10 Things You’ll Need for a Newborn
Preparing for your first baby’s arrival is a little bit like preparing for a trip to a foreign country when you only know how to say, “Where’s the bathroom?” and “How much does this cheese cost?”
It’s exciting, fun, a little scary, and maybe even a tiny bit stressful.
You’ll get plenty of advice from people who have been there, too, but it’ll come piece-by-piece – and it’s going to be tough to remember it all accurately. (Momnesia is a thing! So where were we?)
With that said, there are plenty of things you’ll really need for your newborn. These are ten of them.
10 Things You’ll Need for a Newborn
This isn’t a complete list – every baby (and every mama) is different – but it’ll give you a few ideas for your registry.
1. Stretchy swaddling blankets. Swaddling your baby is tremendously comforting, especially during the first few weeks. We use extra-stretchy swaddling blankets during our newborn photo shoots, so if you have a favorite, bring it along.
2. Plenty of one-piece outfits. If you’re a first-time mom, ask an experienced friend about the worst blowout she’s ever lived through… and then add more one-piece suits to your baby registry.
3. Baby furniture. You’ll need a crib, cradle or bassinet, plus a safe mattress and bedding for it. Some moms swear by infant swings and bouncers, too.
4. Diapers. More diapers. Maybe some cloth diapers. Another box of diapers.
5. Bath accessories. Babies are slippery when wet, so a good baby bathtub with a sling is essential. You’ll also need extra-gentle washcloths, baby-friendly soap and shampoo, and super-soft towels to snuggle your little cutie in when bath time ends.
6. The Baby Shusher Soother. This miracle machine puts out rhythmic shushing noises that imitate the way a parent shushes a newborn, which can save your energy and help your little one get some much-needed rest. Does it have to be the Shusher? Nope – anything that your baby seems to enjoy and doesn’t drive you nuts will be just fine.
7. Baby-friendly laundry detergent. Brand-new skin and noses can be really sensitive to the scented soaps we’re used to, so aim for brands designed for babies. Pro tip: Start washing your baby’s clothes before he or she makes an appearance – the American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s a good idea to wash everything before putting it on your little one.
8. Feeding accessories. Planning to nurse? Invest in a pump, milk storage bags, nipple cream and a nursing pillow. If formula is in the cards for your little one, get plenty of bottles, a bottle brush and a dishwasher basket for small items. You’ll also need nursing pads (whether or not you choose to breastfeed), burp cloths and a handful of bibs.
9. Baby toiletries. Tiny nail clippers, a thermometer and a first-aid kit are now your medicine cabinet must-haves.
10. Gear to get from Point A to Point B. A car seat, stroller and infant carrier are going to help you shuttle your little one safely, but some are easier to manage than others are. Your best bet? Ask other mamas you trust for recommendations.
What About the Other Stuff?
While there’s no limit to the number of things that make life easier once your little one has arrived, there’s a lot more to successful parenting than a house full of stuff. Here’s a quick run-down of intangibles that’ll help you adjust to motherhood.
1. Patience. You don’t have to have an infinite well of patience (none of us do), but knowing that you need more than a little to meet the rigorous demands of motherhood can be a tremendous help. Experts say that you can build more patience with practice, which involves taking deep breaths when you start to get stressed, counting to ten before you say or do anything, and keeping what’s really important in perspective.
2. Willingness to try new things. Every baby is different, so what worked for your bestie, your sister or the lady up the street may not work as well for you. You’re getting to know your baby’s quirks and peccadilloes, and having a willingness to try new solutions is more than half the battle. (Ask anyone who’s driven around the neighborhood from 9:17 p.m. to 11:34 playing classical music to soothe a crying infant.)
3. The ability to let go of control. It’s not that your newborn is the boss… it’s just that your newborn is the boss. Your baby’s job is to let you know he or she needs you, and it’s your job to figure out how to meet those needs. You can’t control when your baby sleeps, how much he or she eats, or when colic rears its head – but you can accept it and roll with the punches, realizing that the newborn stage will be over before you know it.
4. A great support network. Whether you rely on family, friends or a new mom support group, it’s essential that you have help when you need it. Sometimes just talking to another adult makes a huge difference – motherhood can be lonely, even if you’re never really alone.
What Tips Would You Share With New Moms?
If you’ve already been through the new mom phase, what advice would you give someone who’s just about to dive into it with both feet? Share your advice in the comments below.
While you’re here, check out our newborn photo gallery, learn about our photo packages and get in touch with us at 310-600-7518 or online to schedule a photo shoot that captures your little one’s most precious moments.