When you’re about to become a parent for the first time, it’s natural to want to have everything money can buy for your baby. And who can blame you? Every good parent wants the best for their baby! But is buying “everything” truly necessary?
The rationale for buying everything is the desire to cover everything your newborn baby will possibly need — or want — especially now that they’re still too little. However, it can be problematic as you may end up with a ton of things that you have no use for.
Remember: newborn babies may seem needy but they actually only have a few basic needs. Here’s a guide to help you identify the true newborn essentials.
6 Newborn Baby Essentials to Buy
First and foremost, your newborn baby needs to be fed. The decision to breastfeed or formula-feed is entirely up to you. What is important is that your baby gets the necessary nourishment that they need during the crucial first days.
Next, your newborn baby is definitely going to need a steady supply of diapers. During the first weeks, even months, your baby is bound to go through several diapers a day. While disposable diapers are more convenient, modern cloth diapers are as easy to use and a lot more friendly to the environment (and to the budget).
Of course, you can’t do without baby clothing! But before you splurge on those cute statement onesies and designer hats, remember that newborn babies grow at an amazingly fast rate. Stick to the basics, with the goal of keeping your baby warm and clothed… not having a full closet.
A baby blanket is one of the basic baby essentials that you should not skip. Newborn babies are not yet equipped to regulate their own temperature, so they need a blanket to keep themselves warm. But if you use a heavy blanket, it’s also easy to overheat. To prevent this issue, it’s best to choose a 100% cotton baby blanket that’s lightweight and breathable.
Did you know that newborn babies, as little as they are, need to play? They will not engage in active play like older babies will, but they will explore their surroundings using their senses. Help stimulate these senses using soft toys that they will love touching and feeling, such as a soft textured plush toy and a knitted baby rattle.
Finally, you can’t have a complete list of basic baby essentials without baby-friendly toiletries. Again, your newborn baby doesn’t need much. For this, you can get a stock of baby wipes and cotton balls, baby shampoo, baby soap, and baby lotion or moisturizer.
4 Newborn Essentials that You Don’t Need to Buy
1. Sensory stimulation
Sensory stimulation is essential for every newborn baby’s growth and development. They will not see clearly at first, so they will use their other senses, namely their tactile, taste, and auditory senses. Encourage the stimulation of these senses by surrounding them with soft, textured objects. You can even use a musical mobile that plays classical music.
2. A consistent routine
Your newborn baby is not born with a mature biological clock. This explains why they are sometimes asleep during the day and active at night. To help them understand time and body cues, it truly helps to set a consistent routine to guide them through your daily schedules. A bedtime routine will even help your baby sleep better!
3. A safe place to sleep
Because your baby spends a lot of time sleeping, it only follows that they should have a safe place to sleep. Not only is a safe sleep zone essential for a more restful sleep (which is crucial for their growth and development), it is also a factor that may reduce the risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
4. Warmth and comfort
Your newborn baby has just spent nine months in the warmth and comfort of your womb. The world outside the womb can be starkly different, which sometimes make the transition hard for your little one. To ease the adjustment, keep their immediate surrounding warm and comfortable by using swaddles and holding them close to you as much — and as often — as possible.
While it may be fun shopping around for your newborn baby, the truth is that they don’t really need that rocker or all those matching rompers. All your newborn needs is a few basics and a feeling of belongingness in your presence.