Life with a newborn could be very time consuming, so making sure that you stock up on essential household items before your baby’s arrival is crucial.
Chances are you already know all the obvious items you should stock up on- wipes, diapers, burp rags, etc… but what about the not so obvious items?
So, why stock up on household items in preparation for your baby’s arrival?
Short answer… to save your sanity!
But, let me put some things into perspective.
So, imagine this… You were just discharged from the hospital and you are bringing your baby home for the first time. Things are going well but you are still getting the hang of things. Chances are you are exhausted and underslept. Your postpartum recovery is making it hard to sit down and your baby doesn’t seem as patient as you wish he’d be as you get the hang of breastfeeding.
Now tell me…. Does this sound like a good time to be worrying about buying toilet paper and laundry detergent? No mam!
Buying things in bulk in preparation for labor will reduce stress and overwhelm. Hence, making your first few weeks home with your newborn much more manageable.
Next, we will cover a list of basic but important items you should consider stockpiling before the baby arrives.
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Life with a baby is messy! Having plenty of paper towels (we like these ones!) on hand is a great idea. So, make sure you have plenty of these.
Another great item to stock up on is napkins (like this pack). Buy it in bulk and don’t worry about it for the next few months.
Disposable Plates, Cups, and Utensils
The last thing you will want to be doing in your early postpartum days is washing dishes, trust me.
Now, is the time to stock up on disposable plates, cups, and utensils. If you think it’s easier, grab a set of all three things instead. Here’s a biodegradable set.
Despite how much we try to avoid doing dishes all together, some things will just need to be washed often.
For instance, if you will be bottle feeding, running out of dish soap is something you will not want to have happen. Treat yourself with a dish soap that’s a little bit nicer.
Related: Postpartum Care Kit Essentials
Since you will be buying other kitchen essentials for your stockpile, it doesn’t hurt to also grab a pack of sponges.
In fact, sponges should be changed often as they are one of the biggest bacteria reservoirs in our house. Yup, you heard that correctly, the porous surfaces of our sponges allow the food particles and moisture to collect in them, thus becoming an ideal environment for unwanted bacteria formation.
So, stock up on sponges and change them often.
Aluminum foil can make for easy clean up after meals. If you use it to line your pans before putting them in the oven, make sure to grab a roll or two when you stock up on kitchen household items. Alternatively, you can grab a set like this which includes more than just aluminum foil.
Something we tend to overlook is making sure we have extra garbage bags. You will be doing a lot of diaper changing, so garbage bags will become a very important household item to have in bulk. Personally I would not skimp too much on these because you’re definitely going to want something to cover up the diaper smell if you can’t run it out to the street right away. I liked these ones.
Although not a household item per se, groceries are a crucial part of your “pre-labor stockpile plan”. There are a series of non-perishable food items you can stock up on that have a long shelf life. In addition, you can also opt for foods that you can freeze in bulk.
I’d encourage you to give Amazon Pantry a try, especially if you’re big on shopping online.
Here is a list of groceries that you can buy ahead of time:
- Tomato and marinara sauce
- Frozen Veggies
- Frozen fruits (for smoothies)
- Meat (freeze it)
- Grab-and-Go snacks (e.g. granola bars, protein, bars)
- Almond milk (usually lasts months in the fridge- unopened)
Bottled water is another important thing to buy in bulk. If you use bottled water as a drinking source in your home, ensure to buy enough for the first few weeks. In addition, if you are planning to bottle feed, they sell baby bottled baby water which you can also buy in bulk.
Cooking meals will be hard to do with a newborn and as you recover from labor.
One of the best things you can do to help prepare you for the first few weeks postpartum is to stock up on freezer meals.
Nowadays, you have everything from freezer meals you can buy at your local grocery store to freezer meals that get delivered at your front door on a daily/weekly basis.
However, if you don’t want to spend the money on freezer meals you can make your own.
Here are a few ideas to help you stock up on freezer meal:
Meal prep by chopping all recipe ingredients together and putting them on Ziplock bags in your freezer. Don’t forget to label the bags with the date and recipe name. When ready to eat, simply throw them in your pressure cooker or slow cooker, and voila! Dinner will be served in a matter of minutes (pressure cooker) or hours (slow cooker) without much effort from your end.
Most foods freeze well, in fact some of the most common foods (poultry, meat, veggies) can last a few months in the freezer. You can plan to batch cook a few days/weeks before your due date and freeze them in meal-size portions. Easy recipes to batch cook are casseroles, lasagna, stews, poultry, veggies, and soups. You can check this Cold Food Storage Chart from FoodSafety.gov for specific information on refrigerating and freezing food safely.
One of the most important things to stock up on before baby arrives is toilet paper. It might seem like an insignificant item… until you RUN OUT! Definitely, a stockpile must.
Tissue paper is always nice to have around. Whether you have the sniffles or use it to clean the baby’s gentle skin, opt for a tissue paper. Keeping a tissue box in your breastfeeding station is also a great idea. God knows things can get messy.
I can never have enough tissue paper. I always keep an open box around the house for easy access.
Shampoo and Conditioner
Another item we often forget about buying is shampoo and conditioner. Although these are items that usually last a while you will be surprised how much of this you can use postpartum.
I remember that during both of my postpartum experiences, I bathed and washed my hair more often than normal.
Between, leaky breast, postpartum vaginal discharge and a whole array of postpartum body changes, trust me, you will want to shower often.
Whether you use soap or body wash, ensure to buy enough to last you a few weeks postpartum.
Toothpaste and Mouthwash
Squeezing and folding the end of your toothpaste tube isn’t going to make more toothpaste appear! I know, I know… we’ve all done it. But luckily you won’t have too, because you now know to stock up on toothpaste and mouthwash.
A noticeable postpartum body change could be dry and itchy skin. Keeping a good moisturizer at hand will help alleviate and hydrate your skin.
Laundry and Cleaning Supplies
News flash… you will be doing a lot of laundry. It is fascinating how a tiny human can go through so many clothing changes in a single day.
Between onesies, burp rags, spit-ups, and diaper leaks, laundry detergent is the one item you are always going to want to have in stock!
Opt for fragrance-free and non-toxic laundry detergent as most conventional laundry detergent can irritate the baby’s delicate skin.
We made the switch to a cleaner and more natural laundry detergent for our kids and now use the same one for the entire family. There’s also laundry detergent made specifically for baby if you’d prefer to go that route.
Messes are imminent with a baby. Clorox wipes are a must on every home with a child. From spills, to cleaning up after your pet, or wiping down furniture and counters after having visitors over… sanitizing wipes is something you don’t want to run out of. If you want to try something other than Clorox wipes, you can try this brand as it’s made for cleaning baby surfaces/toys.
Having a few of these around the house is very convenient. They are very useful for different cleaning tasks and they are very cost-effective as you can keep reusing them.
As a mom and a nurse this is one of my most useful essentials. They are very convenient and effective, especially with a newborn around.
To save money, you can buy the big bottle for a fraction of the cost and refill the regular size bottles you have around the house as they run low.
With that said, hand sanitizers do not replace hand washing, so it important to remember to wash your hands frequently.
Part of your postpartum recovery process will include relieving pain and discomfort. Having pain relievers at hand is a great idea.
Typically, Tylenol and Advil are safe options, however, always consult with your doctor to see what option is best for you.
Constipation is a common postpartum complaint. Having a stool softener on hand could be very useful.
Batteries are usually forgotten when it comes to preparing for baby’s arrival, however they will be used quite often.
A lot of baby items including swings, bouncers, and playpens, tend to operate with batteries.
Pet Food and Supplies
Last, but not least, is stocking up on food and supplies for our furry friends. In the frenzy of getting ready for baby it is very easy to forget to cater to the needs of our pets.
So, buy pet food and pet supplies in bulk and don’t to worry about it for the next few weeks.
Additional Tips for Stocking Up and Buying in Bulk
Opt for Wholesalers
The best places to stock up on household items and groceries are places where they sell things in bulk for a fraction of the cost. Wholesale stores such as Costco and BJ’s are great options. All you have to do is apply for a membership card in-store and enjoy the savings year-round. A lot of parents stock up on baby goods year-round by buying at these stores as well.
Create a Stockpile Inventory
If you want to get fancy you can also create a stockpile inventory. Simply write the item name and the item count, then reduce the count as you use them. The inventory sheet is a great way to keep track of your stockpile and it alerts you when you are running low on a particular item.
Find Coupons and Savings
Check online or on your local newspaper for coupons on the most expensive items you are planning on stocking up on. Coupons are great to use when you are buying in bulk as they can save you a lot of money. Also, before your stockpile overhaul, check online for specials and discounts on at least 2-3 stores to see which one will give you the most savings.
Related: When Should I Buy Baby Stuff?
Okay, I’ll have to admit, reading this list it feels like I’m getting ready for hurricane season! Well, as South Florida mom I can tell you that both a hurricane and postpartum can often bring on the same emotions. Preparing for the worse and hoping for the best.
I can tell you from experience that stockpiling on household items before the baby arrives (and before you even feel like labor is approaching) is one of the best things you can do for your sanity.
Happy and Healthy delivery mama!
Have you started stocking up in anticipation for your baby’s arrival? Tell us in the comments below…
Nataly Llanes is a mom of two, a Registered Nurse, and the founder of LovelyMomhood.com. She writes about all things Pregnancy, Parenting and Motherhood. Using her motherhood experience and medical background she helps moms embrace and overcome all stages of motherhood.