As soon as you become pregnant, you start to notice it—the blitzkrieg of marketing trying to sell you x, y and z “must-have” baby products. The reality, though, is that you can provide quality care for your newborn without buying every designer onesie, toy, and pacifier.
Here’s a quick guide to sensible purchases, ensuring that you’ll be ready when your baby comes.
Beds and Bedding
In the first three or four months, most babies do not like sleeping in a full-sized crib. The most economical solution is to buy a stroller with a detachable bassinet. Your baby can then sleep in the bassinet, indoors and outdoors, day and night, for the first few months.
You’ll be surprised at how many items of clothing you receive as presents, especially if this is your first baby. Only buy one or two outfits in the smallest newborn size, as your baby will outgrow them within a few short weeks. Remember also that your baby will go through at least four clothing sizes in the first year. A suggested first wardrobe would consist of:
- 6-8 undershirts
- 4-5 tops
- 4-5 pairs of pants
- 3-4 hats (including sunhats, if necessary)
- 1-2 cardigans
- 3-4 sleep suits
- 4 pairs of socks
- 1-2 pairs of scratch mittens
A changing mat is necessary for changing your baby’s diapers. Choose a well-padded changing mat with a plastic cover that can be easily cleaned. A changing table is not essential as you can place the changing mat on a floor, sofa or bed when changing your baby’s diapers.
When you go out with your baby, you will need to take diaper-changing items, a change of clothes and perhaps baby bottles and formula with you. You can use any bag or backpack to carry these items with you. However, if you are bottle-feeding your baby, you may find it worthwhile to invest in a changing bag; the insulated pockets for bottles can be really convenient.
These are just the basics. For a more complete idea of what you should be buying, ask family or friends about their experiences. Your doctor or nurse may also be a good resource.