The Only Things You Need the Day You Bring Your Baby Home from the Hospital

Jewish people (me being one of them) are not supposed to have baby showers. In fact, we are not supposed to buy anything for the baby before he/she is born. We are not even supposed to decorate the nursery.

No fun, I know.

I think it’s a “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” thing. Literally. And although I have never been a very religious person, I do not want to mess with anybody upstairs when it comes to giving birth.

I didn’t have a baby shower with my first and I am not planning on having one with my second. If people want to send gifts, they can send them after the baby arrives.

Since this is my second child, we already own most of everything we need but with my first it was a different story. I remember at some point in my third trimester having a near panic attack that I would be bringing a baby home without a single onesie or diaper and then briefly considered storming Buy Buy Baby and purchasing everything in sight.

A good friend calmed me down by making a list of the only things I would absolutely need on Day One. I gave the list to my mom and she assured me that all those purchases would be waiting for me by the time I came home from the hospital.

Turns out newborn babies don’t need all that much. And there is plenty of time, once the baby arrives, to receive gifts and then reassess what else you need to buy.

Forget the fancy newborn outfits, forget unnecessary items like a wipes warmer, and forget a high chair that you won’t need until Month 6. Below are 20 bare essentials for first time parents and in my experience, the only things you absolutely need to have on Day One.

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  • Infant Carseat 1 of 20
    Infant Carseat
    They won't let you leave the hospital without a car seat. We chose the Graco Snugride.
    Purchase from Graco for $139.99
  • Infant Diapers 2 of 20
    Infant Diapers
    It's no secret you will need plenty of these.
    Purchase from Diapers.com for $26.63
  • Humidifier 3 of 20
    Humidifier
    The FDA now recommends that both a humidifier and a fan be used for all newborns to help prevent SIDS.
    Purchase from Amazon for $52.95
  • Fan 4 of 20
    Fan
    Make sure it is child safe and sitting out of reach of your newborn.
    Purchase from Amazon $66.98
  • Diaper Genie 5 of 20
    Diaper Genie
    This thing is a lifesaver. Or a nose-saver. Trust me.
    Purchase from Amazon for $30
  • Nipple Cream 6 of 20
    Nipple Cream
    Lanolin works wonders to soothe nipples cracked from breast feeding.
    Purchase from Amazon for $9.51
  • Bassinet or Co-Sleeper 7 of 20
    Bassinet or Co-Sleeper
    You'll want the baby in your room for the first few months but it is not recommended to keep the baby in your bed for safety reasons.
    Purchase from Amazon for $162.95
  • Grooming Kit 8 of 20
    Grooming Kit
    It's important to keep those nails short. They may seem harmless but newborns have the tendency to scratch themselves.
    Purchase from Amazon for $19.34
  • Swaddles 9 of 20
    Swaddles
    Some people swear by Velcro swaddles. I always preferred the basics. Fleece for winter and muslin for summer is a good bet.
    Purchase from Amazon $34.95
  • Nursing Bras 10 of 20
    Nursing Bras
    It's best to get fitted as close to your due date as possible. I bought two to wear during the day and one to wear at night.
    Purchase from Bare Necessities for $55
  • Newborn Towel & Washcloth 11 of 20
    Newborn Towel & Washcloth
    Hooded towels in a light fabric work best. It will keep your little one all wrapped up and dried!
    Purchase from Babitha for $26.02
  • Sling 12 of 20
    Sling
    It is not recommended to use a sling before 4 months but I used mine religiously right from the beginning (the rule didn't exist when I had my first) and plan to do it again. Fleece slings work great for the winter babies.
    Purchase from Mommy Couture Designs for $59.95
  • Breast Feeding Pilllow 13 of 20
    Breast Feeding Pilllow
    Mothers usually swear by the Boppy or the Breast Friend for breast feeding support. Personally, I preferred the Boppy, which ended up being a great seat for the baby as well.
    Purchase from Boppy for $29.99
  • Onesies 14 of 20
    Onesies
    You'll go through onesies like hotcakes so buy a few packs. Some people prefer the kimono style since you don't have to put it over the baby's head. TIP: Take a few from the hospital.
    Purchase from Carter's for $15.60
  • Carseat Stroller Attachment 15 of 20
    Carseat Stroller Attachment
    We did not use our stroller for the first few months and preferred to just snap the car seat in a wheeled attachment. That way, you never disturbed the baby during travel.
    FPurchase from Graco for $74.99
  • Carseat/Stroller Liner 16 of 20
    Carseat/Stroller Liner
    JJ Cole makes excellent fleece liners for the car seat and the stroller that ensure your baby can brave the elements.
    Purchase from JJ Cole Collections for $49.95 - $ 59.95
  • Snap-Up Pajamas 17 of 20
    Snap-Up Pajamas
    All your baby will be wearing in the first few months are snap-up pjs. Day and night. PJs with feet are best because newborns tend to kick off their socks. Also, look for newborn pajamas with flaps at the end of the sleeves to put over the baby's hands. This way you won't need gloves (which fall off) and your baby can't scratch themselves.
    Purchase from Carter's $9
  • Hat 18 of 20
    Hat
    Whether it is winter or summer, it is best to protect your newborn's head both in and outdoors.
    Purchase from Diapers.com $14
  • Burp Clothes 19 of 20
    Burp Clothes
    Don't be fooled into getting pretty burp clothes. Buy Gerber's 12 pack of cloth diapers and use them as burp clothes. They are super cheap and work just as well. You'll be washing at least half of them daily.
    Purchase from Toys "R" Us for $10.98
  • Changing Pad 20 of 20
    Changing Pad
    Make sure the pad is contoured to prevent rolling. And buy a soft cover to go over it too.
    Purchase from Babies "R" Us for $23.98

If I am forgetting something, please let me know in the comment section!

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts. 
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