They really only need a few items.
Baby supplies are a lucrative business. Browse the internet and you will find countless articles, blogs, and advertisements trying to persuade you to buy the latest in baby technology. Like the Baby Brezza, which retails for almost 200 dollars and brews your baby's formula similar to a Keurig coffee maker. Pair this with video baby-monitoring technology, a sock that detects heart rate and breathing, and a vibrating mattress pad, and your bank account is already suffering a 1,000 dollar loss.
Forget wipe warmers, countless mega-stylish baby clothes, and cribs that convert into bassinets that convert into car seats that latch on to strollers. Newborns are actually quite easy creatures to care for, and you only need a few things to do it.
1. A Boob (or bottle)
Basic newborn care number one: the baby will need to be fed. Obviously the best way to do this is by breastfeeding. It's natural, best for baby's health long-term, and also most cost-effective/convenient for you, mama! Some helpful (but not necessary) breastfeeding accessories might include: nursing pads, nursing bras, a breast pump, nipple balm, and bottles if anyone will be feeding baby while you are away. Sometimes breastfeeding is not possible. In this case, parents will need formula (organic if possible), bottles, filtered water, and a bottle brush.
2. Diapers (or not)
The least fun part of baby care is changing diapers. I prefer cloth diapers for their fun prints and eco-friendly nature. If you choose to cloth diaper, I would suggest starting out with a collection of about 20 diapers. This is pricey at first, but really pays off in the long run in comparison to disposables. If you're really ambitious, you might consider not diapering at all and instead trying elimination communication. You can read more about that here, but basically you will be teaching baby to pee over a bowl or the toilet right from birth! Pretty cool if you ask me.
Especially if you have a Winter baby, you'll want a small collection of clothes to start out with. Beware: babies grow fast, and this is why I recommend buying very few clothes at each size. Here are some guidelines:
- 10-12 onesies
- 4-5 sleepers
- 5-6 pairs of pants
- 3 pairs of socks, 3 hats, 3 pairs of mittens
Your newborn does not need shoes, and will not need them until they are walking independently in public places. Most pediatricians recommend keeping shoes off at home to ensure babies learn how to walk properly.
4. Infant Co-sleeper
It is important that your baby has somewhere safe to sleep. This can come in several forms such as a crib or bassinet, but when you have a newborn, you may prefer a co-sleeper. This is an adjustable bassinet that attaches to the side of your bed, allowing you to co-sleep safely and easily wake to feed in the middle of the night. I like this one by Chicco, but there are many options in all price ranges to choose from. While on the subject of sleep, instead of buying baby blankets to keep your little one warm, consider using a sleep sack instead. This is a much safer (and cuter) way to keep baby warm.
5. Infant Car Seat
This is an important item to do your research on, but try not to get caught up in looks or what is on-trend at the moment. If you choose a carrier seat, your baby will only use this seat for a short time before you will need a larger rear-facing seat that does not connect to a base. Many convertible car seats are designed to hold a newborn up to a six year old. The disadvantage to this is that you cannot carry the car seat with your newborn baby in it. However, this may not be a big deal if you plan on baby-wearing. Do your research, be mindful of cost vs. benefit, and make the right decision for you.
There you have it, five things you actually do need for a newborn baby. So stop the frantic shopping and take a nap instead, moms and dads. You deserve it.
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