First-time Parent? Here’s the Ultimate Baby Gear Guide for Everything Your Newborn Needs by 30Seconds Pregnancy
It goes without saying that parenthood can be a magical, life-changing experience, but it also can be a nerve-racking, challenging time. This is especially true for first-time parents. One way to be prepared is to do your research and arrange your home and lives in advance – and that includes putting together all of Baby’s needs before he or she finally arrives.
Here's a list of essential baby gear to help give your newborn the care, support and love he or she needs. This list should serve as a helpful guide for the first six months of parenthood.
When it comes to building your baby’s wardrobe, believe it or not, “adorable” and “cute” should not be your main criteria. Baby Center’s checklist of baby clothes points out that comfort, on top of warmth and protection, should be the main priority when choosing outfits for your little one. Make sure to have these ready in your baby’s closet for when he or she is ready to come home:
- one-piece outfits
- stretchy pull-on pants
- snap-crotch T-shirts for layering
- shirts with side snaps for easy layering and removal
- footed sleepwear
- gowns for changing diapers
- socks or booties
If you live in a place where it can get cold, extra layers such as fleece bodysuits, wool socks, mittens and beanies are also essential.
During the first few months of your baby’s life, the good news is that you won’t have to worry about solid food yet – that comes later. For the first six months, many experts recommend breastfeeding. You can nurse your baby directly or by pumping, though Baby Gear Lab’s detailed article on choosing the right breast pump emphasizes how the latter may come in handy sooner or later. That's because pumping helps with engorgement, latching and the stimulation of milk production, while also offering convenience for moms on the go. That said, you will need the following:
- breast pump
- nursing bra and nursing cover for public areas or in the company of others
- feeding bottles (4 to 8 ounces)
- bottle warmer
- bottle sterilizer
- bottle brush
- bibs and burp cloths
- formula, if opting not to nurse
Newborns are only supposed to get a bath two to three times a week, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require constant cleaning. Prepare your baby’s hygiene arsenal with these grooming essentials:
- wash cloths, towel, loofa or soft sponge
- mild soap for sensitive skin
- mild shampoo
- dry towels
- baby bathtub
- baby oil/lotion
- diapers and rash cream
- wet wipes/tissue
- nail file and nail clippers
Most of these are self-explanatory, but when it comes to choosing a bathtub, opt for one that comes with drainage and is foldable and cushioned, according to the newborn bathing need-to-know guide on Mom Center. This not only improves safety and comfort during your newborn’s bath, it also allows for ease of use when traveling.
Traveling on a vacation may be unlikely for a while after your newborn arrives, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be doing any traveling at all. Going to regular baby checkups, heading out for errands or simply walking in the park are all considered forms of travel, which means you will be needing these items for on the go:
- diaper bag
- car seat
- baby carrier
When choosing an infant car seat, look for ease of use and safety features. Make sure it is easy to install and adjust so that you can ensure your baby’s safety.
Strollers have been a must-have since their invention, as they can make everyday life and mobility easier for parents. This guide to strollers by iCandy notes that strollers should allow newborns to lie flat, as it is critical for the development of their spine and lungs. Strollers appropriate for newborn babies also should be facing the parents instead of their surroundings. Strollers that allow babies to sit and face the world are more appropriate for babies 6 months and older. You also can opt for a baby carrier. Read our guide on choosing carriers for your newborn here on 30Seconds.