The baby industry can be confusing and overwhelming for even the most prepared mom. What swaddle do you need? How many onesies should you buy? What kind of stroller or car seat is best?
While babies come out fairly tiny, they come born with some fairly LARGE needs! That said, you don’t need to waste tens of thousands of dollars for your new child. Let’s get into the essentials you need- so you can start that college savings account early!
A Safe Sleeping Space
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), newborn babies need to sleep alone, on their backs, in a crib, or approved bassinet. Ideally, they should sleep in the parents’ room for the first six months-one year.
The mattress should be firm. Always consult with your crib or bassinet for the appropriate mattress and sheets. Beyond a pacifier, do not add anything to the crib- as tempting as blankets, pillows, and bumpers might be, they are not considered safe for infant sleep.
If you ever plan to drive (or take your baby in a car), you absolutely need a car seat. It’s a law in every state. No matter the brand, every seat must pass minimum standard testing. While it’s a great idea to buy used baby items, a car seat isn’t the place to do it. You never know if the car has been in a crash, which could compromise the seat’s efficacy.
Infant car seats are rear-facing and can be used directly from birth until the child reaches a maximum height or weight (usually around one year). The seat attaches to a base, which you can easily transport from one car to another. Many infant seats also attach to strollers.
Convertible car seats are designed for children to grow in. Children start in the rear-facing position and eventually move to forward-facing. They are fixed into the car via straps and hooks. They can be bulky, so they’re meant to stay in one car.
Stroller or Carrier (Or Both)
Some people prefer to have both options, but many moms can start with just one. Strollers are convenient for transporting babies in and out of a car if using an infant car seat. That’s because the seat just slides into the stroller.
Many newborns, however, love carriers. Carriers keep them close and snug to their moms, and they can be very helpful when you need to get other things done around the house. Some women prefer a sling, whereas others prefer more of a structured carrier.
Diapers and Diaper Bag
The average newborn goes through 2,200 diapers in the first year! Make sure you don’t just get the newborn ones! You don’t know what size your little one will be when they make their grand entrance. It’s best to have newborns, 1s, and 2s, ready! And grab a couple of different brands- babies may react better to some types than others.
Finally, there’s nothing like “becoming a mom” than owning a diaper bag! Your diaper bag will be your lifesaver in the first few years of your child’s life. They’re just limited to diapers- you’ll stash everything from teething rings to change of clothes to your own emergency snacks inside. Check out Bitsy Bug Boutique for functional diaper bags that are both high-quality and seriously stylish.
What’s cuter than those teeny baby clothes? You don’t need a lot when they’re first born, but you do need something for them to wear! As a general rule of thumb, stick to a few hats, a week’s worth of rompers or bodysuits, 4-5 sleepers, a week’s worth of socks, 2-3 hats, and 2-3 swaddles.
Of course, if it’s the winter season, you’ll also need sweatshirts, mittens, and booties. Don’t forget a few fun outfits for photos as well- you’ll want to capture all those adorable moments.
Fed is best, and it’s also best to be prepared ahead of time. If you intend to breastfeed, make sure you have a nursing nightgown, a few nursing tops, disposable pads, nursing lotion, and a breastfeeding pillow. You’ll also want to plan ahead for pumping with a breast pump and milk storage bags.
No matter your feeding plan, it’s always smart to have some formula and bottles on hand. Just don’t stock up on any one brand- you never know what will work best for your baby. Take advantage of free coupons and samples. You can also usually take some home from the hospital.