Setting up Your Home for a Baby – What You Really Need and Don’t

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It is absolutely crazy right now how many of my friends who are pregnant.  I feel like I’m the mother hen of advice and I totally love it. Not that I think I’m a know it all but I have successfully braved the first two months of a newborn and I feel like I have really good advice to share about what works and what doesn’t.  Before I had Patrick I was CLUELESS when it came to what I needed for a registry and what products to buy.  There are endless things you can buy on the market and they all really add up.  At the end of the day, they are only in these things for such a limited amount of time so I always recommend either borrowing something from a friend/sister/etc or scour the mommy FB groups for what people are selling.  I was super lucky that my OCD sister kept a ton of stuff for me in pristine condition. She also came to help me set up my battlefield to help me be successful.  I’ve had a few friends come over and I’ve given them the set up tour of what they really need.  I decided to compile it all in one place.



You need “baby tenders” because you can’t do life one-handed.

I want to hold Patrick all day long and let him sleep on me but then you know you do have to shower, eat something, and use the bathroom right?  It’s also extremely hard to type one-handed…..I’ve tried, it takes a lot longer.  Babies have the attention span of a cross fit station, pretty much 10-15 minutes before you have to rotate them to the next one.  These have been my life saviors.  If you have a two-story house I recommend getting a few of them because you do not want to be carrying them up and down the stairs.


The Bjorn Bouncer

I tried so hard not to buy this because of the price tag but it is the best.   I put him in it in the morning and I’m able to pump, wash dishes, and eat breakfast.  It’s very sensitive so even at 2 months he can rock it by moving his arms and legs.  Target seems to have it the cheapest here.  I plan on adding this toy bar.



This Vibrating/Bouncy Chair

I have a two-story house so instead of carrying the Bjorn up the stairs all the time I have this one.  I put him in it when I take a shower or do laundry.  The max amount of time I get out of it is probably 20 minutes if I’m lucky.


Various Playmats

Once again if you have a two-story house I recommend getting two of them.  One for your bedroom or the nursery and another for downstairs near the kitchen so you can actually eat or do dishes.  Both of mine are older from my sister but love this one and this one.


A Pack and Play

I do think they are helpful for two reasons.  You need multiple places to change diapers.  This is my downstairs changing station.  I use these pads on the changing part.  I also have one in his nursery room with this essential changing pad (it’s amazing just wipe it clean).  I also use these water proof pads and put it at the end of my king bed.  It is AMAZING in the beginning when you’re waking up every 2-3 hours.  That way you don’t have to leave your bed to walk to the nursery to change them.  So to recap at least three changing stations, the pack and play, one in your nursery and the makeshift one for your bedroom.


A Cosleeper or Bassinet

I personally do not believe in the Rock and Plays.  Your end goal is to have them sleep in their cribs right?  I have this cosleeper (which I don’t hook to the side of my bed) I just have it next to the bed.  It has a flat surface that mimics the crib.  He slept in that for basically the first two months before I transitioned him to his crib.  Same goes for the DockaTot.  They are AMAZING in the beginning for newborns but try to get them out of them at night as soon as you can.  Limit the sleep crutches and things you will have to “wean” them out of.  Does that make sense?   My two favorite swaddles were these blankets when he was a newborn and now this one with the velcro when he got strong enough to bust out of the blanket.


If You Plan on Breastfeeding

Get your pump early, set it up, and know how to use it.  Trust me.  You don’t want to be home from the hospital, running on no sleep, engorged and trying to read an instruction manual.  If you have a friend, relative, mother, sister, etc who have used it before have them come over and give you a tutorial.  Also, get a boppy pillow, two if you have a two story house.



A Swing

The only way you’ll be able to eat dinner or go to the bathroom by yourself.  Make sure to put them in it when they are happy.  A swing really won’t soothe a screaming baby but a happy baby!  You will get at least 20 minutes of being able to use both hands or eat with it.


Final notes…


Make sure to stock up on tons of diapers (I personally love the Pampers Swaddlers).  You can find them the cheapest on Amazon. Babies go through a ridiculous amount especially in the beginning before you get into a good eat/sleep/poop/pee schedule.  Make sure to have wipes and Aquaphor.  Since they poop so much in the beginning you will need to put the barrier of Aquaphor on their bums to stay in front of preventing any diaper rash (speaking from experience over here).  Also, if you have a boy you will need to put it on their circumcision for at least 2 weeks afterwards.  Grab at least two packs of these cloth diapers.  They are the best burp cloths.  Don’t sit down to a feeding without one.  They wash and dry perfectly.  I also bought this back of hand sanitizer to put at every changing station and for visitors.  I bought this 6 pack of hand soaps because I’ve never gone through so much soap in my life.  I love this wipe container holder, pops up and grab one handed.  Pack this nail file in your hospital bag, they are born with the most jagged nails.  Finally, this little clock for the nursery which is good to time feedings and gives you the temperature inside the room.


These products have been my total essentials and mom hacks to be able to be on my own and function.  I’d love to hear your other recommendations.  Before I had Patrick I was completely clueless on what to add to my registry or buy on my own.  There are a million baby products on the market.  I think these are really the best of the best, bang for your buck to help you set up your home for a newborn and beyond!  Also, p.s. Put Amazon giftcards on your registry.  I spent so much money on Amazon Prime same day delivery when he was born.  It will be your lifeline.


4 responses to “Setting up Your Home for a Baby – What You Really Need and Don’t”

  1. Nadine says:

    I remember all the little things I had to sit Zoe in when she was younger and immobile. They really were life safers. Now I laugh and think about the days when I didn’t really have to worry about her getting away anywhere. Those days are long gone my friend! Haha! I actually really liked the rock n play because Zoe had acid reflux pretty bad and it was the only place she could sleep comfortably. She couldn’t lay flat the first few months of her life without being in pain. I didn’t really have a problem transitioning her to the crib at four months. It took about a week and we were good. But I know some people who had a really rough transition from it. I dont see a point in letting them sleep in there exclusively if they do just fine laying flat. Like you said, no need to wean.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Riley still uses the Bjorn seat every single day and plays with the toy bar on it. It’s our favorite purchase ever, especially since we have had ours since Greyson!

  3. Biana says:

    Such a great condensed list of things that people will actually need! Thanks for sharing girl!

  4. Shenine says:

    I 100% concur with your entire list and I have all of these exact items except the bjorn one. I could use a few more baby tenders, I find that she isn’t loving the vibrating fischer price one as much as i’d hoped she would.

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