Things you Need for your Newborn
As any parent understands, children need a lot more clothing and supplies than might be first thought. This is never more apparent than when parents take their newborn home for the first time. Many of these things will be received as gifts at baby showers and some will need to be purchased. New parents can make the first few months much easier on themselves by being prepared — at least with the right supplies.
Clothing for your newborn is essential. It is best to start out with clothing in newborn, 3 month and 6 month sizes, both because babies vary in size and to save yourself from having to buy more clothing during the first few months. Clothing is a common baby shower gift, and many gently used or unused items can be received as hand-me-downs, since children grow out of clothes so quickly. When buying in newborn sizes, don't go overboard with fancy outfits, but spend your money in the clothing pieces that will be more often utilized, such as pajamas and comfy one piece outfits.
Onesies are the one-piece items of clothing that snap at the bottom, making diaper changing easy. These are often put on newborns under other clothing, since they are soft and comfortable. Baby hats are important, whether designed to keep the newborns warm in the winter or to shield their faces from sun in the summer. Shoes aren't necessary at the beginning, but socks can keep the babies' feet warm. Weather should be taken into account when buying clothing for newborns, as they can be very temperature-sensitive.
Although parents can decorate their newborn's nursery in many different ways, there are a few basic items that the baby will need. One of these items is a place to sleep. Whether a crib or bassinet, the baby's bed should be safe and have an appropriate mattress. Crib sheets should be snug and soft. Many doctors recommend a sleep sack that a baby is zipped into, leaving his or her arms free, rather than blankets. Other newborns are swaddled in lightweight blankets.
The nursery is where most diaper changes take place. Changing tables come in many different styles, but should be sturdy and secure. Diaper changing supplies can be stored under a changing table and should include diapers, baby wipes, and diaper rash cream. A diaper pail should be nearby. It helps to have a dresser or other containers for clean clothing and dirty laundry next to the changing table.
Other nursery supplies such as mobiles, lamps, rugs, wall decorations, and children's furniture can be found to match the nursery's decor. Rocking chairs or gliders can be helpful in getting the newborn to calm down or fall asleep.
Babies cannot be bathed in the same way as adults. Newborns can be bathed in a sink or a special baby tub. Baby tubs are smaller and shaped to support the baby in a semi-reclining position. Inserts for normal-sized bathtubs are also available. Other supplies that will be needed in the bathroom are baby shampoo, baby lotion, soft towels, baby nail clippers, and a rectal thermometer.
Surprisingly, even for mothers who choose to breastfeed, there are still many supplies that are thought to be necessary. Breastfeeding support pillows come in different shapes and sizes and provide support while breastfeeding. Nursing bras and breast pads can be very useful for a nursing mothers, and a breast pump may be necessary for the times when a mother cannot be there to breastfeed her baby.
Whether the newborn will be breastfed or put on formula, bottles are usually necessary. Bottles can be used for formula or for frozen or stored breast milk. In addition to bottles and nipples, a bottle brush and bottle sterilizer can come in handy, as well as a bottle drying rack. Many people keep formula around for their newborn even if they plan to breastfeed, as a back-up.
Traveling and Playing
A safe car seat is essential for your newborn — many hospitals will not let you take your baby home without one. In addition, a stroller should be obtained, although while the baby is very young, a baby carrier might be more comfortable. Diaper bags are essential for carrying around all of the baby supplies.
A portable play pen or play yard is useful, although it should never be used unsupervised. Many of these convert to a bassinet and/or a changing table. Rattles and soft toys keep many babies entertained, as do swings and bouncers.
Most parents recommend buying these supplies before bringing a newborn home from the hospital. Although being completely prepared for a baby may be impossible, the supplies can at least be ready and waiting.
Written by Bronwyn Harris
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