When a woman is expecting, she may be suddenly bombarded by how much she needs to buy. The internet is full of seemingly endless lists of must-have baby gear. However, there's very little that a new parent actually needs to care for a newborn. Little humans need simply to be fed, clothed, changed, and transported.
For feeding, an essential is a comfy spot to nurse or bottle feed a new baby. Some moms want a cozy chair just for feeding, while others will simply use their sofa. New moms may or may not require a pillow to prop their babies up as they feed. If breastfeeding, nursing bras, nursing pads, and nipple cream are three must-haves. Pumping moms will need a pump, milk storage containers, and bottles, and formula feeding mamas will need to stock up on formula (duh!).
Clothes are very straightforward in the early days. New parents will need enough to accommodate several possible changes per day, but it is possible to still keep it very simple. Get a few onesies, footed pajamas, beanies, and socks. A baby can sleep in a crib or bassinet. And since it’s dangerous to give a baby a blanket or pillow, swaddles or sleep sacks are important to keep them warm.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="700"] Via LWA/DANN TARDIF / GETTY[/caption]
Onto the diapers. Stocking up on diapers is a major must, whether disposable or cloth. Wipes and diaper rash cream are musts, as well as a pad or a place to change the baby. Choose some kind of bag that that can be filled up with changing supplies when leaving home.
Speaking of leaving home, let's talk travel gear. A car seat is a must, as parents can’t leave the hospital without one. Consider choosing a car seat that attaches to the stroller and that doesn't require a base so that it can be used in cabs. Baby wraps or a baby carrier keeps baby happy and cozy on one's chest while keeping hands free, and a stroller is a good option for times that baby might need even more support.
Pacifiers are helpful, and these can be found at the hospital. Lastly, baby nail clippers and a baby thermometer are both essential. No parent want wants baby scratching themselves with their baby talons, and it is important to monitor their temperature, especially after any vaccinations.
There’s no reason to over-prepare for your new addition. Keeping it simple will keep your mind calm and ease the transition to parenthood. And anything that you miss, you can simply get when it comes up.