It’s the ultimate checklist for first-time moms! Click here to download your first time mom checklist pdf.
It’s 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 or if I’d know what she wanted or if I would wake up when she needed me. There is so much to stress over and so much information out there to sort through.
And we do it to ourselves too. We sign up for every pregnancy forum and join moms groups, and 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 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 moms 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 as a first time mom:
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)
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
The absolute basic essentials, the only 27 things you should absolutely have before baby makes the grand entrance:
Onesies (long sleeve or short, depending on your climate)
Suction bulb or nose Frida
Milk storage bags
Hakaa silicone manual breast pump
Baby carrier (wraps/ring sling for at home, HBC for going out)
Reusable breast pads
Nipple cream (Lansinoh lanolin is my fav!)
Pullover sports bra or shelf tank
Burp Cloths (I use cloth diapers because they’re super absorbent)
Binkies (like 5 is good)
Mirror for the car
Car seat cover or blanket
Pack n Play (with changing station and napper)
Pack n Play sheets
Baby seat or bouncer
Baby monitor (we bought security cameras off Amazon)
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.
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 your 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.
Pick for Quality Over Price
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!