a simple diaper and a onesie may be plenty in summer. Though baby can't regulate her temperature she's still comfortable at the same temperature as adults. Make sure her crib is not positioned directly under a heating or a/c vent.|
|Socks||8-10 pair||Babies are notorious for losing socks, so get a single color or design. Extra elastic to help them stay on is a plus. Wash them in a lingerie bag to keep them from getting lost in the laundry.|
|Baby sweaters or fleece pullovers||2-3 (depending on your climate and season)||Buy a 3-6 month size, then roll up the sleeves. Make sure they are machine-washable. Go for zip-front cardigans or a snap-neckline, avoid anything with more than a couple of buttons.|
|Hat||2||Most babies don't seem to like hats, but they can help keep baby warm in winter and shielded from sun in the summer. Expect to lose one.|
|Bibs||around 4||All babies go through a phase of being massively drooly before their teeth come in. Some terry-cloth bibs can help save clothing and soft carriers from needing excessive washing. Once baby starts solids at around six months you'll also want some waterproof, heavier-duty bibs.|
|Receiving blankets||around 4||Useful for swaddling a newborn or protecting clothes and shoulders for spit-ups. Choose the 28-inch or 36-inch size in a soft, absorbent cotton flannel or a waffle weave.|
|Reusable diapers||2 - 12, plus 2-6 diaper covers||Even if you don't plan to use cloth diapers it's a good idea to have a couple of reusables on hand in case you run out of disposables. If you are considering cloth diapering, get a few different brands and types before buying several days' worth at once. You can expect to change your baby's diaper about 8-10 times a day (less often as she grows).|
|Coat or snowsuit||1-2||If your baby is due in the late summer or fall you'll need a coat or bunting for going out. When it rains you can keep baby in a soft carrier with a poncho over both of you or hold an umbrella over baby. Some strollers also offer a rain cover, which might be useful if you live in the Pacific Northwest, Ireland or the UK. If you're due in spring, just get a light coat or a few sweaters and take the baby shopping for cold-weather clothes after s/he arrives.|