Baby Must Haves

image001During the first year, your baby will need a lot of things. To make things easier, here’s a list of the baby must haves that should be on every parent’s list. You can also put these on your baby registry before the big day arrives!

Baby Must Haves—Eating

Whether you choose to breastfeed your baby or give them a bottle, there are some things that are universal. You will need many of these things before your baby arrives.

1. Breastfeeding and Formula-feeding

  • Breastfeeding

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Feeding pillow style=

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This pillow will keep your baby at the proper position for feeding, so you won’t strain your neck and back when trying to feed your child. It also makes a very comfortable pillow for your child to lie on while you play with him or her.

Feeding accessories style=

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You might want to stock up hot/cold packs (to soothe sore breasts), lanolin for your nipples, and disposable breast pads.

Burp cloths style=

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You can never have enough of these handy little cloths, which can wipe up any fluids that your baby might burp up or otherwise get around their mouth.

  • Formula-feeding

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Formula

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You will always need a great deal of formula on hand to make sure your baby always has enough to eat.

Bottle

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You should have plenty of 4-oz and 8-oz bottles for your baby, even if you are breastfeeding, as you might choose to express your breast milk at some point, and you need bottles to hold that.

Bottle brushes

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These little brushes are an absolute must for cleaning out those hard-to-reach areas before you sterilize the bottles.

Breast pump

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A breast pump and all the accessories are crucial for the mother on the go who might need to express breast milk when she is away from her child.

Breast milk bags

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These little bags are perfect for storing breast milk, and they are great for freezing it for later use.

2. Feeding

At four to six months of age, your baby is likely ready for some solid foods. You will need these things:

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Highchair style=

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This can be either free-standing or a chair that hooks onto the counter or table. A highchair with rollers on the bottom is often best for cleaning and moving it around the room.

Bowls style=

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Look for small bowls with suction cups on the bottom, so they can’t be flung onto the floor.

Baby spoon style=

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You will need a spoon with a gentle, rubber tip so that you don’t hurt the baby’s gums as you feed him or her.

Sippy cup style=

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Look for a sippy cup with a tight-fitting lid and an easy-to-clean shape. Handles are great, and so are BPA-free cups.

Bib style=

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You can never have enough bibs to keep your baby clean during feeding time!

3. Diapering

Your baby will need plenty of diapers from the very first day home, as well as the appropriate accessories.

  • Diapers. Your baby will probably go through up to 12 diapers per day at the start, so plan to have plenty of them on hand. If you use cloth diapers, you will also need to have the reusable cover that keeps things from getting too soggy.
  • Changing pad. A soft, thick and absorbent pad underneath your baby will make diaper changing much more comfortable and contain any potential messes.
  • Diaper rash cream. Have several tubes of this on hand so you can always find one when it is needed. There are numerous types of cream; experiment to find the best one for your baby.

Baby Must Haves—Clothes

Babies grow very quickly, and they seem to outgrow clothes faster than you can buy them. Here are the basics of clothing for your child.

  • Choose Size. Most children never wind up using true newborn sizes, but go straight into the “3 month” sizes. Always have plenty of clothing on hand, especially in the next size up, as you never know how fast your child is going to grow.
  • Proper material. You want to make sure your baby has clothes that are soft, breathable and comfortable to move around in. Cotton clothing is perfect for this. You can even buy organic clothing that is made with no dyes.
  • Clothes list. Choosing what your baby will need can be tough, so we have put together a list of all the things that your baby might need during the first several months of life.

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One-piece outfits

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Five to seven of these are great. Your child will wear them for almost everything, including playing and sleeping.

Shirts

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Five to seven of these are great. Look for those that slip easily over a child’s head. Some of them snap at the crotch to hold them in place.

Pull-on pants

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Five to seven of these are great, too. Look for those with stretchy waistbands that are easy to pull up over those little feet.

Outer layers

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Keep five on hand, including light vests, small hoodies and fleece jackets that zip up.

Hats and mittens

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Mittens that are shaped like bags and have elastic at the wrist are best. Look for wide hats during the summer and thick hats for wintertime.

Socks or booties

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Stock up on these, as you probably will never have quite enough. Look for those that are super soft and absorbent.

Shoes

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Tiny shoes should be very easy on the feet. Children don’t need typical shoes until well after their first birthday.

Pajamas

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Have five to seven of these on hand. Your baby will live in them the majority of the time, especially during those very early weeks.

Baby Must Haves—Sleeping & Bathing

1. Sleeping

A sleeping child is a happy child. Here’s how to make sure he or she gets plenty of shut-eye.

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Crib and mattress

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Look for a sturdy crib that meets all safety requirements. Be sure to check for recalls before making your purchase.

Bedding

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Babies don’t need much bedding–just a few fitted crib sheets and a mattress pad will do. The fancy bedding sold in most stores should be avoided, because it increases the risk of SIDS.

Wearable blanket

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These blankets can keep your baby warm at night but won’t run the risk of covering your baby’s head, so you don’t have to worry about suffocation hazards.

Swaddling blanket

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This small, thin blanket is used to swaddle your baby when they need comfort. Have numerous ones on hand, as you will use them quite often!

2. Bathing

Giving your baby the first bath can be a wonderful experience. Here’s how to make each time just as great.

  • Bath tub. A baby tub with a sling is perfect for bathing those little ones who aren’t old enough to hold up their heads. The baby tub should always have smooth sides and a firm base, so it doesn’t rock or otherwise move while bathing.
  • Bath sponge & cotton washcloths. These washcloths and sponges are gentle on your baby’s skin and can be thrown right into the washer and dryer.
  • Bath products. Certain products, like gentle bath soaps, gentle lotion, and diaper rash solutions are all you need to keep your baby clean.

Baby Must Haves—Baby Gear & Entertainment

1. Baby Gear

These make it easier to get around with baby on the go:

  • Carrier. A good baby carrier is one that you can wear right against your body, freeing up your hands for other things. Your baby will love the secure feeling.
  • Stroller. Look for a stroller that combines with your car seat for a really easy way to get around. Just click the car seat into the stroller and go.
  • Car seat. This is a very important part of your baby gear. Choose a brand-new car seat that is the right size for your child. Be sure it is buckled properly into the vehicle.

2. Soothers and Toys

There will be times when your baby needs to be soothed and entertained. These can help.

  • Pacifiers. Always have many of these around if you use them, because you will constantly lose them. You can never have too many.
  • Bouncers. This fun little seat can not only make your baby happy, it might even lull him to sleep when he’s tired.
  • Activity mats. A mat with bright colors, shiny surfaces and all sorts of fun sounds that it can make when pressed makes for a great way to please your baby.
  • Toys. Always have age-appropriate toys on hand. One of the favorites of most babies is a teething ring that has interesting little designs on it, or things that rattle when they shake it.
  • Books. Your child will eventually have a favorite book. Carry a copy of it with you wherever you go. It can calm your child down in seconds.

Baby Must Haves—Health & Safety

1. Health

Keeping your baby healthy is of paramount importance. These products can help you do that.

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First-aid kit

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Your first aid kit should have all the basics, including bandaids, gauze pads, creams and an ice pack for those boo-boos.

Bulb syringe

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Make sure you also have saline drops to go along with this and clear out your baby’s nose when they have a cold or congestion.

Digital thermometer

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These fast, easy-to-use thermometers can be a lifesaver when you are worried about your child’s temperature.

Baby nail clippers

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These clippers have blunt corners to help avoid injury when you cut those tiny, sharp nails.

Baby-friendly laundry detergent

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Look for a laundry detergent specifically made for babies, or those that have no dyes.

A soft-bristled baby brush

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This tiny brush can not only keep hair tamed, it also feels great to babies when you brush it lightly over their head.

2. Safety

Keeping your baby safe starts at home. These items are must-haves.

  • Safety gates. Gates for the top and bottom of the stairs, gates that fit over windows and those that keep babies out of particular rooms are essential.
  • Outlet covers. These cheap, easy-to-install covers are impossible for a baby to remove, and keep them from sticking their fingers or toys into them.
  • Cupboard and drawer latches. These latches usually screw into your furniture out of sight and you can open it up, but your baby definitely can’t.