By Mariel Uyquiengco
Preparing to welcome your newborn baby is exhilarating and exciting. You want to buy everything that you can afford to give your sweetheart the very best welcome. Hold your horses, though! We’ve compiled the top ten newborn baby essentials for you to consider before heading out to any store.
Layette is just a fancy name for babywear. Top must-haves under this category are tie-side shirts, mittens, booties, caps, burp clots, and receiving or swaddling blankets. Depending on how often you plan to have your baby’s clothes washed, you can get six to twelve each of shirts, mittens, and booties.
Your baby will need her diapers right from birth. Before your baby is due to arrive, however, make a decision whether you’re going to use cloth diapers or not. Cloth diapers and environment-friendly and gentle on baby’s skin too. Find out the number of pieces you need from the manufacturer. For disposable diapers, find the smallest ones that you can find for your baby’s first two to four weeks. Remember to stock up on perfume-free wipes if you’re not going to use washcloth for diaper changes. Lastly, have at least two changing mats to make sure you have a clean one when other is in the wash.
For newborns, any sign of a fever is something to be taken seriously. Invest in a good thermometer for your baby. Mayo Clinic recommends a regular digital thermometer or a temporal artery thermometer to get accurate temperature readings in newborns up to three months. Other important contents of your medical kit are a nasal aspirator in case your baby gets colds.
A dirty baby isn’t a very cute baby. Keep your baby nicely groomed with a baby nail scissors (for around one month old) and soft hairbrush. It’s also important to have a soft finger “toothbrush” (actually gum cleaner) to clean your baby’s mouth with. You can, however, opt to use a soft cloth instead. For cleaning your baby’s umbilical cord for her first week, make sure you have an antiseptic, alcohol, and cotton balls
A newborn doesn’t need to be given a bath in a tub. A sponge bath on a flat surface covered with a soft blanket or changing mat is enough for the first month. Must-have baby items are a washcloth, cotton balls, organic baby soap and shampoo, and a hooded towel.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or give formula milk to your child, there are some newborn baby essentials that you should consider. For breastfeeding moms, a good breast pump, milk storage bags, breast pads, nursing bras, and a breastfeeding cover are essential for the first month. For those giving formula milk, the most important item after baby bottles is a reliable sterilizer.
Some parents opt to co-sleep with their newborn. However, this doesn’t mean that they should skip getting some sleeping gear, which they can use for laying down baby during the day. You can choose to buy one or more from the following: a crib, a bassinet, or a co-sleeper.
Your baby’s safety is of utmost importance. No matter how much you think she will be safe in your arms, a car seat is a safer bet. This is one thing that you can borrow and not necessarily spend on. Just make sure that the car seat is really for infants and faces the rear.
If you plan to be out and about with your newborn, consider the carrier that you would want to have. It can be a stroller that will let your baby lie on her back, a baby seat, or just a wearable baby sling.
While babies definitely do not need to be entertained especially in their first few months, you can already get some good quality toys that will last. Must-have baby items are rattles, cloth books, unbreakable mirror, and a soft ball.
When you go shopping for newborn baby essentials, keep in mind that your baby will grow really fast during her first few months. Invest only in what is essential and in what can be used for a long time (or upgraded after three months). Welcoming a new baby can be a simple affair with just a few well-chosen items.
Mariel Uyquiengco hopes to inspire parents to be their children’s first and best teacher. She does this through her blog and online children’s book shop www.thelearningbasket.com and by giving parenting seminars about early childhood development, preschool homeschool, and raising children to be readers.