Originally written for TinkaTaylor.com
Expecting a baby can create a vast number of feelings and fears in the expectant parents especially as the list of “essential” items just seems to grow and grow.
However, the actual material needs are actually quite simple and we’d like to share some of our ideas with you here.
Babies grow very quickly, so there’s really no need to buy expensive items and always have a couple of items, in the next size, on hand.
You will need:
* Four to eight onesies (both vest-type and baby-grows)
* Two (max. three) items for dressing up
* Two long-sleeved jerseys or jackets if cold weather
* Four to seven pairs of socks or booties (newborn babies do not need shoes)
Nappies and Changing Surface
Newborns require their nappies to be changed about every two hours – that’s about 12 nappies a day! As you don’t want to run out, ensure you have a good supply of nappies in stock, whether you choose to use disposable or cloth nappies. Along with the nappies, ensure you have more than enough wipes and/or cloths used to clean your babe. It’s surprising how much cleaning they need! (Always keep an emergency supply, of both nappies and wipes, that you replenish the moment these have been used.)
With all those nappy changes, you will also want a dedicated place to change your precious one. This doesn’t have to be an expensive changing table; any clear space furnished with a changing pad will work. It is important to have a number of covers for the changing pad, or use one that is easy to wipe clean.
Somewhere to Sleep
If you choose to co-sleep with your baby in your own bed, then you sorted. Any other form of sleeping (co- or not) will require some kind of crib or bassinet. Choose an item that is stable and secure and strong enough to hand-down to any future children (if appropriate).
The crib will need a well-fitted mattress with four fitted sheets (as you can expect that these will need to be changed quite regularly).
Out and About
There are a number of items that a new parent will need for their newborn baby and these include a car seat, a stroller/pram and a bag.
“In South Africa, it is illegal to travel in a car with a child under 3 years old not strapped into an approved child safety seat.”
Buying a second-hand car-seat may not always be the best idea, unless you know for certain that it has never been in an accident (rendering it a lot weaker). New parents should try buy the best possible approved child safety seat that they can.
Pram / Stroller
A new baby needs to lie flat as their muscles are not yet strong enough to sit upright. The travel systems that offer a car seat, which fits into the pram, are fantastic, but as these can be very expensive, a pram or stroller is perfectly suitable.
A Baby Bag or Nappy Bag will become an integral part of the Mother and Baby’s life so it’s important to choose one that is comfortable, convenient and durable. They often offer a small nappy changing mat, which is very helpful. Ensure your bag offers multiple pockets and lots of space for all the bits and pieces that you will need while out and about.
Bath and Toiletries
Until the umbilical cord falls off, your baby will only require top-to-toe sponge baths. These can be done on the changing surface that we discussed earlier, with a gentle sponge and/or wipes.
However, when your baby is ready to be immersed in bath water, you will need a bathtub (with some type of support) as well as a couple of soft towels. You can use this tub on the changing surface or in your main bath; whichever you prefer.
Despite the vast array of baby goods available on the market, babies do not need too much in the way of toiletries. A gentle baby soap and shampoo that won’t irritate their eyes is surprisingly enough; with a soft lotion to prevent against drying and a good nappy cream to help prevent nappy rash.