Magical Newborn Must-Haves & Less Magical Things You Don't Really Need
One of the happiest events in life is getting to meet your newborn child, and if that’s happening for you anytime soon – congratulations! You’re about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime that will at times be crazy, at times stressful, but most of the time filled with love you never knew existed. New mamas are usually stressing out about all the steps that are scheduled in your new life and things you don't know anything about, such as how to tell what your baby is feeling, how to choose appropriate baby food and baby clothes, and how on Earth anyone manages poor night’s sleep and stays sane.
So many questions! One of them is undoubtedly what you need to buy while you’re still enjoying the quiet days of pregnancy, and what the necessities for the nursery are. We’re here to offer a list of essential (and oh so cute!) things to get before you meet the little one. There are a lot of things you might think you need, but are actually a waste of money, so here’s our take, with the help of experienced mums.
Diapers and Wipes
This is such a no-brainer! Your baby will go through many diapers a day – we’re talking 10 to 12 – so be prepared for the first days. You can use cloth diapers or disposable ones, or those that have disposable lining and a reusable cover. If you opt for disposables, the best way to find out which brand works best for you is to try them all, so start with small packs of different kinds. Some of those might fit worse than the others, or even irritate your baby’s skin, so it’s important you switch immediately and not lose tonnes of money! Another crucial item that you will use so much while changing the diapers is the wipes. Have plenty on hand. You can buy them or use a washcloth and warm water, or even make your own disposable wipes if that’s your thing.
Changing Pad / Table
Many people feel this isn’t a necessity and they plan on changing the diapers on the bed or floor. But trust us, you will need the table, or at least the pad to put on a chest of drawers. You will be changing the diapers so much, your back will hurt terribly if you keep on bending down. Do yourself a favour and get one.
Transport: Car Seat
This is one of the first things you will need right after the baby is born, on the exciting occasion of going home, so it’s important to get a baby capsule on time. Safety is an essential issue when it comes to baby’s transport, so invest in a new one, as a second-hand seat might not be up-to-date with current safety regulations. It would be wise to get one on time and learn how to fit a baby capsule in the car because you would hate doing it for the first time with the tiny baby just discharged from the hospital having no idea how to fit the seat properly!
You will definitely need a stroller or a pram as soon as you get outside. Think about your specific needs such as if you need storage space, reclining seat, and of course – if you have a lift at home and wherever you plan on taking the little one. You don’t have to choose the stylish stroller all Instagram mums go for, but an efficient one that works best for your lifestyle.
Transport: Baby Carrier
Wearing your baby is a great way to form a bond with your baby while carrying it around, and also, have your own hands free to do anything else. A good baby carrier should have secure straps and harnesses, and if you want to make your life easier, made of materials that can be cleaned easily. Bonus points if it can be laundered!
Baby clothes section is definitely the cutest one in any store: those tiny garments will make your heart melt! But don’t just buy everything because it looks perfect. What you need to know is the sizing: different brands can differ in sizes of their baby clothes (as is the case with grown-up clothes anyway). Always make sure to have clothes in the next size up, because it’s incredible how fast babies grow. It’s not uncommon that they only wear an outfit once or twice and the next time you reach out for it, it’s already too small.
You want your baby to be comfortable in anything he or she is wearing, so look for soft and durable clothing made of high-quality materials. The little explorer needs to be able to move freely without anything scratching or tickling. Organic clothes are better for the sensitive baby skin, but they do come with a steeper price tag most times.
One-piece outfits (5-7) for both sleeping and awake hours; bodysuits (5-7); stretchy pants (5-7), because you won’t need to undress the baby wholly to change him; sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece jackets (5-7) – choose those with zips, as babies aren’t really fans of pushing their heads through small openings! Because babies grow so fast, it’s always a good idea to stock up on hand-me-downs. If you have friends or family who’ve had babies recently, feel free to ask for clothes. There are so many things to spend your money on, it will be quite a relief to enjoy some of it for free.
Skip: Everything That Dangles
And make sure to inform friends and family: super cute clothing with strings, ribbons, hanging buttons and tassels is a no-no, as they are choking hazards.
Sure, you’ll need some form of footwear, but it should be soft. Real shoes should be avoided throughout the first year, as shoes can affect walking development. Let the little one crawl and make his first steps in socks, and after he’s a comfortable walker, you can introduce shoes.
Bath Time Necessities
You will be bathing your baby quite often, so you need a good baby bathtub to put on a surface where you won’t need to bend much (just like for changing diapers). Of course, you will need to use a baby wash and baby shampoo. This needs to be a gentle formula that won’t dry out skin or irritate the eyes that still don’t know they should be closed! Simple washcloths will also be a valuable companion, not only for bath time but at all times when the baby has done something that needs to be wiped and cleaned – which means always. Get 5-10 washcloths so you can easily rotate them.
Skip: Infant Towels
This will actually depend on your own experience, and after a while, you might change your mind, but we put it under “skip” as it’s not essential in the beginning. Infant towels are smaller and easier to use on your tiny newborns body, but you are definitely free to use the soft towels you already have. Just make sure you wash those towels with the gentle, baby-friendly laundry detergent.
You will need a bottle set, bottle brush, and sterilizer. You can get all of these in a simple bottle starter set. It might happen, and we are warning you, that the baby prefers another bottle of another shape and brand. That’s okay: go for it, you’ll still be left with the other parts of the set you can use. Baby formula is a valuable thing to have on hand even if you plan on breastfeeding, as there might be a time when your supply will dip. And since your baby will eat so often, and burp as often, get yourself 10-20 burp cloths made of cotton.