It is such an exciting journey to bring home a new family member. For a new child, there is an immense amount of love and pride that you, as a parent, will feel. A lot of groundwork is needed before the child can come home and, with a new baby, this preparation could be more taxing.
Though, the euphoric feeling can continue once you know your house is ready for the new addition. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry − we have you covered. All babies are different; some require more things than others. Our Baby Checklist is full of items that most parents have found to be useful for their little ones.
For Babies Under 1 Year
During this time period, babies are beginning to feel the world with the touch of their fingers. Because of the new experience, they require many things in order to get used to being in the home and out in the world.
In the Nursery
- Crib – Try and find one with high railings so the baby won’t fall/climb out. Waterproof pads or mattresses will also be handy.
- Rocking chair – The rocking motion soothes the baby and held them sleep better.
- Bassinet – On average, newborn babies sleep for 16 hours a day. Having a comfortable place for them to sleep is extremely crucial.
- Diapers – Newborn babies especially need to be changed from 5 to 8 times a day. That could be irritating for the baby if the diaper is not a perfect match. Things to pay attention to are: the comfort of diapers, skin sensitivity, the sex of the child (because boys tend to pee in the front while girls are more towards the middle and back), costs, and eco-friendliness if possible.
- Changing table(s) – This is handy to keep other important supplies like: diapers, baby powders, rash ointments, and wipes. It should be in a proportional size for the room and located in a place that is accessible if you are in a hurry.
- Baby monitor – Although babies are always asleep in the nursery, it is still good practice to keep the monitor in case they do wake up. Newly designed baby monitors come with cameras as an extra eye to give you peace of mind. Some even have a 2-way communication channel for the baby to hear you.
In the Bathroom
- Baby tub – The anti-slip surface allows babies to wiggle around without you fearing for their safety. It also makes bathing a lot easier for you since it can be used in bathtubs or even kitchen sinks.
- Baby soap, shampoo, lotion – Newborns have sensitive skin and products reserved for adults contain chemicals that are too harsh for baby-soft skin. You should aim for soaps and shampoos that are tear-free and non-drying. For lotions, look for something for sensitive skin without any artificial ingredients. Johnson & Johnson is always a good choice.
- Soft towel and washcloth – Similar to shampoos and soaps, anything that touches the baby should be soft.
- Sterile nail clippers and file – Baby nails should be maintained properly to avoid risks of infections. Clippers should be cleaned frequently before using on the baby.
In the Kitchen
- High chair – The size of the high chair depends on the age of the child. For newborns, it should be something more secure, with straps and a back for baby to lean on.
- Bottles/Nipples – You should get different size bottles and adjust once you learn of the baby’s drinking habits. After that, you should buy enough to get through the day before washing.
- Formula – Most adopted babies are fed formula, which is where they receive most of their nutrients during the first year. Some things to consider are lactose versus another base, artificial sweeteners, GMO-free, additional “superfood,” and finally price.
On the Roads
- Stroller/infant car seat – Another vital item to have on your baby checklist. No matter how hard you try, a stroller is safer than your arms. There are different styles and different sizes so look for one that will match your lifestyle.
- Blankets – Having blankets is just to keep the little one warm and could act as bumpers so they won’t wiggle out of place.
- Diaper bag – Having something to hold all your baby supplies is a life saver. Look for something that is waterproof and lightweight enough for you to carry for a long period of time if necessary.
- Travel changing pad – This will make sure you can always change your baby on something that’s sanitized and easy to clean.
Please note that this specific section does not cater to all babies. Once you learn more about your baby, you can begin to explore more clothing styles. These are just some basic necessities you might need.
- Footed coveralls
- Side-snap undershirts
For Babies Between 1 and 2 Years Old
Items from the Baby Checklist above can still be used during this time period. Here are some extra items that to prepare you for the baby’s growth.
In the Nursery
- Blankets – Great for cushioning them so they won’t roll around and hurt themselves while sleeping. But be careful of the material and weight as it could suffocate the baby.
In the Bathroom
- Bath toys – Rubber duckies and other soft things will be perfect to distract the baby while you give them a bath. It is also a good way for them to start developing their imaginations.
- Baby toothbrush and toothpaste – At this point, many babies will have the majority of their teeth so proper hygiene is important for teeth growth. Brushes should be soft while toothpaste should be gentle yet clean. Flavored toothpaste is normal, just be sure to check the ingredients.
In the Kitchen
- High chair or booster seat – There should still be safety straps.
- Toddler utensils and bowls – Your baby should have been introduced to solid food once they’ve hit six months. It will be best for you to have a lot of spoons and forks before washing. Bowls should be made of plastic so it won’t break if the baby ever throws it.
- Bibs – Not only will a bib protect your baby’s clothes from any potential mess, you can also use it to wipe their mouth if the material is soft.
On the Roads
- Portable play crib – This might not be needed but having a place for the baby to play in could be useful if you might be occupied for a little bit.
- Safety gates – Once babies begin to walk, the house is their playground. Have a gate by any room you don’t want them to go into, especially the basement.
- Safety latches – Latches will prevent them from opening drawers or cabinets that could potentially hurt them.
- Outlet plugs – Electricity will hurt anyone, not just babies. Have them in locations where the baby can easily reach.
You should be able to recognize what your baby needs by now. Some basics include:
- Lightweight Sleepwear
- Footed pajamas
The older the baby gets, they will need more things while graduating out of others. You need to be adaptable and be prepared for changes and challenges along the way.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
About the Author
Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.
During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.
Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.
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