While there are many things you can buy for your baby on the way, there are only a few things new parents need. Check out this great list to see what you actually need for baby.

Once you announce you’re expecting a baby, you will likely start hearing from friends and family members. They’ll want to help you prepare the essential things you’ll need before bringing the baby home.

Often, this help can include advice on things from car seats to child-rearing. You will also likely find yourself looking at every list on Pinterest of what to buy for baby. There are thousands of items you could buy, but only a few you really need.

6 Essential Things New Parents Need Before Baby

With a new baby on the way, finances are something to always keep in mind. You will need to prioritize initial purchases and budget the less essential items for later on. 

This list of six things new parents need will help you navigate through those purchases so you can focus on your new family.

1.) Help After the Birth:

After bringing baby home from the hospital, you’ll find an amount of strength you never knew you had before. Between late-night feedings, diaper changes, and finding time to recuperate, life is undoubtedly going to change. This is why it’s essential to find time to line up help after birth. Having help ensures that you aren’t pushing yourself to the limit during this time.

Your time at home with your baby will be exceptional and personal. So, don’t feel guilty if you don’t immediately desire help from friends and family. You understand your situation best. So, remember that help can come in many different forms other than actually taking care of the baby.

This can mean having someone go to the store for you, helping with yard work, bringing over takeout or casseroles, or watching older siblings so you and baby can have time to bond. Remember to discuss how childcare duties will be allocated between you and your partner. This way, everyone is on the same page once you return from the hospital.

Take advantage of the experts at your doctor’s office and hospital during your stay. They will help you better prepare you for the long but exciting days after birth. For example, be sure to talk to a lactation consultant if you plan on breastfeeding. Likewise, ask questions about bottle feeding and formula brands if you plan on using formula.

Take some time to consider whether or not you will want some help with caretaking from an outside source such as a nanny, night nurse, postpartum doula, friend, or neighbor to assist you during the newborn phase.

2.)  A Life Insurance Policy:

Now that you are going to be adding a member to your family who is financially dependent on you, it is essential to consider how to protect their future from unplanned events. While it might not seem like the most critical topic to discuss right away, especially during the moments of joy leading up to the birth of your child—it is essential to plan for the unexpected to provide added peace of mind.

If you have a life insurance plan through your employer, consider whether or not the coverage amount would adequately protect your child and the life you would like them to live if you were to pass away.

Experts suggest multiplying your annual salary times ten as a good start point to determine how much coverage you need. College and big-ticket items for your child in the future are also something to take into account. If your policy through your employer does not provide enough coverage, consider looking at options on an online marketplace to find the policy that works best for your growing family.

Many couples look into term life insurance policies because they are usually less expensive than whole life policies. A term life insurance policy will end at a given time. So, many parents choose this option to protect children while they are minors financially.

3.) A Travel System:

Once you find out you are expecting, you will start noticing all different kinds of strollers, baby carriers, car seats, and various accessories that can help you when you’re on the go.

Before investing in an expensive travel system, consider the ways that you get around now and how you plan on transporting your baby in the future. For example, are you a family that likes to hike and be outside? Maybe consider investing in a wearable baby carrier that you will grow with you and your baby and saving on an infant stroller.

If you plan on using a stroller, then it could be useful to invest in a travel system where your baby’s car seat fits in the stroller for easy access. There is no right or wrong answer to determining the travel system you choose, as long as it is safe.

It can be tempting to find these items at a low price or even free on online marketplaces or from friends and family. However, remember to do your research and check expiration dates or potential recalls before looking into used options.

4.) Diapers and Wipes:

One of the most significant costs associated with a baby can be diapers and wipes. There is no way to get around needing some diapers. So, planning can help you once you bring your baby at home. Some parents opt for cloth diapers. If this option interests you, make sure to research the different types available and how to clean them.

If you plan on using disposable diapers, remember that all babies grow at different speeds. Some may outgrow the different sizes quicker than others. When stocking up ahead of time, research the brands that you are interested in before investing in a large number of diapers.

If you are planning on having a baby shower, some parents do a “diaper raffle” at the shower. This is where shower guests bring different sizes of diapers as gifts. Each guest who brought diapers is entered to win a raffle prize at the end of the party. If you have chosen a diaper brand already, make sure to let your shower guests know ahead of time.

5.) Basic Clothes and Feeding Equipment:

While it can be fun to pick out cute outfits for a newborn adorned with bows, shoes, and accessories, remember that these are only optional, and a baby is only going to need basic clothes once they are home.

If you’re on a budget, don’t feel obligated to buy things like new pairs of shoes for a newborn. Instead, focus on comfort and ease of use when purchasing clothes for your baby.

Walk into any baby store, and you will find hundreds of different options for feeding equipment as well. First, you will want to determine if you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or using formula before investing in a bunch of new gear.

Remember that you might plan to feed one way and then change your mind after you bring the baby home. So, be prepared but don’t overspend on accessories that you might not even use.

6.) Time to Decompress:

While it can seem impossible, remember to take some time for yourself when you can do so. Switching to a new normal after bringing home your baby can be both physically and mentally draining. Try to take some time for yourself to ensure you don’t burn the candle at both ends.

Even if it’s just an hour to read a book or go to your favorite store, take advantage of the people who are willing to help so you can re-energize. By prioritizing self-care, you will be able to bring your best self to your new baby. Don’t forget this important step as a new parent!

Things All New Parents Need

As a new parent, you are inevitably going to have a lot of planning prior to your baby is born. Remember that not all of the items that you see are completely necessary. Your baby is going to thrive whether or not you have the most upgraded baby equipment. Keep in mind the necessities and prioritize your needs versus your wants. This way, you can spend time enjoying your pregnancy and your new baby!

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