It feels like yesterday when my wife came up to me and showed a double line on the pregnancy home kit test. What started off by noting down the basic things to buy on a piece of paper- this later turned into a full-blown newborn checklist. Thus, we started charting out things that will be required at the hospital and at home when my newborn arrives. To help out all you newborn fathers and save you the trouble of poring over parenting guides page-by-page, I am listing down a couple of newborn essentials along with things that can wait. Read on and thank me later!
Dressing Your Newborn
My wife and I bought clothes which are comfortable, trendy and suited the weather. Dress your newborn in the same layers of clothes you wear, plus one. Babies dressed in too many layers might be at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Owing to the weather here, I opted for fleeced full onesies which cover my little boy’s hands and feet. You can go for cotton onesies with mittens and socks and maybe add a soft cotton cap when you’re taking your newborn out for a stroll. Swaddle your baby in a muslin or cotton cloth. There are some great options available on Amazon. aden + anais swaddle clothes happen to be our favorite. These pure cotton swaddle clothes are very soft and comfortable. Check them out on adenandanais.com
Newborn Skin Care
Newborn babies have very sensitive skin which is thin and prone to irritation. Diapers should be changed every 3 hours or when soiled.
For newborn skincare essentials, the following are a must have:
- Cleanser: A 100% soap free cleanser that is delicate on your newborn baby’s skin is what I recommend.
- Shampoo: A tear-free shampoo is always the best option because babies have sensitive eyes.
- Diaper Cream: My wife and I made sure to use a diaper cream before every diaper change. You can also opt for petroleum jelly.
- Wipes: Go for organic alcohol-free and odor-free wipes.
- Moisturizer: I made sure to moisturize my sonny’s skin daily, baby moisturizers and organic coconut oil (before bathing) are a good option.
- Laundry detergent: Fragrance-free liquid rinses are the best for babies.
Listed are some must-have accessories that I highly recommend for your newborn kit:
- Nursing Pillow: It is a blessing in disguise. It prevented my wife from getting muscle cramps.
- Breast Pump: It becomes extremely taxing for the mother to feed the baby constantly. My wife used it to pump out her breast milk so that I could feed the baby alternatively.
- Bottles: Choose the feeding bottle wisely, the nipples should match your newborn’s age.
- Infant Car Seat: For safe and comfortable car rides with your baby in tow, a car seat is a must-have. In the USA you cannot bring your baby home from the hospital until you have installed an infant car seat. Therefore take your time to select a safe and comfortable car seat for your newborn (psst- we’ve even written an extensive post on this!)
- Dot-a-tot: It is a mini bed with sides that can be placed next to you on the bed for co-sleeping with your little one without the risk of choking him/her. While we did think of buying a bassinet but this one did the trick. Remember babies outgrow a bassinet and dot-a-tot once they are about 4 months old. Hence, invest wisely!
- Baby Lounger: While baby lounger may sound like a luxury, but it’s not. It is a comfortable seating option for the babies and can be placed on the sofa or anywhere next to you while you are watching TV or working. My little one enjoyed sitting on it from day one. It was a gift and we completely cherish it.
- Diaper Genie: The first genie I encountered in real life that not only swallowed my sonny’s diapers but also the nasty poop smell. This genie is a life saver if you live in an apartment as the poop smell can get oppressive in a compact space.
- Diapers: If you don’t want your baby peeing and pooping all over you then stock up enough new born diapers. Diaper free time is not really advisable and I will discuss it in detail in my potty training blog.
- Bath Tub: An infant bathtub with a sling for better support during the first 3 months of baby’s bath is also highly recommended! You can use the same tub for up to 1 year after removing the sling.
- Baby Backpack Diaper Bag: Another essential addition to your newborn shopping list is a diaper backpack. You will need this from day 1 to carry baby essentials with you! And I prefer a backpack over a traditional sling bag as it keeps both my hands free in case I need to carry the baby or push the cart or eat or drink water or………… 😉
Things That Can Wait
- Bigger clothes: Don’t stock up on large sizes for your newborn in advance. Some babies grow up to be taller and slender; some may be stout. Buy them as and when required based on your baby’s growth.
- Toys: Babies’ responses develop with time. It’s only after they are 2 months old that they start reacting to sounds and sights. Hence, it is no use rattling toys and playing music from day 1. You can buy them once they cross the 2 month threshold. Bathing toys can wait for a little longer than that. A baby must start sitting upright in the bathtub to watch the little colorful toy ducks floating around it!
- Toilet seat: Signs of readiness of the baby to be toilet trained may begin at 18 months to 24 months. This one can definitely wait!
- High chair: Buy a high chair only when the baby is able to sit and eat solid food.
- Walker: Some may not want to use them at all while others may choose to give it a try. Whatever may be the case, you don’t need them till your babies turn 10 months old.
The excitement of welcoming a newborn is immeasurable. However, you have to be very practical while shopping and strictly stick to the checklist you’ve made earlier. The things I’ve mentioned worked for me in that order, however, if there is anything you feel I have missed out on, do let me know in the comments below.