Whether or not you planned to have a baby, you absolutely have to plan for its arrival. You have to save and stock up months in advance to ensure that you have everything you need to keep your baby comfortable, warm and safe during the first few vulnerable months of its life. But don’t panic if you haven’t started already; the essentials can thankfully be pared down to a manageable 10.
10 Things a Newborn Baby Needs
Obviously, baby clothes top the list of must-haves for a newborn. They are the first things you will need when your baby is born. These are also the cutest things on the list to shop for.
- Onesies or rompers are tiny one-piece bodysuits that are easy to put on and which keep your newborn baby warm and cozy. Plus, they will not ride up when your baby moves (and babies move a lot!) so you can be assured that your baby will be covered up all the time and not risk catching a chill. About 10 should do. Don’t bother getting more because babies grow so incredibly fast that they need new clothes almost every two to three months. However, if you do laundry less frequently, then you may want to stock up on onesies for your peace of mind.
- Newborn babies are very sensitive to the cold. They spent the first nine months of their lives ensconced in a warm, welcoming womb. Once out in the world, your baby’s body needs time to adjust. You may not find it chilly, but your newborn will feel it. Body heat escapes through the extremities, especially the head. A baby cap will help your baby stay warm. Plus, it’s ultra cute!
Diapers or cloth nappies
Newborn babies don’t do much. But the little they do, they do a lot. This includes eating, sleeping and pooping. That last, you will soon discover, happens often and in unimaginable quantities. It is pretty normal for a newborn baby to go through about ten diapers in one day, sometimes more. So whether you plan on using disposable diapers or cloth nappies, keep an abundant supply handy.
Some Type of Baby Wipe
You can’t use toilet paper to clean your baby’s bottom since the material is actually far too rough for baby’s soft skin. You will need baby wipes – sturdy but soft wet tissues – which will do a good job of cleaning your baby’s bottom while still being gentle on your baby’s skin. An economical option is to use cotton balls dipped in water. Here, too, it’s a good idea to use the softer cotton balls designed for removing makeup rather than the drug store variety designed for general use and first aid.
Not all newborn babies need a pacifier, but most do so ensure that you keep at least one handy. The best thing about pacifiers is that they comfort the baby, as newborns connect sucking to warmth and love since these are the emotions associated with breastfeeding. So your baby may cry when anxious or simply sleepy. It is usually better to breastfeed even then, but if you are too tired to breastfeed or are outside where it isn’t possible, you can give her a pacifier to calm her down until you are comfortable enough to feed her.
Swaddling your baby right is something that will take a few classes at a baby center to perfect. Correctly swaddled, your baby will be snug, warm and feel safe. This is especially helpful during the first few days post birth as swaddling is akin to the warmth and comfort of the womb.
Your baby will sleep wherever you put her down, whether it is in the bed next to you, on a floor-mat or in a crib. However, a crib is the safest sleeping arrangement for a baby. Although your newborn cannot roll over on her side quite yet, it is still prudent to ensure that she is contained, so to speak, on all sides when she is sleeping so that she does not fall. Another very good reason to get your baby a crib is so that you can get a good night’s sleep. If you have a baby in your bed, you may not be comfortable as you will constantly worry about crushing her. You’ll sleep superficially or not at all and wake up irritable and fatigued. Your baby needs for you to be well-rested as much as you do.
In several countries, it is against the law to let a child below 2 sit in a car without a car seat so parents there have no choice but to install a car seat if they want to take their baby on an outing in the car. Although other countries have more lenient rules regarding the seating arrangements for toddlers, it really is a good idea to invest in a car seat for your baby as it is much safer.
Baby Bath Tub
If this is your first baby or you have no experience bathing a baby, then a baby bath tub is a must. You may be awkward holding your baby with one hand and bathing her with the other. There is always a chance that you may lose your grip, especially since there is soap involved. A baby bath tub will give you much more control over this daily and necessary function.
You may want nothing more than to hold your baby close to you at all times, even when you are out. But your arms will get tired sooner or later, plus you’ll be considerably awkward when trying to run about your errands. Imagine having to buy your weekly groceries with a baby balanced on one hip? Cute indeed, but hardly practical. A pram will safely hold your baby and will give you a chance to take a load off.
This is something money can’t buy but which is more important for your baby’s well-being than anything else. There are mounds of research which show that touching, holding, hugging, snuggling, cuddling, talking to, playing with and simply loving your newborn can make her healthier in both body and mind. If you can give your baby just one thing everyday, give her the gift of your unconditional love in a way that she can interpret – your touch.
All the above are essential if you want to keep your baby comfortable and make your own life a little easier. The baby-needs industry will convince you that you need a lot more stuff for your newborn. You could buy extra stuff if you can afford it, but they are not really essential. Here are a few examples of the things you do not really need for your newborn baby:
- Diaper pail – an ordinary dustbin will do
- Baby wipe warmers – just rub regular baby wipes between your hands
- Changing table – a bed or a regular table will be fine
- Toys – your newborn is too young to play with toys or care much for them
- Shoes – until your baby starts to walk, there is really no need for shoes