Welcoming a baby into this world starts with making sure he or she is healthy. It also means being prepared for when your baby comes home. This list should help you get all you need to take care of your baby during the early months.
Cradle, bassinet, or crib: If you choose to have your baby sleep in your room at night, a cradle or bassinet is a nice option for the first few months. When the baby gets bigger, you will need to get a crib. When choosing a crib, make sure it meets the latest safety standards and that there are no more than 2 3/8 inches between the slats. If you are short on space, some pack-n-plays come outfitted with a changing table, bassinet and play area all in one.
Crib mattress: Unfortunately, most cribs do not come with mattresses so you will need to purchase one. Pick out a mattress that has good back support, is not too soft, and meets all the fire-retardant regulations. Make sure that it fits securely in the crib and that there is no space around the mattress that the baby can get a limb or head stuck.
Dresser: You will need a few drawers to store baby's clothes and toys.
Changing area: This can be on top of a dresser or a separate changing table. It is a good idea to purchase a pad to lay baby on top of when changing. You'll be changing a lot of diapers, so it's a good idea to have a comfortable surface at a good height that won't hurt your back. Never take your hand or eyes off baby when changing him or her, especially if your changing area is off the ground; babies can roll off the table at the blink of an eye. Most changing tables have a strap with a buckle to make sure baby doesn’t roll off. It is always a good idea to use this.
Rocking chair or glider: Although not essential, it's nice to have when feeding baby. Pick out one that has padded arms for extra support and comfort. A footrest adds additional comfort, especially if breastfeeding.
Tape or CD player, Bluetooth-enabled speakers: Lullaby music is a nice way to lull baby into a peaceful sleep or soothe baby when he or she is upset.