Expecting Parents

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Items for your new baby are organized below based on whether they are essential, helpful, or nice but not essential. Experienced parents might disagree with the categories, but the list will give you a place to start making your own decisions.

Essential Items

  • Phone number for your baby's health provider. Make sure you have this one written down. You may need a resource for questions and problems before your first well-baby visit.If you'd like help in selecting a doctor for your baby, you can search Children's online Find A Doctor directory.
  • Car seat. You should not transport your baby in a car without one. Hospitals often loan these to new parents. Ask for this service if you do not have one.
  • Formula. If you are breastfeeding your child, having formula at home may encourage you to stop breastfeeding when there are problems in doing so.
  • Diapers (cloth or disposable). Some babies develop a reaction to soap residues in the cloth diapers, and some others react to components of the plastic diapers. Keep some of both available.
  • A waterproof pad for changing diapers
  • Washcloths or baby wipes for changing diapers. Some people feel the commercially available wipes irritate the baby's skin.
  • Baby clothes
  • Blankets
  • A place for the baby to sleep
  •  Resources for help with child care. Your new baby will make more demands on your time than most parents expect. A spouse, family member, or good friend can be a great support during the early weeks after your new baby's birth. First Call for Help, at 612-335-5000, is a general help line that can refer you to child care resources if you need them.

Helpful Items

  • Crib (Slats should be no more than 6cm or 2 and 3/8ths inches apart)
  • Stroller
  • Pacifier. Some lactation consultants recommend not giving your baby a pacifier in the first three weeks if you are breastfeeding.
  • Playpen (mesh less than 1/4 inch or 6mm apart)

Nice Items

  • Books. Read to your child from an early age.
  • Toys. Infants are quite near sighted. If you want something for visual stimulation, buy something with large shapes and bright colors. Newborns see back and white patterns better.
  • Changing table
  • Pouch carrier
  • Exer Saucer or Johnny Jump Up.

Plainly Speaking

Having a new baby at your home is a wonderful but anxiety-producing experience. A few simple preparations, a medical resource for your questions, and support from your family or friends will minimize the anxiety and help you enjoy this special time of your life.