Being a parent, especially a new parent, is no easy task.
Many of us can probably recall the excitement and trepidation we felt when we were expecting our first child. I am sure a myriad of thoughts constantly fluttered about our hormonal brains. Am I going to be able to handle labor and delivery? Will I know how and when to feed my child? How will I know the baby is getting enough to eat? What should I do when the baby fusses? What do I really need in order to adequately take care of our new baby?
With the current state of our economy, this last question is even more crucial, especially for first time parents. We all have budgets we are trying to abide by as we deal with this recession, so, I would love to hear from YOU, my readers. What have you found to be essential baby items?
And on top of that, what are some of your favorite products or items you couldn’t have lived without during that first year with a new one in the home?
I, for one, adored my boppy pillow. Not only did it make nursing much easier and more comfortable, but it also came in quite handy to teach my little ones how to sit up.
Lansinoh Lanolin Cream and Lansinoh nursing pads are some other products I couldn’t have lived without, especially during the first few months of nursing.
But before you give me all your fabulous ideas, Jamie of CSN Baby is here to tell us what he thinks are some of the basic items new parents should have on hand.
Baby Essentials: A Guide for First Time Moms
While reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is certainly a good start, expectant mothers would definitely benefit from asking current parents about their personal experiences – both bad and good. Quite often, personal experiences and anecdotes trump advice you gain from a book. Your parent friends are likely to have indispensable advice about the ups and downs of first-time parenting so make sure you seek them out.
When it comes to purchasing all of the essential baby gear and essential supplies, consult with your friends and family members and see what helped them during that all important first year. While experiences will vary from person to person, some commonalities will begin to emerge. Here are some basic guidelines for first time moms looking to stock up on the necessities.
Let me preface this guide by reminding you of the importance of research. Staying on top of the latest product recalls, product safety standards and guidelines is an absolutely necessary first step.
Setting Up Your Nursery
It’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics when designing the perfect nursery and to throw practicality out the window. It’s important that the furniture you have set up in your nursery is 100% safe and reliable. The basic pieces that every nursery should have include a crib and some storage space for extra diapers, blankets, clothes, etc.
It might be wise to invest a bit more into the crib since you’re baby is going to be spending so much time sleeping in it. Convertible cribs are excellent because most change from a crib into a toddler bed. This means you get 2 beds for the price of one. Some convertible cribs even change into a full size bed or a daybed which gives you even more for your money.
One great way to save money on your nursery is by purchasing dual-purpose furniture. For instance, skip buying an expensive changing table and buy a nice dresser. The dresser surface can be used as a changing table and you have plenty of storage space for extra diapers, ointments, etc. You can also use the dresser when your baby gets older to keep clothes and other supplies.
Now that you have thought about a place to store all of your supplies, it’s time to discuss the supplies themselves.
* *Diapers: Whether you choose cloth or disposable is up to you as they each have their own set of pros and cons. Cloth diapers are less wasteful but require constant laundering. Disposable diapers are more convenient but they are not the most eco-friendly option. According to experts at the National Association of Diaper Services, the average baby goes through about 5,000 diapers before being potty trained. That’s a lot of waste! Whichever diaper you choose, make sure that you don’t purchase too many to start with. You’ll quickly learn just how quickly a baby outgrows them.
* *Baby Wipes, Powder, Lotion, Wash & Ointments: Just as you read labels on the food you purchase, make sure you read labels on your baby wipes, powder, lotions, ointments, etc. You’d think that all products marketed for babies would automatically be non-toxic and completely safe but it’s absolutely essential that you know exactly what you’re putting on or in your baby. It might be a good idea to ask your pediatrician for a list of recommended products and if you notice any sort of adverse reaction or skin irritation, check with your doctor.
* *Clothes: Keeping in mind how fast your baby is going to grow out of clothes, you’re only going to need a few simple garments to start out with. Onesies are an excellent option as they are snug and keep the baby comfortable and warm. They are also convenient, snapping right over the diaper, making for easy changing. A night gown is good for covering up your baby, keeping him warm from head to toe while leaving a little wiggle room. Footie pajamas are also a viable option. Cute little dressy outfits are nice but non-essential.
* *Blankets: Purchasing a few receiving blankets is a good idea for all first-time parents and parents of newborns. These lightweight blankets keep a baby warm when you’re holding and rocking him.
* *Traveling With Baby: When traveling with your baby, there are two main pieces you’ll need – a car seat and a stroller. Setting up an infant seat in the backseat of your car is something you need to do before you bring the baby home from the hospital. All children need to be placed in a rear-facing car safety seat until they are 20 pounds and 1 year of age. A convertible car seat is a great investment, changing from an infant car seat into a toddler seat.
While this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of every thing a first-time mom might need, it’s designed to help get you started on the mommy track. Every mother has her own list of tips which is why I strongly encourage new moms to reach out to parents out there to see what their thoughts and experiences have been like. Parenthood is a beautiful thing, which isn’t to say that it doesn’t have its fair share of trials and tribulations; you just have to jump into it as prepared as you can.
Now it’s your turn. What would you add to or take away from the list? And once again, what are some of your all time favorite mommy-ing products?
I am looking forward to hearing your brilliant responses!