Having a baby come in to your life can be overwhelming, especially if you are doing it for the first time. There are thousands of products that claim that you simply cannot have a baby without them. They are a “must need” for your new bundle of joy.
What exactly does a new born baby need? I guess for much of this question the answer would be, “Well, how do you intend to parent?”
Here is my (I think practical) list of needs for a new born:
* Diapers and wipes- This is a give-in. You need to cover your baby’s behind whether in disposable (think Huggies, Pampers, etc.) or reusable (washable). The choice is yours! They both have their pros and cons. We chose disposable this time around because cloth was too expensive of an initial investment (although cheaper in the long run) and we live in a building with common washers and dryers. If we live in a house next time around, I would love to give cloth a shot, I know a few parents that do and they love to cloth diaper, it is much better for the environment as a bonus! Diaper cream is also something to keep handy, there are natural alternatives to this as well if you are interested. I have used breast milk and that has worked but the medicated stuff is useful.
* A way to feed your (always) hungry little one- For those of you planning on breastfeeding you may be wondering what could you possibly need? I would suggest a breast pump, it can be a life saver, as well as some milk storage bags. Also, some bottles in case someone else needs to feed baby. Nursing pads were really handy for me as well, I preferred the washable ones over the disposable because they were thinner and more comfortable.Some nipple cream may come in handy if they get sore and cracked and some people like to have a nursing pillow, I was going to make my own and then had one given to me. Honestly, I tried to use it and it just got in the way, I ended up using a normal pillow because that worked for us. If you plan on formula feeding consult with your baby’s doctor about what kind is appropriate and have that on hand along with some bottles and I got great use out of a bottle scrubber.
* Laundry detergent- You do not need to go out and buy the specially made for babies detergent. It is very pricey and you have a cheaper alternative! You can purchase dye and scent free detergent ( something that is Free and Clear) and it does the same thing. Babies have sensitive skin. The world is much different than the womb, they are not use to the feel of fabric or rough things, they do not understand things like clothing tags. They just know that it does not feel good.
*Gentle baby soap and soft face cloths– for the same reason you want to get free and clear detergent, baby’s skin is sensitive!
* Be a baby wearer!- Do it! Just kidding, you do not have to but it is a wonderful way to have both hands free and still have baby close to you. They crave the closeness and comfort, your heartbeat was all they knew for the longest time. Skin to skin and closeness encourage a baby’s growth and comforts them. It is really lovely and quite practical. I suggest starting off with a baby wearing group that has a library for you to try out. Not every baby loves every carrier and you will not either. I bought one while pregnant and my son absolutely hated it, screamed anytime I put it near him. During an outing my friend let me try hers and my son and I were in love. I ended up having to search for one online because that particular style had been discontinued. We found one and we use it often. When I take it out now my son runs over to me and asks to get up (by shoving his hands in the air while laughing). I have found a lot of use for it while taking public transportation since not all our subway stations are accessible.
* Somewhere for baby to sleep- They may not want to leave your arms but they will have to. At first we used a Pack ‘n Play with the newborn insert and when he was a few months old we bought him a convertible crib. So, you do not need to start off with a crib. In our tiny one bedroom apartment this was a much easier start for us.
* Weather appropriate clothing and Sleepers- This one is self explanatory. I do suggest you invest in full sleepers with zippers instead of snaps. The buttons are difficult to do, especially when baby gets older and more wiggly. The sleepers are easy and comfortable for them. They also do not need extras like socks when they are wearing them. My son always hated socks. I still cannot keep them on him. Also, hats.
* Stroller and Car seat- Again pretty self explanatory. I would also suggest that you have a car seat canopy as well as a cover for the stroller to keep the wind, rain, and snow away from the little one. We started off with a big stroller that has big tires with a tread (because we live in Canada and the snow is an issue) I think it is actually a jogging stroller. It is wonderful but it is huge. It would not fit in a trunk properly and we had a lot of appointments right after my son was born. My grandma ended up getting us a Snap-N-Go by Baby Trend. It is basically a small base with a tiny basket and wheels that you strap the infant seat in to. It was a life saver. It was only practical until he could not use that car seat anymore but we still have it and it is awesome.
* Diaper bag- You are a Mom now; look the part. Babies need a lot of stuff, you need something to carry it all in. You do not have to use something big or even a conventional diaper bag. I used a small one that Nestle sent me ( I still do) but I have also used my big TNA gym bag purse thing, as well as a back pack. I find the back pack useful when I am going to be out for a while and I am wearing my son.
* Receiving blankets- They are super useful. I used them to swaddle my son as well as for burp cloths and whatever else I could think of. Really, they were great. They are nice and thin and soft, perfect for baby. My son often played with one in his car seat while we were out because I would always have one with us.
* A CAMERA- No matter what you have for your new baby, you are going to want to document those tiny little toes! They grow entirely too fast, try to enjoy every second of it that you can!
This seems like an exhaustive list but babies need a lot of stuff and they are not cheap. I paired this down as best I could to give new parents a starting list of things I found essential. Two things I did not mention in there because I thought they would be more optional for some people are: A swing ( babies love these things and sometimes you need a minute without a baby in your hands) and books ( I found that reading to my son was a great way to bond from the start, they just like hearing your voice).
I hope this was helpful! I want to hear what your list of necessities for a new baby are down below!
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