Things to Buy Baby
A List of Things to Buy before Baby comes home
What things should you buy for baby? Preparing for baby involves more than selecting a name. Many first-time parents are faced with the dilemma of what to buy before baby comes home, not to mention the ‘is there anything you need’ question from family and friends. Most first-time parents tend to overdo it when purchasing for baby-to-be (especially when there are excited grandparents and aunts to add to the purchasers). Our advice: determine what your budget is, and stick with it. Take stock – often – of what you have on hand to reduce over-stocking on items such as onesies, bibs, blankets, and socks. Remember, most of the stuff that you will be buying for the ‘baby’ stage will be outgrown in a few short months.
Here’s a list we’ve compiled from personal experience and suggestions from friends and customers:
Baby Carrier or Sling:
There are several different products out there that allow you to carry your baby close to you, and keep your hands free for working around the house, shopping, or just going out and about. The carriers fit similar to a non-frame backpack, with straps going over both shoulders, while the slings usually fit over one shoulder. Baby Bjorn, which first launched in 1973, is probably the best known baby carrier name brands, but there are several different manufacturers out there, and prices range from $25 - $150.
This is an optional baby item that I would recommend thinking about. While some moms believe they are unnecessary, ours was wonderful to have the first six weeks. Bassinets are small and easily moved, so baby (or, in our case, babies) can sleep peacefully wherever you are. Invest in one with wheels so that baby can ‘follow’ you from room to room during your day.
Bath Soap, Shampoo, Lotion and Powder:
There are infant washes, shampoos and lotions that are gentler for baby than other types of body washes and shampoos. If you're looking for shampoo, soap and lotions from the store, we highly recommend either the Johnson or Baby Magic brands – calming lavender scent! If you prefer organic and 100% natural ingrediants, Grandma El's shampoo and baby wash is an excellent choice. Check with your pediatrician as to how often you should bathe baby during the first few weeks.
While you may be able to begin bathing baby in the kitchen sink, there’s going to be a period after they outgrow the sink and before they can sit in the bathtub on their own. There are several types of bathtubs and bath mats available. You can buy a basic bathtub, or purchase a more complex set up. For instance, Safety 1st has a 4-in-1 bathtub that begins as a mesh bath sling, then converts into an infant bath with sling, then a bath ring seat and finally to a 2-year toddler tub. There’s also a Baby Bath Center that has a battery-operated spa and shower that gives your baby a soothing whirlpool bath and a gentle shower spray for rinsing hair
Reading to baby, even when baby is only hours old, is a great bonding experience. Book reading provides security, comfort, one-on-one time, a great chance to communicate, a good base for vocabulary, and visual and mental stimulation. Studies show a direct correlation between language skills — and some studies suggest intelligence — and how many words a baby hears each day. There are many ways to talk to your baby, and reading is one of them, especially if you really like to narrate the books you read. If you’d rather not spend your downtime reading Three Little Pigs to your newborn, read the paper, magazine, or your current book. The important thing is baby hearing your voice, and not necessarily the words you are saying. You can probably get away with this until baby is about four months old, when they start getting interested in what’s actually one the pages you’re reading.
Don’t go overboard here. Different brands of bottles have different nipples, and some babies just aren’t able to latch on to certain brands. Our boys could not latch on to one of the most popular (and most expensive) brands of nipples and bottles out there, which were billed as ‘ I’d recommend buying two or three of one or two different types, see what works (and what’s preferred) and go from there.
There is another wide variety of options for you to choose from here. The range includes ‘bouncer’ chairs designed especially for infants to chairs where the seat can be laid back for infants, and then raised into sitting positions as baby gets older. We opted for the 3-in-1 Fisher Price chair. It was a stationary vibrating chair with a toy bar when the guys were infants and then converted into a rocker with a toy bar and ‘belt’ when they could sit up, and a freestanding chair that they used until they were two. For the same price of a bouncer, we thought this was a better investment. Whichever chair or bouncer you choose will be a life saver for things like taking a shower, folding laundry, cooking dinner – and other times that you aren’t able to hold baby, but want him to be nearby. Bouncers have a short (but very useful) life, and baby will outgrow his or her single-use bouncer at about three months – at about the time their necks will be strong enough for stationary exercisers, jumperoos, and swings.