BABY GEAR MUST-HAVES
Shopping for your baby is an exciting task. But let’s face it—when you’re faced with the innumerable options, it can be very daunting. Babies need stuff, and the need a lot of it, which often leads to new mommies winding up with a trillion of unnecessary stuff and not much of the necessities. One hard truth of life is that baby-care products? Expensive. Accessories are good for you, but necessities save your sanity (and your money). So here is a list of things that all moms-to-be will definitely need!
First things first, The Nursery:
Your nursery is one of the first places you will set up to welcome your baby; here are a few things that are going to be essential additions to it:
- A Crib or a Cot: You may opt for a bassinet as well, but babies grow out of them quickly (after 3 or so months) so you will need a crib or a cot handy later on. Cribs (will last for about 6 months) are smaller and hence perfect for smaller houses as opposed to cots which take up more space.However you can opt for travel cots as well which are a bit smaller.
- A Crib or a Cot Mattress: Opting for a firm and light mattress will go a long way to help you out when you need to manoeuvre it after a blow-out in the middle of the night. If you wish to go for the innerspring option make sure to get one that has at least 150 coils (says Fields) otherwise it might be too soft. You want to make sure that your baby’s mattress is protected from any and all accidents. A triple-laminated vinyl cover comes in very handy for this purpose.
- Fitted Mattress Sheets: Consider buying 2 or more. Spares always come in handy.
- Waterproof Mattress Protectors: You may want to consider buying oneextra (to tide you over in case of accidents).
- Swaddles or Muslin Wraps or Blankets: Look for large and lightweight swaddle blankets (or even ones with Velcro) to make it easier and faster for you to wrap your baby. Consider 2 or more.
For Baby-proofing: (not an issue until 4 months)
- Gates at the top and bottom of all stairs
- Cabinet latches
- Drawer latches
- Outlet covers
- Fireplace bumper
- Furniture anchors
Basic Baby Care:
Baby baths or changing tables are not an absolute need. You can bathe your baby in a regular bathtub or even the sink! As for changing, you can always use your bed or the floor, but they make things easier for you (and your back) here a few items that you will like.
- Baby bath: Opting for one with a plug will be useful since it is easier to empty.
- Baby Towels: Towels specially made for babies are thin and often have hoods. Many moms find hooded terrycloth towels useful for keeping the baby warm and dry.
- Wash Cloths: You might need to buy around four.
- Baby Bath Wash: They are milder.
- Baby Shampoo: They are milder.
- Baby Brush and Comb Set
- Nail Clippers/Filers
- Cotton Swabs and Balls
- Changing Table: Stand-alone changing tables usually come with extra frills like safety railings and extra storage space.
- Diapers: 2 packs of newborn diapers to start.
- Wipes: For cleaning your baby during changes.
- Diaper Rash Cream: These soothing balms protect your baby’s skin from rashes.
- Diaper Pail or Trash Can with a Lid: Trash cans work perfectly well for disposing off diapers; however, diaper pails can hide the odour.
- Waterproof Changing Table pad
- Changing Pad Covers: Buy 2-3.
- A Diaper Bag: Diaper bags are a necessity whether you’re just going to your neighbour’s house or the grocery shop. You need something that can hold everything you will need for a diaper change away from home. Pick one that is practical (as well as stylish—it’ll be a part of your look for months) and has a waterproof lining, portable changing pad and a place to stash your phone, keys and wallet!
- Bibs: They keep spit and drool off your clothes! Consider 4 or more.
- Burp Clothes: Buy 6-12. They are easy to carry around and save you from spit ups as well as other liquid spills.
- Nursing Bras: Buy two or three.
- Breast Pump: If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, pumps can give you a chance to rest and let others help you out. You will want to opt for one which is sturdy and can stand the test of time!
- Bottles and Nipples: If you plan to pump you will need these handy.
- Nursing pillow: These will help you comfortably support your baby during feedings.
- Bottle Cleaning Supplies: Make sure to always keep your bottles clean with the help of bottle brushes and mild soap.
- First-aid Kit: Having a well-stocked and up-to-date kit will be very useful.
- Bulb Syringe: This used along with saline nasal drops will help you clean your baby’s nose.
Clothes and Dressing:
You don’t need to buy a heap of clothes before your baby arrives, it’s better to buy most of them when you know he size and sex of the baby. Here are a few essential items that you will need to prepare for your baby.
- Singlets:Singlet suits are even better as they don’t ride up! You will need at least 5 (save yourself from laundry stress).
- Short-sleeved bodysuits:These can double as under clothes during winter. Consider buying 5.
- Long-sleeved grow-suits: Even if your baby is born during summer, you will need a couple of these in case of air-conditioning. Consider buying 5.
- Socks: To keep your baby’s toes warm and toasty!
- Snap-crotch bodysuits/onesies: Consider buying at least 7. These are easy to put on and take off. Life-savers during emergencies!
- T-shirts and/or side-snap shirts: Consider buying 3 or 4
- Snap-up rompers: You might need several of these.
Here are a few things that will be useful for you when you travel with the baby.
- Front pack or sling: New-borns love being held close to the warmth of your body and the thump of your heart. A pack or a sling can be useful for soothing the baby while you need your hands free for other work.
- Stroller:A stroller that requires to almost flat is essential for a new-born, or allows you to snap your infant car seat onto it. Consider buying a travel system as a stroller/car-seat combo kit (useful for when they are older as well)
- Car seat: It is required by US laws that your baby should always travel in a car seat even while travelling home from the hospital. New-born car seats have two options: a rear facing car seat designed for use till your baby weighs around 20 pounds or a convertible seat which can face rear or front and is designed for use by both babies and older children.
Entertainment, Soothers and Fun-stuff:
These items may be essential for some parents while some consider them accessories. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to own them. These are some fun stuff that will soothe your baby and keep them entertained.
- Pacifiers: Pacifiers can soothe a baby when you’re on the go. Try several brands to see which one your baby prefers.
- Infant swing: Babies love the soothing back and forth motion. Swings can be useful to soothe your baby; buying one with a mobile will also keep them entertained.
- Bouncy seat: This is designed to soothe and jiggle your baby. Prop it at a 45-degree angle and strap your baby onto it and voila! Your baby can see the world!
- White-noise machine:This works on baby’s as well as adults. This helps soothe you into a peaceful night’s rest.
- Mobile:These can entertain your baby for long hours. Simply hang one over their bed and watch the magic unfold. Opting for one with interchangeable colour panel will help you soothe older babies as well.
- Nightlight:Useful for night-feedings and changes. It will help you see but not awaken your sleepy baby.
Keep in mind each family, parent and bay are different. You might consider some items unnecessary which others might consider essential. Every family has a different budget and it doesn’t hurt to go for the most expensive option or forgo things that you think are unnecessary. All a baby needs is a place to sleep, diapers, blankets to bundle him up in and lots of love. Don’t get too overwhelmed with choices, just pick out what you think is essential and you’ll be good to go!