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When you are a first-time mom, shopping for your newborn can be overwhelming. What do you get? Will you need this nifty gadget? Midwife and lactation consultant Jenna Morgan Cramer gives some great tips on what to buy for your newborn.
Q: When is the best time to go shopping for your newborn?
After loved ones have hosted your baby shower/baby blessing. Ideally, you should have a minimum of the essentials on hand before delivery, and in travel size to take along for the delivery.
Q: What are the essential items needed for a newborn?
- Newborn disposable nappies, even if you are considering using newborn cloth nappies. I would encourage especially first-time parents to have a packet or two of disposables to ease you into the process.
- Wet wipes and cloth wipes for those poop explosions needing a bigger clean-up.
- Newborn size clothes and pre-term clothes if your baby comes early (you can ask loved ones to buy these if needed, or keep tags on and return if baby can’t fit into newborn).
- Car seat, well installed before delivery (consider safety as a top priority), sunshield for the car window.
- Baby carrier – stretch wraps are reasonable and great for newborns, or a soft, structured carrier designed to be used from birth. If you are not going to consider a carrier, a pram is an essential item.
- 100% cotton muslin blanket, which is great for covering and protecting from draughts, yet breathable.
- An organic based bum cream for brand new skin.
- Camp cot (think easily movable between rooms) so it can be placed near the parents’ sleeping area or lounge. Otherwise a co-sleeper. Lastly, a conventional cot – that is the biggest lie we are sold: that our newborns will sleep in their cots in their nursery without disruption. Obviously one does get those babies, but they are few and far between.
- Burp cloths – 100% cotton terry nappies work well.
- Nursing pads if mother is breastfeeding – cotton reusable ones are a great comfortable, green option.
- Thermometer and nail clippers (I find the scissor style easiest to work with).
Q: What are some of the nice-to-haves to consider?
- Bouncing chair with secure buckle for those moments you need to put baby down in daily activity.
- Baby monitor, especially if baby is sleeping in a different room or floor to where you are. An apnoea function is a very good idea for those babies born pre-term or with health conditions.
- A rocking chair is a great resource for soothing babies, and an exercise ball is just as good.
- A nappy bag is a great accessory, but a backpack style maybe the most practical.
- Microwave steriliser if you have plenty to sterilise.
- Baby bath tub – the sink works well as well.
- A Moses basket-style cot or bassinet that you can shift around the house or go visiting with.
- Nursing feeding pillow
Q: What advice can you give to first-time moms about shopping for their babies?
- Don’t buy too much of one thing or size. Your baby may not suit one brand, or may be born very large and not fit the newborn clothes.
- Ask for or accept second-hand items even to try them out before you buy, as they may not suit your baby, parenting style or home.
- Consider renting items if your home does not accommodate storing items or you only intend to have one baby.
- Once you are done purchasing for your baby, please consider yourself and what would make this transition into motherhood easier, more memorable and enjoyable. This may be a beautiful nursing top or a boutique stretch wrap. If it’s possible, spoil yourself a little too.