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Getting Ready for Baby: What You Need

Preparing for your new baby’s arrival can seem overwhelming, especially the first time. There are so many things you need to have in place before the baby arrives, and you must get yourself ready as well. Here’s a checklist of basic things you’ll need when you bring baby home:

  • Car Seat: No hospital will release your baby unless you have a car seat and it’s been installed properly.
  • Bassinet or Cradle: New parents generally keep the baby in the room with them in a bassinet or cradle. Be sure you have a couple of crib bedding sets around so you’ll always have a clean set.
  • Cloth Diapers: Even if you’re using disposable diapers, cloth diapers make great burp cloths and can be used as dust rags after they’ve been retired from baby duty.
  • Baby Towels and Washcloths: While you won’t be bathing baby right away, a warm, wet washcloth can freshen him or her up quickly in the early days.
  • Gentle Laundry Detergent: Have a box or bottle of detergent made especially for baby clothes as regular detergent can be too harsh. You will need to have this when you bring your child home because new babies are messy!
  • Diapers and Wipes: You’ll need plenty of these—you can’t have too many. Make sure you have the correct size for your baby. You’ll also want to be sure to have diaper rash ointment on hand.


    If you’re bottle-feeding, be sure to have bottles, extra nipples, and plenty of formula available.
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