If you’re expecting a new family member, you probably have lots of things on your to-do list, including that all-important list of baby supplies and equipment. But do you really need all this stuff? While everyone’s parenting journey is different, there are some items most parents consider essential to make parenting easier and more comfortable for you and your little one.
1. You can never have too many onesies
From their first hours through age 2, onesies are a staple in your baby’s wardrobe for many reasons: They work well on their own in warmer weather, or as a first layer when it’s cold; they’re made to fit babies of all ages, and they have snaps or Velcro at the crotch so you can easily change diapers without removing the entire garment. Stocking up on onesies in newborn (0-3 months) and infant sizes (3-6 months and 6-12 months) will get you ready for the baby’s rapid growth spurts.
2. Swaddle up with receiving blankets
Before becoming a parent, you may wonder — what is the purpose of these small, thin, soft flannel cotton blankets? The fact is that they are indispensable. Newborns love being tightly swaddled and often calm down when they’re snug in these little blankets. It’s worth having the nurses at the hospital give you swaddling lessons if you haven’t learned this yet. These handy blankets are also great as over-the-shoulder burp cloths (they cover more territory than actual burp cloths), or as extra blankets to lay on a carpeted floor, the middle of a bed or other safe surfaces where you may set your baby down for a short while.
3. Protect your baby’s skin
Speaking of all those onesies and receiving blankets, you’ll be going through a lot of laundry, so you’ll need a laundry detergent that’s tough on baby stains while also being gentle on skin. New Arm & Hammer Baby detergent is formulated with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, and no unnecessary harsh ingredients. The product is hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested to be gentle on your baby’s skin, and it is made using safer ingredients that meet EPA Safer Choice standards, with 0% preservatives, phosphates or dyes.
“Babies have sensitive skin, so it’s best to use gentle products on their skin,” says board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Alison Mitzner. “Choosing a laundry detergent with your baby’s needs in mind is a smart option to help prevent potential reactions your child could have to dyes, fragrances, or other irritating ingredients.”
The Cuddly Clean scent, suited for delicate newborn skin, can be used for your child’s clothes, bedding and blankets well into your child’s toddler years.
Visit ArmAndHammerBaby.com to learn more.
4. Test drive some diaper bags
You’ll carry this bag everywhere you go (even in the house) so that everything you need for your baby is handy. A good-quality bag that is sturdy as well as comfortable to carry over your shoulder is essential, so check that the shoulder strap is padded and adjustable. You’ll want enough pockets to organize your basic needs — diapers, bottles or pacifiers, baby wipes, toys, onesies and a receiving blanket — but not so many pockets that it’s impossible to find anything. Get recommendations from other new parents or go to a baby store to try a few out before buying.
5. Be ready to rock the night away
You may wonder why the chair that you’ll spend hours on with your infant needs to rock, but the truth is that babies respond well to gentle movement. Some babies are more likely to fall asleep while riding in a stroller or car for this reason. Make sure your chair is comfortable for you with padded armrests, and that it moves easily, so those late nights or early mornings will be much more restful as you soothe your baby back to sleep.
While not an exhaustive list of what you will need, these items are the unsung heroes of those early months with your baby. Once you’re a parent, you’ll quickly discover what is most important to you.