Discovering that you are about to become parents for the first time is the best feeling ever, but only if you ensure that you have all the essentials for newborn parents that you are going to need to welcome your baby home.
When at first you bring you newborn home, you will require many different items in order to clothe, feed, comfort and get them to sleep comfortably. It is important that you acquire these items prior to going to the hospital, as there will really be no time to go shopping for them once you are both back home. It is also important, if you are under financial strain, to ensure that you do not get overwhelmed by all the emotions that you will be experiencing and end up purchasing items that are nice but not really essentials for newborn parents to have.
Essentials For Newborn Parents To Have
The following list will give you a good idea of what are essential items and what are those “nice-to-have” items, as will friends who have recently been through the same thing. It is up to you to decide which of these items you would prefer to purchase yourself and which you add to your baby registry for others to purchase for your new addition to the family.
For The Parents
Remember when making your list of essentials for newborn parents that you too need to get certain items prior to the arrival of your little bundle of love:
These are an absolute must for all new mothers. Nursing bras give you the support you need whilst allowing for easy access for midnight feeds, and they also adapt to the changing size of your breasts.
A nursing pillow will prevent your back, neck, and wrists from getting sore and aching as they offer the support you need whilst feeding baby. There are various types of nursing pillows, some softer or firmer, and others which feature a pocket or can clip around your waist to prevent them from slipping.
A breast pump is handy for many reasons; to address problems you may be having in expressing milk; to express milk to refrigerate for use later; to provide additional food for your baby. Whichever the reason, you will definitely need an appropriate breast pump. There is a choice of many different types of pumps, and will need to make a choice based on your needs and cost.
At last there is an item for the new mother and father; a big bottle of hand sanitizer. A newborn is very susceptible to germs, so you will want to have a good sanitizer close to the changing station and in the bathroom. It is also a good idea to invest in a few travel-sized bottles for the diaper bag, car, stroller and anywhere else that you feel that you may need de-sanitizing.
Feeding your newborn and seeing to its hygiene will take up most of your time in the first few months to a year of its life, and there are various bathing and hygiene essentials for newborn parents that you will need to invest in. Buying as many of these as you can before your baby comes home would be a really good idea:
Well, there are no surprises here, babies and diapers are synonymous with each other, but what you may not be aware of is exactly how many of these you will need in the first few months of your baby’s life. Most mothers these days prefer the disposable kind
This is the one item that you will definitely want to buy in bulk, as you will need approximately ten diapers per day for the first six weeks and then about fifty per week thereafter. If your newborn is small, you may need to buy some newborn diapers for the first few weeks and then go on to regular size. Various stores offer specials on bulk buys and some of them will even ship them for free, so do your research in order to find the best deal
Wipes are one of those essentials for newborn parents that you just cannot afford to forget about are plenty of alcohol-free wipes. You will find that they will be invaluable and you can never have sufficient. If you want to go green then buy a bolt of soft cloth and cut it into small squares that you can wash and re-use. A good trick is to keep a thermos or insulated mug filled with warm water in which you can dip the wipes to moisten them.
Rubbing Alcohol And Cotton Swabs
These are handy to clean your newborn’s umbilical cord stump in order to speed up the drying process, although some people believe in not doing anything at all. Ask your pediatrician whether they recommend this route or just leaving it until it dries up and falls off of its own accord.
Buffer Or Diaper Rash Cream
Not all babies develop diaper rash, but you want to be prepared in case your little one does, as it is very uncomfortable for them. The cream will create a barrier between the skin and the diaper and keep the rash at bay.
Medical supplies are essentials for newborn parents, as it pays to be ready for any eventuality. Some of the items that you should have in your medical supply kit are:
- Infant Nail Scissors – although the thought of having to have to cut your baby’s itty bitty little nails can be terrifying, this is necessary so that they do not scratch themselves. Something like the Safety 1st Sleepy Baby Nail Clippers, which are especially designed for safety and have a built-in LED light, come highly recommended.
- A Medicine Dropper – is a handy item to have for those times that you need it and a must in your medicine kit.
- A Thermometer – is an absolute must! Most pediatricians recommend an underarm thermometer or a strip thermometer for an infant, although you can also invest in a rectal thermometer. Ask your pediatrician for advice on this item.
- Medications – these should include Tylenol for use on the baby’s navel, Gripe Water or a similar alternative to settle colic or gas, and a nasal syringe for removing excess mucous from the baby’s nose. Once again, seek advice from your pediatrician as to what is required.
This is only required if you are not going to be breastfeeding. If you are going to be feeding using formula then you will need to store several tubs of formula.
Even if you are breastfeeding, bottles and teats are essentials for newborn parents to buy before baby arrives. Sometimes there is a problem with breastfeeding, and when your baby is hungry you do not have time to run around and buy bottles and teats. Even if you are breastfeeding, it is easier to express milk and keep it in bottles for later. Make sure that you get the best kind of bottle which filters out bubbles and prevent your infant from getting gassiness.
Anyone who has ever fed and burped a baby knows that it is important to have several burp cloths hand for if a baby spits up, so that your clothes are not ruined.
Bath Time Essentials
Hair brush or comb
As beautiful as baby’s hair is, it also requires combing, so a special soft brush or comb is recommended.
Baby needs to be rubbed down with some lotion after bathing, and there are many lotions especially designed for this purpose
Baby Shampoo And Soap
A special tearless baby shampoo and a gentle soap are a must
Specific towels just for baby are definitely essentials for newborn parents, as they are nice and soft and will not scratch their gentle skin. The ones with little hoods are perfect to keep them warm between bathing and dressing them.
Opinions differ as to whether investing in a baby bathtub is necessary or not, so this depends on your particular circumstances and what you will feel more comfortable with. There are some nice infant tubs on the market with supports for the head and even some that supposedly mimic the womb experience.
A Changing Table or Changing Pad
Some people prefer to change their babies on the floor or on the bed, but if you do not want to change your infant on one of those then a changing table or a non-slip changing pad would be a good investment.
A Cot or Crib
A cot or crib with a side that can be easily removed or lowered to make it easier to lift a baby out is important. Remember to buy a mattress as well as a waterproof cover to put over the mattress.
Make sure that you have enough blankets and sheets so that you can change the bedding regularly.
Babies love swaddle blankets, as they keep them warm, in a good position for sleeping, and comfortable, and those that have Velcro make it difficult for babies to get out of them. You should find that your newborn sleeps much better when swaddled.
There are various types of pacifiers, so getting some advice from a pediatrician or nurse as to which are the best is a good idea. Always make sure that you have at least tow or three handy incase one gets lost of damaged
Babies really need little in the way of clothing, but they will grow out of their newborn clothing very quickly so it is recommended that you put a few items under your list of essentials for newborn parents.
- Newborn and 0-3 month clothes – this includes gowns that offer easy access for diaper changes and onesies, which are all-in-one body-suits.
- Mittens – are useful if the baby is prone to scratching his or herself.
- Socks and hats – these are strangely two items that many new parents forget to purchase early on but which are necessary, especially when taking baby out.
- Kimono tops – are great for your baby to wear with diapers in hot summer months.
Your baby will start travelling very early in its life, and the first ride begins when you take your newborn home from the hospital. There are various items that are imperative for you to invest in to ensure the safety of your infant when travelling:
Of all of the essentials for newborn parents, the car seat is the most important one to buy; in fact many hospitals will not let you take your infant home unless you have one in your car. Never buy a used car seat, as it cannot be trusted to protect your baby if you have a crash, rather invest in a regulation seat. You can find out more about car seats for infants from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
You will need to travel with diapers, wipes, creams, burp cloths, extra clothing and various other baby necessities, so a nice diaper bag that has an insulated section in which to keep prepares bottles at the correct temperature is recommended.
These types of carriers or slings work well as they hold the baby safe next to the body and leave your hands free whilst carrying them. There are various types, such as ones that you wear over one shoulder, backpack-style carriers, and others that tie around you origami-style, which allow the weight to be distributed evenly.
Strollers are definitely high on the list of essentials for newborn parents, for those strolls in the park, shopping, and even just around the home or garden. There are various styles of strollers, including the travel system stroller which is a combined stroller and infant car seat. Whichever stroller you decide on, make sure that it is sturdy and comfortable for your most precious cargo.
Of course there are various other items that, although they are not considered necessities, are still essentials for newborn parents to invest in as they will make your lives much easier, and these include wiper warmers, baby monitors, a secondary bed for the infant, musical toys, swings, bouncer seats, and play gyms. Car seat carrier covers, car seat protectors, jogging strollers and a comfortable rocking chair in which to feed or rock your baby to sleep are all items that are not essentials, but which will make your life easier.
Remember, even if this is not your first baby, it pays to look what is new in the market since you last went down this route, as progress and innovation never stand still. Do a bit of research on the Internet and speak to friends who have had babies in the past year and ask them what they found the best essentials for newborn parents to be.