For baby stuff I have taken a 'when we need it' approach. I prescribe to the theory that babies, especially newborns, don't really need a lot - lots of love, their parents, something to eat, some where to sleep, lots of snuggles, diapers, a few things to wear... and that most of the rest is extras that you can add in as you see fit and when the baby is ready for it. I also prescribe to the theory that you can easily add things after the baby is here and you have a better sense for the little one's preference as not every baby likes the swing that is tooted as the end all be all of baby gear. Here are some of the things that we have loved and found useful during those first weeks.
First days and weeks...
- Swaddle blankets - The ever-popular muslin ones and the swaddleme. My baby can bust out of the muslin ones so the swaddleme was the best for night and you can leave the top swaddled while you change a diaper... that is so helpful. I almost always have one of the muslin blankets on hand during the day.
- Newborn sleeping spots - We used the rock-n-play for naps and the Summer Infant Sleeper at night.
- Bath - I was initially wanting something smaller that would be easier to store but the fisher-price aquarium bath center was the winner for ease of use (being comfortable goes a long way when bathing an infant). We didn't buy this until around week 2 as you are just sponge bathing them until their navel heals.
- Diapers - We started with cloth diapers immediately after leaving the hospital. Prefolds in a newborn size with size small and extra small covers (I prefer Thirsties- we never have leaks with these) and lil joeys (all in ones) were what we used. And flannel wipes, which are also great for when your son decides diaper free time = pee time. More on cloth diapers to come.
- Clothes - We had a dozen or so items in newborn size and he wore those until he was just over three weeks old (born at 8lbs 10 oz and was 11lbs 10 oz at 4 weeks). Kimono tshirts that had glove/mittens built in to the sleeve (like these, which run small) with a lil joey diaper and anything that buttoned instead of pulled over his head where my favorite in those early days. My little has been growing out of clothes like it is his job so I am glad that I didn't try to stock up on sizes for the upcoming seasons as I would have been so wrong.
- Nursing - I kind of live in nursing tanks, Glamourmom and the Gilligan & OMalley have been my go to. Nursing tanks were also great for at the hospital. My kindle was put to tons of use during those early days and nights of frequent and long nursing sessions (I burned through books in a couple of days time) and on the days when Jaime will only nap snuggled up with me - time flies and feels better than watching tv during nursing or napping. For a nursing cover I just use one of the muslin blankets. For burp cloths I made the ones from Homemade by Jill's tutorial.
- Diaper Bag - I opted to skip getting a diaper bag. Instead I have been using a diaper clutch that fits into a large tote. Once we begin daycare I might be rethinking a diaper bag but for now this works great for us.
- Play/Entertainment - I made a flannel blanket (two yards of flannel, a yard of quilt batting between, and quilt binding - super simple) to use for tummy time and baby exercise time and we had a few books we received as gifts. Jaime enjoyed tummy time and being read to from the first week. Other than that we did activities that didn't require anything purchased for those initial weeks... chatted, snuggled, sang, made faces and stuck out our tongues, etc. We used pandora a lot (and still do); favorite stations include Rockabye Baby, classical radio, and the Rolling Stones Radio.
- Getting Around - I loved the wrap and wear in the early days, it is a nice breathable fabric for summer babes. We are also big fans of the Becco Gemini. A wrap carrier is great for around the house when your little doesn't want to nap and can also double as a nursing cover when out and about so you can carry less.
We kept the gear pretty minimal in those early weeks. Since then we have added on as we needed and when Jaime is ready for something.