Don’t Panic When Expecting a Baby
When trying to figure out what to buy when expecting a baby, some parents like you will have every single terrible scenario in mind. I know you want everything to happen as perfectly as possible without any problems.
However, you can’t panic too much.
Or else you might end up like a lot of parents, who ends up purchasing too many newborn diapers. As an end result you regret it, because you start getting too many unnecessary things hogging up your precious space.
Even though it doesn’t hurt to be too careful
When you have a baby, you will need plenty of space, so every one item you buy is one precious space lost. Instead of trying to get every cute thing for your baby, focus on your baby’s basic needs.
Start With The Basic Needs
The basics needs of a baby are the first things you should have in mind. Once you have that mindset grounded in you subconsciousness, then everything will fall into place. When you buy something or do something, the next step will naturally come to mind. It’s like buying baby formula for example, you know you will also need bottles go with it. It’s simply logical.
What are the basic needs of a baby?
They are the same needs of a regular human adult with some extra additions:
- Bathroom (Staying clean, getting rid of pee and poop)
Feeding Your Baby
Milk is the obvious answer when it comes to feeding your baby. Naturally you will also think of baby bottles, milk formula, or breast milk. However, if that’s the only answer you can up with then you haven’t thought far ahead enough. Think about it. Milk is obviously food, but that’s not the only thing you would be giving your baby. Your baby also needs to drink something.
Juice and water are also important. Even though your newborn shouldn’t be drinking too much juice or water within the first six months, it’s still important to be prepared. Why do I emphasize the fact that you need juice and water? The reason is because once your realize that your baby drinks water, milk, and juice, then you will realize that you will need at least three different baby bottles. The reason you need three different bottles instead of one is simply the same reason why you don’t mix your milk and juice for yourself. It’s simply gross.
However, three different bottles is still not good enough. Accidents happen, and you might forget a bottle somewhere, or drop it on the ground. Chances are, you something will happen to your bottles and it’s a hassle to sterilize your bottles again. That’s why you should make sure that you have at least two of each type of bottle for water, juice, and milk, totaling up to six bottles.
Is it necessary to sterilize your bottles? Yes, it’s very important. Your newborn has practically close to no immune system, so it’s very easy for her to get sick. If you want to avoid sending her to the emergency room, then simply take the precaution to sterilize everything your baby uses.
What are you going to do now? You might be thinking I’ll simply wash it. Wrong. Babies have practically no immune system, so they get sick very easily. Unless you want your baby to have a fever and take a trip to the hospital in the middle of the night, then you will have to sterilize your bottles.
Get some bottle brushes. It’s difficult to clean the inside of bottles thoroughly without a bottle brush. It just makes your cleaning time much more convenient. Just dedicate a bottle brush just for baby bottles.
You will need burp cloths and bibs. Before you rush out to purchase burp cloths, let me mention the fact that you can buy cloth diapers and use them as burp cloths. They are just as soft and absorb much more fluid (they are diapers after all). Bibs and burp cloths are important because your baby probably easily have refluxes or vomits after a meal. It can be because of gas or any other reason. If you are too busy to get burp clothes then simply use paper towels for now. However, that would be very costly so that’s not a long term plan.
Choosing between breastfeeding and formula. Baby needs a lot of nutrition and breast milk is the better choice if you can help it. Some mothers have trouble producing milk, but if you don’t have trouble then do it yourself. Your breast milk contains antibodies known as IgG (immunoglobulins G) which can serve as a temporary immune system boost for your baby. This type of immune system boost typically lasts for roughly one month. If you don’t produce a lot of breast milk, just keep trying anyway. Your baby might get fussy and feel very satisfied if you don’t feed her enough. If that’s the case then feed as much breast milk as you can provide then supplement with formula.
Since your baby’s immune system is weak when she is young, breast milk can actually be very helpful to shield her from sickness. However, don’t breastfeed your children forever either, because IgG is a temporary measure. Your child’s body still hasn’t produced her own immune system to protect herself.
Bathroom and Cleaning
Obviously your baby can’t go to the bathroom so you will need to get diapers for your baby. Whether you are buying disposable or cloth diapers, you will need diapers, and other things to make your life easier. If you are purchasing disposable diapers, remember to simply purchase one pack of N sized (newborn sized) diapers for now. Babies grow up very quickly. Before you know it, your baby will be using the next size diapers.
You need more than just diapers for your baby. Diapers are simply one part of the picture. Unless you can guarantee that you always remember to change your baby on time (most experienced parents still can’t guarantee that), then you will need some diaper rash cream or ointment. Accidents happen and you will forget to change your baby’s diapers. However, there is a way to delay burning your baby’s bottom.
Get some baby powder to apply to your baby’s bottom. Baby powder contains talc which can suffocate your baby. However, you don’t need to panic. Just simply don’t let the powder fly into the air. After you change your baby’s diaper, apply a tiny bit to the palm of your hand, then gently rub it onto your baby’s bottom.
Baby powder is good, but use common sense when you use it. Everything in this world can kill if you use it inappropriately. A lot of parents use baby powder without hurting anybody. It’s all about being careful. If you are will make baby powder fly everywhere then simply don’t use it. Change your baby’s diaper more often. Also don’t apply baby powder near vagina of your baby (if it’s a baby girl), because baby powder might cause an infection if it enters your baby inside.
Get baby wipes in case your baby poops. Baby wipes is optional if you really don’t want to get it, but it’s just for convenience sake. You can always use gentle cloth if you don’t mind washing it all the time. However, if you are changing your baby at home, then simply carefully wash her bottom while gently splashing water on her bottom to remove the poop.
Don’t forget your baby shampoo, baby soap, baby laundry detergent. For the first month or two, simply wipe your baby with a warm soft cloth. Newborns are still shedding their skin so it can be very tender and sensitive. Don’t apply anything like shampoo, or baby soap yet. However, it’s important to be prepared because you never know if you will have time to buy them when your baby is ready to take a bath (umbilical cord falls off). Your baby’s skin is extremely sensitive to chemicals. Good quality baby products will actually prevent you from irritating your baby’s skin. Now that you know what to do after your baby smells nice and clean, it’s time to dress her up.
Is a hat necessary? Depending on the weather, you baby might actually need a hat to maintain her body heat. However, experts say that your baby doesn’t need a hat all the time. The only time your baby needs a hat is when the temperature is below 55 degrees Farenheit (too cold), or above 72 degrees Farenheit (easy sunburns). Obviously, those two temperature extremes will require a summer hat and a winter hat.
Onesies is every parent’s convenient tool. The difference between what a baby wears and what an adult wears is that babies wear onesies. Onesies is like a full body suit for your baby with a flap on the bottom. What does that flap do? Simple. It’s there so you can simply unbutton it to change your baby’s diapers. Get 3 – 6 onesies as emergency backups. Quite often you will encounter diaper blowouts (baby poop leak all over her onesies) or vomitting (baby burping done incorrectly). Once your onesies gets dirty, quickly change your little one into the backup onesies, then soak the soiled ones in water overnight to wash the next day,
After onesies, it’s time to decide on the undershirt. A lot of parents swear by undershirts, but that really depends on two factors. One is your baby’s natural warmth, and the other is the season you are in. Some babies are born premature, so they are naturally smaller. In that case, always get an undershirt, because they need the extra warmth. However, if your baby is a heavy newborn (9 pounds or above), and it is summer time, then skip the undershirt. A more accurate way to check is to see:
- is your baby’s neck hot to the touch?
- is your baby sweating?
- is your baby’s face all red?
- is your baby extra fussy with the extra layers
If you say yes, to any of the above, then skip the undershirt.
How about pajamas? No. I would recommend against it. Just buy onesies that are made of comfortable cotton where your baby can sleep in day or night. Don’t dress up your baby in clothing like jeans, then change them into pajamas at night. Let’s face it here. Taking care of a baby is already a lot of work. Why make your life more difficult. However, it’s your baby so do whatever you are comfortable with.
You will also need non-scratch mittens. Some onesies actually come with nonscratch mitten attachments, but if the ones you got don’t include them, then just buy them on your own. Unless you are swaddling your baby, which traps your baby’s arms, you will need nonscratch mittens to prevent your baby from scratching her own tender skin. Babies scratch a lot. My baby girl left scratches all over her face when my wife and I don’t swaddle her. So don’t be like me. Make her wear those mittens. If you don’t want to buy extra mittens then use baby socks, tie a string around (not too tightly), then fold the sleeves over so she can’t untie them.
Don’t forget her socks. Babies naturally have cold hands and feet, because of poor circulation. With the non-scratch mittens on, you might as well let her wear socks too.
After changing your baby, it’s time to sleep. Sleeping also requires some preparations.
Prepare Your Baby’s Sleep Area
Your baby will need her own bed. You can get a crib or a bassinet (a smaller crib basically). Most people swear by the bassinet, because it’s more compact, and keeps your newborn cozier and more comfortable. The disadvantage is that a bassinet can no longer be used once your baby grows to a certain weight and size (roughly 20 pounds depending on what you bought).
A crib won’t have that problem because it has plenty of room for your baby to grow into it. If you decide to get a crib, then get a mattress, washable mattress pads, and sheets to go with it. What about blankets?
Blankets are not recommended for your baby. The reason is because your baby moves around when she sleeps at night. If she accidentally covers her own face with a blanket, she will suffer from something known as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Obviously you don’t want that. If you can’t use a blanket then what can you use?
Use a blanket sleeper instead. Basically a blanket sleeper keeps warmth like a blanket, but your baby wears it like any clothing. However, this should only be used when it’s winter time. You don’t want your baby to overheat, because overheat is also known to cause SIDS (learn more about SIDS by watching this youtube video). A good indicator of whether your baby is warm or cold is to check the back of her neck or her belly. If it feels warm then you are good to go.
You should not judge whether a baby is warm or cold based on their hands or feet. Babies have weak blood circulation so their hands might be abnormally warm or cold even though their core body temperature is normal.