Get Prepped: The 36 Best Baby Things To Buy Before Birth in 2020

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When a new mom ventures into the realm of motherhood, the first thought that crosses her mind as she plans her future family life is what baby things she should buy before giving birth.

The answer is… a lot of stuff. Bringing a new baby into the world is an event that tends to lead to quite a shift in one’s day to day lifestyle.

Usually, when talking about individual items, it might not seem like much, but these things tend to pile up.

From cheap baby items that you buy in bulk like regular or cloth diapers, various creams, and baby shampoos to the more expensive purchases like breast pumps, strollers, and infant car seats, the shopping list can get quite long.

To help you make sense of all of the baby essentials (and optionals), I’ve compiled a little list of what I believe you should get before your baby is born.

Some of these you won’t need quite as early, and I’d suggest spacing your shopping out so you don’t blow your budget in one sitting.

It’s a mistake new parents often make and it won’t really do you any favors.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

36 Best Baby Things To Buy Before Birth

1. A baby crib + mattress

The first key item on our shopping list is going to be a baby crib or a bassinet.

You need a place for your little one to stay safe and cozy when you’re unable to carry them in your loving arms any more.

They’ll need something comfy but flat, without too many extra additions to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS for short).

It’s best to keep their sleeping space simple and clear in the baby’s initial months of life.

Here are my top picks:

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2. A changing table

A crucial bit of kit for a baby is always going to be a changing table.

While you don’t really need to get a specifically tailored changing table and a dresser will do you just as well, a changing table can simply be converted into a dresser afterwards depending on the type you purchased.

Or, it can simply become a shelf for all of your child’s toys.

My personal pick:

3. Baby clothes

These are essential to have, especially when your baby grows older. A nice few sets of clothes that will last them for several months.

Getting clothes for your little one can be a nightmare as you’ll need to swap them out regularly due to their rapid growth.

This will end up costing you a pretty penny, but you can always opt out of shopping for branded goods and look for hand-me-downs.

Here are my top picks:

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4. A baby monitor

This is a necessary piece of kit if you ever intend on leaving the bedroom when your baby is sleeping.

This little device will let you know when your baby has woken up from a bad dream and is crying, or when it needs something.

Just make sure it’s near enough so the monitor can actually pick their sounds up.

One half is placed near the bed while the other is placed in the room where you’re located and are performing your other duties or relaxing.

Here are my top picks:

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5. Diapers

If there was ever a piece of baby gear that was iconic with babies, it was diapers. And you’ll be going through a ton of these during your baby’s early years.

Do note that if your baby has sensitive skin,you’ll definitely need to try out a variety of brands to find which one suits your baby the best.

Diaper rash is not a fun problem to be dealing with after all.

Here are my top picks:

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6. Pacifiers

Much like the diaper, a pacifier is a key piece of kit when gearing up to welcome your new family member into the fold.

Stick to one brand and one brand only so that your baby can get used to the shape of the silicone nipple and so that there is little to no nipple confusion when swapping them over from pacifier to breast.

Preferably get one with holes on the shield to keep the area around the mouth ventilated and to prevent skin irritation.

Here are my top picks:

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7. Bibs

It’s a known fact that babies can and will be messy from time to time, especially when they’re eating.

Get a few colorful bibs to keep that mess in check and keep your baby clean.

As much fun as it is to throw food all over the place, they’ll get quite cranky if the mushy food ends up soaking through their onesies and getting them wet.

Here are my top picks:

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8. Baby wipes

And a lot of them. Baby wipes are something you’ll go through quickly, and for the reason as most other baby products – hygiene.

They’re handy when it comes to cleaning up all sorts of messes, from potty accidents to spit-up projectiles.

When you purchase these, try and find those that are odorless as they’ll provide the least amount of risk when coming into contact with your little one’s skin.

Here are my top picks:

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9. Burp cloths

An item that’s not as important as some of the other items on this list, but it still provides a great benefit.

Not for the baby specifically, but more for you when you go to burp them to prevent any stray spit-up from staining your clothes. Very useful for taking care of any newborn baby.

Here are my top picks:

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10. A breast pump

An invaluable piece of machinery that will make your life so much easier to organize when you can preemptively store breast milk from a session and save it for later or in case of emergencies.

When purchasing one, I’d personally suggest looking for one that makes the least amount of noise, but pumps effectively.

Whether you prefer a manual or an electric breast pump, that’s up to your personal preference.

My own suggestion is the Spectra Series as they served me quite well when I needed it to prepare milk for both my kids.

Here are my top picks:

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11. A diaper bag

A diaper bag or a tote, whichever term you prefer to use, is a great accessory to have when you start going outside with your little one and is made for any outdoorsy mamas.

This is a sizable bag that has specialized compartments for the breast pump, thermally insulated areas to keep your breast milk nice and cool, as well as actual bagspace for other baby gear or anything else that you may need.

And they’re not ugly, heavens no.

A lot of the more modern tote bags tend to come in various fashionable designs, allowing you to properly customize and adjust to your daily look as you see fit while still serving the same function in baby care.

Here are my top picks:

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12. A baby bath

A baby bath is a definite must have when expecting a new arrival.

Bathing a baby in an adult bath is very risky and should never be done even if you are trying to stick to a small budget.

A baby bath is something that you simply cannot go without as the more compact area will provide both you and your baby with an easier time bathing them and keeping them safe during bath time.

My personal pick:

13. Changing pads

That drawer I mentioned earlier will most definitely need a set of changing pads ready to be put on it and start serving the duty it was meant to perform.

Do try and look out for ones that can be properly secured to the table and aren’t too shoddily made.

Also, buy at least two or three so you can always have a backup if it’s a real nasty mess waiting on the other side while the dirtied one gets washed.

My personal pick:

14. A diaper pail

While this may sound rather unnecessary at first, having a separate diaper pail can be a lifesaver for your home when considering the pungent aromas those brown landmines tend to have.

These pails keep that odor in check, letting you properly dispose of the hazardous waste that is baby poop.

My personal pick:

15. Diaper rash cream

Back on the topic of diapers for a bit, I believe that a diaper rash cream is yet another must have for the inevitable times when a rash hits.

An extra safety layer that you can apply after every change (though that may be overdoing it a tad) or simply stick to applying it when you see the signs of diaper rash appearing all over your baby’s bottom.

Applying it every so often should become a bit of a habit though as that helps maintain the protective, anti-rash layer around their behind.

My personal pick:

16. A baby carrier

Being hands-free can be a blessing in disguise when you’re a mom to a newborn child and a baby carrier will allow you to do just that.

Some come as simple cloth ones just so your baby can have a nice place to sleep and are usually a great budget option.

There are also some more intricate ones that are still easy to put on, but allow for various carrying positions as well as extra lumbar and back support.

Plus, having a lot more pockets to keep your baby stuff in is always a plus.

If you’re going to be getting one, I’d suggest one that offers proper back support as mentioned previously because carrying around that much can place a lot of stress on it and having something to soften the load is a tremendous help.

Plus, a baby carrier lets your child feel your warmth a lot more, leading to a strengthened mother-daughter/son bond between the two of you.

Also try and get one that’s hooded so you can keep your precious child’s head dry in case a storm breaks out.

Here are my top picks for moms and dads:

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17. A baby stroller

However, if you’re the kind of mom that prefers her back to be less burdened, then you might want to opt for a baby stroller.

While nobody is stopping you from getting both, I’d still consider only one to save a few dollars where you can.

A stroller is a lot more practical in a sense that you have an extra layer of protection over their heads and it’s a much sturdier construction than that of any baby carrier.

Plus, some carriers tend to leave stretch marks which tends to be rather unpleasant, and, God forbid, you might fall accidentally.

A baby is a lot more prone to getting hurt being carried around in a baby carrier than being walked around in a stroller.

And, you get to store a bit more stuff on a stroller and they are less reliant on your body’s durability than with a carrier.

While it does end up being more expensive, it’s well worth the back health and reduced stress of potential bad stuff happening.

Here are my top picks:

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18. Baby medicine

While your child will hopefully and undoubtedly be healthy throughout their infancy, there’s always a chance of them contracting some sort of illness.

Most of the time they’ll get high temperatures when their teeth start growing in, but sometimes it might be an actual health condition.

One should always be prepared should such a need arise, so grab the necessary medications as prescribed by your pediatrician.

I am in no position to be giving out advice on these and will refrain from naming any names of said medicines.

19. Baby formula

An essential when it comes to keeping your baby fed.

While some moms opt to only breastfeed, my personal opinion is that a mix of both leads to a much healthier child.

A lot of baby formula out there might not be something that suits your baby’s palate.

Try experimenting with a few different flavors or brands to determine which ones they like and which ones they don’t and stick to it.

If possible make it a variety so they don’t get bored with food that always has the same flavor.

Here are my top picks:

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20. Wash cloths

These are useful during baby bath time and are one of the many great baby things to buy before giving birth.

Their silky texture allows you to gently apply soap to all of your little one’s hard-to-reach spots without having to irritate the skin with frequent rubbing.

All you have to do is use gentle dabbing motions and the whole process will be done in a snap.

Here are my top picks:

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21. Baby bath towel

And once the baby is washed it’s always useful to have one of their towels on hand to put them in and keep them dry.

In case you have a lot of air conditioning around the house, I’d suggest getting a hooded one to prevent your child from catching a cold.

Here are my top picks:

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22. Baby-friendly laundry detergent

Yes, laundry detergent of all things needs to be taken extra care of, at least the one that’s being used to wash all of your baby stuff.

Make sure it doesn’t leave any long-lasting, unpleasant odors and that it doesn’t contain any irritants that your baby might severely dislike.

My personal pick:

23. Nursing pillow

If you’re having trouble finding the right position for your breastfeeding sessions or your child is feeling uncomfortable, it might be time to invest in a nursing pillow.

It’ll help keep your baby comfy and leave you with more room for your hands.

That said, this is an optional product, but one that’s well worth it, at least in my personal experience from when I decided to stock up on extra baby gear for my son’s infancy period.

My personal pick:

24. A nursing bra

Something that you might find at least in the early years of motherhood, is that regular bras prove to be quite the cumbersome issue when you need quick access to your breast to breastfeed your baby.

Thankfully, some kind people have invented nursing bras and they make life so much easier for all of us.

And the best part?

They fit quite well under normal clothing nowadays so nobody will even know you’re wearing one. None of those extra pounds that oddly creased clothes can add to someone.

My personal pick:

25. Nail clippers

A baby should have their own, separate set of nail clippers so you don’t have to deal with them being too big for their delicate little hands.

Look for something small, but easy to use so you can get your baby started on proper hygiene.

My personal electric and manual picks:

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26. Baby shampoo

Speaking of hygiene, baby shampoo is a must-have for baby bath time.

But not just any ol’ baby shampoo, look for one that doesn’t irritate the eyes and cause them to water because there’s often a lot of flailing about in the tub.

My personal pick:

27. Moisturizer

While this one may seem weird, trust me, it helps a lot more than we might think.

Once you’re done with bath time, you really want to massage at least a bit of moisturizer on dry areas to keep your baby’s skin nice and hydrated.

My personal pick:

28. A portable changing pad

As good as a changing table is, you can never have too many changing spots and getting a portable changing pad can help immensely.

I can recall just how many times I needed to deploy the emergency blowout mending kit and a portable changing pad was always among the first items I’d reach for.

My personal pick:

29. A swaddle

While swaddles aren’t the most spectacular baby things to buy before birth, they’re quite comfortable for a newborn, keeping them quite warm and toasty and allowing for a better level of sleep.

While swaddles are essentially just small blankets, you can make life easier on yourself and grab ones that were especially designed for the act, leaving you and your baby happy as clams.

Here are my top picks:

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30. Ice packs

Something that’s less relevant to the baby and a lot more relevant for you. You want to secure a good stash of ice packs and maxi pads for when postpartum hits you.

There’ll be a lot of discharge and bleeding from your lower regions after the pregnancy finishes.

This is natural and there should be no cause for worry, but you should still stock up on these to help relieve the pain as some of these postpartum periods can last upwards of 5-6 weeks.

Here are my top picks:

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31. Nipple cream

After many frequent sessions of breastfeeding or pumping your nipples can get quite irritated or sore, especially if your baby’s teeth have started coming in.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a little bit of nipple cream around to help soothe those spots and provide you with some relief.

I get goosebumps just thinking about the soreness.

My personal pick:

32. A stuffed toy

Yes, a single toy, not too many at the start.

Preferably a stuffed animal for the baby to find a new friend to bond with and someone to whom they can entrust all of their infantile secrets to.

All they want is a friend at that age after all, (apart from mommy and daddy naturally) and you can’t always be around when they’re awake.

The stuffed animal will potentially increase the calm periods during their early years by keeping them busy and safe if they wake up during the night.

My personal pick:

33. Breast milk bottles

Jumping back to the topic of breast pumps for a bit, you shouldn’t forget to purchase some extra breast milk bottles to serve as storage.

Don’t forget to check if they are compatible with the breast pump that you already have otherwise you’ll just be throwing money at something that you can’t even use.

I’d suggest at least half a dozen more than the ones that come in the default breast pump package (though that too varies)

Here are my top picks: 

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34. Breast pads

If your breasts are prone to leaking after a feeding or pumping session and you’d like to prevent unpleasant stains on your shirt, blouse, or top, consider investing in a few pairs of breast pads.

These lifesavers act as sponges and absorb any leftover milk in the breasts, preventing them from leaking through the bra and making visible marks on your clothes.

My personal pick:

35. A baby swing

Arguably the best solution for getting your baby to calm itself when you’re feeling exhausted yourself.

This little contraption stands elevated above the ground and rocks back and forth gently, helping simulate the calming motions of a mother’s womb, allowing the baby to feel safe and at ease so they can go back to sleep.

Even if you’re dead set on always trying to put your baby to sleep yourself, you should have it as an alternative option should all the manual ones prove unsuccessful.

Just make sure to keep the baby swing batteries charged.

Here are my top picks:

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36. A sleep sack

Last, but definitely not least on our list is an alternative to swaddles, the sleep sack.

If your baby is still young and still at risk of SIDS occurring so you don’t want to use any loose sheets in the bed, you should look into buying one of these.

They’re akin to their sleeping bag brethren, albeit adjusted to fit the baby while still allowing them to move around.

They’re easy to pull on or off and they’re quite comfortable and warm.

You can also pull your baby out of them easily should it get too warm or cumbersome to walk around with them.

Here are my top picks:

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Optional: C-section recovery belt

The reason why this is optional is because many moms thankfully deliver through natural means, but sometimes a c-section might be necessary.

So, if you end up having a C-section, you ought to get yourself one of these as they can be a lifesaver.

And, don’t worry if you do have to have a C-section, I’ve had two.

It’s just how the dice rolls sometimes and it’s up to us to make the best of it. My kids are both healthy and I’m as healthy as I can be apart from stress.

Here are my top picks:

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In Conclusion

While this does seem like quite the list of baby things to buy before birth, trust me, lists like this are never going to be small when babies are concerned.

You want every gadget possible to help make motherhood easier for you and keep the baby as comfortable as they can be in their new environment.

I do hope I’ve helped you narrow the list down by at least some number of products and that it helps you in better raising your child.

Until next time, mamas.

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Written by Ivana Davies

Hey there mamas! I'm Ivana, a millenial mom of two wonderful kids. I was a teacher, but now I'm a stay-at-home mom running this blog with the goal of uniting all moms into a supportive community and providing insight into the everyday battle of motherhood.