Preparing for the Little-ing: The Ultimate Shopping List
Congrats on expecting a little munchkin to you! You're probably here because you have no idea where to start at when it comes to preparing for your little bundle of joy. Been there done that. I went through tonnes and tonnes of lists and requested all my friends who had recently had babies and made registries to share them with me because just thinking about shopping for the baby was super overwhelming. I always imagined shopping for my own baby to be the most funnest exercise ever, but when it came to my moment, it was ANYTHING BUT FUN! Haha. I guess it was partly because I had no idea what all a baby needs, and I was scared that there may be a time when my baby needs something and I won't have it, and partly because I just have this OCD to do everything perfectly with as much research as needed to feel confident about the situation.
So now that you know how much trouble I went through, let's get down to it and make your life easy. I've listed the things in categories since that helped me stay organized and avoid clutter, as well as listed only those items which after my own experience I felt were helpful and needed in the initial 4-6 months. Also for things that I got from abroad or ordered from Amazon, I've linked them to the relevant weblink or given Ali Express alternates wherever applicable. Finally, since I had family scattered around the globe who all wanted to get me things, I made a registry on Amazon and listed every thing there which came with a family member from the US. I would highly recommend building out a registry (maybe just a google spreadsheet that you can share with everyone and update as things are bought) since it helps all friends and family to get you things that you ACTUALLY need and avoid random clutter. Luckily for me, most of Merai's stuff came as gifts and we didn't have to get a lot ourselves. So yes! MAKE A REGISTRY and make every one else's life easy.
- Crib: I got it from the Graco shop in F-11, Islamabad. It's a non branded, Vietnamese crib that came with a bouncer and a changing station. Most cribs come with mattresses unless you're getting it from a place like Mother Care.
- Crib Sheets: I got 3 fitted sheets and I have never run out of them. The ones I got were this and this. Make sure the sheets are fitted to your mattress to avoid any risk of SIDS.
- Mattress Protector Sheets: Haven't used them yet since the mattress that came with the crib already has a protective sheet on it.
- Baby Monitor: This helps me get out of the room and get some chores done when Merai's sleeping. I got a pretty decent one from Ali Express which you can find here.
- Swaddles: I would recommend not getting more than 4 because my LO only used them for like the first one month and ditched them completely after. However, she was also a summer baby so that also made a difference. I got these and these and focused on getting organic Muslin ones only.
- Nightlight: I would recommend getting one that is soft but enough to let you move around at night without waking the baby up. It really helps with the late night feedings. I got a night light but switched to a soft lamp that's wasn't too bright eventually.
- Rocking Chair: This is HIGHLY recommended! Merai likes to be rocked to sleep and it's either walking her or sitting in the rocking chair and the latter is always easier. Honestly this is a life saver and if you can invest in one, you should. I got mine from Chen One in F-7, Islamabad.
- Bassinet (optional): Since Merai's crib is in the nursery, I got a Pack N Play by Joei from the Graco Shop, that I have kept in my bedroom. It's smaller than her crib but big enough to let her sleep in it for 6 months easily.
- Bassinet sheets (Optional): I got these for the Pack N Play.
- Diapers duh!
- Baby Wipes
- Diaper Trash Bags (got a box from DWatson, Islamabad)
- Rash Cream: I got this one. I think it's available in Pakistan as well but you'll have to check in your city.
- Waterproof Changing Pad: This is highly recommended as it has helped me change my LO literally everywhere. I got this one.
- Diaper Caddy: This helps me keep all the changing things in one place and it's literally everything. Although I got mine from Amazon, the exact same thing is available on Ali Express here.
- Bath Tub with Infant Support and Stand: Got mine from the Graco Shop.
- Bath Towels: 3 are good so you can you always have spare in case they get dirty.
- Wash Cloths: These are helpful to wipe the spit ups and also wash your baby's face in the morning if you want to. They're usually available in sets of 4-5 and two such sets are usually enough.
- Grooming Kit: This should basically have a comb, hair brush, nail cutting scissors, finger brush, thermometer and nasal aspirator. I got this kit.
- Shampoo, Moisturizer, Baby Oil and Body Wash: Got the Mother Care ones for all of these from DWatson, Islamabad.
- Cotton Balls: To clean baby's eyes, and once the baby's a bit older, to gently clean the outside of her ears every once in a while (no cotton buds and cleaning inside the ears is needed).
- An organizing basket: To keep all the bathing things together. I got this one to go with my LO's elephant themed, aqua colored nursery.
- Alcohol Swabs: To apply on Umbilical Stump while it's still intact in the first couple of days.
- Olive Oil: I use this to oil my LO's hair once a week an hour before her shampoo/bath time. No need to do this before the baby is three months as baby's skin is too sensitive for anything extra to go on it.
- Onesies: 8 in newborn sizes, and 8 in up to 3 months are more than enough. My LO goes through two change of clothing a day usually and we have laundry day every four days. So this is the number that works for me.
- Sleepers: I really like this style and have four which are enough for one round of laundry.
- Full body suits: 8 in newborn sizes and depending on the weather 4-8 in up to 3 months and onwards. My summer baby alternates between a full body suit and a sleeper at night when she's sleeping in the AC for now.
- Socks: Cotton ones for newborn sizes and up to 3 months. I believe 4 pairs for each size should be enough.
- Mittens: Newborn sizes only. Baby girl started putting her hands in her mouth by 2 months of age to soothe herself and her doctor recommended that her scratching her face isn't that big a loss than hindering her self soothing mechanism so I should skip the mittens if possible and I did.
- Hats: New borns need head covering for the first month at least even in the summers, as the head loses the most heat and may leave the baby feeling cold!
- Dressy clothes for your LO: As many as you like, but trust me they grow out of them way too quickly.
- Booties (baby shoes).
- For winter babies, some warm layers.
- Bottles if you're planning to give formula. For pumping I'd recommend getting the bottles that come with the pump itself. I use the Medela bottles that came with my pump.
- Pump: I got this Medela pump that came with three bottles. I also got these extra bottles for storage.
- Milk Storage Bags: I got these from the US as I couldn't find them ANYWHERE in Isb, don't remember the brand. I use these for freezing pumped milk whenever I can to use later if needed.
- Nursing Pillow: I got one from the Graco Store but didn't use it much. I didn't find it very comfortable.
- Nursing Cover: If you're breastfeeding then something like this is super helpful as it lets you feed your baby easily in public and let's you get out of the house in those first couple of months when your baby is feeding every 1.5-2 hours.
- Bottle Cleaning Brush: Mine came with the bottle sterilizer.
- Bottle Sterilizer: I use this as frequently as I pump, as the pumping parts need to be sterilized prior to each use. I bought the Tommee Tippee Sterlizer from Graco Shop.
- Nursing Bras: Something like this in cotton without an underwire, if you're breastfeeding. I ONLY wear these bras now when I'm going out because they're super convenient to simply clip off, feed, and clip on again.
- Nursing Tanks: I got something similar to this from the US and I only wear these at home now as it's so much easier to again clip off, feed, clip on again. Also, they're super comfy and airy. When I'm around people, I just wear a t-shirt over it.
- Breast Pads: These are to absorb any leakage you may be having in the first couple of months. I got these from Amazon, but I believe you'd find something similar on Ali Express as well.
- Nipple Cream: For sore and bruised nipples. I used Nip Care by Montis (available at every drugstore here) as it didn't require washing off before feeding.
- Formula: Even if you plan to breastfeed, it is necessary to have formula on hand just in case. Despite a vaginal birth, I couldn't feed my LO on the first day (I was too drained and low on energy), so the nurses just fed her formula. I used the Morinaga BF-1 Infant Formula.
- Formula Travel Dispenser (if you're giving formula)
- Baby Dish Washing Soap: I don't have a particular brand and get whichever is available at DWatson. It's mild and usually organic.
- Burping Cloths: I legit used the swaddles for this purpose and wash clothes to wipe spit ups. Muslin ones are recommended as they are gentle on the baby's skin.
- Bibs: My LO became a spitter at three months (most babies start around teething time as well), so I go through 8 bibs at least (2 per day). My doctor recommended recently to make sure the bibs are also made of muslin and don't rub against her chin too much as it may irritate her skin and give her a rash.
Health and Safety:
Apart from the kit that I mentioned at the top which contains thermometer, nasal aspirator and combs and brushes these are the additional things I needed:
- Saline Drops
- Medicine Dropper
- Baby Detergent: Persil Non-Bio Washing Liquid for sensitive skin.
- Panadol for babies
- Travel System: This is the stroller with the car seat that I got from the Graco Store, by Graco brand. The car seat comes with a head support and a car base (very important).
- Bottle Bag: A portable bag that you can clip with the baby bag or stroller. Should come with an ice pack.
- Baby Bag: I have a colorful one from Kate Spade that comes with a changing pad and tonnes of space and one back pack style that I thought Subi will be comfortable carrying and will also be a better option whenever we're traveling.
- Carrier: Got an Infantino one from here but didn't like it. Ended up getting this one by BabyBjorn from the US.
- Soft Books: Got one from Saeed Book Bank and didn't find any others here. :(
- Play Gym Mat: Got one from Graco Store (don't love the quality).
- Stroller/Car Seat Toys: I'm currently using some hanging toys from her play gym.
- Teether: Got these from DWatson
- Pacifier (if you decide to give one to your baby).
- Baby Bouncer: Got one with the pack n play that I got but the one I use more often is a Fisher Price one that we got as a present. It came from Karachi.
- Musical Mobile: I got this one.
So there you have it. Pictures of the nursery and baby items will be up in another post soon. If there's anything that you think should definitely make it to the list, let me know in the comment below!
Happy parenting! <3