What Do Newborns Really Need?

There’s no doubt you’ve come to realize there are an endless number of baby products available for purchase. Before you buy up the baby supply store, ask yourself, what do newborns really need? Or better yet, just keep reading…

Your precious sweet baby will certainly be a handful but when considering what do newborns really need, the answer is fairly simple: Not much! That’s not to say you won’t end up with a lot of baby stuff by the end of your baby’s first year. But you truly don’t need all that much from day one. In many cases, you can wait to meet your baby to determine her needs. And remember, you’ll probably receive many gifts so buying a bunch of “nice to haves” may be unnecessary.

What do newborns really need? Here’s the essential list:

Diapers and Wipes: Or better said, something to diaper with and something to wipe with because there are many options when it comes to diapers and wipes. If you go for the standard disposable varieties, you may want a small pack of a few different types to determine which ones your baby wears best without wasting money on a bulk supply. You really can’t go wrong with any type of wipes. For those who are taking the greener route, have your reusable diaper supplies ready to go and a simple washcloth works as a washable wipe.

What Do Newborns Really Need?A Bed: Notice we don’t say a crib. Your baby can sleep in several places in the first few months although experts recommend that she does have her own safe sleep space outside of your bed. A cradle, basinet or play yard can work as an early bed for your baby. Don’t feel obligated to have a crib right away. Many parents don’t bring in a crib out of superstition or may be waiting to transition a toddler out of the baby’s eventual crib.

Blankets or Swaddles: Your baby will likely enjoy being wrapped up snugly in a swaddle. In the hospital you’ll probably get some blankets that work just fine for swaddling but have a few more on hand. You can go for traditional blankets that you will fold into a swaddle or pre-stitched swaddles.

Clothes: Cute clothes are fun but when it comes to what you really need for your newborn, function is more important. Eight to 10 bodysuits and five to seven pajamas should do it. You’ll probably run your baby’s laundry several times a week (you’ll need a gentle laundry detergent!) due to diaper leaks and spit-up so too many items are unnecessary. Keep in mind that your baby will hit several growth spurts within the first month to six weeks of life so she’ll grow out of her newborn clothes rather quickly.

Feeding Supplies: When you’re breastfeeding, all you truly need is your body! However, you may want to have a nursing pillow on hand to make things more comfortable. Several nursing bras that you wore during pregnancy should transition to nursing for the few weeks and then you can buy more nursing bras once your milk comes in and you determine your size. Burp cloths are a good idea but regular wash cloths or hand towels work well too. Experts recommend holding off on giving your baby a breast milk bottle until at least four weeks after birth to establish a strong breastfeeding routine and to encourage milk supply. If you know you’ll need to pump and serve bottles before then, have your supplies ready before your baby arrives.

Car Seat: Many hospitals won’t let you leave unless your baby is secure in a car seat. Make sure you get one that is appropriate for an infant but also has room to grow.

Along with love, patience and a good attitude, that’s really all you need when you bring home a newborn. Your precious new baby will spend most of her time eating, sleeping, soiling diapers and hanging out in your arms, all of which is covered by our list.

Looking for things that will make your life easier or that you may need eventually? Here are a few “nice to haves”:

Rocking Chair: Rocking can be soothing to your baby but some don’t like it. If you can’t fit a rocker in your nursery, don’t worry. Bouncing, swaying or walking around work well for calming your baby too. And you can nurse anywhere so don’t feel obligated to have a rocker.

Stroller: Strollers male life easier when you’re out and about but chances are you won’t be going anywhere with your baby for a few months other than the doctor’s office. Some car seats are paired with a stroller system to transfer your baby without having to take her out of the car seat.

Baby Carrier: Planning to get things done around the house with your newborn? If so, a baby carrier will help you keep your baby close while freeing up your hands for other tasks.

Changing Table: Any old dresser can double as a changing table with a changing pad on top. Don’t feel like you must buy a table or baby dresser designed just for this purpose.

Baby Venues: Setting your baby down for a moment in a bouncy chair or infant swing may be helpful but again, not mandatory. In fact, sometimes these replace tummy time or interactive play, which can hinder your baby’s physical and mental development.

Baby Bathtub: Bathing your baby in the sink for the first few weeks (or months) is completely fine! As your baby gets bigger, it may be cumbersome to hold your slippery wet baby safely and then you’ll need a bathtub. Baby towels are super cute, but your regular bath towels are just fine too.

Sources: WebMD and Scary Mommy