You’re expecting a new baby and your mind is flooded with images of cute onesies, snuggly blankets, bottles, diapers, teddy bears: the list goes on and on. The amount of stuff you think you need for your new bundle of joy may seem overwhelming. Having a baby is physically and emotionally challenging as it is; there’s no need to get stressed over figuring out what you need for the baby. The essentials, the things you actually must have, in order to care for the health and well-being of your child actually add up to a relatively short list. Shopping online at baby supply sites like The Honest Company can help you save money and time when acquiring these essentials.
Car Seats and Strollers
A car seat is the number one essential. They won’t even let you take your baby home from the hospital if you don’t have an appropriate infant car seat. Strollers are also a good idea because while your newborn may be easy enough to tote around in an infant carrier, as your baby grows you are going to want a place to set them down while running errands or going on walks. There are many options for car seats, carriers, and strollers, in fact, many infant carriers double as car seats. And if you choose a travel system, you get an infant carrier that snaps into a base to become a car seat, and then it can snap into the stroller so you don’t even have to unbuckle your sleeping child to transfer them from one place to another. This is an excellent feature as you have to utilize every precious moment of baby’s nap time, notes Parents.com.
Cribs and Play Yards
The type of bed your baby will use is another big decision. But even if you choose to use a bassinet or a bedside sleeper for the first few months, your baby will likely need a crib at some point. Convertible cribs are a popular choice as they can be reconfigured to suit your child’s changing needs. Convertible cribs can be changed into a toddler bed: some even morph into day beds and full beds as well. When choosing a crib, be sure it meets with current health standards and has safely spaced slats that are no more than 3 inches apart, CPSC.org recommends.
Bottles and Formula
Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, the odds are that you will, at some point, need bottles. You may also need to supplement breast milk with formula depending on your ability to pump as well as you and your baby’s nutritional needs. Bottles come in many shapes and sizes, with different sized nipples. As your baby grows and can take in more food at a time, they will need a nipple with a larger hole, so you will want a few different sizes. The Baby Center explains that there are several brands of formula, but that most brands contain the same essential vitamins and minerals, however, one major difference is that some formula brands include DHA, a derivative of fish oil that helps promote healthy, strong brain function. Newborn babies drink about one or two ounces of formula an hour, so at first you will only need small bottles. One large can of formula should get a formula fed baby through the first month. The amount your baby takes per feeding will increase steadily as they grow, so the amount of formula you will need and the size of bottle will also increase. Your pediatrician will let you know when and how much to increase food intake, but your baby will probably inform you of their needs before the doctor does. You will want to choose one formula and if your baby does well on that type, stick with what works. Changing formula brands can cause difficulty with feeding time and digestion.
Diapers and Wipes
Be assured, you will go through a lot of diapers and wipes – at least one large box per month. As with formula, there are numerous brands and styles to choose from. To help you make the decision of which diapers and wipes you and your baby like best, The Honest Company offers free baby stuff in sample sizes so that you can test out their products before buying a lot of something you may not keep using.
Soaps and Lotions
Baby soap, laundry detergents, lotions, and creams should be a simple as possible. Dye free, scent free laundry detergent is best for baby’s delicate skin. Bath soaps can contain mild scents like lavender which is good for promoting relaxation.
While the frilly dresses and sweet suits are precious for photo ops, simple onesies and sleepers will make your day to day life much easier. Remember, you’ll probably have to change baby’s clothes a couple times each day and you’ll want easy access for diaper changes. Some parents even opt for the t-shirt and diaper look.
Newborn babies don’t really need toys. Babies don’t start playing until about three months and you don’t want any stuffed animals in the crib, so don’t worry about toys at first. Once your baby does start to play, teethers, rattles, and mirrored toys are a good place to start.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a ton of stuff for your baby. The things you will need include a car seat, stroller, crib, feeding supplies, soaps, and diapering supplies as well as clothes. Aside from those essentials, most other things are optional. If you are a new parent and want to test out supplies before making large bulk purchases, try looking for samples of free baby stuff from companies like The Honest Company. Shopping online will allow you to look over the ingredients and other product specifications while also comparing prices.