Nobody gives you a book with directions when you bring your baby home. So, in most cases, you wing it with the first one. Here’s a list of some essentials you should have on hand to make life easier for you and your newborn.
A Diaper Bag
A baby diaper bag is an essential accessory that you will use often. Make sure that it’s made of high-quality materials and that it has many pockets — both open and closed — inside and outside of the bag. You should have room to store a portable changing table a few changes of clothes, several diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, and medications. Many diaper bags now come with a removable changing pad so that when you stop while traveling you’ll have a sanitary surface to place your little one.
A Travel System
While your family and friends may tell you to get an infant car seat, a travel system includes a removable base that makes it easy to remove your baby while running errands. It’s also very handy when your newborn falls asleep, allowing you to remove the seat without disturbing their slumber. A travel system also comes with a stroller that you’ll use often, once your child reaches the ages of 6 months and up. Just be sure to check for recalls ahead of buying and the safety rating.
It goes without saying: you can never, ever have too many diapers on hand. If you are going to use disposable ones make sure to purchase ones that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Your little one’s skin is extremely sensitive. If you’re having a difficult time deciding, ask friends who have younger children which diapers they prefer. If you are using cloth diapers go with a cotton fabric and ones that contain a disposable liner to keep your baby clean and dry.
Onesies are an item you will use every day. You can use them on their own or use them as an undergarment for layering in the fall and winter. They are convenient, easy to use for diaper changes, and comfortable against your baby’s skin. For your newborn, purchase onesies that include mittens to prevent them from scratching their face with their nails.
Gone are the days of supporting your baby by the hand and struggling to pick up your purse and march through the store. Today, there are carriers that you wrap around your body and secure. Again, not all carriers are alike and the best way to find the right one for you is to try it on at the store prior to purchasing.
Receiving blankets are wonderful. They are a versatile accessory that you will use daily. They are great for providing a lightweight blanket, feedings, and even as a mat for your rug. Make sure to stock up on them, keeping at least a 12 readily available.
Medications and Other Care Products
Babies get sick, just like you, and bringing one home from the hospital during the cold and flu season means that you’ll need to have supplies on hand to keep them content. A nasal aspirator or bulb, saline drops, infant Tylenol, a digital thermometer, and a good set of baby nail scissors and clippers are ideal.
A Baby Swing
A baby swing will help to keep your little one entertained and free up time for mommy or daddy to actually sit and unwind. Here’s where you may want to go for the deluxe model, as it will have multiple settings and features that delight and attract your child.
While life insurance isn’t an accessory for your baby, it does provide comfort and security to your family in the event that something happens to you. And, now that you have a baby to care for, it’s better to cover all the bases.