Preparing for a new baby can be both an exciting and stressful experience. Shopping for the layette – that set of baby essentials such as onesies, booties, and mittens – is often filled with so many questions: What is receiving blanket? How many diapers should I buy? Do I have to buy the most expensive brands or models?
Fortunately for most new parents, most department stores and baby boutiques provide a checklist and a fair estimate of how many of each you’ll need.
Yet there are still some items first-time parents tend to overlook or dismiss as something you might not yet need.
Below are 5 baby must-haves and why you should invest in them as soon as possible:
Surely, you’ve imagined cradling your baby in your arms, but probably not 24/7, right? Of course, a sturdy baby carrier is needed from day one.
Your baby will be coming home in this and will be spending many hours (days, weeks, and even months!) in it, especially if you will be doing a lot of traveling (think trips to the pediatrician and visits to grandparents).
Make sure you look for one that adjusts to fit baby as he or she grows, and it's a good idea to head to the local baby store to try on a few to see which fits you best. They do come in different shapes, sized and materials.
Remember that when you are packing for the hospital, you are not only bringing things for your self, but for baby as well. Don’t make the mistake of packing everything in one overnight bag.
Purchase a roomy diaper bag that can fit most items that baby will need away from home. Again, this will come in handy even if you are just taking baby for a walk in the park. Choose a diaper bag that comes with compartments and pockets for baby bottles and milk, extra sets of clothes, burp cloths and the like.
Consider diaper bags made of water-resistant material (to make wiping off spills and stains a breeze) or at least one that is machine washable.
You probably think you won’t be needing this until the baby is old enough to sit up on his or her own and eat solid food. You’re also probably thinking about postponing this purchase for when that time arrives.
But babies grow quite fast, and before you know it, you will already be needing it. Go ahead and buy a high chair early on. That way, you can already assign a place for it in your home and familiarize yourself with the assembly and storage instructions.
Most models are already adjustable or even convertible, meaning the seats can be moved to various positions that will support baby even in early stages of infancy or can be used as something else such as a carrier or even a swing.
This useful container is most often overlooked and most parents tend to think disposing of soiled diapers is as easy as tossing it into the trash bin. Right? Wrong!
A diaper pail is actually a hygienic way of disposing diapers whether you are using cloth or disposable ones. Containers for this specific purpose are made to contain odors and germs, so do yourself a favor and make sure your nursery stays immaculately clean by getting a diaper pail.
If you are using cloth diapers, a diaper pail makes sure cleaning and washing them is a breeze. Keep soapy water in the diaper pail where you can immediately soak used cloth diapers. If using disposable diapers, a diaper pail makes sure it is contained and makes for easier and proper waste disposal.
First-time moms who commit to breastfeeding might find it weird to use machines for something as natural as a baby latching on to a mother to feed. However, the breastfeeding process is not as smooth-sailing as one might think.
Some babies might not latch on right away or refuse a nipple for some reason or another. Or, there may be instances when the mom is away and can’t nurse the baby.
Meanwhile, moms are already producing the milk and need to store it right away. Breast pumps help in expressing the milk and storing it properly. Fortunately, there are a variety of options.
Consider breast pumps that are portable enough to carry around. A breast pump that runs on rechargeable batteries is handy for instances where there is no electricity. And for those who shy away from “high-tech gadgets,” there is the manual breast pump. At the end of the day, choose an option that is easy to use, comfortable, and efficient.
Ready to pick up our 5 must-haves?
As you shop around for style options and price points, don’t forget to ask other parents for recommendations or read up on reviews.
Today’s parents are lucky enough to have a wide array of baby products and equipment, and one that does the job right is sure to be you – and your baby’s – best friend.