The variety of baby supplies available today can easily overwhelm expectant parents. Try to focus on the basics. Be prepared with the essential items needed for eating, sleeping, diapering, bathing and getting around, but avoid buying gadgets you might not use. Individual babies have different needs, and you will have a better idea of what those needs are after your little one arrives.
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Babies often need to have their clothes changed several times per day, but they also grow out of newborn sizes quickly. Consider how often you'll do laundry when you decide how many outfits to buy. Cotton bodysuits that snap are a popular choice. They keep babies' bellies covered and make diaper changes easy. Purchase sleepers or gowns for nighttime. You might want to have one or two nice outfits for pictures and family gatherings. In cool weather, newborns need socks or booties, a hat, mittens, pants and long sleeves. Get warm outerwear and fleece sleepers for the winter months.
Diapering and Hygeine
Newborns tend to go through eight to 12 diapers per day. Decide whether you want to use disposable or cloth diapers and wipes. A diaper rash cream or ointment is essential. Get an infant bathtub, baby wash, towels and lotion for bath times. Other hygiene and medical supplies that are good to have on hand include pain reliever, a medicine dispenser, a thermometer, Vaseline, nail clippers and a bulb syringe.
New moms who are breastfeeding usually need lanolin ointment and breast pads for physical comfort. A breastfeeding pillow can make nursing easier. If you'll be pumping milk, you will also need a breast pump, milk storage bags and bottles. Formula-fed babies need at least four bottles, a brush to clean them, newborn nipples and, of course, formula. You will want to have many burp cloths if your baby tends to spit up.
Get an infant car seat that meets current government safety standards. It needs to be properly installed in your vehicle before you bring your newborn home from the hospital. You will also need a diaper bag. Look for one that's sturdy and has several pockets. Decide whether you want to use a stroller, a baby carrier or both. You can choose from many types of carriers and slings. Be sure to get one that's recommended for use with newborns.
Furniture and Nursery Items
The most important piece of furniture needed for a newborn is a safe place to sleep. Some of the options include a crib, a bassinet, a cradle, a portable crib or a cosleeper. Smaller items like bassinets are convenient because they can be moved from room to room, but babies quickly grow out of them. A crib is a better investment if you're trying to limit expenses. Newborns also need bedding, several receiving blankets, and a dresser or closet organizer for clothes storage. Items that are optional but helpful include a rocking chair, a swing, a baby monitor, a changing table and a clothes hamper.