I cannot expect my two year old grandson to carry his weight in weaponry, though he might try! He’s a real go-getter! I want to get people with children and those who want to have them in some future to prep for them now.
Here is a list of small items other than clothes and diapers that can be purchased and stored just for baby: thermometers and thermometer stick-ons, nail scissors, Ear wax irrigating bulb, mucus remover bulb (they are the same device but should be color coded, one for ears, one for noses!), combs or soft brush, toothbrushes in baby soft bristles, corn starch, baby powder, zinc oxide, lanolin, baby oil, baby lotion, large safety pins for cloth diapers, petroleum jelly, vapor rub, and baby food. Gift packs are available that give you at least one of most of the above for around $30.
You will need a ricer. This is an old time device that was always on the kitchen counter at my grandmother’s house. It's vintage shape is a conical strainer with a wooden pestle. To the left you will see a modern version. Nowadays it is called a food mill, I am old fashioned. It is used to hand puree foods for the baby and to make lump free mashed potatoes. I use it to puree pumpkin for my holiday pies. Steamed cooked food pushed through a ricer is pure baby food.
In the baby chest there must be a set of durable clothes in a variety of sizes. I always loved the hand-me-down ability in overalls by Carter's Osh Kosh B’Gosh! I loved having a handle on the boys! The sturdy back straps made it easy to pull them out of harm’s way! I had two pair of size 4T overalls that went through all four boys and were joyfully received by a neighbor when the last son outgrew them.
Denim is a good investment when you invest in good denim. Read the label. Pull the pants at their stress points. Listen for stitch popping. Put down the cheap, foreign, thin or lightweight fabric. Buy for the life of the child. You can get good denim and overalls at a thrift store or yard sale at a very good price. Denim is always in style and in fashion. Denim is a good investment.
You will need muslin and flannelette. A bolt of it at a yard sale is worth $5. A bolt of it at a high end fabric shop isn't worth your money unless it is on sale and you have a coupon. Look to your thrift stores and charity shops first. The less you spend, the more you will have to spend. Muslin is the light weight cotton for shirts, dresses, aprons and sheets. I have made shirts and aprons from sheets. I also used a sheet for a wrap around dress, table cloth, curtains and pillowcases. Flannelette is for receiving blankets, swaddling clothes, pajamas, diapers and nightgowns.
Terry cloth, the towel material is available, but a few good towels from a yard sale can be made into bibs or diapers, spit cloths, receiving blankets and baby bath towels.
Of course I want you to make baby bibs and hats by hand. I want you to learn to crochet sweaters and to make a bib out of something other than a towel and a pin. I want you to acquire clothes making skills for your future. In this vein, there is no harm in embroidering little ducks or trucks on the edges. If a tear in a shirt or dress occurs, you will have the skill to embroider over any darned patches to make it usable again. I will post patterns for easy to make items from towels and sheets later.
If you find a bassinet you can store all these small items inside. Space saving bags full of diapers and clothes can be stored on the bottom rungs of the bassinet. You could put your bassinet in a closet and stack and store a future there.
A Moses basket offers a place to lay baby that is portable. I have heard the story of the baby in a dresser drawer, but I want you to think of safety and thrift! Thrift is great but not if it is dangerous! Think ahead and flip through the baby books. Get as many ideas now when there is time to prep. Eliminate electrical appliances from your prep list. Consider what the basics are and what the frills are. Stock up on the basics.