Life is full of thousands of firsts, but none are as emotional and exciting as welcoming your first baby into the world. Bringing home a baby isn't like welcoming a house guest, however. The process would be much easier if infants came with tiny, pre-packed suitcases filled with everything necessary for those first weeks.
While preparing for a baby, many new parents become fixated on discovering what their first baby needs. For small people, babies sure demand a lot of gear! It's easy to go to the store, get distracted by the shiny advertisements, and bring home a cartful of tiny things you'll never use.
To help you out, we've broken down your first baby's essential needs into a few broad categories. Every family is different, but you'll still want to have some version of these items on hand. Consider it a checklist to help you organize and prioritize your new acquisitions—before you welcome your other new acquisition.
Continue reading to learn our preparation and pregnancy tips for shopping when your new baby is en route.
Safe Travels: Car Seats
You can curate the chicest baby nursery in the world, and it won't mean a thing if you don't have a safe and appropriate way to bring your baby home. Most hospitals require a car seat inspection before clearing a baby for homecoming. You don't want to forget the car seat and need to scramble at the eleventh hour.
Infants must be rear-facing during their first car ride. Some parents opt for a convertible seat that can adjust as their little one grows.
In general, pediatricians advise that you buy your car seat new every time. Second-hand car seats may be affordable but sometimes have safety flaws or defects. In many states, second-hand baby stores cannot legally sell you a used car seat.
As a rule, the new car seats on store shelves are the most current models and will keep your sweet baby safest.
The Wardrobe: Baby Clothes
In the first few weeks and months, babies grow like it's their job—probably because it is. All they need to do is eat and sleep, which is when the magic happens. With that in mind, they may not be in those itty bitty newborn-sized outfits for long.
The wisest thing to do is to buy a staple wardrobe in several sizes, from newborn to one year. Keep it simple, prioritizing basic onesies, baby socks, and hats. It's best to buy "special" outfits for pictures or visits as needed to ensure your baby doesn't outgrow them before they can show them off.
While you're at the baby boutique, pick up some sleep sacks. The AAP does not recommend babies sleep with blankets during the first year. They'll need a cozy swaddling sack to keep them warm during the early days.
Diapers on Demand: Diapering Materials
Whether you choose cloth or disposable, you'll need diapers on hand. Both have their pros and cons. Don't feel like you must decide before your baby arrives, as many families use a combination until they settle into a comfortable routine.
The average newborn baby can go through as many as ten diapers daily, so plan accordingly. It can be tricky to get out of the house in the early days, so buy more than you need. Like clothing, babies can outgrow newborn diapers quickly, so wise parents keep a pack one size up at all times.
Additionally, you'll want wipes, diaper cream or ointment, a diaper change pad, and a place to dispose of waste. Those using cloth should choose a baby-safe detergent.
Infant Gourmet: Feeding Supplies
What and how to feed a baby is incredibly personal, so what you'll need will vary. Breastfeeding moms will need a bundle of burp rags and the love and support of experienced mothers. Formula-feeding moms will need a selection of bottles and nipples, sanitizing supplies, plus the formula itself.
Consult with your doctor about what to feed your baby during his or her first days. As a rule, having a few bottles, nipples, and some basic formula on hand can provide peace of mind, even if you're breastfeeding.
A Sweet Suite: Bedding and Sleep Supplies
Your baby needs somewhere to sleep, whether it's a crib, cradle, bassinet, or something else. Ensure that it fits in your bedroom or sleeping space. The AAP recommends that parents share a room (but not a bed) with their baby for the first six to twelve months.
Ensure you have a mattress for whatever baby bed you choose, plus a few sets of sheets in the appropriate size. You may want a waterproof mattress pad, too.
Another bedroom essential is the pixsee smart video baby monitor, which will help you keep an eye on your little one. It tracks temperature, humidity, and your baby's movement. Tools like the curated parenting music box can help you develop a daily rhythm and routine that will make every element of new parenthood easier.
You Know What Your First Baby Needs
We've spent a lot of time discussing what your first baby needs to thrive, but what about first-time parents? Often, the thing a new mother or father needs most is peace of mind. When you gather all the essential supplies and materials, you can rest assured that every item is on hand and ready for your little one.
A bit of extra vigilance can't hurt, either. The pixsee smart video baby monitor eliminates the distance between you and your sweet baby, allowing you to keep a close eye on your little one, even in perfect darkness. Visit our online store to learn how pixsee makes first-time parents feel like pros.