The List, according to “What to Expect…”

Published March 23, 2014 | By Greg Hodgson-Fopp

The Cutesie little Clothes

3-10 Under-shirts or Onesies* 
* open in front for newborns, until umbilical stump drops off. (FYI – that’s so gross). Then switch to ones that snap under the crotch for easy nappy changing

4-7 Stretchies with feet 
* make sure they have snaps or zippers at the crotch as we will be visiting the bottom area with alarming frequency

1-2 Two-piece outfits
* must snap together at the waist to stop them constantly exposing their girly midriffs and bringing all the boys to the yard.

3-6 Rompers
* these are one-piece, short-sleeved, snap at the crotch, feeted sacks.

3-6 Nightgowns
* must have elastic bottoms. Do not use drawstring nightgowns, and ensure they are made of flame-resistant materials. Um.

2-3 Blanket Sleepers
* Not even really sure what this is.

1-3 Hats
* one should have a brim. Should cover ears but not too tightly.

2-3 Pairs of Booties or Socks

1 Bunting or Snow-suit 
* look for a bunting that has a car-seat strap hole ? I don’t even know what this item of clothing is. I vaguely understand what a Snow-suit is, but why would a baby under 6 months need SKI GEAR, for crying out loud?

3 Bibs
* this seems like a hilariously small number.

3-4 Waterproof pants, diaper cover
* Only required if you plan to dress them in dresses that expose their undercarriage.

I’m a little confused now about the technical difference between one-sie, jumper, romper, stretchie and night-gown. I can see this is an area where my education has been lacking. I wonder if there is a “Dad’s Guide to the Confusing World of Baby Clothes Names” somewhere on the internet. I’d like to be good at this parenting thing, so I’m prepared to do my research.

The Linens

3-4 Fitted cot sheets per cot
* Can’t be too loose or too tight, must fit perfectly or baby may use it to tie into a rope and make a ladder to freedom, and subsequently escape captivity.

2-6 Waterproof pads

2 Quilted Mattress Pads
* not quite understanding the difference between these two items. Is this a mattress on a mattress?

2 Washable crib or bassinet blankets
* not actually allowed to use blankets or anything in a crib any more, but they’re for putting over a baby when they’re in the stroller or car seat, or otherwise being supervised.

1-2 Stroller blankets
* how, exactly, is a stroller blanket different from a bassinet blanket? Is one supposed to be outdoorsy in styling, while the other is themed to match the decor of the nursery?

2-3 Towels
2-3 Washcloths

12 Shoulder-protector wash-cloths
* preferably branded with your gym’s name and logo 

2-5 Receiving Blankets
* How can there really be so many different kinds of blankets. Is this the one we swaddle with?

2500 Nappies (per year, per baby)


Baby Soap, Bath Liquid or Foam

No Tears Baby Shampoo

Baby Oil
* Used to clean a sticky bottom and also recommended for ‘cradle cap’. I have absolutely no idea what cradle cap is. But I can see there’s a wikipedia article on it, so I’ll read that if ever one of them has something on their head I can’t identify.

Baby Powder
* Apparently talc is no longer used and we use cornstarch now. Um. Talc never seemed to do me any harm, but I guess that depends on how you define harm. I did have an unhealthy obsession with the really nice smell of talc for years.

Ointment for Nappy Rash
* Ask your Doctor. So, apparently I have to go to a Doctor before they’re born and ask him to recommend a type of cream for Nappy Rash for babies I don’t have yet. That’s going to be an interesting conversation.

Petroleum Jelly
* I imagine we have some lying around the house somewhere.

A billion Nappy Wipes
* Curiously, not to be used to wipe up nappies for the first few weeks apparently. We have to use cotton balls and cool water until they’re 4 weeks old it says here.

Sterile Cotton Balls
* For eyes and arse

Baby nail scissors
* Never use adults ones which are apparently too sharp. I’m not entirely sure how a baby nail scissor can do it’s job if it’s not sharp.

Baby Brush and Comb
* Only if it has hair, which, given genetics, may be unlikely.

Medicine Cabinet

Liquid Paracetamol

Antibiotic Cream

Hydrogen Peroxide
* Not sure why we’d need this unless we don’t approve of their birth hair colour, or we’re trying to disguise them to smuggle them across a border.

Calamine Lotion
* for mosquito bites apparently. Maybe this is normal for babies who are delivered via floating reed basket on the Nile, but I’m not sure we’ll need it for Mosquitos in Zürich.

Rehydration Fluid Packs


Rubbing Alcohol
* for swabbing that umbilical stump apparently. EW!

Calibrated spoon, dropper or oral syringe

Sterile Bandages or Gauze Pads in a variety of shapes and sizes

Adhesive tape
* I imagine gaffer tape will work just nicely.

Tweezers for pulling out splinters
* We’re not going to let them go near the firewood pile for about 10 years, not sure where they’d get splinters from, to be honest.

Nasal Aspirator

Ear Syringe 

Warm Mist Vaporiser
* Apparently a cold mist vaporiser encourages bacterial growth, and a hot mist vaporiser can lead to burns. So we have to get the goldilocks vaporizer that is “Juuuuuust right”.

A digital Thermometer
* They’ve recently decided that the digital ear thermometers are less reliable in infants, and so now recommend you have a temporal artery thermometer, which is placed against the forehead.

Small Penlight
* for checking pupils for dilation after head injuries. Is anyone else finding this list a little alarmist?

Tongue Depressors

Heating pad and/or hot water bottle

Feeding Supplies

4 bottles (120ml) with nipples and rings

10-12 bottles (240ml) with nipples and rings
* apparently nipples come in several shapes (I concur from my personal observations), and so do bottles. I need to get ones with angled necks and made from silicon. Bottles that is, not nipples. Or maybe both.

Bottle and Nipple Brushes

Large Measuring Jug

Measuring Cup

Can Opener

Long-handled sterilisable mixing spoon 

Dishwasher basket designed to hold bottles and Nipples

A Breast Pump
* okay, I think we can skip this one

A Dummy / Pacifier / Binky
* why does this have so many different names?

I have to stop here and comment. I notice that this book is a reasonably new edition, and so should be up to date with all the latest technology. But for some reason doesn’t list the Steriliser as a must-buy accessory. I guess they assume we’re all going to boil pans on the stove-top and sterilise. But with twins, we’re looking at 20 bottles a day on average for the first 3 months, so that’d actually cost me more in electricity than buying a steriliser would.

I also notice it says nothing about a machine to mix the formula and put it to the perfect temperature. A friend (Hi, Stella!) has an amazing machine by Tommy Tippee that reduces infant formula preparation to about as complicated as a Nespresso machine. Tell it the bottle size, pop water in one bit and pre-measured formula in another bit, and you press a button, wait for 3 minutes and your bottle is ready.


* Lead free, child-standard safety approved, convertible into a kiddy bed later. Slats must be no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart (seriously? I send it back if it’s 2.5 inches?). Minimum rail height of 26 inches, and at least 9 inches clearance when side is down. A secure locking mechanism, no peeling paint, no rough corners and a metal support so that when the girls become “Jumping Toddlers” they won’t go straight through the bottom of the crib.

Crib Mattress
* Springs with a high number of coils, apparently.
* Apparently you can buy a mattress with a built in fan. How is THAT not an electrical fire hazard? Seriously?

* Not really sure what this is, to be honest. Something to stop them flopping around?

Bassinet or Cradle
* Matt has vetoed the Moses Baskets thing apparently. So this is off the list.

Changing Table
* A stand-alone table must have protective guard rail, safety straps, washable padding, nappy storage (within our reach but out of grasping baby hands). I am a little bit amused at the idea of strapping a baby down while you change them. I don’t remember seeing anyone else doing that. This list also doesn’t mention changing table protectors or pads. I guess they must be implied.

Nappy Bucket
* Something that seals. Tight.

Baby Tub
* non-skid bottom kind that sits in a normal bath-tub. We could buy two. Or we could just sit them in the bottom of the bath and hose them down each day.

Bouncy Seat
* I loved this as a kid, but apparently they’ve gone high-tech these days and do everything including rocking themselves. I wonder if we can just find an “old school” one which is nothing more than a wire frame with a soft thing in it to bounce up and down in.

Rocking Chair or Glider
* Pretty sure we’ll be skipping this, even the book says “Having a Glider chair is optional”

Baby Monitor
* You just know we’re going to get the best in the range of this. It’s geeky! It’s technology! We want a baby monitor that does selfies and uploads to the internet for the old folks home residents.

Baby Swing
* Um. So this is something not the same as a bouncy seat, and people swear by it according to the book. This requires some googling. Oh, okay, one of these. Electric, swings itself. Interesting. Will we need two?

This is a Baby Swing

I can see why that might be amusing.

* dimmable, so you can keep the light levels low so as not to wake them up properly when doing middle of the night feeds.

Portable Crib
* We have one of these already, not entirely sure why.

Equipment for Outings

We’re not done yet, we still need stuff for leaving the house with, apparently.

Stroller / Pram
* Oh my god this is a minefield. We must choose between classic, carriage, convertible, standard, umbrella, travel system or jogger. And whatever we get it has to be fit for two. This is the subject of a whole post on it’s own, but since Matt wants to be able to jog with the twins, I think we’re going to end up with something from the “Jogger” end of the scale. I wonder if we can find something like we saw in Priscilla, or something like this:

Child Safety Seat
* Another minefield, but one we’re just going to probably buy our way out of by buying the most expensive one we can find with the highest safety ratings.

Backpack Carrier and/or Sling Carrier
* These appeal to me. Apparently babies being carried are less fretful, so studies say. I like the idea of being slightly less encumbered by things to push and carry, and just having the little mini-mes strapped to me.

Diaper Bag
* These have to be custom, waterproof, washable, and have multiple air-tight parts, so you can keep dirty nappies away from sterile bottles.

And so we get to the end of the list of things we’re supposed to have BEFORE the babies arrive.

Please keep in mind that this list was compiled for ONE baby. Most of the items on the list will just have to be doubled for twins.

I think there is one last thing we should add to the list, then.



Bigger House.