Gearing up for the new baby? Here’s your ultimate list of what to stock up on 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 arrives. We wash and organize baby clothes, stock up on diapers and decorate the nursery in time for his arrival.
But as plentiful as his needs may be during this time, so are the rest of the family’s. From feeding ourselves to daily tasks, you also need to prepare the household ahead of time.
Take household items. Before the baby, you likely follow a weekly routine of going to the grocery to stock up on toiletries and food. The pantry remains full, and the 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.
What to stock up on before baby arrives
Peeling away for even 30 minutes during those hectic few months with my first baby became a hassle. I was recovering from childbirth, sleep-deprived, and constantly nursing round the clock. Home bound most of the day, I learned that I should’ve stocked up on household items ahead of time.
A few years later, I applied those lessons learned when my twins arrived. This time, I made sure to stock up on household items we easily forget about (until, of course, that moment we need it). Weeks and months before their arrival, I had stocked up not only on baby gear, but things we’d use around the house.
No more scrambling to the store, or wondering if we had enough of an item. With a completely-stocked home of household items, I could focus on the twins and rely on our supplies.
So, which items can you grab now ahead of time? Take a look at what to stock up on before baby arrives:
1. Cleaning supplies
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The newborn stage isn’t the time to spend cleaning, but you’ll still need to take care of daily tasks you can’t ignore. Easy tasks that don’t take too long but 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 or someone else will need to.
And for that, you’ll need your basic cleaning supplies. Stock up on items you use for regular 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
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2. Disposable plates and utensils
I’m normally not a fan of disposable plates and 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 the cupboards. Instead, you’ll rely on disposable plates and utensils.
Stock up on disposable items like:
- Large and small paper plates
- Cups (or better yet, use a water bottle for the day)
- Forks, knives and spoons
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 of 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
The newborn months aren’t the time to dig into your daily cooking routine and whip up daily meals. I went from cooking dinner every night to not cooking a thing the next several weeks. Even as I slowly added cooking back into my nights, I still 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.
- Pre-made freezer meals: A healthier and less expensive option is to prepare freezer meals in advance.
- A list of favorite local take-out or delivery restaurants: Treat yourselves to restaurant meals you can quickly pick up or have delivered to your home.
No one wants to run out of toilet paper right when they least need it. Look through your daily routine and see which items you use the most. Then, create an inventory of the items running low and need replenishing.
Here are a few items every family should stockpile before the baby arrives:
- Toilet paper
- Tissue paper
- Hand soap
- Hand sanitizer
- Face soap and lotion
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Body lotion
6. Postpartum essentials
With all the focus on the baby, many of us forget we’ll be healing from childbirth as well. After all, with any other hospital procedure, you’d likely focus a lot on your physical needs after coming home. As much as your baby needs you, don’t forget postpartum items you’ll also need.
Many hospitals equip you with these items to help with your recovery. Still, it might be a good idea to stock up on items like perineal spray, pads and a squirt bottle. These 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:
Your best bet is to buy rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones. That way, a quick recharge can be all you need to get the item running again. Better yet, see if many of these items include an adapter so you don’t have to rely on batteries.
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 plenty of 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: 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 buy them in month two and three, but not so much during 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 as you get closer to your due date: 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 are perfect for spotting any low supplies you might need.
The first few days and weeks with a baby will feel chaotic, no doubt. But as much as you’ve prepared for his arrival, don’t forget your own household essentials as well. You won’t exactly be in the mood to put on “outside clothes,” much less get in the car to pick these items up.
Stock up on cleaning supplies you’ll need for daily maintenance, as well as disposable plates and 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 trips 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.
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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