When your due date arrives, you’ve got a lot on the brain – understandably! From counting fingers and toes to surviving labour pains, having a new baby is sure to change your life. When you add an entire new person to your family, adjustments must be made. In this happy time, the last thing you want to be thinking about is your shopping list!
We’ve tried to take the guesswork out of it for you. Check out these seven must-have newborn baby essentials. Congratulations, and happy parenting!
Bottles and What Goes In Them
If there’s one thing your baby will need, it’s a bottle. Next to the love of its parents and some warm blankets, bottles and baby food are the most important thing you can give your child. Some women will breastfeed their newborns, and some will exclusively give formula. Most babies will have a combination of both, and that’s where the bottles come in.
At the beginning, they only need a few ounces at a time of nutrition, if that. Babies will feed every 2-4 hours for the first several months of their precious lives. If you’re breastfeeding, consider renting a breast pump to store up milk for sick days, nights, and vacations. Some women prefer to pump exclusively!
For formula only babies, it’s important that your bottles have some kind of anti-colic mechanism. Sometimes it’s in the form of a certain type of nipple, and other times it’s a long straw-like apparatus that runs from the nipple to the bottom of the bottle. No matter what kind of nutrition your baby gets, make sure to have some bottles on hand!
Nappies and Wipes
Another must-have for your newborn is nappies and wipes. Babies will eliminate quite a bit, even though they are on a liquid-only diet for the first several months of life. You can opt for disposable nappies or cloth nappies .
Disposable nappies are certainly popular and convenient – you throw them away after they are soiled and don’t have to think about them again! They’re extremely taxing on the environment, however. Additionally, with the copious amounts of wipes you’ll be going through in the first several years of your child’s life, it’s sometimes difficult for the environmentally conscious to justify using disposable nappies. The steep price tag and sheer amount of waste might not be the right choice for some families.
Cloth nappies, on the other hand, are notoriously cheap – in fact, the cost of laundering cloth nappies for your child’s nappy years is half of what disposable nappies would cost. And, if you’re an environmentalist, you’ll be happy to know that cloth nappies are extraordinarily less taxing on our fragile environment than their easily thrown away cousins.
And what’s more – cleaning cloth nappies has never been easier! You’ll use about six dozen nappies per week, so it’s good to own at least two to three dozen. Once you’ve changed your bouncing baby, you simply dispose of any solids in the nappy in the toilet. You’ll use a lot of wipes to clean the baby up while changing out its nappy. It’s best to keep your soiled cloth nappies in a pail with a garbage bag or other plastic lining. When your container is full, simply place the soiled nappies in the washing machine! Abstain from using bleach, but all these items really need is laundry detergent and hot water!
Swaddling your newborn is an easy way to make your brand new addition feel warm, and an excellent way to keep them safe. Have the nurses or attendants in the hospital teach you how to properly swaddle a baby, and you will have their arms and tiny legs nestled close to their bodies and safe for a nap.
Bassinet or Crib
While it’s true that most babies will sleep with their parent(s) for a majority of their first few years of life, having a bassinet or crib in or near the parents’ sleeping quarters will save the stressed out, exhausted parent lots of sleepy steps in the night for feedings. Many bassinets can be taken from their base, and essentially become a little tiny bed your baby, this is a good middle ground for those children who need a little extra TLC.
Additionally, you might want a crib. While some parents forego the bassinet and start straight with the crib – you might want to weigh the pros and cons of having both. While both will take up more space than having only one or the other, having a crib can also be storage space for linens and stuffed toys your child has been gifted. Bassinets, though, are often easier to place by or in an adult’s bed.
Don’t leave home without it! New and improved technology has revolutionized the baby monitor in recent years, and with the advent of smartphones, make it easier than ever to check on your baby from anywhere in your house.
Baby monitors are important because a child’s brain develops when its sleeping, and as such you don’t want to potentially wake your baby up each time you wish to check on her. Parents swear by these devices. The busier you are, the more you’ll love your baby monitor. You can watch your child in a lighted or dark room, see movements, and hear cries if something unexpected went down. Anything that makes a new parent feel safer and more secure that their baby is happy and healthy is great by us!
One of the most important things to have when out on the town with your baby is a changing bag. You will need to pack it with food, milk or formula, nappies, wipes, and anything else your baby might need. Most parents also keep some books or toys in the bag, just in case their baby needs them while out. There are many types of changing bags, but the most important feature of them is their portability and a functional strap for crossbody carrying or hanging on a stroller. Sometimes you’ll find changing pads, medicines, or a change of clothes inside.
Soap and Detergent
You might not think about until you have your child, but soaps and detergents have so many fragrances and dyes that their ingredients can be potentially harmful to an allergic child. When gearing up for baby season, make sure to purchase fragrance and dye free soaps and laundry detergent.
When you’re washing your child’s cloth nappies, the importance of having the right detergent will become clear. You want to get the baby’s cloth nappies to wash correctly, but you need to protect your child’s sensitive, brand new baby skin. Make sure you wash thoroughly, and don’t sweat it if you have to run laundry twice. Babies are the light of the world – but they sure are messy! Be sure also to invest in a soft bath towel you can envelope them in to make bath time just that bit simpler.
We hope you found this list of newborn baby essentials useful. If you did, please go ahead and share it!
Author Bio: I’m Aliza Sartor, a mum of two children, founder of BabyInform.com. I love reading, cooking and doing meditation. To become an intelligent mum is not easy, I rely on the support of other blogging mums like me to help along the way. You can read more of my writing at Babyinform.com