When you’re expecting a baby, it can be daunting thinking about all the things a baby needs. Between your more experienced mom-friends, targeted ads, baby stores, parenting magazines and the latest “magical gadget you can’t live without,” it can feel overwhelming.
But what exactly is necessary for your baby? What can’t your baby do without? Make sure to start with these must-haves. You can always add on as needed!
1. Car Seat
The number one piece of equipment nearly all babies need is a car seat. Even if you live in a city, don’t own a car and plan to walk everywhere, you’ll need one to take a cab, a last minute Uber or to leave the hospital in a friend’s car.
2. Safe sleeping area
Even if you plan on safely bedsharing, you’ll want a safe, flat and firm sleep surface for those times you're not in bed with your little one. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a crib and pack-n-play meet the criteria of safe sleeping areas. Find one that suits you and your family.
3. Diapers and wipes
Other must-haves are newborn size diapers and wipes. A typical newborn will go through 10 diapers a day. Careful not to stockpile too much, though. Before you know it, your little one will grow into the next size! For those who plan to use cloth diapers, determine if you will use a service or do it yourselves.
Whether you’re having a winter or summer baby, you’ll need clothes suitable for the season.
One pieces, also known as “onesies” are a great option. A stack of these, as well as burp cloths, will be put to use, multiple times a day. Hats are also a must, especially in cooler weather. Remember to prewash all new and used clothing before putting them on your baby.
5. Receiving blankets
Receiving blankets have many useful purposes and generally come in cotton or muslin. They can be used for swaddling, as a clean floor space for tummy time, catching spit up, or an extra layer in a stroller.
6. Feeding paraphernalia
Other must-haves involve the feeding of your baby. Once this personal decision has been made, you’ll want the necessities associated with it.
For formula feeding, you’ll need bottles, slow flow nipples, a separate cleaning utensil, a method of sterilizing (a pot of boiling water works just fine) and formula.
For breastfeeding, you may want nursing tops or bras and a comfortable place to sit and some pillows to help get into position. A breast pump may or may not be needed right away. The circumstances around pumping would indicate which type of pump to get.
There will always be more baby items that others swear by or that you’ll want for yourself. Whether it’s a breastfeeding pillow, hooded bath towel, pacifier, baby thermometer, nail file, white noise machine, stroller, babywearing carrier or diaper bag, none of these are vital for your baby’s homecoming.
If you want to keep stuff at a minimum, buy slowly, enjoy cuddling your new baby and rest easy.