Getting baby gear together can be a daunting task, especially for first-time moms. At a time like this, you'll be looking for lots of guidance, and this basic list can be your go-to reference for baby gear essentials.

If you're planning to have a baby shower, consult our exhaustive checklist to help you pull off the perfect event. Your guests will delight in showering you with these and other baby gear essentials.

Baby Checklist: 11 Baby Essentials

Babies don't take up a lot of room, but their stuff sure seems to. Here, a list of essential gear you'll need when your bring your baby home and on through the first year:

Crib. When you choose a crib, make sure the crib slats are less than 2 3/8 inches apart and that none are missing or broken. Also, make sure the mattress is firm and fits snugly (you can get no more than two fingers between it and the rails).

These range in price and type. Many moms choose a video monitor as it lets them keep an eye on their sleeping baby.

Car seat. You can get an infant seat specifically designed for newborns and young babies, or a model that can be used for small infants and later converted for use with an older baby.

Changing table. Set this up away from windows or radiators. Use the safety straps, and be sure all changing supplies, including plenty of diaper and wipes, are in easy reach.

Diaper bag. Getting out and about with your baby can take a bit of practice. Having a diaper bag packed with the essentials will help you get on your way more quickly.

Baby carrier. This holds your baby close to your chest and lets you get things done while keeping in close contact with him. Be sure there is good head support for your baby.

A stroller. Consider a stroller that converts from a reclining infant model into an upright version suitable for older babies. A wide base, firm locking mechanism, and straps to secure your baby are all must-haves.

Bottles and nipples. Whether you choose to breastfeed or use formula, having a few bottles on hand will help you share the feeds with Dad. Newborns generally use the 4-ounce bottles, while older babies will need the 8-ounce kind.

Bouncy chair. It's important to have a safe place to sit your baby while doing something else. Remember, never place an occupied infant seat on a high counter of any high surface.

Baby swing. Some parents swear a swing soothes your baby like nothing else. Make sure you buy a safe, reputable brand, and follow the installation instructions closely and use the straps every time.

Baby bathtub. You can give your baby a bath after his umbilical cord falls off. You'll need a small plastic tub or basin and a safe place to set everything up.

Thermometer. Digital thermometers are easiest to read. Avoid an ear thermometer until your baby is 3 months old.

Bottom Line

If you are registering for your baby shower, it's a good idea to list these items and consider doing a bit of research online before making your final decision. Take your time and figure out what works for you.


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