It’s been a while since my children were infants. The products on the market have really changed. Not only have many been updated, there are many others that just didn’t exist years ago. Lee shared this list of essentials with me, which I am sharing with permission. I know many women bottle feed (I chose to do so with both of my boys), so while the pump wouldn’t be a need for you, the pads and sling are totally still viable.
The Essential Newborn List for First Time Parents
Your little bundle of joy is safely growing in your belly, but soon they will emerge into the real world. Even though newborns are the tiniest of humans, they require more care than anyone else. It’s extremely exciting, a little terrifying and very confusing for new parents.
When you’re prepared with the essentials, figuring everything out and enjoying your new arrival is much, much easier. Here’s my list of the must-haves for first time parents who aren’t quite sure what’s a necessity and what’s a luxury.
Did you know you can’t leave the hospital with your Baby unless you have the proper car seat? That makes this transportation safety device the most important thing to have on hand before the baby is born.
Look for a car seat that is designed for an infant with a handle that makes it easy to carry. A car seat that weighs less but carries a larger load is also a big plus.
Breast Feeding Gear
Most people think that breastfeeding is easy because once the baby is born the milk starts flowing. In a perfect world that would be the case. The first couple of days can actually be kind of rough. The team at Baby Cubby rightly points out that being prepared can really make things easier. Which is definitely a good thing since stress can make breastfeeding that much more difficult.
A breast pump is a must if you plan to breastfeed. There are affordable hand pump versions as well as pricier mechanical pumps. Two of today’s leading breast pump manufacturers are Avent and Medela. Both have earned high points for design, comfort and longevity. It’s also a good idea to pick up some nursing pads and a soft fabric sling for feeding time.
One thing you need to decide is if you want to go the disposable route or the cloth diaper route. Since newborns go through 10-14 diapers a day on average you’ll need a stockpile waiting for you when you get home from the hospital.
Disposable diapers are available in every grocery store, and as long as you have a few packs of size one (newborn) you’ll be covered for about the first week. You’ll save money in the long run with cloth diapers (and be a little greener), but you have to stock up on supplies in advance. You’ll need at least 24 diapers unless you want to do laundry every day. Two other essentials are inserts and a diaper pail with liners.
Now that baby is out of the womb ,they’ll need to cover up. This is where a lot of new parents get a little overzealous. Babies grow quickly, especially in the first six months. To put it in perspective, the baby’s weight will double in the first 4-6 months.
Onesies are the absolute essential, and not just because they are so darn cute. Their snap crotch design makes changing diapers super easy. They are also cheap so you can stock up without spending too much. I’d suggest getting at least seven to 10 onesies.
Other essentials on the newborn clothing checklist include:
- At least a few cloth hats
- Pull on pants with a stretchy waist
- A few long sleeve body suits
- A few sweaters and/or jackets if its fall or winter
- Footed sleepers
- Night gown with elastic bottom
- A few soft “dress up” outfits for pictures and family visits
You can always fill your baby’s closet with other clothes, but don’t be surprised if they only end up wearing them one or two times before they outgrow them.
Letting your baby sleep in your bed is a serious health risk. They need their own little crib where they can sleep soundly and safely. Warning: cribs are not cheap. To get your money’s worth look for a crib that can double as a changing station or convert into a toddler bed.
Along with the crib itself you’ll need a mattress and a few fitted sheets. Never put blankets or pillows in the crib with the baby as this can be a life-threatening hazard. To keep them warm while they sleep dress your baby in a footed sleeper.
Contrary to adult needs, babies only need to be bathed every other day. If you bathe them every day it could actually dry out their skin. During newborn baby bath time you’ll need a soft changing pad for them to lie on, a sponge or washcloth, mild formula baby shampoo, moisturizing baby soap, wipes and a baby towel with a built-in hood.
There’s plenty of other stuff you can buy, but these are the essentials that you’ll need in the first week or so that baby is home.
What are your “must-have” items for use in caring for a newborn?
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