What to Get Before the Little One Arrives

Things you need before the babe arrives!

There is just no way of getting around it, you need stuff before your baby comes.  Would your little bambino survive on just diapers, formula, and wipes?  Yes, but there are a million little products out there that are just waiting to make your life easier.  If you have ever set foot in Buy Buy Baby you will find the pacifier wall, and I must tell you, its comical how many binkies are in the Buy Buy Baby! I swear the first time my husband saw it he got dizzy, no seriously, he did! There is at least two versions of every product on the market.  You will learn over time what works best for you, but I am here to get you started.

The Obvious List

A Crib:  There is no reason to spend a lot here folks!  There are a ton of really cheap cribs that look expensive, and ALL have to meet safety requirements.  I spent more money on our foot rest (AKA: The pouf) then I did on our crib.

Crib Sheets:  Get more than one of these as the babe will get some bodily fluid on it, and it WILL be in the middle of the night.  This is where the spare sheet (or 3) comes in handy.

Rocker: This is where you spend the dolla dolla bills y’all.  Wether you are doing the bottle or the breast, you are going to spend a lot of time in this chair.  Make sure its comfy!

Car Seat: There are too many on the market right now, but I HEART my Orbit car seat. Sadly, Orbit has since gone out of business.  Once your babe is a toddler you will have to buy a toddler seat (ugh!).  We went with the Cleck, as it is the narrowest car seat on the market.  When you putting multiple seats next to each other OR just want more space in the back seat, then this is the way to go.  Diono Radian is also very narrow.

Clek Car Seats

Stroller:  Again, there are so many to choose from, and they range from 100-1,000 buckaroos!  Choose wisely and you can use it for many kids.  When you get multiple kids, you get multiple strollers. Orbit is my “cadillac” stroller and one I use the most.  From newborn to kiddo, they all can ride in it.  Find one with good undercarriage storage and a smooth ride.  I think Uppa has NAILED the umbrella stroller.  I love the G-LUXE.  Folds fast, super small, storage underneath, reclines, annnnd has a big sun shade.  The G-LINK is the double version of this.

Bath Tub: You need a tub, and as soon as that belly button falls off, I highly recommend using the bath as part of your bedtime routine. For the first few months, I love the PUJ tub.  Your babe is so snug in it.  If they grown out of PUJ too quickly, then the Boon tub. is a great option.  As soon as babe is sitting up, we move to a regular tub.


Diapers: Most hospitals use Pampers, because they are pretty great!  All of my mommy friends use different diaper brands for different reasons.  When we first brought my little chick home we used Huggies Little Snugglers, because they have this little cut out for the umbilical cord.  Now, you can just as easily fold over the diaper, but it really made me a lot less queasy knowing my daughters belly button wasn’t being chaffed by a diaper. After that nuisance fell off we switched to Pampers.  Its really your preference on which you choose.

These diapers are in order from most expensive to least..


  • Honest Diapers
  • Pampers
  • Huggies
  • Luvs
  • Kirkland (which is the Costco brand)
  • Up and Up (which is the Target brand)

* One thing is for sure about diapers!  When baby starts sleeping longer stretches you will NEED nighttime diapers, and Huggies is amazeballs for nighttime diapers.  I still can’t figure out why Pampers doesn’t see that their nighttimes nappies are nowhere near as good as Huggies!

Co-Side Sleeper/Bassinet:  This is optional, especially if you are not having baby sleep in your room in the first couple of months, but if you are then you will need somewhere for baby to sleep.  I borrowed a friends Arms Reach Co-side sleeper, which is a great choice.  It was really nice NOT having baby in the bed with us (for fear of rolling on top of her), and I loved having her so close.  With my third we bought the Halo Bassinet.  This device is short lived, especially if you evict your tiny human sooner rather than later.  TRY TO BORROW THIS FROM A FRIEND!


I know you’re hungry, but your baby has got to eat too!

There are clearly two methods of which to feed your baby.  Formula and the boob.  If you are doing the boob route, good for you!  If you are doing the formula, thats great too!  Don’t let anybody tell you that whichever method you have chosen is not best.  Happy mommy=Happy baby!  I am lucky to report on both methods, because I breast feed for 2 months, and now my chick is on formula only.  If you are like me and have problems with breastfeeding, check out my blog post I flunked breastfeeding.


Breast Pump:If you are going to be breastfeeding you are going to need a breast pump.  Even if you are going to feed exclusively from the boob, you still need one.  Two Reasons:

  1. You are going to need to take a break at some point.  There will be a time when a family member, very generously offers, to snuggle the baby while you go and get a mani/pedi, or shower and take a nap ( this will sound so much better than spa services).  When they do you are going to have to have breast milk for them in case baby needs to eat.  It is also nice to have your hubby take a feed once in awhile.  Once you get over the whole nipple confusion thing baby can have a bottle.  Babies LOVE boobs!
  2. There is a chance that your milk will come in, and you will have extra, not extra for your husbands coffee, but extra that your baby won’t need at that time. One of my girlfriends could pump 6oz.per breast after she would feed her baby!  Im not going to lie, sometimes you are going to need to get that milk out!!  Your pump will be your new BFF for some much needed relief.  Drain those suckers and you will feel like a new woman. At least until they reload for the next feed (sigh).

One of the most talked about breast pumps is the Medela.  They have several models, and one that is right for you.  If you are going back to work get one of the top two models.  I have the Medella Pump and Style, and it did the trick, although I did NOT feel stylish using it! MOO!  You will also need pumping equipment. (Bottles, storage containers with Lids, etc).  Most pumps come with the extra equipment included.

You can also rent a pump from the Hospital.  Lactation consultants will tell you that these rock, and might even encourage a better milk supply.  I rented one for a short time, because I was desperate.  I didn’t notice a huge difference, but one of my bestest friends swears that’s when she turned the corner.  You will pay a deposit that you get back when you return the pump, and then you pay a monthly fee.  The costs are different everywhere.  I got mine at an Apothecary .

You can also borrow a pump from a friend.  I know this is frowned upon 🙁 but all you have to do is get new tubing and supplies for the pump, and then there really shouldn’t be an issue.  If you know you’re going to be pumping a lot, you really should just fork over the cash, and get your own!

Boppy or My Breast friend:  I LOVE my boppy and still use it to feed my seven month old bottles.  It works wonders when you are sitting “Indian Style/Legs crossed/cris cross apple sauce”.  I don’t know a whole lot about MBF, but my BF said she loves her Breast Friend.   Either way you need one.  The Boppy also comes in handy for tummy time, or even doing feeds where baby is propped up in it.

Hands free pumping bra: This thing is THE sh*t!  It holds the pump in place, so that your hands are free to look at Facebook, read a book, or just not have to hold the pump up to your knockers.  Everyone, myself included, loves the Simple Wishes hands free pumping bra.  Its amazeballs!

Pumping and Primping

Hooter Hider: You really can just use a blanket here, but there are all kinds of ways to conceal the magic of breast feeding.  I was never lucky enough to breast feed in public 🙁  I was really sad about this, because I couldn’t wait to give dirty looks to the haters. Maybe I’ll get ’em next time!)

Nursing Bras or Nursing tank tops:  I found an amazing white nursing tank top from Target, and I wore it everyday (no, seriously, it had dirt and stains on it, because I literally wore it everyday.)  You are whipping your Ta-Ta’s out like 8-10 times a day, you need something that will be fast and easy.  If I didn’t have a nursing tank on then  I just walked around the house with no shirt on.  Your husbands will LOVE it!  It was like a strip club at my house for a couple of weeks, especially because you have cartoon boobs!

Soothies: Your nips are going to kill for sometime.  These life savers are going to feel so good, you aren’t going to want to take them off!  The are pricey, but worth the money! Soothies..

Breast Pads: Whatever you do, DO NOT buy the cotton pads that are disposable.  In fact, don’t buy any cotton pads.  You know when you cut yourself, and you put a paper towel over it to absorb the blood, and you wait too long to take it off.  The moment you pull the paper towel up, it sort of rips at the open sore.  Yup!  Thats what it will feel like on your sensitive nip when you pull of the cotton pad. Ugh!! I just got goosebumps thinking of it!  I really like the Bamboobies.  They were super soft, and seemed to do the trick, and you just wash them.



We started out as an Enfamil family, and switched to Organic formula with my second.  My first born is a total Einstein, so Enfamil didn’t screw her up or anything, but after extensive research, I’ve changed my tune and feel that organic is the route to go.  Check out my post on formula here.

Bottles:  The Bottle wall at the baby stores can be just as scary as the paci wall.  I prefer Dr. Browns, and I know a lot of gals who use ’em too. The plastic Dr. Browns are great!  They are BPA free, and have these little doo-hickeys that help to prevent gas. Now, if you babe will take to them, I highly suggest the Como Tomo bottles.  They made my little gassy, but I WISH they hadn’t.  Only TWO pieces!!  So easy to clean!

Bottle Warmer:  While I used a bottle warmer with my first, I wised up with my others and started mixing up room temperature bottles.  If you use nursery water or tap water, there is really no reason to warm up with water.  Get them used to this, and your life just got easier!

Drying Rack: Any drying rack will do here, just something to hang all those bottles you are going to be washing.  They make really cute ones, and ones that look like grass, and even ones that spin!  It is so important that you clean your drying racks frequently.  Sludge can build up very easily.

Dapple: I heart this brand!  All I have to say is….  You can eat this stuff!  Its made with food or something, and it smells fantabulous!  They make dish soap, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, surface spray, and toy wipes.  I have it ALL!  The dish soap is perfection for washing bottles and pump equipment.  ANNNND, you can sleep easy knowing that only food is going in your babe’s mouth…And your boob.  Ok, and toys and pacifiers.  Whatever!!


Travel Crib:  Most people refer to these as a “Pack and Play”, but thats a specific brand.  We have the Baby Bjorn Travel Light.  Its does the trick when we are visiting the in-laws.  Its only like 11 pounds, and a monkey could set it up.

High chair:  My little gal was sitting in her travel high chair around 4 months, long before she was able to sit up on her own. The Inglesina Fast Table Chair is amazeballs!  We use it as our high chair at our house (talk about a space saver), we take it when we travel, and we take it to restaurants with us!  I LOVE sitting in booths, and now we can because G can just slide in next to us with this little chair! Once they get a little older I LOVE the Stokke Trip Trap, so worth the money!  We now have 3!

Everything Else…

Baby Carrier: I am obsessed with my Baby K’tan.  The only issue with this one is that it is sized to fit you, so if you wear a small then you need to buy a small, which means that you and you’re hubby can’t share.  Unless your hubby is the same size as you, which if he is, then thats cool too.  This one is so much easier than all the other fabric wraps out there.  Moby, you can suck it!  I seriously don’t have time to spend twisting fabric around my body to run down the street for some milk.  I also like the Becco Gemini , this one you and others can share because it adjusts to fit whoever is wearing baby, and you can carry baby 5 different ways on you.  I think I will use this one more as G gets bigger. Side Note: This one really makes your fat hang over the sides, even if you are skinny.

Swing:  Here are my thoughts on the swing…  If someone is willing to buy you one, then why not?  However, not all babies like the swing.  My babe would sit in it for 5 minutes and then start crying.  Peeps  rave about the MamaRoo!  I have seen it in action and its pretty dope. Then there is the infamous Rock and Play.  I might be the only Mama who never got one (I have my reasons).

Play Mat:  Loves it! Its great for tummy time, and for baby to look at the toys dangling from it. Mine is from Skip Hop.  You can wash it (spit up), it has a pillow (for chillin’), and you can move the dangly toys around. You can always just put your newly borns on a blankie, but eventually they will love to try and grab the dangly toys.

Blankets:(Aden and Anais)  I am sure you have heard all about these bad boys, BUT they really are off the chain!  They call them swaddle blankets, and you can easily swaddle your babe with them, but they can be used for a whole load of other stuff too.  You can use it as a light blankie in the warmer weather, to lay baby on the floor(they do a great job of absorbing spit up), a hooter hider,  to cover baby from the sun/wind.  The best part is they fold up super small(so they dont cramp your diaper bag), and they are muy attractive!

Swaddle:  I hear mommies say ALL the time that their baby doesn’t like to be swaddled.  Its a crock!  Your baby just spent several months being cramped up in your belly, and now all of the sudden they feel safe flailing around?! Your little one doesn’t even know she has arms, so when they go flying towards her face and hit her, she is going to wake up and cry (You would too!).  My two all time favorite sleep devices are The Wombie and The Ollie Swaddle.  Its keeps baby snuggled and warm all night, baby can move a little in it (its lycra), but not enough to wake them, you don’t have to worry about baby suffocating because he busted out of the swaddle. Around 4 months you will ditch the tightly wrapped swaddle and move in the Merlins Magic Sleep Suit.  Its freaking magical!


Wipes Warmer:  I personally don’t own one of these, but have friends who think it is a must-have item.  Here is my theory on the whole wipes warmer thing.  Once you start wiping your babies bum with some fresh outta the oven wipes, your baby is always going to expect that.  Picture this:  You are at a restaurant and need to change your baby, you clearly didn’t bring your wipes warmer with you, you lay baby down and begin the diaper changing process.  The second that chilly wet little wipe hits baby’s bootie, what do you think is going to happen?  You guessed it!  Baby is now screaming, “Where is my fresh outta the warmer wipe!”  Your call on this one…

Diaper Genie:  Its good, but not great.  Its very inexpensive, and keeps my house and nursery from smelling of shit.  I am on my second one, because the first one broke.  The key is not too stuff too many diapers in the genie, or it will break.  Either way, you need some poopie diaper containing device.

Boppy Changing Pad Liners:  These things are the Sh*t, and they help with the problem of sh*t.  You can choose to believe me or not, but there will be plenty of times where you won’t do a stellar job of keeping your babies bottom off the changing table, and poop will get on it.  What’s next? You will have to remove your entire changing pad cover, and wash it.  If you get these little guys, Boppy Changing Pad Liners, then you will only have to wash one of those.  You can swipe it out for a new one, and move on with your day!

Travel Changing Pad:  Most diaper bags come with a little changing pad, for diaper changes on the GO!  However, as baby gets bigger her ass is not going to fit on the little thing anymore.  I LOVE my Patemm changing pad.  This one is a little pricey, but I highly suggest getting a larger one for when baby gets a little bigger, or in the event you are in a nasty bathroom and have to lay baby on the floor.

Lotions, Body washes, Shampoo, oh my!: This is really a total preference thing.  I HEART all things Mustela.  So fresh and so clean!  However, a baby dermatologist will tell you that Cetaphil is perfect for your kiddos for many years to come.

Sound Machine:  We didn’t buy one of these, but not because you don’t need one!  We just put our Bose docking station in the babe’s room, and bought sounds off of ITunes.  Harvey Karp has some good sounds that he swears by, and overall you can find just about any baby sound on Itunes.  We just put the sound G liked on repeat, and we were good for the night.

Baby Monitor: You are going to want one that you can see baby, it really does make you feel better being able to see them.  My man and I made a bold move by buying a non-baby cam.  The Foscam Pro is a camera that you can link to your Ipad, Iphone, Smartphone, computer, etc.  You can view it from anywhere!  So, when my Hubby and I go out for date night, we can see out little joy from the comfort of a fab new restaurant. You can hear baby through it, it has night vision, you can move the camera around if baby moves, you can talk to baby through it, you can even take a picture of baby while she is sleeping!  Its a little harder to set up than most baby monitors, and your phone or Ipad would be your monitor, but its only 80 bucks as compared to like 300, which is what you will pay with for a video baby monitor.

Pacifiers: I would get one of each brand to start, and then see which ones baby likes.  One 5 month old little guy I know, only likes his pink pacifier, and one 2 month old little gal I know won’t take anything else but her football paci.  The wubbanubs are pretty cool, so your bundle doesn’t drop the binky every two seconds. Fear not, if your babe gets addicted to the paci, you can always turn to the Lily Pacifier Weaning System.

Snot Sucker: Steal the blue bulb syringe that you get at the hospital, they are going to throw it anyway, but you will also LOVE the NoseFrida Snot Sucker.  You feel like you are sucking your babies brains out, but you feel so accomplished when snot comes through the tube!

Booger Tool:  You gotta get one of these because you are NOT supposed to use tweezers to pull out those sticky or hard boogies, the OogieBear is awesome and so cheap, and it prevents you from sticking anything too far up your babe’s nose, Oh, annnndd you can use it for ear wax too!  (GraytMama Review)

Clothing:  Before you start popping tags, remember this, your baby is going to grow like a weed! Take it easy with the “newborn” 0-3 size, they won’t be in it for long, and they spend so much time in the car seat, baby seat, baby carrier, that peeps are not even going to see your little fashionista.

Ok, so you can obvi print THIS list out and take it to the store, buuuuut, you can also hit up  It is this amazeballs website where you can register for multiple stores ALL online!  I also turn to Meg over at Lucie’s List.


Look, your baby is going to live without all of this stuff, but having it when baby arrives will make life that much easier, and YOU will feel like a GraytMama!

Good Luck!








(3) Comments

  • Katie
    2 August, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    This list is AMAZING. Thank you, Shannon. I just announced my pregnancy online, and it’s so wonderful to hear everyone asking what we’re picking and what we’re planning. Ummm… I haven’t started thinking about those things just yet!

  • Duane Willoby
    14 August, 2013 at 6:27 am

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. many thanks

    • graytmama
      14 August, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks Duane, I used wordpress and did it myself from there! Best of luck to you!

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