First-time parents may be shocked at the amount of items necessary to keep a newborn happy and healthy. Most every facet of your life must be duplicated in miniature for your infant, not only for the care of your baby, but to help make the task of raising a child manageable. Divide your shopping or registry list into similar categories to help you plan your collection of baby gear.
You’ll spend considerable time with your baby in your home, with much of that time spent in the nursery. You’ll dress, feed, bed, play with and medicate your baby here and spend much of your budget here.
Items you’ll need will include bedding, including a crib, cradle or bassinet; changing table; clothes dresser; rocking chair or chairs; toys; mobile; lights; pacifier; audio baby monitor; and music. Feeding and calming your child will be easier on your and your baby in a rocking chair that provides a soothing, rhythmic movement. Music or sound effects like an ocean tide or chirping birds can also help a baby’s nerves. In addition to your choice of sleeper, you’ll need linens, pads and sheets.
Your changing area will require diapers, wipes, cotton swabs, a garbage can or plastic bags and any creams, ointments or jellies your doctor recommends for cleaning. Buy a diaper bag for all of these items so you can travel more practically with your child. Keep it pre-packed for trips taken on short notice. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends unscented, alcohol-free baby wipes, used sparingly at first to see how sensitive your baby is to them.
For clothing, you’ll need gowns, sleeper suits, pants, shirts, sweaters, shoes, socks, mittens and hats.
To deal with medical issues have following on hand: thermometer recommended by your doctor; eye dropper; teething rings; wound cleaning agents to treat cuts and scrapes; bandages; and your baby’s medicines.
In addition to the aforementioned diaper needs, you’ll need cleaning and bathing items. Consider an infant tub, made specifically for bathing newborns. Children can drown in water as shallow as that contained in a sink, if you turn away for even a few minutes. Buy soft washcloths and towels, a nail clipper, a syringe for removing excess mucus from the mouth and nose, and mild soap and shampoo. Keep infant sunscreen on hand and apply in the morning prior to going outdoors.
If you will be feeding your baby formula, you’ll need measuring cups, several baby bottles and nipples and pots in which to heat water to warm the bottles, if you don’t have a microwave. Buy a dishwasher basket for the bottles. If you plan to breastfeed, consider a breast milk pump to keep milk on hand when you’re not. Buy nipple cream to alleviate the pain associated with breast feeding, recommend Heath Flett and Whitney Moss, co-authors of, ” The Rookie Mom’s Handbook.”
When you take your baby outside, such as on doctor visits, to daycare or to show off to friends, you’ll need to consider weather, safety and convenience factors. A stroller or baby sling will help you transport your child comfortably for both of you. Car seats are mandatory for transporting an infant in autos. Buy a receiving blanket to keep baby warm as you pass her to others and to help deal wit spittle. Burp cloths are essential for addressing this problem, indoors or out.