Part of what makes it difficult is not being able to decipher the products that are really relevant and the ones that the manufacturers make you think that you cannot live without – when in reality you can.
You get caught up in the notion that every single product is important, and that without one, or all of them, your baby will not be able to survive – or God forbid – grow into a healthy normal adult.
One of the things I realized the second time around is the fact that the pool of baby items that a baby truly needs, notice I said the items baby needs, and not the items us parents want, or think we need; is very small.
Think back to early man. He needed food, clothing and shelter.
This I believe, holds true for a newborn babies. I have drilled down 5 items that I will not call essential, but I will call basic.
So let’s dive into The 5 basic items that can satisfy the needs of a newborn baby.
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Human life cannot survive without food. The decision here is whether, you as a new parent will breasfeed or bottlefeed your newborn.
This is a personal decision, but I do strongly advocate for researching the benefits of both, and more so breastmilk as it is always the best for baby.
Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a situation where your body may decide for you as to whether you should breastfeed or bottlefeed, such as in the case where you are not able to produce sufficient breast milk maybe due to complications or a premature birth.
At some point you do get to a stage in your baby’s development where you will bottle feed.
For instance, if you are a working mother, six weeks after giving birth you may decide to return to work and choose to bottle feed.
You unfortunately cannot feed a baby without baby bottles. Baby bottles are designed with a nipple at top to mimic the human body and it allows the baby formula to filter into a tiny hole to make it more manageable for baby to digest. I tried 2 types of baby bottles, as I wanted to get a feel for which one worked best.
The Tommee Tippee, I had read online had a unique ergonomic shape that made it better for holding, and was best for newborn babies.
I also tried the Phillips Avent, because it seemed very popular, and I saw it every where I looked online. With the Tommee Tippee, I progressively noticed that it would cave in if the baby applied too much pressure when sucking.
The ergonomic shape also made it difficult to wash by hand.
It’s un-conventional in shape and this made it odd to put it into bottle holders or coolers. I spent a little time talking about it in my post about Two Baby Products You Will Use 2 Years Later.
Babies don’t just need baby bottles right? They need something to put in the bottles! So formula is essential. I think a good rule of thumb is, if you start bottle feeding your baby from birth, use the hospital brand provided to your baby as a guide.
If the baby likes that brand and it is affordable to you, then stick with it. There were a few brands I tried however.
This brand is a great option, especially the soy variety for a baby who have regurgitation or spit up issues. I ended up sticking with it the most as it always seems to be in stock online in the liquid form (sometimes some of the other brands would show out of stock for delivery within 1 – 2 days).
I liked the price and the fact that it came in the 2 oz servettes for when the baby only drank a very small amount, and the 32 ounce variety for when the baby was steadily drinking 4 oz or more.
What also drew me to this brand was the fact that the servettes came with 1 sterilized ring nipple already in the box, compared to the other brands where you actually had to buy the nipples separately. Also the fact that you get 8 bottles per box versus 4 or 6 with other brands.
From the start I went with this brand of formula, as this was the one provided in the hospital.
While the baby liked it, I quickly stopped using it for the mere fact that the 4 oz ready to feed bottles came in glass. Also, it felt like wasted formula when the baby did not drink that much formula.
I was always so nervous and afraid that I would drop one of the bottles in a nightime feed.
This became a great option because of the price and the fact that the baby appeared to love it. But I did not stick to it because of the nipple issue I mentioned above.
2.A PLACE TO SLEEP
As first times parents we are guided to believe that we HAVE to have a crib for a baby to sleep, and that it is imperative to have one set up prior to the baby’s arrival.
I would beg to differ. With my first baby ofcourse we purchased a crib, but it was not used for months.
Your crib options vary in terms of your budget, the space you have on hand to put the crib, and also in terms of your baby’s comfort.
I thought about it logically. When a baby is in the womb, they are snuggled and cozy in a sense. When they enter the outside world, we wrap them up like burritos and place them in a large open space that is a crib.
In my mind, they are bound to be uncomfortable.
Instead of heading straight towards a crib, maybe think about options that would keep the baby right by your side, something more on the portable side, and definitely on the budget friendly side.
I wrestled between 3 choices:
The first one did not work as for some reason the baby felt very low in this particular sleeper, almost as if deep down in a hole. and I think this made him uncomfortable.
I felt like I had to reach down deep to get him during the overnight feedings. He cried alot in this particular sleeper and he would not stay asleep for more than an hour in it.
It just absolutley did not work for us. The second was a co-sleeper. That didn’t work either as it was a bit uncomfortable to sleep with it in the middle.
Instead, I opted for this sleeper which I would highly recommend to any first time parent. It did the trick on so many levels.
It was affordable, it was portable, a simple squeeze and you could close it up. You could store it under any bed, in any car, it took up 45inches wide worth of space, and last, the baby loved it. It appeared to mimick that cozy warm feeling that I talked about earlier.
It is also a great carry-you-through baby item as described in Two Baby Products you will use 2 years later. Later down, it becomes a great option for the toddler who just will not sit for a few minutes.
You are able to use the snap in function, which keeps them tight and secure and prevents them from climbing out, or even tumbling over.
It will buy you at least the 15 minutes you need to accomplish one toddler or infant free task. Bonus, it comes with a vibrate function that some babies love as it lulls them to sleep.
3.A Car Seat
While this item is not an essential in many countries. Here in the States, it is as you can’t take home the baby from the hospital without.
For me, I wanted to choose an option that worked as an all in one with a stroller.
I was gifted the Graco Click Connect, and I would have spent my coins on it had it not been gifted to me, because of the price, and also because I liked the fact that it snaped together in the stroller, and that it is a one shot open typed deal.
One of the things that I cannot stand in a baby product, is being combersome to open or close.
I do not wish to read a fifty page baby manual to assemble any baby product. But this one is so simple, you pull a tab, the stroller is open. Voilla.
Baby clothes is one of those things that people like to give a lot of during a baby shower. It can sometimes become overwhelming seeing so much clothes, which needs to be washed prior to use, and sorted and folded!
If you are buying the clothes yourself, always stick with 100% cotton and buy clothes that can carry your baby through one or two stages, for example buying 6 – 12 month clothing although the baby is only 1 – 3 months old. Buy clothing and accessories which are right for your climate also.
There are many major Diaper brands out there and I recommend buying small packs of each, trying them out, and deciding on which one both you and your baby like. You can also follow the same method as with the formula – sticking to the one provided by the hospital.
If there is a particular brand that the hospital where your baby was born uses, and it is affordable to you, and works well, stick with it.
I really love the Huggies brand, which you can tell from my post about Why Huggies Wipes May Work For You, so therefore I went with that brand. It was also the type used in the hospital where I had baby#1.
The last essential item that your newborn baby needs is your love. Shower your baby in hugs and kisses, and remind your baby every day of your love.
It may appear non-essential, or a gesture that they don’t understand, but it fosters their growth and it leads to reciprocity.
They will return your love and grow into wonderful vibrant children because of your LOVE!.
Have you looked into any of these essential items? Share your experience below.
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