Setting up a safe nursery and home
Whether you’re getting new or used items, think about safety first.
Before you get any gear for baby secondhand, make sure that it meets current safety guidelines. If possible, avoid buying or borrowing a used car seat.
Check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the latest information about toys and baby products that are considered dangerous and have been recalled.
Be sure that you and anyone else who is going to care for your baby are prepared for an emergency. Find health classes on infant CPR and baby care in your area.
- car seat — the law requires that you use a car seat to transport your baby in a car or airplane. Infants should ride rear-facing in the back seat until they weigh at least 20 pounds and are 1 year old.
- bassinet or crib and crib mattress
- tightly fitted crib sheets (do not use standard bed sheets in a crib)
- waterproof crib mattress pads
- small blankets to wrap around the baby (receiving blankets)
- baby bathtub
- bottles, nipples, and formula (if bottle feeding)*
- burp cloths (cloth diapers also make good burp cloths)
- breast pump and breast milk storage bags*
- disposable or cloth diapers (enough for 10 to 12 diaper changes per day for the first few months)
- alcohol-free baby wipes
- ointment or powder (to help with diaper rash)
- changing table or dresser top with diaper changing pad and safety buckle
- one-piece outfits that snap or zip down in the front (to make diaper changes easier)
- sleep sacks or blanket sleepers
- undershirts or “onesies” with a snap at the crotch
- hats for warmth and to protect from the sun
- socks or booties
- mittens (protects babies from cold weather and from scratching their faces)
Tip: It’s easy to end up with too much clothing in sizes for newborns or 0 to 3 months. Your baby will quickly outgrown them, so shop for a range of sizes. Make sure the clothes will be appropriate for the season your baby will be wearing them.
- baby nail clippers
- nasal bulb syringe (to help clear a stuffy nose)
- sterile cotton balls (for wiping baby’s eyes)
- rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs (for cleaning around the umbilical cord stump)
- rectal thermometer
- first aid kit
You may want to buy or borrow these extra items to make your days as a new parent easier.
- stroller (lock the wheels before you put your baby in)
- rocking chair or glider
- infant carrier (sling or front pack)
- baby swing
- baby monitor
- teethers and pacifiers (be sure not to hang these around your baby’s neck)
- travel bed or playpen