20 essential things to get before baby's arrival - Hospital bag checklist

Jes 6 Comments

It's a daunting task to cater and care for another human being.

Besides the physical changes to the mother's body, hospital bag to pack, spaces will need to cleared and arrangements will need to be sorted out. A hole in your pocket can be reduced if you are like me, buying everything online.

Warning: This is not for everyone. I do not need well known brands or seek approvals from friends and family. I do require assurance about the safety and reliability so I only buy the top selling products based on volume and good reviews. Honestly, so far so good.

These are the things I bought in preparation before the grand arrival of my baby:
1) Baby cot - Preferably movable to allow visitors to take a look and when cleaning the house. Adjustable height is essential because during the first 3 months, you do not need to bend so much and it's easier when putting her down. It is self assembled so the price is cheaper and the price listed here includes shipping. (Taobao - $124)
2) Extra bedding set and mattress for cot - For cleaning and emergency uses. (Taobao - $22)
3) Baby soap and shampoo 2 in 1 - A few drops into the water to clean the whole body. (Komodo - $7.50)
4) Baby bath tub - You can get one at $15.90 from Ikea or not buy at all since it is provided free by Mt Alvernia.
5) Breast pump - My Spectra S1 review coming up soon. It cost around $220 from Lazada. Cooler bag is provided by Mt Alvernia.
6) 1 Milk bottle - Baby might not like the bottle teat so get 1 to test it out first before buying 4.  (Pigeon - $10)
7) Pacifier - This is optional. I bought it but did not use it because baby does not like it. (Pigeon - $4)
8) Sterilizer - To sterilize all new things and milk bottles frequently. (Philips - $75)
9) Warmer - To warm up frozen breast milk or cooled formula milk.  (Philips - $55)
10) 1 can of newborn formula milk - Well, you can't anticipate whether you will need or not so it is safe to have it. Please don't insist on breastfeeding if you are low on your breastmilk supply. Baby might get dehydrated. (Nestle Nan Optipro 1 - $52)

11) 6 sets of rompers, long sleeved pajamas, face towels, mittens and booties, 2 bathing towels, 4 swaddles - I have a friend who donated all these to me so do get from your friends to reuse the baby clothes! It's not cheapo, it's environmentally and pocket friendly. (Estimated - $200)
12) 2 packets of newborn size and S size diaper -  My baby was 3.2kg so 2 packets were sufficient before switching to S size (3 - 8kg). Baby will used up the NB diapers in 2 weeks so get youself prepared with more. (Huggies NB - $31.9, Drypers S- $29.5)
13) Wet wipes - So useful especially during the first week when baby is pooing frequently. I bought the 4 x 6 packets bulk quantity for Pigeon's brand from Lazada. ($75)
14) Diaper rash cream - Your baby will definitely get diaper rash but it may not be the diaper brand's fault or your delayed action to cleaning the baby. It can be caused by friction and too tight diapers. (Desitin maximum strength - $12).
15) Water proof diaper changing mat - Needed when changing diapers as she might pee at unwanted moment. Optional as it is provided by Mt Alvernia. (Taobao - $3.50)
16) Ru yi or Yu Yee oil - This is to remove bloatedness of baby and it is available in all supermarket and TCM stores. I thought there is a baby grade but I was wrong. ($3.50)
17) Car seat - Only for people with cars. Many people questioned the safety of getting car seats from Taobao and I cannot verify that so it is up to you to decide. (Taobao - $116)
18) Stroller - Do buy a stroller that is light weight, you will thank me next time. (Taobao - $69)
19) Baby carrier -  I bought Baby K'tan carrier from Agapebabies.com . Lucky I did not buy Baby Tula ($229) because after 6 months, she just does not like to be restrained. ($85.5 with 10% discount for first time customers)
20) Others - Nail clippers, cotton buds to clean baby's nose, milk powder container when outdoors or just wipe the bottles clean to fill it. (Lazada - $20)
A baby preparation checklist!
Pillows and blankets are not recommended for newborn as it might endanger them. You might also need bottle brush, thermal flask and breast milk storage bags later on. I have shown what I have bought but it is not a recommendation to follow me. I do not earn commissions from these retailers but just giving you an idea of what you should get.

The amount I have to pay is around $1015. I know this is like the ultimate frugal way because I know parents who bought $700 cot and $500 car seat. Those big items can be reused so it might probably be worthwhile. Well, to each his own.

Buying online really helps so do look out for good deals from time to time. You don't need to be stressed out over so many purchases. Slowly buy them throughout your pregnancy to also give your finances some room.

Most importantly, stay happy, well rested and excited!

Like me on Facebook to be updated on family finances. You may also like this comparison post on the prices of diapers and formula milk.


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  1. Hi Jes,

    Agree with most of the items on your list but having go through the same process myself, I did think that the bottle warmer wasn't necessary. We bought one as well but realised that we could do the same thing if we put it in a bowl of hot water.

    Of course the total cost would differ depending on how much you paid for the items. Its great that you got a lot of items from Taobao at a fraction of what it might have cost in the departmental stores here.

    I guess at the end of the day, it's really all about just having enough than in excess.

    1. Hi Kate,

      I guess a bottle warmer is a nice addition, especially when you want to heat up frozen breast milk fast. But I agree with you, I did not use it many times and luckily for me, it was donated by someone else. I included the price to give new parents an idea of how much to budget.

      Yep, I think we often overpay too much for brands. For babies, they outgrow things so fast that it's usually not necessary although many parents might also disagree with me.

      Appreciate your comments, thank you for reading and have a prosperous new year!

  2. Hi Jes! I've been following your blog for the past few weeks and I really love your posts! Especially ones like these haha I'm not a mum yet - but I tend to prefer buying alot of things online too. Especially my shopping/books etc. I don't know why (shipping perhaps) but these things are always kinda more ex in the shops in sg.

    There's something I have on my mind and I chanced upon one of your posts recently (Pruvantage vs Prulink post). As a background, my goal this year is to save+invest more. I'm a huge saver and do have quite abit of savings. But I kinda feel a huge pain when I look at my insurance stuff. About 7.5K goes to my insurance annually. I personally feel this is a bit too much as I'd rather save a few thousand from here and use for direct investments in future when I am ready to grow my money. Thing is I'm abit lost when it comes to terminating policies/which policies are good.

    Right now I have the Prulink Protection Plus (which includes riders like Prusmart lady etc), PruWealth and Pruvantage. I've no idea where there are Crisis III riders for all of these...isn't paying once enough?? lol. I might be getting this wrong. But in your opinion which of these is the best option to go with when I just would like insurance for my health/hospitalisation and all that basic stuff? I'm not a fan of ILPs too as the fund this is linked to (Pru China-India amongst others) hasn't even been growing well the past few years. I might as well save it and invest it myself. I'm also not sure if Pruweatlh is a necessary option?

    I've got PruVantage and PruWealth since Dec 2015 and am 28 this year. PruLink I bought in 2013. Did you face an issues when terminating your policies? I know it can be a huge pain in terms of the money "lost" =( but that cannot be reversed and I rather stop now than continue paying and losing even more money. Was wondering what are your thoughts on all these hmm

    Btw, Happy Chinese New Year and have a great Reunion dinner tonight! :D

    1. Hi Evelyn,

      I am so happy that you love my posts because I don't get many loyal supporters and sometimes wonder if anybody reads them =X Well, shopping online you might be able to buy directly from source so you bypass the importers, distributors and resellers and thus, a lower price even with shipping. The older generation will feel more insecure with the concept but our generation embrace it fully, having grown up with technology.

      Ok first of all, you should change a financial advisor because you are buying so many things but it seems you have no idea of what you bought. He should be answering these questions or you don't trust his answers.

      Let's dissect it 1 by 1:
      1) PruWealth - The returns are non-guaranteed and I have not heard of them hitting the promised returns before. Let's just say that if it's guaranteed more than 5% returns, many people will be buying it. I would rather buy STI ETF under Poems Sharebuilder but that's just me.

      2) Prulink - More than 30% goes into your advisor's wallet and the company. A big percentage goes into investment and the rest to a term policy. If you are someone who thinks the funds are doing well, then buy it but with open eyes and be knowledgeable about the projected returns because you are buying for the investment not for coverage. Compare that to the returns you get when you invest yourself. Do note that you do have to pay more as you aged.

      3) Pruterm vantage - They are the most basic insurance because they do not have an investment portion and only covers term and terminal illness. You do not have to pay more as you aged and there is higher coverage.

      At 28 years old, I am guessing you have no dependants so the Prushield Riders is the most important. The rest, I do not know your situation but I hope you can make your decisions with my answers.

      You have already 'lost' your money, your future with 30 more years is even more money so do think carefully. I cut losses and I am glad I did it sooner rather than later. You can contact me directly if you still need more assistance with finance or other matters, I will try my best to help :)

      Happy new year to you and stay healthy!

  3. Hi Jes, I love your post. It is very useful, appreciate it. Actually, wanted to ask if u mind sharing the cot and stroller which u bought from Taobao? Do u have the link?

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for reading, I am happy you asked because I thought nobody was interested! Anyway, here is the link for the cot and the stroller.

      The cot is not the top selling because I wanted a white cot and the top selling are all the brown wood type. For the stroller, the one I got is very light but probably not as sturdy. I can't find my seller selling the same type anymore though. Hope this helps and feel free to contact me if you need more information :)


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