As I’m sure you know, a lot of expectant parents go a little overboard when it comes to buying for their babies. You don’t need a freshly done-up nursery, a massive wardrobe, or enough soft toys to fill a garage. Having said that, there are various necessities that you’ll need to buy ready for when your child comes into the world. If you’re a few months into your first pregnancy, and you’re worried about buying too much or too little, here’s a checklist of baby essentials for any expectant mother…
By the time you give birth, you should have around six stretchable sleepers that will cover your baby from their neck to their feet, with snaps around the leg area for easy diaper changing. Sleepers, as the name suggests, are perfect for your baby to sleep in, but they also make great all-round clothes. Just remember that your baby will grow out of these quickly. Try to resist the temptation of buying every cute one you come across! Nightgowns that come with mittens are also a good option for pyjamas, and will keep your baby from scratching him or herself at night. You should also have sleep sacks like the ones from Halo for when the weather gets cold. Just one of these will get you through the first few weeks.
Knit Caps and Winter Wear
If you’re due to have a winter baby, or you happen to live in a particularly cold climate, you should have a knit cap or two along with some general winter wear to keep your baby warm. Knit caps not only look adorable, but will stop too much heat escaping through your baby’s head – where most of our body’s heat is lost. If the winters in your area are very cold, you should also buy a baby snowsuit. Failing this, keeping your baby wrapped in a reasonably thick blanket will do just as well.
This is an obvious one, but a lot of new parents grossly underestimate just how many diapers a healthy baby can go through. At any given time, you need to make sure you have at least two packs of disposable diapers, or cloth diapers that will last for two days. Most babies will go through several diapers every day, so keep an eye out for any sales and coupons, and stock up often when using disposable diapers. You also need to make sure you’re buying the right size to avoid the risk of leakage. Having to deal with this in public is unpleasant to say the least! When it’s necessary, use a natural diaper cream, and avoid anything that contains petroleum products. You can find a great recipe for this on Wellness Mama. A good diaper pail can also be handy, just make sure you remember to empty it regularly!
Naturally, there are going to be times where you need to leave the house with your baby. Get a rear-facing car seat at the very least, as well as some sun-blinds for the windows that will keep the light out of your child’s eyes. You’ll also want a stroller for walking around with your baby. There are a lot of options here, with all kinds of extra features and frills on the market. Don’t be taken in by the marketing hype! All you really need is for the stroller to lie flat to ensure that it’s suitable for a newborn. Having said that, these things aren’t cheap, and you don’t want to buy one that will come apart after just a little use. Start off selecting one through impartial blogs, like these Disney travel system reviews in Babyseats. You’re not going to be using it for that long, but it’s good to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Disposable Wipes, Lots of Them
As cute as they are, babies are extremely messy! Having a stockpile of disposable wipes can be very handy for diaper changes, and for messes away from home. Be sure to keep a decent-sized pack within reach of your changing area, and a second one to keep in your out-and-about diaper bag. Avoid anything fragranced, as this is a waste of money and can be harmful. Remember to only use them after the first week or so as your baby’s skin is very sensitive in this period.
Keeping your baby’s nails nice and short will prevent him or her from scratching you or themselves. There are many blunt nail clippers that are designed specifically for a newborn’s soft little nails. You should also buy a bottle of baby lotion to rub on your baby’s skin after a bath in order to keep it moist. If you find that your child is prone to eczema or rashes, try switching to an oil containing calendula, or one that’s specifically formulated for these skin conditions.
Babies are very uncooperative at the doctor’s, and can be hard to deal with when they’re sick at home or they’ve just had some immunizations. However, getting your hands on a few tools can calm any fussy infant. Acetaminophen drops designed for newborns can be great for treating fevers. Just make sure you check with your pediatrician first. A nasal aspirator to help with stuffy noses can also be handy, as it’s hard for babies to breathe through their mouths. Don’t worry about your bundle of joy looking startled when you use it – it doesn’t hurt them at all. A digital baby thermometer can also be helpful.
A Crib and Mattress
You’ll also need to buy a crib and a mattress for your baby, ensuring that it meets all the relevant consumer and safety requirements. There are a lot of different styles available, which can be a little overwhelming. However, a crib on the cheaper end of the spectrum, provided it’s safe for your baby, can be a fine choice, and you’ll be able to fill it with adorable toys and linens.
If you’re like most people, baby blankets are going to be the go-to gift from a lot of your friends. With a bit of luck, you’ll never have to spend a penny on one for your own baby! Make sure you have four cushioning blankets to lay your baby on, except for the crib, as this can be a safety hazard. You should also have a few thicker ones to wrap your baby up for outdoor walks or colder weather.
Bottles and Burp Cloths
For the first few weeks of your baby’s life, all they’ll seem to do is sleep and eat. The good news is that they’re not fussy eaters. That comes a bit later, and requires a whole other guide! Keep about four six-ounce and eight-ounce bottles, a bottle brush for cleaning, and just as many bibs. You should also have roughly 12 burp cloths to hand to protect your favorite tops. You can save a little money by using cloth diapers instead. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll also want to have two nursing bras, a stockpile of pads, as well as a good breast pump so that you can keep some milk in the fridge. If you’re going to be feeding your baby in public, a nursing shawl is also good to have in your bag.
Make sure you have everything on this checklist in time for your baby’s arrival, and you’ll never have to rush out to the store after running into some emergency. While all the gear in the world won’t make parenting a total breeze, these items will certainly make it much easier!