Newborn baby checklist
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Checklist for newborn baby — what to buy
The first tip about buying for a newborn infant while pregnant is: prepare a list of essentials based on “real needs” and not on advertising gimmicks that target new mums and dads.
Manufacturers of baby products know that new parents are extremely vulnerable targets and can be easily convinced to purchase products for their unborn child.
Many parents in fact will cut personal expenses and recreational activities in order to afford more “baby products’. This is not only unnecessary but is also counterproductive and damaging to the well being of the family unit.
So make the list and only add to the list items that your professional medical carer suggests.
Babies grow very quickly and in a few months you will no longer need many of the items you purchased. So we suggest you stick to the list and save the money for more productive activities.
Most importantly, it is essential that you do not sacrifice personal activities and pleasures such as trips to the hairdresser, gym memberships, restaurant meals with your loved ones, and personal hobbies for the “baby’s sake”. This kind of behaviour may seem admirable, but may eventually lead to depression, resentment and tension with your partner.
The arrival of the child is supposed to enrich your life–not make it more miserable.
Remember that babies (as with people in general) thrive in a happy and fulfilled family unit. The overall happiness level of the family will benefit the baby more than twinkling twirling toys over the bassinet.
In future articles, we will discuss the emotional issues inherent with the arrival of a newborn child in the house.
Essential Items Checklist
Please note that in compiling this list we chose only the items that mothers reported to be absolutely essential in their experience. Some of these items are not mentioned in the standard lists and articles associated with newborn babies’ care.
A future article will list the most popular standard items used by our subscribers. The list will also include comments and experiences. Please register to our newsletter for notification.
Baby clothes checklist
Beanies and hats
Babies’ skin is extremely sensitive to the sun’s rays. Beanies are not necessary unless the baby is going to be exposed to the elements; A hat with a brim wide enough to shield the child’s face from the sun is advisable.
Bodysuits (often called onesies or sleepers) do not need an introduction. They are every mum and dad's preferred clothing for newborn babies.
All-in-one bodysuits can help prevent overdressing babies. Overdressing causes the infant to become irritated and distressed. Fortunately there is a lot of good information about how to dress a newborn for comfort.
The more popular versions are the buttoned up ones which allow you to change the baby without having to disrobe it completely.
Fleecy types are best during winter times. Light cotton ones are more suited for the warmer months. Some bodysuits come with a small hood that stretches over to cover the head. These are useful during the winter months or whenever the baby needs extra warmth.
Non allergenic, pure cotton singlets are perfect during hot summer months. Junior will be very happy in these.
Two or three natural fibre cardigans if your baby is born in winter and in a cold climate.
Babies can lose a considerable about of heat through the head and feet, so warm breathable natural fabric booties are advisable. Purchase a sufficient supply of booties for at least one week. This will allow plenty of time for washing and drying.
Buy a pair of socks for every day of the week – and consider choosing one colour and sticking to it. You will lose many socks and being able to pair up odd socks will save you having to buy more.
Baby feeding & breastfeeding checklist
Reusable PVC free, lined, washable bibs will help minimise clothing changes and also keep the baby clean during feeding.
If you are intending to bottle feed your baby, you will of course need bottles, teats, and accessories such as brushes and some sterilising methods. These items are useful even if you are not bottle feeding the baby: for example mothers may use them to give the baby warm water, administer medicine and other similar tasks.
Some mothers use microwave sterilisers because they are fast and easy to use. If you are going to nuke your baby’s bottles and teats, make sure the sterilizer is well away from the baby and move away from it while it is in operation.
Baby bottles are made of special plastics that are guaranteed free of chemical irritants and toxic compounds. Nevertheless some mums prefer safety glass bottles. A caution, whether you are using glass or plastic bottles, the baby should never be left unsupervised with a bottle.
Breast feeding pillow
Many mums prefer a breast feeding pillow to other more widely known and used items.
Breast feeding pads
These are a real must and they should be high on the list of all breastfeeding mums.
Breast pumps are useful in the event you need to be absent. In such a case your partner can still bottle feed the breast milk to the baby.
Breast pumps are also wonderful at relieving engorgements, clogged ducts, or if you need to increase the supply of milk.
Breast pumps are inexpensive and they are an useful item to have for emergencies.
Cream for soothing nipples
Breast feeding mothers should also use a cream to help soothe the nipples. Some mums report using extra virgin organic coconut oil, others prefer the commercial variety. No matter which one you prefer make sure to use it as it will help prevent cracks, ulcers and bleeding.
Nursing bras and nursing pads.
These are essential for breastfeeding mums. Choose natural fabric ones that offer plenty of support. Again paying a little more for quality is a worthwhile thing to do.
These are designed to allow you quick access to your breasts without having to disrobe. Some mums find them invaluable.
Large sized glass water bottles with a cloth carry case.
Breast feeding mums get dehydrated very quickly. If you are breast feeding your baby you will need to drink a lot of water and have access to plenty of water at night.
Baby needs at home
A baby cot, bassinette.
Some countries have strict standards. Find out what the requirements are and purchase a cot that meets these standards.
You should purchase only quality, natural fabric, non allergenic bedding, with fitted sheets and porous blankets.
Spring type mattresses are generally not necessary for babies because their tiny bodies are so light.
So unless you have a giant baby there is really no need to spend the extra money. Many mums prefer quality natural fibre mattresses.
The thickness of the mattress should be at least 10 cm and of course make sure that they fit the bed and are of a standard size for the sheets and blankets you have purchased.
If you are planning to leave the bassinette unsupervised make sure it is in a safe place and remove any object that could cause harm.
Babies should be located in a safe place not too high from the ground, away from drafts, excessive noise, harsh lighting and pollution. Avoid using air conditioning.
The inner rooms of the house are best suited for this purpose. Adequate ventilation, warmth and safety is all that the baby needs to rest peacefully.
Consult with your doctor whether air conditioning is suitable for the baby. Air conditioning dehydrates the body and also adds a noise factor that is not helpful to newborn babies.
Purchase one that allows you to hear the baby and also visually monitor the baby. One that is easily portable is ideal.
A swing or a bouncy seat with a mobile or music.
These are useful to keep the baby happy and amused while you are doing chores around the home or during outings. The bouncy seat is particularly useful because it allows you to take the baby around the house safely.
Babies are excellent at entertaining themselves and they can spend hours looking at the mobile. A happy baby makes for happy parents and these items are definitely an asset.
Night light (preferably portable)
Choose one that gives sufficient light for you to see the baby and to move around the room without having to turn on the main lights which can startle and disturb the baby. You will be amazed at how much you can see with just a tiny light.
The rechargeable types are more economical as you will be using these lights for several hours at night. Avoid shining the light into the baby's eyes.
The play yard
An easy to clean, strong and reliable play yard in a neutral colour is ideal.
Neutral colours are best because they hold their resell value more. Babies are not fussed by fashion statements and a neutral colour will help you sell the play yard more quickly when you no longer need it.
Choose a play yard that can be easily disassembled for travel and that comes with its own carry case for easy transport.
Make sure that the play yard size is of a standard size for covers, sheets and quilted coverings. Some play yards are better than others with respect to fitting coverings.
Swaddle Me blanket
Newborn babies have very limited control over their body movements. Their limbs are very delicate and loose. A swaddle blanket will provide them with support that resembles (well somewhat resembles) the support the baby enjoyed in the womb.
Swaddling a baby became an art and was a difficult task in the past. Recently developed swaddling blankets have removed all the difficulty and now all mothers can swaddle their babies quickly and efficiently without having to hold a degree in engineering.
The swaddling blanket's only must is that it is made of a natural, breathable, non-allergenic fabric with natural colouring.
Always make sure to wrap your baby properly when using a blanket. Leaving the baby unsupervised with a loose blanket, breathable or not, is not safe.
Select soft pastel colours and avoid loud colours. The blanket should be easily washed and quick drying. Of course you will need at least three of these to allow for regular washing and drying time.
Small wash cloths
Soft wash cloths are reusable, and many mothers prefer them to commercial wipes.
Some mums prefer using warm water to clean their babies’ bottoms because warm water does not contain any chemicals and is also offers a sense of comfort to the baby. They are also extremely economical to use.
Simply have a changing station by the sink and use a flow of warm water to rinse the wash cloth. These cloths must be sanitized and disinfected during wash. Check with your medical carer before using any form of wash disinfectant.
Once again, make sure to purchase high quality cloths. You will be using these for at least six months of the baby’s life.
Black and white board with a safety mirror.
This simple inexpensive item will help you distract your baby during those restless times. Babies are drawn to strong contrasting images such as black and white, and they are also fascinated by their own reflection.
Later on you can use the black and white board during car rides and whenever baby becomes restless.
White noise machine.
These machines create a pleasing and soothing sound that pacifies babies. The sound mimics the sounds the baby heard and felt while still in the womb. They are recommended by many medical practitioners.
They are an investment as they can help babies sleep better and a better sleeping baby is what you want to have.
Make sure to place the white noise machine well away from the crib and set it to a low setting. Louder is not better when it comes to white noise machines.
U shape baby pillow
U shape pillows are great because they support the baby well in all positions. Make sure to also purchase a water proof case. They are comfortable and they also wash very well.
Toys and games
Avoid overspending on toys, you will have plenty of opportunities to buy toys later on. Your newborn baby is going to be very happy and satisfied with a few soft toys made of non-allergenic natural fibre, a safety mirror, and perhaps a small rattle.
Avoid buying toys that play music. After a while these musical toys will end up annoying the entire household–including the baby.
If you want to play music to the baby, sing it a song or play it a melody. Babies love the sound of their mothers and fathers (and are not fussed by tone-challenged performances).
Many mums prefer using cloth nappies because they are made of natural fabrics which allow the baby’s skin to breathe. If that is you, plan to have at least a three day supply of nappies. This will give you plenty of time for washing and drying. Purchase a non allergenic type of detergent and an organic natural disinfectant. Your family doctor or pharmacist will be able to suggest one that is suitable for your baby's skin.
Avoid washing nappies with standard commercial powders. These may be perfectly ok for adults but not for babies' sensitive skin.
Diaper pale or bin
Choose one that has an easy disposable system and one that seals the odour well. Standard household bins are not suitable for babies’ diapers. They are also unhygienic and messy.
To save money on expensive liners you can dispose of the lighter diapers in normal household bins and reserve special diaper pale or bin for the heavily soiled diapers.
The average newborn baby will need changing 10 to 12 times per day (and sometimes also at night). It is more economical and convenient to purchase enough nappies for one week.
Diaper rash cream
Grooming & Healthcare Kits
Baby grooming kit.
There are many baby grooming kits available on the market. The typical kit includes an aspirator used to clear away snot, and one to remove spit-up acid reflux. Some kits will also include a super soft hair brush :-)
Make sure your kit includes high quality tiny-sized, safety nail clippers. Babies nails grow very quickly and you will need to trim them regularly. Safety nail clippers for babies are available at pharmacies and baby stores. Invest in the best quality baby nail clipper you can find.
Bathing, Skin Care for newborns
Infant bath tub
If you do not have a bath, consider purchasing an infant bath tub. The kitchen sink is not a good choice for bathing your baby. Babies’ sensitive skins and developing immune systems are vulnerable to dangerous bacteria and germs that may be lurking in or nearby the kitchen sink.
Additionally, kitchen sinks are designed for washing dirty dishes and are uncomfortable.
The best type of tub is the one that is shaped like the womb. There are also foldable rectangular shaped tubs.
All reputable baby products are BPA (Bisphenol A is a carbon-based synthetic compound) free. However, always make sure that this is so. Some cheap imports may not be BPA free. So only purchase quality brands that you can trust.
Bath safety seat
Use a well constructed bath safety seat that will support the baby and keep it safe and comfortable. Look for a solid type that provides a strong supporting platform that prevents the baby rolling out. The unit should have suction cups on the feet to secure it to the tub.
Baby bath thermometer
Babies are extremely sensitive to water temperature so what may feel ok to your hand is definitely not ok for the baby. A good thermometer will offer a quick and easy system to test the water temperature and provide you with guidance about how hot or cold the water needs to be.
A quality First aid kit
Most homes have a first aid kit so you are likely to have one already. However, first aid kits tend to be stored away for years and never refreshed. So if you already have a first aid, inspect it and make sure all the items in it are within the due by date.
If the doctor prescribes paracetamol to your baby to treat minor colds, fevers or discomfort after vaccinations, ask if you can use the liquid variety. Drops are easily administered to the baby and the doses can be perfectly monitored.
Choose one that appeals to you and is safe to use. Digital thermometers are very accurate and fast. Ear thermometers are popular as they are less invasive.
There are also new infrared hand held thermometers that can do a good job. Whatever type you use make sure you learn how to use them correctly—especially with the ear and hand held type.
Mother and Father Care
A comfortable rocking chair for the home.
Both you and your partner will spend many hours holding the baby. Babies thrive in warm and soothing physical contact.
There is ample evidence to suggest that babies who are raised in a loving environment with plenty of soothing and loving physical contact benefit from the experience.
Sitting in a normal chair while holding your baby can be uncomfortable. A comfortable, rocking chair with a soft and warm covering will be an asset for the parents as well as the baby.
Newborn baby travel checklist
There are many of these on the market. Choose one that allows you to clearly see the baby while driving. Many accidents happen because anxious mums are distracted during driving because they are unable to clearly see the baby.
A properly fitted rear-facing car seat or capsule
Some countries regulate baby car seats, and there are heavy fines for using inappropriate seats. Check with your local authority about the type of baby car seat and the type of fitting required.
Avoid using shades that attach to the car window. These can come off and hurt the baby, or become a projectile if involved in an accident. A better choice is to have one or both of the car windows to be fitted with an approved tinted film.
Some mums prefer using a sling or baby carrier. Ideally it is best to plan for both. If you are observing a strict budget then consider using a comfortable, secure sling made of a natural fabric for your newborn.
When the baby has grown you can then purchase a buggy or push stroller. These are less expensive than the more complicated Rolls Royce prams.
Babies will generally thrive when they are in close skin contact with their carers. Slings and back packs are also perfect because they allow the weight of the baby to be balanced and cause less strain on the parent’s already aching backs.
If you have purchased a pram you may not necessarily need a travel cot. Modern prams are designed to be easily transportable. Some of them have detachable components which turn them into a travel cot.
However, if you are often moving the baby to places which are limited in space, or inaccessible to larger prams then a strong and durable travel cot is ideal.
More newborn resources
The items in this list were selected based on real-life experiences of many mums who provided their input. Many of them reported that at first they did not think for the item to be “essential” for the care of their newborn baby.
However, over time they changed their minds because of events that happened that convinced them otherwise.
Some of the items in this list may not be considered “essentials” in your particular situation. I suggest you print this article and keep it handy for future reference. I will be adding an outline version of this list in future revisions of this article.
If you find that there are essential items missing, please send me a brief message using the “contact us” form at the bottom of this page. I will add the items in the next edition of this article.
I am open to suggestions and new ideas. This article belongs to every new mum and dad and their babies.
Starting from December 2014 visit our new store at http://www.aboutbabies.biz where you will find a list of quality newborn babies' needs. The store will be updated regularly with new products based on the recommendations of mums and dads.
You can read more about inftants at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant
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Good luck and be happy.