I have many friends whose own children are now having babies and they always ask, “what all do we need to have/buy for a new baby these days?” While many things have changed since I had my own children, many have not, and I still think “less is more” is a good adage to follow, especially for a newborn. We all have a tendency to buy too much, or the “latest and greatest” only to find out that it is not necessary.
Carseat - a rear facing car seat is a must for your newborn!!! Look at all of the reviews on line and pick which seat works best for you. Do you want one with a base that you can also clip on to a stroller? Remember your baby will sit in a rear facing car seat until 2 years. This is one item I would spend my money on!!
The baby needs a place to sleep so buy a crib and a good mattress. If you are going to have more than one baby I would buy something that will last through several children. I like having a crib (rather than a toddler bed), as your baby will be in the crib for several years and then can move to a regular bed…no need for an “in between”. Do not use an “old” crib that has drop sides, due to safety concerns. So that means the one that I had kept in the garage (from my kids) was a throw away! I usually move the first child to a bed when I need the crib for the next baby…no specific age. Bumpers are no longer recommended, so that saves money too!
Changing table or dresser for the millions of diaper changes. It is so helpful to not have to bend over each time. I would also buy a diaper cream (Dr. Smiths, Destin or Butt paste) to have on hand….your baby will probably get a diaper rash at some time during their time in a diaper.
Baby bath tub: while you can bathe your baby in the sink, the newer bathtubs do make it easier for a newborn and you can use it in the tub as well until your baby can sit up alone. Remember, you will NEVER leave your child in the tub alone…even with all of the seats, rings and things that they sell to support your baby!! For bathing I like gentle bath wash like Cetaphil, Cerave, and Eucerin products….good for all skin types. Pick one!
Swaddle blankets: WOW there are a million on the market and they all “claim” to help your baby to sleep better. I don’t think any of the products say “it will also takes weeks to months for your baby to sleep through the night” , no matter what you use. I do like the thin swaddle blankets as they are useful for a number of things besides swaddling. Once you have your baby have the nurses show you how to swaddle (quick and easy). The Miracle Blanket, Woombie and Halo also make it easy to swaddle as well. Pick one (or two) and stick with that. Remember, your baby is going to be put in their crib on their back whether swaddled or not!! NO TUMMY SLEEPING.
Diaper Bag: again their are a million out there in all shapes, sizes and price points. In the beginning you need to have a pad for changing (you will end up changing that baby all sorts of weird places), diapers, burp clothes, wipes…as your baby gets bigger you will have bottles, cups, toys all shoved in there too. All of my patients seem to have a travel size Purell strapped to the side of the bag as well. I would get a bag that you can wipe out as there will be spills of all sorts of stuff in that bag I assure you! Somehow, over time you go back to “less is more” and the diapers end up in your purse!!
So…that is a start. Will do another post on some other products in the future.