The Ultimate Checklist for First Time Moms

Here is your ultimate checklist for first-time moms! Click here to download your copy.

It’s so overwhelming! Being a first-time mom was one of the most stressful times of my life. I remember worrying if my baby would like me, if I’d know what she wanted, if I would wake up when she needed me. There is so much to stress over and there is so much information being given to you.

And, you know, we do it to ourselves a little bit. We sign up for every pregnancy forum and join moms groups, and we look through the magazines at the OB’s office, sometimes we subscribe. It’s complete  information overload and it’s hard to know exactly what information to follow. 

Avoid the Overwhelm 

Reading every article, joining every forum, and asking all your mom friends for advice will make being a first-time mom sound impossible! All babies are different, all pregnancies are different, and mom’s like to do things differently. You’ll find your own groove eventually but until then, try to limit the information you’re consuming. And use a reliable checklist for first-time moms.

Here are some ways to simplify the information you’re getting:

  • Pick one baby tracking app 
  • Find one group of moms who are in similar stages (What to Expect is great for this!) 
  • Join your local mom’s Facebook group 
  • Choose one pregnancy-exercise expert to follow
  • Find one affirmations/meditation app (I love iHypnobirth) 
  • Create an affirmations board on Pinterest to keep your mind positive and focused

What to Expect is my favorite baby app because it has baby tracking, a community section, and helpful tips published daily. The groups are sorted by the month and year of your baby’s birth so you can chat with moms who are in the same stages of pregnancy as you. 

Be Sparing and Shop Smart! 

When I had my first, I remember having a stash of like 12 binkies. Every time my daughter dropped one, I would put it aside for sanitizing and give her a new one. Each night, I would boil all the binkies that had fallen on the floor that day. 

These had fallen on our own floor, by the way, the one I cleaned daily, myself. But I digress… 12 binkies are too many, 25 blankets *are* too many, 150 burp clothes might be enough, but my advice is to buy the big size laundry detergent because you’ll be washing clothes and burp cloths for the rest of your life. 

  • Stick with essentials 
  • Don’t overthink it 
  • Limit your information sources (and overwhelm!)

You don’t need as many items as you might think for a new baby. There may be things you’ll need to go out and buy later, but there’s time for that. Until then, don’t overwhelm yourself with how many of each item you need.

After 2 babies (plus one on the way!), I can tell you, you only really *need* a handful of things. Here is what I think is the most important to have on hand. 

The Ultimate Checklist for First-Time Moms

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    The Ultimate Checklist for First Time Moms 

    The absolute basic essentials, the only 27 things you should absolutely have before baby makes the grand entrance: 

    1. Diapers 
    2. Wipes
    3. Swaddle blankets 
    4. Onesies (long sleeve or short, depending on your climate)
    5. Zipper/footie pajamas
    6. Nail file/clippers 
    7. Suction bulb or nose frida 
    8. Bottles 
    9. Breastpump 
    10. Milk storage bags 
    11. Hakaa silicone manual breast pump 
    12. Baby carrier (wraps/ring sling for at home, HBC for going out) 
    13. Reusable breast pads 
    14. Nipple cream (Lansinoh lanolin is my fav!) 
    15. Pullover sports bra or shelf tank
    16. Burp Cloths (I use cloth diapers because they’re super absorbent)  
    17. Binkies (like 5 is good)
    18. Mirror for the car 
    19. Car seat 
    20. Stroller 
    21. Car seat cover or blanket 
    22. Diaper Bag 
    23. Pack n Play (with changing station and napper)
    24. Pack n Play sheets
    25. Baby seat or bouncer 
    26. Baby monitor (we bought security cameras off Amazon) 
    27. Hospital Bag 

    Buy More Later

    This list is bare minimum—things you won’t want to leave the hospital or enter your home without. There are of course so many other things you might want to have on hand to make your life easier. And getting through that newborn stage is all about making your life easier! Whatever you can do to minimize information and clutter will help you feel more like you have a handle on things. But wait until you know what you want or need. 

    When you have too many things on hand you might feel pressure to use them, which can add more stress to an already new and different situation. Bring the baby home with essentials first and then you and baby can figure out what you need together. 

    Avoid Stressing Over Brands

    One thing that can really hang you up when you’re shopping for baby is which questing brand is best.

    Which car seat is the safest?

    Which crib is the highest quality?

    Which bottles avoid gas?

    Which bath soaps are gentlest?

    This can send you into a panic of research. You’ll find some people swear by Dreft detergent and some say All Free and Clear is the way to go for a brand new baby. 

    You won’t know what works for you and baby until you try. What I can tell you about cribs, strollers, and car seats though, is that they’re all required to meet the same safety standards so spending more does not equal safer. There are quality differences though, I have found that if we’re willing to spend a little more money, the item we buy is likely to last longer. 

    Some items, you won’t be able to switch brands out so easily, but there will be some things like diapers where it’s necessary to try other brands. When my oldest daughter was a baby, she used to get the worst diaper rashes. It was so sad. We had her in Luvs diapers and never once thought to switch diapers! We heard such great things and all the other moms I knew swore by that brand so we didn’t consider that there may be an absorbancy or sensitivity issue. 

    When our second daughter was born, we used Pampers for the first couple of months because we had been given diapers as gifts and had taken some home from the hospital. When it was time to purchase, we went with Luvs. She started getting rashes so we switched back to Pampers and they stopped. No diaper creams needed. So now we spend the extra $10 per package because obviously for us, brand specificity is worth it. 

    Embrace the Unknown

    Being a first-time mom is stressful and scary, but it’s also fun and exciting! There are so many things to prepare for and worry about… limit the information you consume. 

    Keep your mind focused on creating a good outcome for you and your baby. Avoid the negative stories as much as you can and keep the information limited to professionals and reputable sources. Limit your interaction in mom groups or forums so you don’t get too caught up in how you’re going to raise your child. 

    Until your baby is in your arms, there is no way to know exactly what will work for you both. Embrace the unknown. Let baby arrive and work together to find a balance and routine. Use this checklist for first-time moms. You and your baby are unique and your story will be unique too. Take it one step at a time.

    Start with the basics, keep it simple, and build from there. You’re going to do great, mama!

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