The 10 Must Haves for Your New Baby
Having a new baby is difficult, exhausting, and requires a ton of work. There are so many new things to learn and discover. Raising a child can be tough enough as it is, but without some key essentials it can be even tougher. The items on this list will help ease your mind, and help to keep you sane during those first few months and beyond. Every item listed is intended to make life easier and happier for you and your new family!
Your child's safety should be number one priority! Choosing a car seat that is safe and functional is key. There are so many choices out there, new and used! If you do go the used route, make sure that the car seat isn't expired and that it has never been in an accident. When buying new, consider the option of buying a convertible car seat that can last you for years. Which ever seat you pick, be sure and keep that baby rear facing until at least the age of two and read your owner's manual!
Whether you choose to wrap, use a mei tai, or a soft structured carrier, wearing your baby will allow you to comfort him/her and give you the use of your hands! Babywearing takes a little time to get comfortable with, but it is so worth it. Wearing your child also opens you up to a whole community of parents. From newborns to toddlers, being close to mom or dad is the ultimate goal in child comfort. From the low price of twenty dollars, to the high price in the thousands, there's something out there for every one's budget!
Buttoning tons of buttons is the last thing you want to deal with on two hours of sleep. When the baby is crying because he/she needs a diaper change, zippered PJs will help out much more than button ones. When baby gets older and tries to run away while getting their jammies on, that zipper comes in handy!
If you're planning on breastfeeding, a pump may just become your new best friend. Being able to have someone else feed the baby may allow you a couple extra hours of sleep or some much needed "me" time. A pump can also help with engorgement or clogged ducts! Going back to work can be stressful, but having a pump with you can ease some of those stresses. Knowing that there are laws in place for you and knowing that you're still nourishing your baby makes owning a pump well worth it. From manual to electric, single or double, there's a pump out there for you!
Carrying around a baby is hard enough, but they have a ton of stuff that they need with them! Diapers, wipes, bottles, paci, toys, snacks, extra clothes; the list goes on and on. Pick a diaper bag that you're comfortable carrying and that's large enough to house all those baby items! You can find diaper bags in a wonderful array of colors and materials, so no need to hate your diaper bag!
New babies eat every two-four hours, so you may need a few bottles to keep up. If you're breastfeeding, there are bottle systems out there that simulate the breast and will allow baby to eat happily. Medela Calma and Kiinde Twist are two great examples of breast friendly bottles. Dr. Brown's and Tommee Tippee are both great for formula or breast milk, as they are specially made to baby from getting gassy. Whichever way you choose to feed your child, breast milk or formula, the only thing that matters is that baby is fed. Finding the right bottles for your baby may take some time, so don't get discouraged!
A Boppy pillow will help with all the different breastfeeding positions. It will also help with holding baby's head up and with tummy time! Most babies hate tummy time, so anything that helps with that is a winner in my book. Using a Boppy is a great choice for every new parent. You can also find tons of covers for it out there, so feel free to customize your Boppy.
Whether you choose to cosleep or not is up to you. Either way, a baby monitor can come in handy! Baby's sleeping and you need to do laundry? Just take the monitor with you and you can keep an eye on your sweet baby. There are plenty to choose from, ranging from color to black and white, and video to sound. There are some out there that you can use with an app on your phone or tablet. Using a baby monitor can ease your mind when sleeping in separate rooms.
Pack and Play
Having a pack and play is a great idea. If you live in a two story home, keeping it in the living room allows for peace of mind. Getting one with a changing table attachment makes diaper changes much easier. The bassinet option is perfect for new babies and the bottom area is great for toddlers. This is definitely an item that will last you for a few years. If you don't use it for nap/play time, it also makes a great storage area for toys or laundry!
Carrying your baby inside of you for 10 months means your baby is used to being in motion. Having a swing or a bouncer allows your newborn to feel these same motions. Using the swing/bouncer also gives you those few minutes of much needed freedom when needing a break from baby. They can make cooking, cleaning, eating, and sleeping a little easier for you!
While this list is in a numerical order, I do believe that each of these items are just as important as the next. Becoming a parent is one of life's hardest accomplishments, but having a few tools and tricks up your sleeve can make everything easier. Wearing your baby or bottle feeding or breastfeeding may not be for every parent, but finding out what works for you is part of the process. Just remember regardless of what you choose, you ARE a good parent.