There are so many items that are targeted at prospective parents, it can be almost impossible to figure out what you actually need. Given that most parents, on approaching the birth of their baby, are just desperate to be able to give their child the best start in life, there’s no doubt they are a captive market for advertising. If you read through magazines or blog posts about the necessary, must-have items for any new parent, then you could quickly end up spending thousands of dollars just for those “necessities”!
Sadly, very few of those must-haves are actually must-haves. It can be difficult to decipher what you’re actually going to find useful, and what is just going to be an expensive mistake. So, let’s keep this simple: what do you actually need for a newborn, and what can you skip over?
MUST HAVE: Simple Outfits
There are so many cute baby outfits, one imagines if you tried to fit them all in the same retail space you’d need an area the size of Texas to do it. The problem with cute baby outfits and the quirky t-shirts with the funny slogans is… they’re not going to last.
You’re a prospective parent; you can handle a little truth, so here it is: babies are messy. Babies are really, really messy, in fact. They’re going to require more outfit changes on a daily basis than your average A-lister at an awards show. So while that adorable slogan tee might look wonderful when it’s put on, it’s not going to a few minutes later when milk is dribbled down it.
Instead of wasting money on adorable clothes that will, at best, be grown out of in a few weeks and at worst be destroyed by spit up. Just invest in plenty of plain white outfits which can withstand plenty of washes; they will be far more useful.
MUST HAVE: A Bottle Warmer
Even if you’re breastfeeding, you will have reason to need to use a bottle warmer if you’re expressing – so they’re a must-have for all new Moms. A bottle warmer takes a lot of the guesswork out of getting milk to the right temperature. Standing in front of a microwave when sleep deprived, desperately trying to figure out if the temperature is okay this time, is just not something you need to do to yourself – so don’t.
MUST HAVE: Diaper Rash Cream
Nothing will upset your newborn quite like diaper rash, a condition which can develop alarmingly quickly after birth. You might be tempted to make your own, which is fine, but always try and have a few different options on stand-by. Knowing your baby is uncomfortable is extremely difficult to handle, so you want to be able to have a solution at hand the moment that you detect a problem. This is one investment you won’t regret; even if it’s not used, diaper rash cream can be used as a general skin balm, so there’s no risk of waste.
MUST HAVE: Diapers
This one goes without saying, but we’ll include it anyway just to be sure! If you’re going to use cloth diapers, then you’re also going to need a strong laundry detergent to keep them hygienic for your baby’s sensitive skin.
MUST HAVE: A Baby Bath Tub
In the early weeks, your baby isn’t going to do much, but they will still manage to get themselves filthy! A baby bath tub is a way to bathe your baby without having to worry about too much water or straining over the rigid edge of the bath. It’s best to choose one on the larger side so your baby has room to grow into it, though of course you should never leave baby unattended in the tub.
MUST HAVE: A Baby Carrier
If you have some kind of buggy, then you might be tempted to think you can skip a separate carrier. You’ll soon learn this isn’t the case. Some places are poorly accessible for buggies, including grocery stores, so you’re going to want the freedom of being able to use a carrier. One solution if you’re keeping an eye on costs is to invest in a buggy that has a detachable carrier, giving you the best of both worlds.
When stripped down, what you need for a newborn is incredibly simple. Humans have been raising babies for a long time now. All you need to do is stock up on the above and let your instincts for how to handle the newest addition to your family do the rest.