There are a few things every new mother is going to need. With so many things out there it gets rather overwhelming trying to decide exactly what is needed and what is not all that important. I remember well my first pregnancy and the stress we had trying to decide on what to buy and what to hold off on.
So without further ado here is my version of the Most Absolute Essential Items Needed for those first weeks/month.
1. Diapers and Wet Wipes- You are going to need more diapers than you've ever thought possible. A newborn has an inborn talent of blowing through those diapers like their tissue paper. So stock up! Wet Wipes are right behind diapers in their importance. They are wonderful for cleaning up spit up of the baby's face and leaving no trace of that nasty vomit smell. Of course, you also need these for diaper changes.
2. Baby Bodies- You are going to need at least one for each day of the week; then add another round of seven in case of spit up or explosive diapers. Remember newborns go through those diapers like tissue paper which means there are going to be many incidents were the poop spills out of the diaper and onto the Baby-Body.I personally only had 10 Baby-Bodies to begin with and regretted it within the first week. After three days of changing every piece of clothing on my newborn twice I was already more than half out of bodies and clothes.
3. Clothing / Baby Mittens- It's true there is no use buying every single piece of clothing you find adorable in the newborn size. Instead try to stock up on the following two sizes. The more your baby grows the longer he tends to wear each size. BUT that doesn't mean you should only buy 5 newborn outfits...like I did. YOU.WILL.REGRET.IT. Have at least an outfit for every single day of the week and at least two extras...you know for those wonderful diaper incidents that WILL happen to you.
Baby mittens are a must. The little ones are born with nails and because they don't know how to control their movements during the first weeks they tend to scratch themselves. My suggestion is pack a pair with you when going to the hospital and once the little one arrives make sure those hands are covered right away to avoid them scratching that beautiful little face.
4. Burp Clothes- Many. Get plenty of these. Some newborns have very little trouble with spit up but others have A LOT. And most of it tends to end up on your clothes. Which is why these are so important. They are a wonderful way to avoid getting spit up all over your shoulders and back. Personally, I have 8 of these and now for my second pregnancy am considering buying at least 4 more. Bringing me to a grand total of 12.
5. Nipple Cream / Nursing Pads- Whoever invented this cream deserves a BIG prize. They were an absolute genius. It doesn't matter if you are a first time or a fifth time mother. Nipple cream is as essential to survival within the first month or two as getting a good nights sleep.
Nursing Pads- They are a must! Believe me when I say you will be leaking like a faucet as soon as your milk comes in. Nursing Pads will definitely help avoid some potentially embarrassing situations once your milk comes in. Once that baby cries, it doesn't even have to be your own, that milk will start flowing. My suggestion- stock up on these at least until your milk supply evens out some.
6. Diaper Powder Or Cream- Now, I know every baby's bottom is different which is why I suggest you buy a small one of each of these. Baby J.'s bottom thankfully was and is fairly resistant to rashes so we didn't really have to deal with these. But like all parents, there is that ONE time when the little one's bottom will rash over like nothing you've seen and nothing seems to help. For us, the solution was Diaper Powder. Unlike a cream which keeps the bottom slightly moist, the powder quickly absorbs all liquid and keeps the bottom dry. Which ultimately helps the rash to clear up faster.
7. Diaper Bag- Kiss your pretty little handbag good-bye. Its days are over for now. There are many different versions of a diaper bag. My suggestion- buy one that will have plenty of space and pockets so that everything you need when going out will fit. Trust me, there is going to be a lot of things you'll need to tote around. Also, I found that a diaper bag with a bigger shoulder strap works well for being able to loop around the handlebars from the stroller eliminating the need to constantly carrying it on your shoulder.
8. Stroller/Car seat/ Travel System- A car seat is an absolute must. No ifs about it. And so is a stroller. Which means you can also opt for a travel system. We bought a travel system and loved it. It allowed us to attach the car seat to the stroller without any trouble and when that option no longer fit for our little one we installed the "sport" version. Which our little man is quite happy with. Find a system that works for you, take your time deciding because these things have a tendency to be fairly expensive and you don't want to pay twice. If possible buy second-hand, it's a great way to save some money.
9. Changing table / Crib - These two just like the car seat and stroller are absolutely essential. Baby will need someplace to sleep. I firmly believe that even if you plan on co-sleeping you should have at least a small crib near by for the times when baby is going to have to nap by himself. It helps evade the potential of them falling out of bed. We co-slept for a few months with Baby J. but we always made sure that the times were he had to nap alone that he did so in his crib.
A changing table is also oh so very important. It helps not only for storing all those diapers, wet wipes, and other itty-bitty items but it also helps with the back-pain. Yes, diaper changing can cause back-pain. A changing table is just the right height so that your back will not suffer from being forced to bed over constantly while changing a diaper. My personal advice- get one. Baby J. is now almost 10 months old and we still use his changing table.
10. Towels- Just like we need a towel after taking a bath to dry off so does the little one. Personally, I haven't really seen the absolute importance of a hooded towel for the baby. A large normal one will do just fine. We did buy Baby J. two hooded towels and have used them ever since but we've occasionally also used a large regular towel and found that there really isn't a difference.
11. Baby Shampoo/ Oil/ Lotion- Try and get a gentle on the eyes baby shampoo. If you're wanting to massage your baby after a bath or before bedtime either oil or lotion will do. But try to stick to one. To much of both and your baby might break out into a rash or start having very oily skin.
12. Baby Nail Clippers/ Scissors/ Hair Brush - The nail clippers are worth their weight in gold. Believe me when I say baby's can grow their nails faster than you can keep them trimmed. And you will want to keep them trimmed because otherwise you will be sporting plenty of scratches. Personally, if you have the nail clippers the scissors are not all that essential anymore but some parents prefer using the scissors instead of the clippers which is why I listed them.
The hair brush- well, it really isn't all that essential. Few babies are born with a head full of hair that really and truly needs the use of a brush. A bath will normally get that hair so silky smooth a hairbrush isn't needed. Baby J. had a TON of hair when he was born but it was so very fine and silky smooth that we never actually used the brush. He's now almost 10 months old and I have yet to actually NEED the brush to untangle his hair...it's just never tangled up.
13. Pacifiers/ Swaddling Blankets - Most babies have a tendency to wake up from a sound sleep because the movement of their arms or legs scares them. We actually never used any because Baby J. didn't scare easy so there was no need.
Pacifiers are a miracle and I suggest using one. There are times when nothing else will soothe a baby. Not even a finger in its mouth, not the breast, not nothing. Pacifiers have a tendency to work when nothing else will. Of course, there are also moments when not even they will calm your little one.
So here is my version of the Most Absolute Essential Items you need for the very first weeks/ month at home with your newborn. These are the items I found to be absolutely necessary during my first month(s) home with little Baby J. so I am mostly speaking from my own personal experience. Which means everyone is different you might need more or less than I did. This list was meant to give at least a vague insight into what a newborn/ first time mom requires.
What did you find were absolutely necessary for your first month(s)?? Leave me a comment below!
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