Kids & Parenting

What do you need for a newborn

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Don't let a newborn break the bank
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Here is a list of what you need for a newborn when shopping before the arrival

When you find out that you are expecting, once the initial shock wears off, the first coherent thought that you may have is that there are a lot of things you need to buy in preparation. While it is true that there are some basics that you need to have on hand, preparing for a newborn doesn’t require a second mortgage on your home. 

The most basic need your new baby has (and which will take up the bulk of your time and energy those first few months) is to be fed. If you decide to breastfeed, you should invest in a good quality breast pump. Even if you plan on nursing exclusively, consider pumping and storing extra milk in order to enable other family members the chance to feed the baby (and to, thereby, give you a much needed break!). 
If you don’t plan on breast feed (or at least not exclusively), you might want to stock up on several weeks’ worth of formula in order to avoid 2 a.m. runs to the grocery store for more. 

You will also need to invest in a dozen or so baby bottles (and bottle liners, if necessary).  Don’t skimp on bottles; no one wants to have to wash a bottle at four a.m.
You will also need a bottle-warmer (no, don’t use the microwave!) and bottle cleaning supplies. 

Sure, all those frilly dresses and tiny shoes are adorable. Certainly, no one can fault you for wanting to fill the closet with a rainbow of dresses and overalls…and tights and hair-doodsies to match every miniature outfit. Restrain yourself. There will be plenty of time to play dress-up later. 

Initially, though, focus on onesies, and sleepers. Invest in infant outfits that can be unbuttoned or unzipped with one hand…and with your eyes closed. Because, when you get up for the ninth diaper change of the night, that is exactly how you will be orchestrating the maneuvers: one handed and with eyes closed. Buy at least a dozen onesies. And avoid anything white; trust me…spit-up stains.  

All that practicality aside, do indulge in one very special going home outfit, too. After all, there's only one time your newborn will travel to his or her very first home, for the first time! 

If you relish the idea of sleep, you should consider investing in a bassinette for the month or so.  This allows you to keep baby nearby, and the bassinette can easily be rolled from room to room.  This portability is helpful since you will likely be paranoid, at least initially, about leaving your bundle of joy in a room alone. 
Some bassinettes boast features like a gentle vibration to help lull baby to sleep or soothing womb-like sounds…buy that one. Trust me. You need every sleep-inducing weapon that you can get your hands on in your bedtime arsenal.

Stock up on plenty of blankets, too. Not the frilly kind; get the industrial pack of thin, flannel, swaddling-type blankets. If you can find a pre-sewn “swaddler” with Velcro closures, thank your lucky stars and add several to your cart. Swaddling is a dying art form—a secret known only to the nurses, elderly grandmothers, and a few dodgy spinster aunts; yet, a swaddled baby is a content baby. This simple investment in your newborn’s happiness will pay for itself in maternal sleep-time.

A good infant car-seat and a quality stroller help to round out the must-haves for your newborn.  There are some stroller/infant seat combinations. These are ideal for moving your baby effortlessly in and out of the car. (And, if like generations of American moms, you find yourself taking your baby for a car ride to lull him to sleep, the last thing you want is to wake him up getting him out of the car seat.)
When buying for a newborn, remember to invest your money where it really counts. Consider what your baby really needs, and what will make your life easier, and don’t be coerced to spending a small fortune on unnecessary items.

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