Gearing up for the new baby? Here’s your ultimate grocery list before baby is born to make those newborn months more convenient.
We’ve all heard of “nesting,” the urge to get everything ready a few weeks before the baby. We wash and organize baby clothes, stock up on diapers and decorate the nursery in time for baby’s arrival.
But as plentiful as baby’s needs are during this time, so are the rest of the family’s. From feeding ourselves to daily tasks, the household also needs preparation before the baby arrives.
Take household items. Before the baby, you likely follow a weekly routine of going to the grocery to stock up on toiletries and household items. The pantry remains full, and any inconvenience of items running low isn’t a big deal.
But with a newborn to care for, running low on toilet paper isn’t an easy fix any longer.
Your ultimate grocery list before baby is born
Peeling away for even 30 minutes during those hectic few months with my first baby was a hassle. I was recovering from childbirth and learned how much I could’ve avoided these tasks ahead of time.
A few years later, I learned our lesson when I had the twins. This time, I made sure to stock up on household items we easily forget about… until that moment we need it. Take a look at this grocery list before baby is born:
1. Cleaning supplies
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The newborn stage isn’t the time to spend cleaning your home. That said, you’ll still need to take care of daily tasks you can’t ignore. Easy tasks that don’t take too long and would be impossible to leave unattended.
Other times, it’s not the daily tasks, but the buildup of mess you need to clean. While you may not be cleaning as often as you used to, at some point during those months, you’ll need to.
And for that, you’ll need your basic cleaning supplies. Stock up on items you use for daily cleaning like:
- Multi-purpose cleaning spray (Mrs. Meyers is my favorite)
- Rags or paper towels
- Cleaning powder
- Dishwasher soap
- Laundry detergent (including baby detergent like Dreft)
- Sanitizing wipes
- Trash bags of all sizes
2. Paper plates and plastic utensils
I’m not normally a fan of paper plates and plastic utensils for everyday use, but in the newborn stage, they can be a lifesaver. You won’t have time to wash too many dishes or put them away in your cupboards. Instead, you’ll rely on paper plates and plastic utensils.
Stock up on things like:
3. Kitchen staples
You won’t be spending too much time cooking, but you’ll need a few kitchen staples to throw together a quick meal or snack. These items also last long, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad.
Your kitchen staples may be different from mine, but here are a few items to consider:
- Boxed pasta
- Jars or marinara sauce
- Peanut butter
- Canned tuna
- Pretzels and crackers
- Coffee and coffee liners
- Sugar, honey and salt
- Water filters
- Foil and plastic wrap
4. Freezer meals and meal options
Like we talked about, the newborn months aren’t the time to dig into your daily cooking routine. I went from cooking dinner every night to not cooking a thing the next several weeks. Slowly, I added cooking back into my nights, but even then, I relied on other meal options to get me through:
- Food from friends and family: If you have family and friends offering to help, ask them to bring meals. From take out to home-cooked meals, this is one of the best ways others can help.
- Frozen boxed food: Stock up on frozen meals you can stash in your freezer for a quick meal. These are ready-made and convenient, but can add up and aren’t always the healthiest.
- Pre-made freezer meals: A healthier and less expensive option is to prepare freezer meals in advance.
No one wants to run out of toilet paper right when they least need it. Take a look through your daily routine and see which items you use the most. Then, take an inventory of which items seem low and could use replenishing.
Here are a few items every family should be stockpiling before baby arrives:
- Toilet paper
- Tissue paper
- Hand soap
- Hand sanitizer
- Face soap and lotion
- Shampoo and conditioner
6. Postpartum essentials
We sometimes forget we’ll be healing from childbirth as well. Had this been any other hospital procedure, we’d focus much more on our physical needs after coming home.
Don’t forget postpartum items you’ll need after delivering your baby. Items like perineal spray, pads and a squirt bottle will be your lifesaver when you come home.
Yup, batteries. Take a look at all your baby gear, from swings to infant seats and anything that requires a battery. Then, make sure you have extra batteries of those sizes stocked up at home. You don’t want to catch yourself running low on batteries right when your baby is asleep in the swing.
A few items that might need batteries include:
- Play mat
- Infant seat
- Baby monitor
- White noise machine
Tips for stockpiling items before baby arrives
Stockpiling items before the baby comes will save you time in the newborn stage. You’ll have the convenience of having all your items at home, right when you need it.
Here are a few things to consider as you stock up on household items:
- Make sure you don’t already have the item: As tempting as it is to stockpile everything, take an inventory of what you already have. I was about to buy even more sponges when, after looking deep in my kitchen, I realized I already had a full bag and a half of them.
- Aim for at least one month: How much should you stock up for? Aim for at least one month’s worth of supplies. Those first few weeks at home are some of the toughest. Should you need more beyond that, you’ll be in a better place to get them in month two and three, but not so much that first one.
- Use your list to spot sales: For extra savings, print your list now, regardless of how far along your pregnancy you may be. Should you find a sale at the grocery or big box store, you can buy it then when it’s least expensive, even if you don’t need it right away.
- Stock up on things you know you’ll need: This seems obvious, but avoid items you think you’ll need and instead focus on the ones you’re sure you will. As inconvenient as it is to get something you ended up needing after all, at least you won’t end up with unused items piled at home.
- Do a last minute inventory before your due date: You can’t predict our due dates, but if you happen to find yourself waiting for baby, do a last minute check. See which items have run low since you last purchased them. Do you have enough toothpaste? Tissue boxes? Shampoo and conditioner? The last few weeks before your due date is a great opportunity to spot any low supplies you may have.
The first few days and weeks will feel chaotic. As much as you’ve prepared for the baby, don’t forget your own household essentials as well. You’re not exactly in the mood to put on “outside clothes,” much less get in the car to pick household items up.
Stock up on cleaning supplies you’ll need for daily maintenance, as well as paper plates and plastic utensils to keep dishes at bay. Kitchen staples can make for quick meals and snacks, while food from others as well as freezer meals make sure you and your family have food to eat.
Take an inventory of your toiletries to avoid last-minute runs to the grocery. Don’t forget your postpartum essentials to help you heal after childbirth. And finally, keep a good supply of batteries for any baby gear or household item that needs one.
These items will make for a smoother time at home—no running to the nearest store after emptying your last roll of toilet paper.
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And take a look at the video below where I run through the items on the to-do list:
Get more tips:
- Baby Things to Buy Before Birth (Make Sure You Have These!)
- 50 Classic Baby Boy Names That Are Cool
- 11 Pregnancy Secrets You Didn’t Know About
- 10 Baby Items You Don’t Really Need
- When You Feel Guilty about Adding to the Family
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