Preparing for Baby: A Checklist of Everything You Need Before the Big Day

by Bailey Bouwman

Congratulations, mama-to-be! You are about to embark on one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys of your life – motherhood. As you approach the big day, it's important to make sure you have everything you need to welcome your little one into the world.

 Expecting Pregnant mom holding a camera wearing a Hot Milk Maternity and Nursing Bra with a kimono on
Waiting for baby can feel like it goes by so fast or too slowly. This expecting mom is wearing a Hot Milk Maternity & Nursing Bra, a must-have essential for new parents wanting to breastfeed and feel stylish at the same time. 

Pause. You don't need everything for baby. 

We write about the importance of being prepared and having everything you need, but the first few weeks of motherhood are incredibly simple and you don't need a lot to keep baby alive - just a safe place to sleep, a method of feeding, diapers and maybe some clothes. 

So many of the extra's that we worry about as a new mother when curating the list of things we need are things that are best sought after the birth of baby when you discover your parenting style and how baby will integrate into your day-to-day life and style.

When I became a new mom 5-7 years ago, so much of what I thought I needed changed; and with local baby shops in Prince George, BC - like Nest & Sprout - and online shipping being so fast, you really can get away with buying many things as you need them when you need them. 

I can remember buying all these beautiful muslin swaddle blankets... and then my child was so fussy so I desperately ordered the Love to Dream Swaddle for overnight delivery to give it a go. It helped so much! But I didn't know I needed Swaddle Bags or Sleep sacks until I was in that moment because every baby is so different. - Bailey, Owner of Nest & Sprout. 

Go. Everything you need before baby's arrival.

When going through this list think about the dupes you currently have. Yes, a glider is nice to have but do you already own a recliner or cozy chair in your home? Don't think about this as a list of things you have to buy but a list of things you might need to know where they are an dhow to source. 

Here's a checklist of everything you need before the big day:

  1. Nursery Essentials

Before you bring your baby home, you'll want to have a dedicated space for them to sleep, play, and grow. This includes a crib or bassinet, a changing table or pad, a rocking chair or glider for feeding, and plenty of storage for clothes, diapers, and other essentials.

Don't forget a waterproof mat for the crib or sleep surface and an extra pair of fitted crib sheets. You don't need crib bumpers or blankets as they pose a safety risk for newborns. The blanket alternative is a sleep sack. 

Hacks  Splurges & Extras
  • a pack and play can be multipurpose crib/bassinet/travel space. 
  • Ask about borrowing infant chairs and baby swings to try before you buy. 
  • Change space can be portable and done anywhere on top of a dresser, on the floor, of wherever.
  • Save all your diaper boxes for clothing storage.
  • Rocking Chair or Glider 
  • Bouncy Chair and similar
  • Change Table
  • Nursery Decor
  • Toys
  • Play Mat or Tummy Time Mat
  • Humidifier
  • Nightlight
  • Second Set of Everything 
  • Baby Monitor (depends on size of house and your parenting style

 Preparing for Baby: A Checklist of Everything You Need Before the Big Day
Here's what you need to know if you're considering a rattan basket. 

  1. Diapering Supplies

Diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream are obvious essentials, but don't forget other diapering supplies like a diaper pail, changing pad covers, and a portable changing pad for on-the-go changes.

Hacks  Splurges & Extras
 Image of a eco-friendly diaper with natural fibres and low waste, sustainable solution for modern parents
Thinking about a low-plastic diapering? Consider the Lunapaca Alpaca diaper without any plastic, and offering a simple natural fibre way to diaper your baby. 
  1. Feeding Supplies

Whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed, you'll need a few key supplies. If you plan to breastfeed, invest in a quality nursing bra, nursing pads, and a nursing pillow for added support (repurpose a pillow!) . If you plan to bottle-feed, you'll need bottles, nipples, and a bottle brush for cleaning.

The feeding supplies list changes depending on how you decide to feed and how the feeding journey goes. Some families need lots of different things and others don't. This one of those areas where you can build small back up plans, but also remember a trip to the store or overnight delivery can happen when you need it. 

  1. Clothing and Blankets

Babies grow quickly, so it's important to have a variety of sizes and styles on hand. Look for onesies, sleepers, and outfits that are easy to put on and take off for quick changes. 

A few of our favourite features for infant clothing include: fold over hands and feet, double zippers, and organic cotton. 

 An infant crawling towards the camera wearing a safari themed outfit in neutrals - baby outfit available at Pine Centre Mall in Prince George BC

Check out second hand for clothing and blankets. Our local children's consignment is a fantastic way to build your wardrobe with high quality essentials. 

Don't forget soft blankets for snuggling and swaddling. We love these stretch knit blankets for swaddling, but others prefer muslin swaddles. If you don't want to do the burrito fold a sleep sack like the Love To Dream Swaddle Up or the Nest Designs Velcro Swaddle can be a simple easy sleep solution. 

Check out sleep sacks for future planning - babies typically move into an arms out sleep sack when they start rolling. 

How many?

  1. Health and Safety Supplies

Your baby's health and safety are top priorities, so make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit, a baby thermometer, and baby-safe soaps on hand. You'll also want to invest in a quality car seat and stroller for safe transportation.

And of all the things on this list the most important is a baby thermometer. We love the one we got at Costco - but you'll always be worried about a fever and it never ends. You'll get the most use out of this time. 

You'll want to visit your favourite big box store for many of these essentials - we hope to have them in the near future. 

Hacks  Splurges & Extras
  • Baby carriers are readily available second hand, but check if you have a lending library to sample before you buy
  • use regular towels
  • your teeth work as great nail clippers
  • you don't need a fancy baby safe detergent

Collect it all. Baby Essential Shopping. 

Remember, this is just a basic checklist – you may find that you need additional items based on your lifestyle and preferences. Don't hesitate to ask for recommendations from other moms or your healthcare provider.

Now that we know what we might need, let's download a quick check list and start finding these essential baby items. It can be handy to add them to your gift registry for family and friends, or start shopping with baby boutiques like us at Nest & Sprout. 

We don't have everything though, so we recommend visiting other boutiques, local shops and shopping second hand. Here's a few of our favourite baby gift shops in Prince George. You can find many fantastic gently used products on Facebook Marketplace, Kids Good As New Sales, and consignment shops. 

Things to worry about later

A short list of things to get after baby is born: supplies to start solids, toys & activities, books, clothing for the next season, high chairs, and convertible car seats, and more. 

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