What Are Newborn Essentials
What Are Newborn Essentials - As a mother of two and the founder of Bon + Bear, I've navigated motherhood twice in the last four years (with a now 18-month-old and a 4-year-old). This is my essential checklist for your newborn.
Table of Content
- NEWBORN BABY ESSENTIALS – FOURTH TRIMESTER
- NEWBORN BABY ESSENTIALS FOR MUM
- BABY ESSENTIALS 3 MONTHS+
I've been asked this frequently recently by friends and followers of Bon + Bear "what are the essential items to buy for a baby, what would I recommend to a first-time mother" this is overwhelming because there is so much to choose from.
These are the items you'll need, everything else is just extra. If that's what you want or is effective for you, then go ahead and purchase it because just like motherhood, there is no one-size-fits-all and you must do it your way.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales will begin a week in advance this year, this is a great opportunity to purchase your large-ticket items, like cribs, prams, and pumps, and take advantage of discounts on all of the newborn baby products.
Some of these may overlap with our Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist, as a lot of these things are recommended that you will continue to utilize on a daily basis through the first few months, if you haven't already read that then start here.
What are the 4 basic needs of a newborn?
While caring for your infant, you must understand their basic requirements in order to properly fulfill them. The list is long and seemingly endless. From clothing to food and safety, the list is extensive. There are six essential needs that all newborn babies require: security, clothing, enough sleep, nutritious food, sensory stimulation, love, and attention.
What do you need for newborn at night?
Wear a 4-piece suit for both day and night, or 4 suits and 2 nightdresses. Use socks or bootees with the nightie if it's cold. A sweater with a cardigan fabric, rather than nylon, and light rather than heavy - several light layers of clothing are most beneficial to keeping your baby warm.
NEWBORN BABY ESSENTIALS – FOURTH TRIMESTER
- Sleepwear with zippers is more convenient than poppers in the middle of the night. Choose a variety of colors and enough for 2 a day so you aren't constantly cleaning.
- Bodysuits of various lengths or short or long sleeves depending on the season, at least 2 per day as they will defecate or urinate through most things.
- Muslins are useful for any milk leaks or reflux, as you never know when it will occur. With my first child, we used at least 3 a day because he had GORD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder) and was sick after every feeding, whereas my daughter was not, but I had an oversupply of milk and would leak all over her, so they are beneficial in many situations.
- Pram suit/Snowsuit during different seasons
- Knitted cardigan that can be worn over anything instead of a bulky coat, I enjoy the Baby Gap and M&S versions with teddy bear ears on the hood.
- Rompers if you're in the middle of summer or reside in a warmer climate, as you don't want them to overheat.
✅Always check the back of their neck for heat using the back of your index finger, the temperature should feel like a warm piece of toast, any hotter, remove a layer.
All of those baby outfits are adorable, but with a newborn, that typically involves lying in a ball or needing to be changed 8+ times per day, don't do it to yourself.
- The Moses Basket and Bedside Crib are both suitable for infants, they will sleep in your room for the first six months. I had a Moses basket downstairs and a Tutti Bambini Crib in the bedroom that also folded down easily, this facilitated travel and familiarity for them, this also saved them money on purchasing a travel crib as well.
✅Ensure the mattress is brand new and hard to decrease the risk of SIDS, read up on safe sleeping with Lullaby Trust.
✅Keep the cot free of anything flimsy, no toys/teddies, and the new guidelines for blankets are to tuck the blanket into the sides of the mattress and bottom instead of swaddling.
✅The feet of the crib should always be placed at the bottom, this prevents them from moving.
✅Sleepyheads are not safe for sleeping, they can lead to SIDS and should only be used in constant supervision during the day. I would just advise against spending money on one and instead purchase a moses basket for daytime use.
- Blanket – this needs to be cellular with the small holes in it, as it is extremely safe, I would purchase 2 of these in case one is lost or damaged.
- Crib sheets – make sure you have plenty of extra for any leaks in diapers, this is common.
- Light from a table lamp is particularly problematic during the first few weeks, you don't want a bright light constantly in your face.
- Blackout Blind – It's important to begin on the right foot, babies that are younger need total darkness and as they grow older, around the 4 month mark, it's beneficial to link sleep cycles to then sleep longer.
✅You can purchase temporary options that have suction cups, pull down paper options or even velcro that just attaches to your usual blind or curtains. After 6 months, the option can be easily moved. It's also useful for travel.
- Baby has been exposed to constant white noise in your womb, this is the same concept, but instead of using baby's white noise, use it from the beginning.
✅We've always utilized the popular Marpac, which is portable and ideal for naps on the go in a stroller, in a car seat, or in a pram.
✅The safe decibel level is 50dB maximum (similar to a vacuum cleaner/shower). You can download a free iPhone app to measure the sound easily.
✅Place the sound machine at least 6 feet away from their head.
- We utilized the Nuna Mixx system with the car seat and isofix, bassinet and then the toddler seat. It's a wonderful stroller, simple to use, looks modern, and has a large storage basket underneath that's crucial, as you'll need to go out with a lot.
- Baby Carrier/Wrap/Sling – It will greatly reduce the amount of time you are "stuck" holding a sleeping baby, on days when you want to get out, cook or have your hands free.
If you intend to sit down and read or watch something, a stretchy, soft wrap is your most effective ally.
- I never purchased a dedicated nappy bag, instead, I purchased a large tote that I loved that was more my style, I then added a nappy bag insert and organized it with drawstring bags and pouches that were easily accessible.
- Bath Seat and Thermometer – The Angelcare soft touch bath support is truly exceptional. You simply lie the baby down on it, there is a fill guide on the side of the tub that you can use to place the tub. This eliminates the need to hold the baby in water.
Babies don't need to be washed in the first 2 weeks (it was previously 1 week), instead, they are born with vernix, which is from the womb, that helps keep moisture at bay and protects their skin.
Keep all of this goodness on and wash with a mild soap like Aveeno when it's time to clean up.
The ideal temperature for a bath is between 37.5 and 38.5 degrees Celsius for reference.
- Hooded baby towels/washcloths/toiletries (look for hypoallergenic, sensitive skin-friendly options)
- Eliminating Mat/Nappies/Wipes/Nappy Bags (newborn-sized for the first few weeks, all babies will fit in this size.)
Always make sure the leg holes are aligned with the frill bits that protrude when you put on and if you have a boy, direct the peeper downward.
Have a diaper on hand immediately for diaper changes as babies are more likely to urinate when they feel the colder air.
- Nappy Barrier Cream - Metanium is beneficial
- Thermometer with a head - the most effective is the one with no concern for the ears.
- Grooming kit for the face and body – nail clippers, a nail file, and a hairbrush.
NEWBORN BABY ESSENTIALS
- Casual clothing that is loose and comfortable like leggings, drawstring pants, sweatpants, dresses, etc will still be in use for some time after your baby is born.Don’t feel pressured into returning to your pre-injury state because it’s not normal and you will just feel miserable. Remember: the fourth trimester is equivalent to a pregnancy stage. Treat it as such!
- Large black knickers - you will bleed continuously for up to 6-8 weeks, some more. I apologize if this is too personal, but again, there is not enough honesty about this topic in general, and midwives do not discuss this during prenatal visits.
- Maternity pads – this is in contrast to sanitary pads. These are larger, longer and more comfortable than your period, as you have stitches, the blood loss is greater.
- Breastpads – if you are breastfeeding, you will use these frequently during the first 6 weeks, reusable ones are softer and you can wash them, I would recommend these. Alternatively, you can purchase disposable ones that have a little bit of scratchiness after a few hours of wear as there is PU in them.
- Breast pump - I would always advocate for Medela, they are the standard in hospitals and are considered the highest quality. I've employed their hospital-grade models or you can purchase the Medela Solo, which is portable/quiet and I personally used. The alternative is a wearable one like Elvie, which is inserted into your bra without any wires, you can still go about your day with it.
You don't need a breast pump initially, you can purchase it immediately when you do need it.
If you're breastfeeding on demand, you don't need one. However, this isn't recommended until 8 weeks have passed and baby is latching properly to avoid nipple/teat confusion, this is the same for dummies/pacifiers.
Babies should always eat when they're hungry, regardless of the method of feeding, this is frequent during the first few weeks, especially during the cluster feeding hours, don't assume they aren't getting enough. This is a common practice in the United States, where the majority of the population is white. This is because the majority of the population is white in the U.S.
Always keep an eye on the amount of nappies that are wet or dirty, this should be at least 6 or more per day, they will feel soaked, not just a little pee. This is an effective indicator that they are gaining weight efficiently, additionally, regular medical visits weigh.
It's always beneficial to discuss your concerns with your Lactation Consultant/Infant Feeding Team if you have questions about bottles/pumping/supply/pain, so that you can address any issues immediately.
Breast Storage Bags/Pots – If you choose to express, the Lansinoh bags are small and easy to write on, the date and volume are easily visible. Keep the mil in 1-2oz quantities because once thawed, it must be consumed within 24 hours, and it's faster to defrost if smaller quantities are used.
- These are intended to attach to one breast by utilizing gentle suction while you feed from the other side and then you "catch the let down" as you feed, you can then store the supply in the refrigerator/freezer to build up a supply to give to baby for bottles if you desired.
I employed the Elvie Curve because it was comfortable to wear and didn't draw attention to itself. I would collect around 2-3 ounces of milk every day that I would freeze and didn't utilize until she was around 8 weeks old after being hospitalized with RSV and needing extra milk to regain weight. It's always beneficial to have a supply on hand, and collecting milk is much simpler than pumping.
They are intended to be used with suction, but I would not call it true expression, so they are ideal for the first few weeks when milk production is high.
- A nursing pillow will help you maintain a proper posture and avoid back pain! I have experimented with several and believe me, the cost and only one I would ever recommend now is the BBHUGME. It's of great value!
Also, a more practical alternative to a specific chair that rocks or feeds, you can utilize this in any position or seat.
- Nursing Bras/Nursing Vests– purchase unstructured ones, it's beneficial to have at least 2 daytime ones and then non-clipped nighttime ones that are softer for sleeping. I enjoyed the H&M ones during the day and Seraphine at night.
- Breastfeeding/Nursing Cover – this is not necessary, but I would recommend it as a first-time mother when it's all new to her.
If you're concerned about feeding outside of the home or feeling exposed, this will reduce your anxiety Let's be honest, as a new mother, when you're learning to breastfeed and have little sleep, anything that helps is a bonus.
We have a popular award-winning option in case you didn't know – The Chicago Loop. Loved By Parents Gold Best Product For Breastfeeding and Junior Design Highly Commended Best Maternity Brand Product
- Bottles/pre-made formula: If you choose not to breastfeed because it's your decision, or you want to share feeding with your partner, it's beneficial to have some items as a backup.
Always choose size 0 teats when breastfeeding, this should never be altered if you want to continue doing so.
Always "feed in small doses" so the baby is upright, feed from a 90 degree angle, and allow them to open wide for the teat like they would during breastfeeding.
Aptamil's pre-made formula packs are simple to pour, if you need a small amount to top off (if you've been instructed to triple feed and have chosen not to pump) they last 24 hours in the fridge once opened and require no mixing.
I would advocate the MAM bottles because they self-sterilize in the microwave and you don't need to invest in a large, bulky sterilizer. You can also purchase bags like Munchkin that are specifically designed for other pump components, dummies, etc. They are especially useful for travel.
- Bottle Brush/Drying Rack – If you're bottle feeding, make sure you're extremely sterile cleaning where you can, a separate brush and rack for each part and clean them regularly as well.
This is a side note: Lactation teas/cookies have the potential to be delicious and have a positive effect on milk supply, but they do not actually increase milk production. Milk is produced by frequently emptying the breast, the more frequently a baby feeds, the more milk they produce. If they feed more frequently, they are telling the body to make more milk as they grow and are hungry. The best thing you can do is keep hydrated, eat well in general with nutritious energy food and then let baby feed as frequently as they want.
BABY ESSENTIALS 3 MONTHS+
These might seem obvious, but just to be sure, you will need these at some point around 3m+ and continue to use them in the first year but not essential for the first few months.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but subsequent babies have already been purchased, instead, the first few months after having a baby, there is little that is necessary. All of your child's desires will be to eat, sleep and repeat, if they aren't doing either of those things, they will want to be near you all of the time. This is normal.
When you think of the reason why your baby won't sleep in a Moses basket/crib/sleepyhead, it's because they simply need your warmth, smell and heartbeat.
The most effective thing you can do as a new mother is to be kind to yourself, to take things slowly, to embrace the messy moments of no sleep, no showering, and not doing everything exactly as it should be, instead lean into it. Enjoy the Netflix series, purchase a Kindle and read all of the books you've been wanting to, take long walks in the fresh air and remember that the days won't always be like this.
I hope this was of use to you and at least a little less stressful. Now that you have something to work towards during your pregnancy, just know that you've got this, Mama!
If you are being stressed while pregnancy, you can read this out How To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy | Blogkoopedia
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