Congratulations on your new baby!
Before you go raiding a store for everything you find cute for your baby to wear, keep to the basics first. Preparing for your baby’s arrival at home is best done in advance, as you may not have the time and energy to go on a one-day shopping spree when you’re already eight months pregnant. Stock up on cheap baby diapers, washcloths, and baby wipes little by little, so when your big day comes, your home is more than ready to receive a new member of your family.
Here’s a list of the basic items your baby should have, with tips on picking the best ones.
* Clothing – five to eight soft and breathable outfits, five pairs of baby socks, and a newborn hat are sufficient for your baby during the first few weeks of life. Babies grow fast, so avoid stocking up on newborn-size items.
* Bassinet or crib – the bassinet should comply with safety standards. The mattress should be new, and it’s ideal to have three sets of beddings: one for little accidents, one in the wash, and the one that’s currently in use. A breathable waterproof mattress protector can keep the mattress dry.
* Baby monitor – if you need to do something outside where your baby is sleeping, then getting a baby monitor is a good idea. Make sure to check the device’s frequency and range; choose one with an adequate range and with a frequency that differs from your cordless phone.
* Nightlight – the soft glow of a night light lets you see things as you move around at night without hurting your baby’s sensitive eyes. The practical choice is portable rechargeable night light.
* Toiletries – if you can, choose unscented and natural or organic products for your baby, or at least those specially formulated for a baby’s sensitive skin. Nappy wipes should be thick and free from alcohol.
* Baby hair brush – choose a gentle brush with soft bristles to comb your baby’s fine hair without hurting her head.
* Towels and washcloths –make sure that the washcloths your baby uses are always clean. A good idea is to have two bath towels and two face cloths on hand: one for washing and one for use. A small bathtub lined with a non-slip mat or bath ramp lets
you give your baby a bath without any risk of her slipping under the water. As your child grows, you can replace the ramp with a bath seat.
* Car seat – your little one’s car seat must be federally-approved at can be installed in your car without a hitch. The safest place for the child seat is the middlemost portion of the rear seat, and the seat should face backwards.
* Stroller – test out different strollers until you find one that you can fold and open easily. Parents often tend to prioritize the add-ons such as toys and zippered compartments; these will only be a nuisance when you’re having a hard time getting the stroller to work in the first place.
* Sling carrier – a snug and comfortable baby sling can help you keep your hands free to do other things while still keeping your baby close.
* Diaper bag – a bag with plenty of compartments (internal and external) lets you organize your baby’s things for easy access when you’re on the go.
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