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Besides love and lots of attention, every baby needs a few essential things. It can be overwhelming to decide what exactly you need to survive the first few months with your newborn. Here is my top ten list of essentials that all babies need.
1. Safe place to sleep. A safe crib with several tight fitted sheets will give you the best place to put babies to sleep on their back. Although I had cribs for all of my little ones, for the first few months I couldn’t live without my baby bedside sleeper. This saved my sanity. I was able to sleep more and take care of my baby without even getting out of bed.
2. Diaper Bag You will soon find that when going out with a new baby you want to be as prepared as possible. Save your back and combine your purse and diaper bag for the first few months. Thankfully, these diaper bags look good enough you will want to keep using them long after your baby outgrows the need to keep carrying one around.
3. Swaddle blankets Babies are used to being in tight spaces. Swaddling them in these adorable swaddle blankets gives them a sense of security and comfort. Plus if you get high quality swaddle blankets, they can be used for future babies or other things, like cleaning. They also make great keepsakes for your baby to use with their own children.
4. Diapers and Wipes. Disposable or cloth they are a must. With my first baby, I only used the most expensive diapers, even when they were taxing on our budget. After a couple of months, I noticed that she leaked out on one side of the diaper and that she had a diaper rash (this is the best diaper rash ointment) way too often even when I changed her diaper way more than I needed to. I asked her doctor and they said to try other diapers, even store brand ones. It turned out she was sensitive to some diaper brands and her skin reacted to those ones. Some of the diaper shapes just fitted her differently too. It took some trial and error to find just the right ones for her. By the time she was one, we could use just about any diapers though as she outgrew those issues so I switched to buying whatever I could get the best price on. Tip: stock up when there are sales and coupons.
5. Bottles, Breast Pump, and Formula. If you are breastfeeding, invest in good a breast pump. Some insurances will even pay for a rental. Even if you are planning to exclusively breastfeed, make sure to have baby bottles and a bottle brush (my favorite ones) on hand at home to pump and feed. I had planned to only breastfeed my oldest, but she was born early and unable to for multiple reasons. Thankfully, she was still able to be fed breastmilk- just from a bottle! To help her growth we also supplemented with formula. For my next baby, I made sure to have formula on hand for emergencies before they were even born. And for my baby that joined our family via adoption, she was also formula-fed. I am so thankful that all of my babies were able to grow healthy from different sources of nourishment.
6. Infant mirrors & bright colored toys. Babies are fascinated by their reflections and bright objects.
Here are the baby toys my kids loved the most.
7. Carseat You will need a safe car seat for your baby in the car. This is one of those things to splurge on. Babies really don’t need a lot of things so if you are wondering where to spend the most money- your car seat is the answer. Never reuse a car seat as they do have expiration dates. For our babies, we always get a travel system (this one is awesome) that has an infant car seat and stroller that it connects with. You can often have your local fire department check to see if your carseat is installed properly too.
8. Stroller Once your baby can safely be in an umbrella stroller, you will never go back to using another one. They are lightweight, fold down to save space, and travel well. This is a great one to have on hand for when they are ready to use this type of stroller, normally after 6 months of age. Make sure to get one that folds down well, has a hood and a good-sized basket. These things are a must. We bought 2 from this same brand and were able to use them for over 12 years (for 3 different kids!). If you like to exercise outside either running or walking- a jogging stroller is a must. We didn’t have one with our older 2 but did with our youngest and it made all the difference. We were able to go on better walks, even on bumpier trails. It was easier for us parents to go farther and more comfortable for our daughter.
9. Bath Essentials. I didn’t think that we would need much when it came to bathtime for our new baby, but I quickly learned otherwise. Not only are there things that you can get that make bathtime more pleasant for both the baby and the parents, but also safer too.
Here are the things you will need to bath your new baby:
- Baby bath lotus. This is so helpful for when your baby is brand new. until about 6 months old. You use it in place of a bathtub in the kitchen sink.
- Baby bathtub. My kids LOVED bathtime and having one more their size is fun for them and more manageable and safe. This baby bathtub also raises the tub so your back doesn’t hurt from bending over. You can also get a bath kneeler with elbow rest to help your knees and elbows stay comfortable.
- Bath toys. There are a ton of options, but these are great because they are small enough to hold and chew onto and also really good for introducing stories and books to them in more ways as young as possible.
- Bath healthcare and grooming kit. Another thing I didn’t anticipate needing before having kids that I absolutely did need. It has a special brush made for a baby’s delicate scalp, nail clippers, thermometer, and more that is just for a baby’s special needs.
- Baby toiletries. Babies are much more sensitive than adults and as such, they need special bath toiletries. These are our favorites: shampoo/baby body wash, baby lotion. Bonus product: nighttime shampoo/body wash– this smells so good and really think it did help our baby get ready for bedtime. Even when she was way older than a baby she wanted to keep using this at night.
- Baby bath towels. Not only are these perfect for helping keep baby warm and dry after bathtime, but some of my favorite pictures of my kids were when they were babies was with them all wrapped up and cozy in this type of hoodie baby bath towels.
10. Baby Monitor. This video baby monitor will get way more usage than you are probably thinking it will. As an infant being able to watch them from all over the house gives so much peace of mind and not waking them up to peek in on them will make for a much more rested baby!
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