Shopping for your baby is great fun. There are a few things, which are essential to have and some things which you can better buy after your baby is born. I have collected some ideas about what is handy to have from the beginning:
Several big and small muslins: A baby muslin is a small square cloth usually made from cotton and you can use them in so many different ways. You will use a muslin when you are feeding to wipe milk away from baby’s mouth and clean up any spit-up. It helps you to protect your clothes and your bed, sofa or nursing pillow. The bigger ones you can us eas swaddle or blanket. There are small ones which are handy to use as wash cloths.
Newborns are not keen on having their clothes changed. Very often they feel to cold when undressed and don’t like it when clothes are being pulled over their heads. Choosing onesies which you can button up complety and rompers with can be tied or buttoned on the side, makes getting changed more comfortable and easy for both of you.
Having 4-6 onesies and 6-8 rompers is sufficient for the start and using them you will see what suits both of you best and then buy more of it (probably already the next size )
A few pair of socks, 2 hats and depending on your climate, a cotton or woolen vest and a snowsuit for outside complete the newborn wardrobe. Ideally, everthing your baby is wearing directly on her skin should be made of natural, breatheable material.
Nappies: If you are not planning on using reusable nappies, I would recommend to buy not more than 2 packages of size 1 newborn nappies. Very often babies outgrow the smallest size already after 2 weeks. Some petite babies might need size 0 in the first 2 weeks. Fortunately everything can be ordered and delivered fast nowadays in case you need more or a different size.
A safe place to sleep is very important. Safe regarding the safe sleep recommendations https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/resources/caregivers but also safe in the sense, that the baby feels safe and is getting positive sleeping associations. In a Moses basket you can have your baby close to you wherever you are and at the same time your baby has the same sleeping surrounding in different rooms or even outside. Please make sure that the basket comes with a hard , breathable matras and get 2 or 3 fitting sheets. When you use a blanket, make sure that you tug it safely under the matras, so that your baby can’t pull it over her head. The blanket should be made of cotton or non-fluffy wool. It is safer to use a sleeping bag.
Nursing pillow: Also when you are not breastfeeding, a nursing pillow can be extremly helpful to find comfortable feeding positons. A simple and soft one often gives you the most options.
A changing mat, 2 small bowls and a hair dryer: Of course it is great (especially for your back) to have a proper changing table. And wet wipes can surely be convenient when you are out and about. But don’t worry when you haven’t found the perfect changing table for your interior yet. At the beginning, having a changing mat on which you can change your baby on your bed or on a table is perfectly fine. And cleaning your baby with warm water is more skin friendly anyway. Important after cleaning is to make sure that the skin is completely dry, before you put on a new nappy. As baby skin is very senitive, do not rub but gently tap dry with a soft towl (or a muslin!). Most babies love the sound of a hair dryer (WHITE NOISE), so you can also blow dry them gently on a low warm temperature. If you have a boy, please make sure to protect his testicles while doing this.
Natural oil and nappy rash cream: A healthy baby skin doesn’t need any treatment. short massages can be very enjoyable though, When you want to give your baby a massage, it is important to use only natural and parfume free oils. Good choice for a baby is Calendula or Jojoba Oil. If your baby is getting a nappy rash, it is good to have a simple zinc ointment at hand. Also this ideally parfume free.
It is useful to have a medical termometer, some sterile gauze, 100% alcohol solution for desinfection purposes and hand desinfection gel at home.
A lot of parents prefer to buy a baby carrier already pre birth, but after their baby has arrived they often find out that it isn’t the right fit. I would recommend to go to a shop and try out some different brands before the birth and make your decision afterwards. There are baby wearing consultants who are doing home visits so you can still try on different models. Also when you buy a pram, I would always do a “test drive”.
Of course, there are many nice things you will need, want and accumulate during the first months, but with the basics mentioned above you can do just fine in the beginning. And it can be quite relaxing not to have a lot of stuff which you need to tidy up and take care off.