New Born Baby Essentials: Everything You Need
A baby’s arrival is a very happy moment, yet a nerve-racking time for most parents. It helps to be prepared with certain basics that you will need once you bring your baby home from the hospital. Read on my checklist of new born baby essentials that will help you take the best care of your new bundle of joy.
Parenting is one of the greatest joys of life but it’s not an easy task. Especially with a small baby. Every need of theirs has to be catered to by us. They are little dolls who just sleep, cry, eat, burp, poop and repeat. They’re totally dependent upon us and we have to take care of them. Especially if you’re a first-time parent, you need to be extra careful.
Well, I’m here to help! I recently gave birth to my second daughter and now that I’m a two time parent, I can safely say that I have pretty good experience in knowing what I actually need to do to take care of my baby; what things are an added bonus and what can be excluded.
Though there is a culture in India to buy things only after the baby arrives, there are certain basics that you should already get in order to take good care of your baby as soon as you get home after delivery. The first couple of months are hectic for the parents and being prepared goes a long way in ensuring your peace of mind as well.
So what are these must-have new born essentials?
1.1 Cot and Bedding:
Doctors across the world recommend that a baby should sleep in a cot as it is safer. If you don’t have space for a cot in your house, buy a Moses basket or a bassinet. Avoid very soft mattresses as they’re deemed unsafe due to suffocation risks. It’s also not good for the development of a baby’s body. Instead, get a firm mattress meant for babies with light breathable sheets that get tucked in properly. I prefer fitted sheets. You don’t need any pillows or cot bumpers at this stage. They’re not recommended by medical experts either.
1.2 Swaddle Blankets:
There should be no loose sheets or blankets covering the baby. So buy swaddle blankets and sheets. For summers, muslin cloths work very well too. I personally love velcro swaddle blankets as babies can’t escape out of them easily and they don’t loosen up either. Like I mentioned earlier, avoid loose sheets as they are a safety hazard. So wrap your baby properly in swaddle blankets or sheets.
1.3 Other Optional Items
Mosquito Net: I use one for my second daughter Nirvana as Mumbai has a lot of mosquitoes. You get breathable ones designed for cots very easily online.
Baby Monitor: If your baby sleeps in a separate room or if you work around the house while the baby is in the cot, then I suggest you get one. I do a lot of chores while my daughter sleeps or plays in the cot, so it’s very handy. Plus you will end up using it for quite a long time as your baby grows.
Cot Mobile: I personally don’t feel one needs a cot mobile for the first month. Newborn babies have very limited vision and they’re supposed to sleep up to 16 hours a day. So you can buy this after a month or so.
2. BABY CLOTHES
2.1 Jhaplas or Singlets:
You will need baby clothes at the hospital itself after you deliver your baby. For the first week or so, it’s easier to make them wear clothes that don’t go over the head. So singlets or jhapla tops work really well. Get 6-8 pieces and it’s sufficient.
2.2 Sleepsuits or bodysuits:
Full body suits with buttons are easy to put on and take off, especially during diaper changes as well. Get cotton ones for hot or humid weather. Just 5-6 pieces max is fine. You can get soft fleece ones in case the weather is very cold. Since in winters, they will wear only full-body suits, get slightly higher number of pieces.
I love onesies! I find them very convenient. Changing diapers is extremely easy and my daughter is very comfortable in them. After the first week or so, your baby will probably need onesies the most as they’re super comfortable. So get 7-10 onesies in 0-3 months size.
2.4 Caps, mittens and socks:
You will need these if the weather is cold. For summers or humid weather, you don’t need them as such. I do recommend a few sets of mittens as small babies tend to scratch themselves a lot since they have no control over their limbs. And their nails are soft but sharp. So mittens really helped in making sure my daughter didn’t keep scratching her face and neck all the time.
IMPORTANT TIPS –
One thing to remember is that babies should be kept cool. If the room temperature is between 24 to 26 degrees, all they need is a light cotton onesie when they are not sleeping and just one layer of swaddle blanket while sleeping. Too many layers can lead to overheating.
Please don’t make your baby wear a cap while sleeping, regardless of the weather. It is a suffocation hazard and they should only be wearing caps when they’re awake and you have your eye on them all the time.
Newborn babies grow in size really fast. So while buying, simply buy enough for the first month and then gradually buy more depending upon their size.
3.1 Diaper Table:
They’re not commonly used in India but I highly recommend one. You will change 10 plus diapers a day for the first couple of months and while you can easily do that on a bed or sofa too, it will lead to lot of back and shoulder ache due to frequent bending. A diaper table genuinely saves you from a lot of physical stress on your body. Not to mention, you have all your diapering essentials ready in one place. I change my daughter’s clothes and give her massage/maalish on the diaper table too. It’s much easier than doing it on the bed.
Whether you’re using cloth diapers or disposables, accordingly stock up because for the first couple of months, you will be changing a lot of diaper round the clock. However, for the first week, I recommend buying a sample or small packs so you can test which diapers suit your baby in terms of usage and size and then order those going ahead. At one time, only order a week’s worth of stock because babies grow really fast the first few months. You find really good deals online.
3.3 Baby Wipes
Ask any mom and she will tell you that there is a packet of baby wipes in every room in the house and in every single bag she owns. 😉 You will use baby wipes not just while changing diapers but for wiping spit-ups, spills, baby vomit on yourself etc. Wipes are your new best friend! Again, I recommend trying out different brands by buying small size packs for the first week and then stocking up on the ones that you liked most. All brands are easily available online.
3.4 Other Diapering Items:
Rash Cream: Some people prefer using coconut oil and that works well too. But I still recommend keeping diaper rash cream handy at home in case of a rash. It’s common for newborn babies to get diaper rashes. They are nothing to worry about and heal very soon after applying rash cream during every diaper change.
Changing Mat: We use a padded one on our diaper table and I have a foldable one that I use whenever we step out. You also get disposable ones online.
Diaper Bin and Disposal bags: So we have a small dustbin attached to the diaper table that is used only to dispose of diapers. Keep one dustbin near your diaper changing area because you will be changing diapers frequently so disposable is easier. You can use regular garbage bags for the dustbins. It makes it easier to dispose all used diapers daily in one go and helps maintain hygiene.
4. BATH TIME
For the first few days, your baby will only be given a sponge bath or a wipe down with a wet warm towel, After that, you need to start giving them daily baths.
A bathtub is essential because it makes bathing a baby convenient and safe. I use a plastic bathtub but you also get expandable ones. There are many options available online and you can choose whichever you like more.
4.2 Bath Net:
A baby should never be lying flat down in a bathtub. It’s a drowning risk even when there is only an inch or so of water in the bathtub. Plus newborns usually cry through their first few baths and hence, move a lot. A bath net makes it easier to handle them.
4.3 Baby wash and Shampoo:
There are a lot of baby care brands available online that you can choose from. It’s better to use wash and shampoo made for babies as they are gentle and mild. Order smaller bottles at first so try our various brands and then see which ones you like most.
4.4 Baby Oil and Lotion:
Babies don’t need long or hard massages. A few minutes of gentle massage is more than enough. I give my daughter an anti-colic or otherwise called ‘I Love You’ massage with baby oil before bath and then moisturise her with baby lotion after bath. It’s recommended we moisturise them at least once a day daily.
4.5 Hooded Baby Towels:
Keep at least three hooded baby towels at home. They are softer and absorb water quickly. A newborn’s towels has to be washed more frequently so ideally wash each towel after every 3 uses. You might also face pee-pee accidents while drying up your baby. Hence, I recommend buying three towels so you have at least one always ready and clean for use.
There you have it! Everything you will need at home to take care of your newborn. There are many other essentials that are very handy when it comes to taking care of babies. But they can wait for a few weeks. if you have ticked everything off this list, then you will be sufficiently prepared to manage your little cutiepie.