Newborn checklist: Preparing for your baby

image of baby sleepingWelcoming a new baby is one of the most joyous experiences in life. It also can be one of the most overwhelming. If you are wondering what all you need to care for your newborn, there’s no need to panic. With a little planning and using our checklist of essentials, you’ll find yourself prepared for your baby’s debut.

  • Choose the right pediatrician:

You should choose a pediatrician by the seventh month of pregnancy. This allows you to make an informed decision versus one made in the haste and excitement following birth. Schedule a “get to know you” meeting with any prospective pediatrician. Children’s Physicians pediatricians do not charge for this initial visit.

  • Install a secure car seat:

Nebraska law requires that newborns be secured in a car safety seat when leaving the hospital, so buying and installing a car seat is a must when prepping for your new baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants ride in a rear-facing car seat or rear-facing convertible seat from the moment they leave the hospital until age 2. Remember: never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat of a car that has an airbag.

  • Prepare a sleeping space for baby:

Good sleeping habits are important for baby’s health and well-being. An important part of establishing these sleep habits is baby’s sleep environment. Your baby should sleep in his or her own crib – not on a pillow, air mattress, cushion or loose bedding. The crib should have a firm mattress with a tight-fitted sheet. Never have your baby sleep in bed with you. Bed-sharing can put your baby at greater risk for entrapment and suffocation. Place your baby on his or her back to sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

  • Purchase necessary breastfeeding or bottle- feeding supplies:

While both breast milk and formula provide all of the nourishment your baby will need to thrive during the first 4 to 6 months of life, experts believe that breast milk is the best milk. Whatever choice works best for you and your baby, make sure you have the proper supplies ready to go before baby arrives. Once baby arrives, if you have questions or concerns about breastfeeding, you can make an appointment with a Children’s Physicians board-certified lactation consultant, even if you are not a current patient.

  • Purchase the necessary supplies:

While everyone will have a slightly different view regarding what supplies are indeed “necessary,” most will agree that diapers, onesies/footies, infant soap/shampoo, a nasal aspirator, fingernail/toenail clippers and blankets are true necessities. You can meet all of your baby’s immediate needs with these purchases.

  • Nice-to-have items:

There are also a few more items that aren’t essential, but rather nice to have and can make life easier for any new parent. A few items include changing pads, diaper bag, rattles and other baby toys, sun shade for car windows, rocking chair or glider and a baby monitor. Though these aren’t “necessities,” they are definitely things that any parent of a newborn can appreciate and can be purchased after the baby arrives.

Learn more with Parenting U

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center offers a 100 percent virtual Parenting U video series covering popular topics such as Preparing for Your Newborn, Mastering Potty Training and Effective Timeout Techniques. Register here to learn expert advice and tips.

Downloadable Checklist

Checklist of Items to Prepare for Your Newborn (PDF)

preview image of checklist of essential items to prepare for your newborn pdf

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