Baby Must-Buys: What You Really Need For Your Newborn
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Published by TOP4 Team
Any first-time would-be parent walking into the baby section cannot prepare enough for the barrage of brands and products that they may encounter inside the store. You’ll see all kinds of items, apparatus and gadgets that all claim to be absolutely essential for your newborn to survive. The mainstream culture on bringing up a baby has shifted so that in the last few years, the baby needs industry has grown to a size and scale that has never been seen before.
The truth is that there is no right or wrong list of new baby must-haves. Every baby, every family and every household is unique, so your baby shopping list can be a quite different from your friends or your neighbours. And while a baby wipes warmer or a milk formula shaker (yes) can seem nice to have, you’ll never really know exactly what you should get until you have bought the baby home.
The best approach is to simply stock up first on the bare necessities. These are the things you will use on a daily basis and will be handy for the activities that your new baby will be busy with during the first few months, which is basically to eat, sleep, poop and repeat. As you get to know your baby, ease into your schedule and discover your rhythm as a parent, you’ll then be able to more accurately determine what you need to add to these basic supplies.
Baby clothes. Buy a set of clothes for both warm and cold seasons, depending on the type of climate you have where you live. Get items that you can layer and mix and match for more versatility. Mitten, socks and bonnets are useful for keeping the baby snug and comfortable. Make sure to choose items that are easy to put on and remove; avoid those with complicated buttons and snaps.
While you want your baby to look cute and adorable at all times, make it a priority to get clothing that are made of soft and non-itchy materials that’s suitable for baby’s sensitive skin. Buy a sufficient number of pieces that will allow you to go on for at least 2 weeks without doing any laundry. But take note that newborns are in rapid growth mode and they will outgrow their clothes very quickly.
Diapers. Cloth or disposable? It’s up to you and your lifestyle and principles as a parent. If you’ll be doing disposables, you’ll be able to save if you buy the newborn sizes in bulk. A pack of wipes make clean-ups easy. If you’re committed to the more environment-friendly option of using flat, prefold or fitted cloth diapers, waterproof covers and a waterproof liner for the crib can be huge time and sanity savers.
A safe place to sleep. Are you planning to co-sleep or will you be assigning a separate sleeping space for your baby? If you choose co-sleeping, you will still need a crib, cot or Moses basket that will keep the baby safe even if you need to get up or leave the room. Some parents buy a newborn bassinet as well as a crib, while others opt for a convertible playard that can be used from newborn to the toddler years. A few changes of soft and breathable bed sheets, blankets and wraps keep naps and bedtimes more comfortable.
Feeding gear. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’ll need a few nursing bras and breast pads to avoid the milk from leaking to the front of your shirt. A high-quality breast pump (manual or electric) and BPA-free breastmilk storage bags are important especially if you’ll be coming back to work or will be going out of the house from time to time. Get a couple of feeding bottles to test first which size and type of nipples (fast, slow or regular flow) the baby prefers. You also need a couple of bottle brushes and a mild detergent for washing up.
Bathing and toiletries. Follow the paediatrician or midwife’s directions on the products to use for keeping the baby’s bellybutton clean. A baby bathtub or even an ordinary basin fitted with a baby bath support or foam can be used. You won’t need an army of toiletries, and it’s best to keep the use of products at the minimum to avoid irritation – a mild soap or cleanser is enough to clean the baby from head to toe. Use a soft washcloth during bathing and wrap the baby up in a thick, cosy baby towel immediately after the bath.
For going out and about. Babies love sunshine and fresh air, so take the opportunity to get them out of the house when the weather is fine. Some parents buy a stroller or a buggy, others prefer a sling or a baby wrap to carry the baby around, while several get both types so they can switch according to the context and occasion. If you’ll be travelling by car, a safety standard-approved car seat is also required.