Having kids is one of the most amazing and challenging things you can do with your life. However, while children are wonderful, no one said having them was easy. Having the right equipment can make a big difference for you and your child during their first few months.
You don’t need to buy everything you read about, but a few essentials can make a world of difference. Here are 10 items every new parent should have on hand.
Whether you go the cloth route or buy disposable diapers, make sure you have a lot of them. Newborns can easily go through 8-12 diapers a day!
Keep enough on hand that you don’t have to run to the store with a smelly baby at the last minute.
Your baby will need a lot of wipes during the first few months. You will, too! Keep these on hand for diaper emergencies, trips away from home, and any time you want to disinfect your hands or a nearby surface.
Make sure you read the ingredients list on the wipes you buy – those with high alcohol content can dry out your baby’s skin. Unscented wipes for sensitive skin are always a good way to go.
A diaper rash is common for babies in their first year. Change your baby frequently to keep them clean and dry, and let them go without a diaper for short periods of time to increase airflow in that area.
You can apply rash cream if these initial steps aren’t clearing up the issue. Always be careful what ingredients you put on your baby, and talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble clearing the rash.
Because your baby will go so often, you’ll probably need to change them in many different places. The best way to ensure you’re ready for this is to take a changing cloth with you.
Need to change them on the floor? No problem; just put the blanket down. In a public restroom? No need to worry about when this bathroom was last cleaned. Is the floor hard? Are you outside? In whatever circumstances you’re facing, a changing cloth has got you covered.
Because you’ll take this blanket everywhere, you’ll want to wash it often. To make your life easier, buy two or three and switch them out!
When diapers leak and you’re far from home (and the bathtub!), a fresh onesie is what you’ll reach for. These cute little outfits come in many colors and prints, or you can order plain ones just for emergencies.
They fold up small but have a big impact when you and your baby are having a rough day. Pack two or so to take with you wherever you go!
The number one essential item for new parents is a diaper bag. Everything you need goes inside, ready for easy transport anywhere you need to go.
Keep your diaper bag stocked with fresh diapers, blankets, clothes, and wipes. Diaper bags can get heavy, so be careful how much you put inside. On the other hand, make sure you buy a bag that’s large enough to fit all your essentials.
There are many different types of diaper bags to choose from today. Have fun with this, and pick something that suits your unique style and needs.
Another newborn essential, spit-up cloths protect your clothes from accidents while your baby grows.
Babies spit up because their digestive systems are still forming. It doesn’t hurt them and is part of the normal development process, but it may become frustrating when you have to change out of your fifth shirt of the day!
When your baby starts eating solid food at around six months, these messes will become less common. Until then, keep a healthy number of spit-up cloths handy for feeding your baby. These can also double as a nursing cover-up.
Nursing is a special part of having a newborn baby, but it isn’t always easy. Many women experience sore or chapped nipples, and applying nipple cream can help.
As with any other product, check the ingredients list to find a brand you’re comfortable using. Also, check the product instructions – some nipple creams should be washed off before nursing.
Not every woman will experience these symptoms, but it’s good to be prepared.
Do you remember learning to blow your nose? Babies aren’t born with this ability – it’s something they learn a little later.
Until they can clear their own nasal passages, it’s your job as the parent to make sure they can breathe easily. Having a nasal aspirator on hand means you’re equipped for allergies, illness, or a runny nose reacting to a cold day.
Keep your aspirator clean and dry, and store it in your diaper bag for easy access when leaving home.
Until they’re a bit older, your baby won’t be able to tell you they don’t feel well. You might be used to toughing it through a fever or cold, but your baby has fewer resources to fight off illness.
Keep a thermometer in the house so you can check your baby’s temperature if you suspect they’re getting sick. There are many different kinds of thermometers you can consider for children.
According to MayoClinic, if your child has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, it’s time to see a doctor.
Ready for Anything
As a new parent, you don’t need fancy electronics or expensive equipment to ensure a happy first few months with your baby. Pick up these basics, and remember to take care of yourself. Your child’s health and well-being rely on yours, so make sure you’re eating well and getting as much quality sleep as possible. You can do this!