As you get ready to welcome your precious new baby into the world and bring him or her home, you may be wondering yourself, “What does a baby need?”
If you look at a baby registry suggestion list or inquire at a store that sells baby gear, it will appear as though your child requires anything and everything under the sun. Some parents are eager to get their hands on all of the innovative baby products and devices that promise to make their lives easier once their child arrives. It is recommended, however, that parents who are minimalists, parents on a budget, or new parents who are feeling a bit overwhelmed stick to the basics.
Having said that, being well-equipped with the following things will get you through the first few days and weeks without requiring you to make any hurried trips to the store or purchases made over the internet. It will also ensure that your baby is comfortable, well-fed, and has everything they require.
When it comes to items that are required for a new baby, the crib is at the top of our list. Because they will be sleeping at least 16 hours a day, or even more, in the early days and weeks of their lives, your baby will need a secure crib in which to sleep. If you purchase a crib in a style that can be converted into a daybed and then a toddler bed, you will be able to stretch the value of your investment over a much longer period. Some models even can later be converted into a full-sized bed! Buying a brand-new crib is your best bet when it comes to your child’s safety. This way, you can rest assured that your child’s bed complies with all of the most recent safety standards.
2. Crib Mattress
A firm mattress customized to the dimensions of the crib you’ve purchased is one of the most essential items for a newborn baby. This is the most secure place to lay your head while you sleep.
You won’t need a lot of bedding; all you need is a waterproof mattress cover and a few fitted sheets that are tailored to fit your baby’s crib precisely. Keeping your baby’s crib empty (free of any other type of bedding, including blankets, top sheets, pillows, bumper pads, and toys) is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
4. Night Light
A night light is an absolute necessity for new parents, particularly for those times when they have to get up in the middle of the night to feed their newborn. It makes it possible for you to see where you are going and what you are doing even when the lights are turned down low or off entirely. When your child is older and more capable of sleeping through the night on their own, a night light can be a source of reassurance for them if they wake up in the middle of the night.
5. Clothes Storage
Even if you have only gathered the most essential items, you will need a place to store the clothing for your newborn baby. The drawers and shelves that come standard with the changing table may be sufficient for your storage needs. You could also organize your clothing with the help of tubs, baskets, or chests of drawers. Wardrobes and chests of drawers are also viable options.
6. Nursery Glider
A cozy chair in the nursery is the ideal setting for nursing the baby, reading a story, or singing a lullaby to them, and giving them one last hug before they go to sleep. It has the potential to make nighttime feedings for your baby less disruptive, and the rocking motion has the potential to help both you and your newborn feel more at ease.
Newborns may want to self-soothe by sucking on a pacifier, in which case you should have this item on hand. Bear in mind that pacifiers have a habit of going missing, so it’s a good idea to keep a few spares on hand just in case. Pacifiers are available in a variety of sizes; therefore, it is important to double-check the recommendations provided by the manufacturer before purchasing a pacifier for a newborn.
1. Burp Cloths
When you burp your little one, these are meant to protect your clothing if they spit up a little (or a lot!). You could also use a receiving blanket for this purpose; however, a burp cloth is more convenient due to its smaller size and easier management.
2. Nursing Cover
A nursing cover provides you and your child with some protection from the elements while you are nursing. In most cases, it will come with a strap that you can secure by tying it around your neck to keep it in position. A receiving blanket can also be used as a nursing cover; however, because it does not have a strap, it has a greater potential to fall off accidentally.
3. Bottles and Nipples
Baby bottles are an essential item to include on your shopping list for a new baby, regardless of whether you intend to breastfeed or use formula. You have the option of selecting a bottle made of either glass or plastic; some of the plastic varieties come with a bottle liner insert that helps limit the amount of air that a newborn takes in. When selecting a bottle, keep the size and shape of the nipple in mind. Your newborn may need to try out a few different nipples before you find the one that they prefer.
4. Breast Pump
When you need to express breast milk for whatever reason, such as when you go back to work or when you’ll be away from your new baby for longer periods, you can use either a manual pump, an electric pump, or a battery-powered pump. Some models will simultaneously pump their two breasts while doing so.
5. Milk Storage Bag
These convenient little bags allow you to store breast milk in a more space-efficient manner. They are typically products designed for single use and may make it possible for you to store milk without needing to make use of bottles for storage purposes. In most cases, you can even pump directly into the bag, which is a bonus.
6. Bottle Sterilizer
You might find that using a sterilizer to clean items like bottles and nipples is more convenient than washing them by hand or running them through the dishwasher, but either method achieves the same level of cleanliness.
1. Changing Table
You will need to find a secure location in which to change your child’s diaper. Changing tables typically have drawers or shelves that allow you to reach items such as diapers, wipes, and clean clothes without having to remove your hand from your child while you are changing their diaper. Just make sure that your newborn can’t get their hands on any of these things. Some changing tables come equipped with a strap that can be used to help secure your child if they roll over unexpectedly and prevent them from falling off. Keep at least one hand on your newborn at all times, regardless of whether or not the strap is secured, whenever they are on an elevated surface.
2. Changing Pad
Your child will be more comfortable, and the changing table will stay cleaner if you have a changing pad. Some pads have a surface that can be wiped clean, while others have covers that can be removed and washed in a washing machine. This is an item for the baby that is necessary if you are looking for something convenient.
You are going to unquestionably need diapers and a lot of them! Your newborn may go through approximately 70 diapers in one week. Because it is impossible to predict in advance what size diapers your newborn will require, it is advisable to purchase small packs of diapers in a variety of sizes.
Use a washcloth that has been dipped in warm water to wipe the area around your baby’s diaper. In addition, you can use a washcloth to clean your baby while they are in the bathtub.
1. Swaddle Blanket
It’s perfectly normal to want to swaddle your newborn in those first few weeks, and a specialized blanket can come in handy for that. You could use a receiving blanket, but there are other options, including ones that have a hook-and-loop fastener for even more convenience if you prefer that.
2. Pajamas, Sleepers, or Sleeping Sacks
Because your newborn will spend the majority of their time sleeping, sleepwear is an important component of the essentials for a newborn. There are some pajamas, sleepers, and sleeping sacks that cover the feet of the wearer, and this is something you should look for in the type of sleepwear you get for your child. It is possible to purchase sleeping sacks for infants that also allow them to wear pajamas underneath.
3. Undershirts and One-piece Outfits
Some of the designs close with snaps between the legs, making it simple to remove the child’s diaper when necessary. Choose items with short or long sleeves, and decide whether you want your newborn’s legs to be completely exposed or whether you want full-body options that cover the legs and feet. Your decision will be influenced by the forecast for the upcoming weather.
4. Sweater or Jacket
Nothing on this list of essentials for a newborn baby is more important than a sweater or a jacket for keeping your child warm. Pullover sweaters are more difficult to remove than cardigans and jackets, which can have the front of the garment left open if the weather changes.
Bath Time Checklist
1. Baby bath seat or tub
You will begin the process of bathing your new baby with a sponge until the remnants of the umbilical cord stump have fallen off; however, you will eventually require some kind of seat or tub to complete the process. Be certain that it can accommodate newborns or that it comes with a newborn insert that can be adjusted to fit your child’s smaller size.
To avoid scratching your child’s sensitive skin or hair, use a plastic scoop or cup to help you carefully pour water over your child’s head and skin as you remove soap or shampoo. Just take extra precautions to ensure that soapy water does not get into your child’s eyes!
If your newborn baby has hair, you can clean it with shampoo that is made for infants.
Pick a gentle soap that’s made specifically for newborns and other young children.
You should get a plush towel, and if possible, get one that has a hood so that it can be dried more quickly.
1. Car Seat
On the list of essentials for a newborn baby, a car seat is one of the most essential to have. As soon as you drive away from the hospital, your infant will require one, and they will continue to require one for all subsequent car rides. Choose a car seat with the baby facing the back that satisfies the most recent safety standards and is appropriate for the size and weight of your newborn. Before your due date, check that the car seat is properly installed in your vehicle and that it is positioned so that the back is facing outward.
There is a wide variety of stroller styles available on the market today, including travel systems, car seat carriers, and full-sized strollers; all of these stroller types are suitable for use beginning with a newborn baby.
3. Baby Carrier or Wrap
This item can be extremely helpful for keeping your baby close while you move around, allowing you to do so while also giving you free use of your hands. Wraps, slings, front packs, and backpacks are just some of the different types of baby carriers that are available. Keep in mind that some baby carriers can only be used safely for infants if a newborn insert is first placed inside the carrier. When using your carrier, be sure to comply with the most recent safety guidelines.
4. Diaper Bag
It is one of the most important baby necessities, and when you are away from home with your little one, you will be thankful that you have a diaper bag that can fit all of the things you need to take care of your child. There is a wide variety of styles available for diaper bags, ranging from practical to trendy. You won’t even give the impression that you’re carrying baby gear if you use a diaper bag like a backpack, for instance.
5. First-Aid Kit
Stock this with essential items, such as a baby thermometer, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, and petroleum jelly, and place them all in the same location. You might find it useful to keep a second first-aid kit in the car or the diaper bag so that you always have access to some of these necessities regardless of where you are.
It’s possible that getting ready for the birth of your child will be both exciting and exhausting at the same time. If you follow the checklist above, you will be able to provide everything necessary for your newborn baby.