The Bare Essentials for a New Baby Checklist

19 May


We set our phasers to scan and went all sci-fi shooting action on everything all up in this Babies R Us yesterday. It’s getting real ya’ll.

Here’s our timeline as best we know it:

Jonathan leaves for boot camp on June 4. He graduates on or around August 6, at which time he’ll be told where his school will be located. Then he’ll be sent to A School within the few weeks following boot camp. At this point I will be 4-6 weeks to my due date. Since I want to be near him during his school – which lasts 6 months – I will be moving to wherever in the United States his A School is (though I have a sneaky suspicion that it’ll be in Pensacola, FL). So we will have roughly a month after his graduation to find a place to stay, then move ourselves, our cats, our dog, and our baby things to Who-Knows-Where, USA and get our little world ready to be rocked by a new baby.

The chaos of potentially moving cross country, coupled with the fact that we’re not really going to be experiencing an excess of money till Jonathan is well into boot camp, has our hands tied to buying only the barest of the bare necessities to keep Tessa alive, healthy and happy. Not only that, but I will have to be making the majority of our purchases without Jonathan – which is why it was so important to run the big buys by him BEFORE he leaves to be a tight pantsed sailor suit military man on June 4. That way I can buy the things on our list stress free and without any unpleasant “Here’s what I did with the checkbook while you were gone, honey!” moments.





So yesterday we spent the day in Fresno at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby with my friend Bree and her family. Bree is a supermom, who is a veritable guru of baby safety and practicality. Having her help us through the registry and the ins and outs of new parenthood was a life saver. For instance, we didn’t know we could take the jogger and baby car seat we were looking at buying out to our car for a test run. (Yeah, that thing was WAY too big. Potential disaster = averted.) And between using her children as experiments on products to practicing car seat safety on a Hello Kitty doll, Bree gave us the thorough 101 on essential baby purchases.

Halfway through our first stop at Babies R Us I got a huge stress headache. Those stores bombard you with useless crap that look so fun and indispensable. Then inadvertently adding up the price tags of the last 35 pointless diaper wipe warmers / Disney themed pacifier holders / Winnie the Pooh plushies was sending me into a financial meltdown. Again, I don’t know what I would have done without Bree there to keep me focused on the essentials!

So here’s the basics I’ve gleaned:

NURSERY AND FURNITURE – The baby will sleep in our room for the first few months. So we simply don’t need a fully-decorated nursery right away. Furthermore, things like high chairs and play pens and swings won’t be necessary till she’s a bit older and the purchases can be delayed, while some parents dispense with the play pens all together. It’s a kind of have the baby first, THEN buy situation. So you can safely cross this section off right off the bat .

CLOTHES – The biggest and most redundant piece of advice we’ve received from various sources is to NOT buy clothes, especially newborn clothes. From what I hear, not only will we be showered in a mountain of cute baby wear, (and we already have, haha) but once Tessa pops out, all she’ll be wearing for the first few months are onesies and pajamas. Also, we’re told that for the majority of babies, the newborn clothes fit for a very small period of time. For instance, in Jonathan’s case, he was born tall and heavy and didn’t even fit newborn wear the first month.

HYGIENE AND GROOMING – I’m told virtually every essential will be supplied by friends and family at the baby shower. And what they don’t cover, hospitals generally will in “new baby” kits. And as far as baths go, I’m told babies can do without soap or shampoo until week three.

SAFETY – While I hear that Tessa will be a whirlwind of destruction one she arrives, I’m also told that she must first be able to move on her own before she’s in danger of setting herself  and / or my cats on fire. Which gives us roughly about five months before we have to seriously baby proof the place.

So, with these points in mind, here’s the breakdown on our list of the bare essentials that we absolutely need to have by day one.


Pack of Onesies

Hat and Socks

Snap-up Pajamas

Stroller and Infant Car Seat Travel Set

Pack of Burp Clothes

Bassinet with Sheets

Diapers and Wipes

Swaddling Cloths and Receiving Blankets

Baby Grooming Kit

4 Ounce Bottles and Bottle Brush

Baby Sling / Carrier

If there is anything I’m forgetting or overlooking – or anything that would be just plain helpful to have prior to pushing Tessa out my hoo-haw, please let me know! If you can’t tell – we’re totally new at all this. 😉


10 Responses to “The Bare Essentials for a New Baby Checklist”

  1. Salena Reid May 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Baby’s are more slippery when wet than a wet t-shirt contest at a college bar! For $15 at target they have a very easy bath chair that adjusts the recline.

    • gynjii May 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      I seriously thought at first this was a spam ad from Target and I thought DAMN those spambots are getting raunchy… 😉

  2. Suzi May 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    When is the Baby Shower? I know you told me, but it’s not on my calendar so I forgetted. :/

    • gynjii May 19, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

      It was supposed to be mid-June, but then I realized I’ll still have no monies by then, so now it’s being pushed back to sometime in July. We’re going to look at Harris Ranch to see about prices, but with Bree and I going halfsies, we can only afford about $8 per head for the party…. so I don’t know where it’s gonna be either! lol

  3. toemailer May 20, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    We would love to post the bottom picture at toemail if you do not mind? Just need the location for our title and we would be good to go!

    • gynjii May 20, 2013 at 5:37 am #

      That was taken at Buy Buy Baby in Fresno, California – trying out car seats with our friends 18 month old! ^_^

      • toemailer May 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

        It’s posted now. Thanks so much, we really appreciate it! And good luck in your new adventures! 🙂

  4. Amber May 20, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    Gynjii, as a seasoned mommy I would suggest you get a baby swing and not put it off. This sounds bad of me to say, but there were times my babies would not sleep, due to reflux, or just needing to be rocked in the middle of the night, and the baby swing has totally saved my Butt. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t use it every night and not all the time. Just on the really difficult nights when I’ve tried everything. But a combo of the swinging motion and upright Position helped Lull my babies to Sleep. My Suggestion is get a mini swing, the ones that are not full size, they are cheaper, and work just as well. Trust me on this… you will thank me later 🙂

    • gynjii May 20, 2013 at 5:39 am #

      You are the third mom to tell me to put that on our essentials list!! We have one on our registry (its a Graco one, $150 I think), and if we have the money I think we may grab it when they offer the 10% off “registry completion” deal… It does seem like something we’d like to have! And they look so cute and snazzy, haha…

  5. Tom B May 29, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Congratulations , it is such an amazing journey.

    Cate is #37weeks now, and it very close for us. As New parents we want to make informed choices and it seems that many women birth from a place of Fear rather than accepting that their body is more than capable of delivering their little miracle into the world.

    The best piece of advice as a Dad to be during the labour is to help Cate get in to a rhythm and be there to support and not fix the situation (as a Male this is what all do!) and the best piece of advice for a Mum to be was to surrender to the process , allow your body to completely relax, carefully set up your environment and allow your primal brain to take over.

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