Infobits, Raisin Pickneys

What to BUY when you’re expecting: shopping lists and tips for newbies

Inspired by and written for my dear cousin Susan and that delightful little bundle in her belly <3!

As a first time soon-to-be Mom or Dad it’s a pretty overwhelming task when shopping for baby’s needs. These newbie expenses can get pretty high as initial baby setup for those with in the mid-income bracket jobs usually cashes in at $1,540 USD or $10,000 TTD! Add a rough estimate of $12,000 TTD for those of you who opt to deliver at private hospitals and the exorbitant construction costs of any remodelling that may occur. And remember, these are just preparation costs…imagine what happens after baby is born!


Now, if you are excellent at budgeting, don’t mind just the basics or iffy’ brands, or have access to decent hand-me-downs from friends and family, these figures would be considerably less. But for the rest of us over-planners, baby expenses are a pain! And the reality remains that we would always want the best for our kids.

How did I survive? Barely. And now, with two pre-schoolers, it’s even worst.

But I’ll give you this No. 1 tip for pre-baby shopping. Simple. Practice restraint. Restrain yourself from purchasing any and everything, I mean it! Ladies you know us, when we head into a baby store, we just go gaga-googoo! Make a list (or use the one below) and stick to it. And especially with first baby, you could depend on baby-showers and the kindness of well-wishers. I know it may sound like a dastardly dependent or a “scrubbish” mentality, but it’s the solid truth. The people around us are generally kind folks, and our gift-giving culture helps give us a help-out during the start of new facets of life, especially for pregnancy and weddings!


My thrift suggestion? In times like these, never say ‘no’ to a baby shower. Make up a gift registry for baby, or even simply circulate a list amongst your circles about the things you need. Believe me, with the kindness of the human spirit permeating the souls of most, you’d be surprised about how many people will come to your aid (unless of course, your track record has proven you to be scrooge incarnate!).

And what exactly should be on that list of things to purchase for baby? Here are my suggestions for all you first-timers out there based on my experiences and obsessive research. 😛 (Mind you, this is an exhaustive list that may be classified as both needs and wants, but attempts to take into account, every possible relevant item)



  • Cotton Vests
  • Baby Hats
  • Kazaks
  • Onsies
  • Socks
  • Booties
  • Sleepers/pajamas
  • Leggings or pull-on pants
  • Outer layers
  • Mittens
  • Wearable and Swaddling Blankets: soft cotton with no frills or tassels
  • Rags/ burp pads: as soft as possible
  • Bibs: preferably with no strings (get the ones with fabric adhesive)
  • Navel pad (if you deem this necessary)
  • Towels: preferably hooded and as soft as possible
  • Crib sheets
  • Crib bumber pads
  • Small pillow that helps reduce SIDS

*Heavy or light clothing depends on your own climatic needs



  • Baby Powder (Johnsons’ and Johnsons ‘ Cornstarch preferably or original/ baby Amens)
  • Baby Oil (Johnsons and Johnsons Corn preferably)
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Bottom butter (if chafing occurs. Petroleum Jelly could also do)
  • Baby Shampoo (gentle: tear free and hypoallergenic)
  • Baby Soap (Mild Soap)/ Baby Wash (gentle: tear free and hypoallergenic)
  • 1 Bottle of Methylated Spirit (To clean the baby’s navel- recommendations may vary according to your paediatrician)
  • Wipes (gentle and hypoallergenic)
  • 1 Pack of Cotton Balls
  • Qutips
  • Soap Dish
  • Hand sanitiser
  • 1 Tube of Desitin Cream (In case of Diaper Rash / Heat Rash)
  • 1 Bottle of Glycerin (To clean the Baby’s Mouth/Tongue)
  • 1 pack of Newborn Diapers (only one initially; larger sizes as times go by. Look for the navel- protection feature)



  • Large and Small Baby Bags
  • 1 large Umbrella
  • 1 baby carrier
  • Mosquito nets



  • Bath Tub and no-slip pad for tub (if your budget affords it, buy the ready-made infant tubs and then switch to larger one later on)
  • Padded and waterproof Changing Pad or Changing Table (if preferred)
  • Diaper pail and liners
  • Pram/ stroller (preferably with sack)
  • Baby bassinet (personally find this a waste of money. Babies grow out of bassinets very quickly)
  • Glider/ rocker
  • Car seat (preferably ones to last until toddler days)
  • Crib (better if it is a convertible crib-playpen or crib-bed)
  • Baby mattress
  • Waterproof mattress pad
  • Night Light/ Lamp
  • Baby cubby/ cupboard/ chest of drawers (for clothing and accessories)
  • High chair (eventually)



 *I’m a strong supporter of breast-feeding. However I acknowledge that this may not always work out so the following are for those who need it

  • Breast Pump and accessories
  • Baby Bottles (look for good brands that could help reduce colic and that are BPA free: eg. Avents or Dr Brown’s…personally, I had extremely good experiences with Avents as the wide nipple aided easy feedings)
  • Bottle steriliser or clean pot for boiling parts (I strongly do not recommend sterilizing tablets because I believe in the organic steam and hot water instead of harsh chemicals)
  • Thermos (make sure your water is baby-friendly and from a good source)
  • Bottle warmer (some prefer microwave use)
  • Bottle brushes
  • Bottle drying rack
  • Sealed container for parts
  • Safe detergent for washing parts
  • Formula (only if absolutely necessary- consult with paediatrician)
  • Bowls
  • Baby spoons
  • Sippy cups
  • Splat mat
  • Baby food maker

*Safe material and BPA free everything!



  • Medicine cabinet & general first-aid supplies
  • Pacifiers (look for orthodontic ones with covers please!)
  • Anti colic/ gripe water
  • Infant Panadol (for fever)
  • Digital thermometer
  • Baby nail scissors or clippers
  • Soft-bristled baby hair brush
  • Bulb syringe
  • Teething toys
  • Teething gel (safe)
  • Childproofing products
  • Baby monitor



  • Mobile
  • Soft toys (please pay attention to age-group! – 0-3 months)
  • Soothing music
  • Play mat/gym
  • Activity center
  • Books
  • Bouncer seat
  • Baby swing
  • Doorway jumper



  • Baby journal/ memento book
  • Photo album
  • Camera
  • Camcorder
  • Room decor



  • Packs of Maternity pads
  • Nursing bra
  • Nursing pads (it’s easier to buy the boxed disposable types)
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nipple butter
  • Warm/ Cold Compress
  • Sitz bath container
  • Salt

*This list is for general and natural birth moms. Those who birthed via Caesarean would have other particular needs based on doctors’ orders.


So there you have it! Daunting isn’t it? But hey, well-wishers to the rescue right, right?

I wish you all Happy shopping!

(Related list about packing for delivery coming soon!)

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