Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! As you bring your new baby back home from the hospital, it’s important to ensure that you have all the essentials you need to make your little one comfortable.
However, with the number of baby items available on the market, it can be difficult to determine whether something is essential. You probably don’t need to invest in a wipe warmer, but diapers are a must-have for every parent out there. So, to help you learn what products your baby can’t do without, here are the top 6 essentials that you need to shop for.
One thing a lot of parents quickly realize is that their newborn spends a lot of time sleeping. While many people prefer co-sleeping with their child for the first few months, others find that a comfortable nursery works far better.
If you’re planning to create a nursery or separate sleeping area for your child, it’s essential to ensure that the space is both cozy and safe. Make sure that you have the right bedding for your child from cribs and mattresses to blankets and sheets.
Choosing the perfect bedding can seem like a challenge, especially when it comes to the mattress. Buying a baby mattress isn’t like buying a mattress for your own bed – for one, firm mattresses are much safer for babies than soft ones. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure that it’s the right fit for your crib and that it boasts independent certification that will help give you additional peace of mind.
2. Car Seat
If you’re traveling with your baby in a car, having a quality car seat is a must-have. In fact, it’s recommended that you have a car seat ready immediately as you leave the hospital, so there’s no risk to your child as you return home.
Aside from being an important part of keeping your newborn safe, car seats are also a legal requirement in all U.S. states. There are several different types of seats available in the market, based on your child’s weight, age, and other factors.
Babies start out using infant-only seats, which are usually rear-facing seats. Additionally, as stated at Babys-Mart, your baby will be safest in a lie-flat seat. These seats are optimized for infants and they are particularly essential for premature babies and newborns with medical conditions.
3. Baby Monitor
Many people think that, since they plan to co-sleep with their babies, a baby monitor is a luxury, not a must-have. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.
While you may choose to sleep in the same room as your child at night, chances are, you’ll let them nap in a room while you work somewhere else in the house at least once a day. A monitor helps provide you with peace of mind for those moments when you’re away from your child and need to feel confident that they’re safe. If you plan to return to work, you can look into monitors that will offer long-range.
There are several different types of monitors available on the market, depending on your needs. If you plan to stay at home and have bedrooms close together, you probably don’t need something too fancy – you’ll be able to hear your infant crying if they wake up just fine.
However, working parents often prefer a solution that doesn’t just allow them to hear their child but also provides video surveillance. If you’re one of them, you probably need a video monitor. These monitors will provide better peace of mind and can even help with sleep training if you’re using the cry-it-out method.
4. Baby Clothes
It may seem obvious, but you need to ensure that you have the right clothes for your baby. With the number of baby clothing options you have to choose from, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
However, there are some essentials that you’ll soon find you won’t be able to do without. Sleepsuits, for example, are designed to make it easy to dress and change your baby and are especially convenient when going out of the house with an infant.
Some other necessities include socks to ensure your baby’s feet are warm at all times and caps, which serve the same purpose for their heads while also helping them feel more secure. Additionally, a swaddle cloth will help keep your baby warm and protected from both the elements and their own natural startle reflex, allowing them to sleep better.
While there are tons of other clothing options out there, these are the ones you should invest in first. Once you’ve done so, you can then move on to shoes, dresses, tops, pants, and more. That said, remember that babies grow fast, so don’t buy too many clothes.
Oftentimes, parents are tempted to use a sink instead of a bathtub when bathing their baby. However, sinks carry risks and are generally less hygienic than a bathtub.
Bathtubs are the safest option for your baby’s bath time. Baby bathtubs are usually designed to fit into your kitchen sink or be secured to your own bathtub. They come with a contoured headrest for your baby’s sensitive head, allowing it to stay above the water level and preventing slippage.
You can also invest in more expensive options, which have features that include digital thermometers, sidewall drains, and more. In general, however, a bathtub will help keep your baby safe and reduce the need for you to bend or squat while washing them. This is why they’re particularly helpful for moms who have given birth via a C-section and need to rest their bodies as much as possible.
A baby’s skin is highly sensitive and particularly susceptible to developing serious sunburns. If you’re leaving home with your little one, it’s essential you do all you can to protect them – and that means slathering on sunscreen.
Baby-safe sunscreen is appropriate for infants under the age of 6 months, as long as you ensure that the SPF is between 30 and 50. Make sure the SPF is not under 15, as that makes the sunscreen ineffective. However, you shouldn’t apply too much. Only apply sunscreen on the most sensitive areas, like the face, the back of the hands, and the top of the feet. For children over six months, you can apply sunscreen to all exposed parts of the body.
Make sure to test the sunscreen you use before applying fully – apply a small amount on a patch of skin at least 48 hours before you plan to go out in the sun. If your child develops a rash, consult their doctor immediately. This may mean that they have particularly sensitive skin and you will have to look for an extra-sensitive sunscreen formula.
These are, of course, only some of the items you’ll accumulate now that you have a baby in your life. That said, these essentials will make sure that your little one is safe and comfortable. Refer to this guide so you remember to get all the important items on your shopping list without worry!