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Shopping for newborns can be overwhelming for first-time parents. Whether shopping for baby products in a store or online, parents are presented with thousands of products that are unfamiliar, and many that are unnecessary. The good news? Newborns don’t actually require too many things. Here are my top 15 newborn essentials to get you off to a great start with your new bundle of joy.
Diapers: Newborns go through about 10-12 diapers a day; that’s around 320 in just the first month. Whether you choose to use disposable diapers or cloth diapers, be sure to have plenty on hand. Also, if you choose to use disposable diapers, brands such as Pampers that have an indicator strip that changes color when the diaper needs to be changed and those with a cutout for the umbilical cord, such as Huggies, may be helpful for new parents.
Baby wipes: Although you will use plenty of wipes on baby’s bottom, the utility of wipes goes way beyond diaper changes and ranges from cleaning baby’s hands and face or cleaning up spills on-the-go to being used as a makeup remover for Mom.
Diaper bag: Your baby’s first couple of doctors appointments take place shortly after their arrival, and no new parent wants to be scrambling right after the birth of their child to pack up a diaper bag. Plan to pack your diaper bag at the same time you pack your hospital bag. For a list of what to pack, check out 12 Items in Every Super Mom’s Diaper Bag. Because you will use your diaper bag for some time, consider one of these cute bags: The Honest Co. Diaper Bag Carryall Satchel in Elephant Grey, the Skip Hop Signature Diaper Bag, or the JJ Cole Satchel.
Baby Bathtub: Although newborns won’t get dirty enough to warrant a full bath every day, baby bathtubs such as the First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub or the Summer Infant Right Height Bath Tub that include an infant insert or sling can help when messy moments happen.
Swaddles: There are many benefits to swaddling newborns, including reducing colic and fussiness and helping babies sleep longer. Consider a swaddle such as the Woombie which is extremely easy to use and effective.
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Onesies: Between milk, spit-up and blowouts, save the cute clothes for special occasions and instead invest in simple and relatively cheap white onesies such as these from Gerber. Speaking of onesies, for those of you wondering why onesies have those shoulder flaps, be sure to check out this video!
Feeding supplies: Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, it’s important to have the right supplies on hand. If you are breastfeeding, consider investing in a good breast pump like the Medela Freestyle Breastpump, a pillow such as a Boppy or My Brest Friend, and nursing bras, pads, therapy packs such as those from Lansinoh, and nipple cream. If you are bottle feeding make sure you have bottles like these by Dr. Brown’s and formula.
Bibs and burp cloths: Along with the feeding supplies above, it’s a great idea to have bibs and burp cloths on hand to protect your baby’s and your clothing. If you are already using cloth diapers, they also make for great burp cloths.
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Sleep space: Your newborn will need a place to sleep. Your decision of where your baby will sleep will likely be based on your personal preference or the size of your living space. A few options to consider include a crib, bassinet, swing, or play yard.
Baby carrier or wrap: Baby carriers like Ergobaby or wraps like these from Solly Baby are a lifesaver during the first few weeks with a newborn and can be used well into infancy. They are great for soothing your baby, freeing up your hands so you can get things done, and because both parents can wear them, they can help both of you bond with your baby.
Car seat: You can’t leave the hospital without a car seat, so be sure to invest in a safe infant car seat such as the Graco Click Connect. Most infant car seats will get you through the first year with your baby.
Stroller: Many infant car seats can be purchased as part of a travel system like this Graco Modes™ Click Travel System that allows the stroller to grow with your baby from infancy to toddlerhood. You can also consider a Snap-N-Go, which allows you to turn your car seat into a stroller. Snap-N-Gos are lightweight and compact — ideal for travel.
Baby Monitor: Baby monitors can help give new parents peace of mind without them having to hover over their baby around the clock. This Motorola video monitor displays the temperature in your baby’s room, has night vision, and allows you to pan the camera to see around the crib or room. Video monitors like the Nest Cam have similar capabilities, but use Wi-Fi.
Phone or tablet: In the first few weeks after having a baby, your phone or tablet will be your lifeline. With one device you can take hundreds of pictures of your little cutie, look up endless questions (or better yet call your baby’s doctor to get your questions answered), stay in contact with family, friends and other moms, and stay entertained (and more importantly, awake) during all of those middle of the night wake-up calls.