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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Necessities for newborns

Such a sweetie! 
Being a mom for the first time is the ultimate step into the unknown.  :)  The realization that someone is going to depend on you for their very life is daunting, to say the least.   From the time you first learn that you are pregnant, you are bombarded with choices...home birth, medicated birth, c-section, natural birth, water birth, family in the birthing room, bonding, breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, immunizations...the list goes on and on.  And the more you research the options, the more confusing it can get.

And then you have to decide what Baby's going to need to be comfortable and what YOU'RE going to need to be comfortable.  More advertising and more choices...going to the store to shop for Baby is more confusing than rewarding. 

Here's my list of what is a necessity for Baby and what's not.

0-6  months necessities
Equipment - 
1. Car seat....essential.  Whether it has a removable carrier is not as important.  Why?  Because studies have shown that when the car seat can be used as a baby carrier, Baby spends too much time in it.  In some cases, a baby's head can become flattened by the amount of time being in the same position.
2. Portable baby crib (like Pack n' Play).  New babies don't need a full sized crib yet and most parents prefer having their new baby sleep in their room.  A portable crib will make that easier and will also be useful when traveling.  Portable cribs can be used exclusively for several months.
3. Soft front carrier...much more comfortable for both Baby and Mommy than lugging around a stroller.  Tiny babies are soothed being close to Mommy.  Mommy has both hands free to shop or do whatever she needs to do.  Compact and washable. 
Supplies -
1. At least one dozen cloth diapers, even if you're planning on using disposables.  Wonderful for burp cloths and cleaning up the inevitable messes.
2. Lots of receiving blankets.  Homemade are best.  One yard of 45" material, hemmed, and you have a nice sized blanket.  Several in single layers and double layers serve many needs.
3. A "diaper" bag.  In parentheses because there are so many cute, roomy bags available, don't limit yourself to a bag labeled as a diaper bag.  Buy whatever you like!
4. Waterproof pads.  For changing Baby wherever you happen to be and for putting under crib sheet in case of leakage.  These can be made also.  Buy a couple of yards of waterproof fabric or buy a waterproof mattress pad and cut it to the sizes you want.  Hem if necessary.
5. If you're bottle feeding, of course you need baby bottles, formula and a bottle brush.  If breastfeeding, you've got all the equipment you need  :)  Here is another time when having a receiving blanket comes in handy...for privacy.
6. Lots of onesies and footed sleepers and a place to put them...probably a dresser or shelves.
7. And of course, diapers...lots and lots of diapers!  And a bucket with lid and liners to put used diapers in until they can be thrown away.   I'm assuming you're going to use disposable diapers.  Cloth diapers are a whole different matter!  In that case, at least 4 dozen diapers, plenty of diaper covers, pins or other fasteners and a larger bucket to hold the used diapers until you can wash them.

For the first few months, that's about all you need.  There are other things that can be useful but most things just cost a lot of money, take up valuable space and rarely get used.   You really don't need a baby bathtub, changing table or all the other gadgets and gizmos sold at your baby superstore.

In a few months, you WILL need a high chair (either free standing or attachable to a table), a full size crib and a stroller.  Oh and a "kid gate" or two.  Once your baby starts to get mobile, you don't want him to have free reign over the whole house and if your house has stairs, it's essential for safety.

Most likely you'll have plenty of time to ask friends what they use for their babies and can keep your eye out for good sales.  Babies do cost money but not nearly what some people spend.  After you have the essentials, you can fill in as the need arises.  You'll get the hang of it and soon you'll be a pro!


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