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If you are expecting a child, then it would be an exciting and busy time for you, and you certainly need to prepare your checklist for baby shopping. And if it is your first child, then you will be tense, and all worked up too.
Whether you are pregnant or adopting, you would have spent months thinking about your little one’s arrival and dreaming about perfect preparation in your home for them.
Preparing for a baby means that you have many things to consider, and it might get tough as the date of arrival comes close. With so many products on the market, deciding what to get and what not could alone be overwhelming.
But to make things easy for you, we have created a list for you which includes all the things you will need to welcome your baby.
When To Start?
Well, as soon as you receive the news that your little one is on the way, you can start shopping. But starting to shop without knowing that if its a girl or a boy will limit you to the products which are unisex and not gender-specific. It is all up to your preferability as some women start shopping right after the news, and some wait until they find out if the baby is a boy or a girl.
No matter when you start shopping for baby items, make sure it is all done before your due date. And if your baby arrives a bit early, you are prepared. From where you will buy the baby items depends on what you are planning to buy, how much you want to spend and how much time you have.
You can buy new items as well as secondhand items if you are pinching pennies. Both can be great options, but for the safety and health of your baby, we would not recommend buying secondhand items.
For pregnant women, doing baby shopping items online is more convenient and there is a lot more variety to choose from than a physical store where you need to go shop by shop to find what’s perfect.
Things to buy for your baby
Now that you have a clear picture of when, where and how to start shopping, let’s get to the main topic.
While making the list of baby items ready, it is essential to keep every aspect of having a baby in your mind. Your baby will need different sets of clothing and items suitable for any activity you will be doing with your little one in every season of the year. We have made it easier for you by dividing baby essentials into specific purposes.
Breastfeeding can look more simplistic than it is, with no accessories required. But there and some basic gear which can make breastfeeding more easier and comfortable for the baby as well as you.
Breastfeeding comes with some difficulties as you and the baby, both are new to the process. But having the right supplies and gear beforehand will make this process a lot easier and smoother than you thought. Here are a few of the basic items you should consider.
For new nursing mothers, clothes in light fabric and nursing covers are suitable. If you are nursing, look for cosy, stretchy and breathable clothes to live in. look for good quality nursing bras, tops and nightwears, either with buttons or stretchable or loose enough to make the breastfeeding process easy. Dark coloured clothes will be helpful to conceal the stains of breast milk.
One of the first things you will learn as a mom is that your body will produce milk whether the baby is ready or want it or not. So buying a few breast pads or nursing pads, which tucks into your bra easily, will deal with the leaks as they happen.
Reusable cotton nursing pads are eco-friendly and comfortable. They are also easy to toss in the wash. While disposable nursing pads come with extra-absorbent cores and are more convenient to use.
In the early days of breastfeeding, it is normal for your nipples to be sore or tender as they are adjusting to the breastfeeding routine. Your nipples can become cracked, hurt or might even bleed.
In this case, in addition to working with a consultant, you will also want to invest in good nipple cream. It helps to slow down the process of losing moisture from your nipples so they can heal faster leaving you to feel more comfortable and happy with the baby.
Many mothers do not use nursing pillows and still easily breastfeed their babies. But it does not mean nursing pillows are of no use. By having good quality nursing pillows you can make breastfeeding easy for yourself and your little one.
You can prop the pillow around your waist and put the baby on it for much easier access to your breasts and extra support for your arms too so your arms do not get tired.
The first thing which needs to be cleared right away is that using a nipple shield is not a sign of failure. It is just to help you through the early weeks of breastfeeding. The semi-soft shields help shape while protecting your nipple as baby feeds. It becomes a must item if you are having a sore nipple.
Well, a nursing cover is more of a personal preference item rather than must-have. But some moms are more comfortable in added privacy for breastfeeding. If you think you might need it, you can choose from various covetable fabrics, patterns and colours.
Breast Milk Pump
Breast Pump can have a way of making mamas feel a little like milk machines. But we all want to do whatsoever we can for our babes— and there are a few ways to make the method a little less sucky.
Even if you intend to exclusively breastfeed, it is necessary to have a breast pump on hand. We will tell you why. It can help to boost your milk quantity, especially in the early days.
Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand principle, so pumping for a few minutes after feeding or doing a pumping session an hour or so after baby finished can increase your supply.
The pump can also be helpful if the other caregiver has to feed the baby. Especially convenient for the middle-of-the-night feedings. And if you plan to be away from your baby for a night with your partner or any purpose, the breast pump is there to help you.
And of course, if you are a working woman, you would want to have a stash in your freezer and feel relieved when you are at work.
Types of breast pumps
There are three basic types of breast pumps:
Electric Breast Pumps
If you like things to get done fast and easily, then electric pumps are ideal for you. It is the most powerful option when it comes to the breast pumps which also allows double pumping. It not only saves the pumping time but also stimulates more milk production.
There are many options under this category of breast pumps like if you think your baby is going to drink most of her milk from a bottle rather than nursing, consider a hospital-grade electric pump, which will help you produce the highest yield in a short time.
There is also a hands-free pumping bra, that allows you to work, talk on the phone or check your Emails while your milk is getting stored.
- Powerful pumps can obtain more milk.
- Allows multitasking.
- These pumps are very expensive and might cost alot .
Battery-operated breast pumps
These pumps are less expensive than electric pumps. Battery-operated pumps have the upper hand when it comes to portability. You can take the pump with you at work or anywhere you want.
There are even wearable models available that can be placed under your clothes (not too discreetly), allowing you to pump anywhere without using your hands. If you nurse your baby yourself and want a pump for occasional use, then this is perfect for you.
- Less expensive than electric pumps.
- Easy portability and can be used anywhere.
- It takes more time than electric pumps.
- The battery can be an issue and may run out in the middle of the pumping session.
Manual breast pumps
Manual breast pumps are suitable for you if you consider electric pumps and battery-operated pumps risky. It also lets you control the rate of suction yourself and many women consider it more convenient and close to the feeling of their baby sucking.
Manual pumps are much less expensive, noiseless and easier to carry than others. Some of the moms carry it with them to deal with occasional bouts of engorgement or to fully empty the breast after breastfeeding.
- The suction rate can be controlled.
- Safer and easy to carry.
- Less expensive.
- It requires both hands and more effort to use.
Breast Milk Storage Containers
Normally, breast milk stays fresh at room temperature for 3 to 6 hours, after which it should be stored in the refrigerator. Where it will be okay to use for up to 4 days (up to 3 months in the freezer).
Storage containers are essential for breastfeeding and pumping moms to store the pumped breast milk, and perhaps also a cooling bag if you will be carrying expressed milk or from work.
Many of the breast pumps come with a set of storage containers which is all you need. But the number of containers depends upon the usage of expressed milk. You may want additional storage bags or bottles. Here are some pros and cons of both of the options.
Breast milk storage bag
It is a convenient and space-saving option for you if you want to create a freezer stash of pumped milk. The storage bags are made with sturdy plastic which is more durable than a disposable bottle liner and are less likely to break or leak in the freezer.
Transferring milk into these storage bags without spilling the drops can be a little tricky task.
Breast milk storage bottles
The storage bottles are washable and reusable, unlike the storage bags. And they are most likely to connect directly to the nipple, which can be useful when it is feeding time.
But the downside of the bottles is that they are bulky and take more space than the storage bags in your fridge.
Both the bottles and bags are available in various sizes, starting from 2 to 6 ounces, so you can choose what suits you best. Moms who pump a lot of milk may need a container with a larger capacity than the moms who express milk occasionally.
After some time, when a mother and a baby get comfortable with breastfeeding routine (usually after a few days to several weeks), it will be a right time to introduce the baby to the feeding bottle, Whether you are using pumped up milk or formula.
This transition from breast to bottle could be difficult for babies, so, there are specially designed bottles and nipples available in the market that mimic the breastfeeding experience.
The nipples are made with silicone in round shape to replicate the breasts. To buy the best bottle, your best bet is to buy different bottles and see which one makes the baby more comfortable.
Breastfeeding Gears: Safety Measures
When you’re breastfeeding, you and your baby should feel safe, protected, and cosy. So keep these simple safety regards in mind when buying and using breastfeeding supplies, like breast pumps, nursing pillows, nursing pads, and nipple creams.
- Keep the baby gear clean
The most crucial safety precaution breastfeeding moms should take is to keep all of your baby gears and accessories clean, both to prevent the germs and to stay your entire milk supply process in optimal working order, from nipple to bottle.
- Know your breast pump
Breast pumps are made with a lot of small parts and you should get familiar with them as soon as it takes so you know how to disassemble, clean and reassemble with ease, and troubleshoot any performance problems that may arise. Dirty, jammed. Decayed, damaged or adhesive parts may result in a waste of milk or pump breakage.
- Keep germs away
Mastitis, an unpleasant infection that is very common among the first time breastfeeding moms, is caused when bacteria enter a milk channel through a crack in the nipple skin. So, if you are using nipple shields, make sure to clean them thoroughly after use. Nursing pads should also be washed or changed frequently to prevent any infection.
- Use a nursing pillow with care
Comfortable nursing pillows can provide much-needed help for breastfeeding moms and their aching arms. But make sure you never leave a baby unattended in or on the nursing pillow.
- Store the milk safely
When the milk is out of the breasts, it becomes vulnerable to germs so it is necessary to store it carefully. Refrigerate pumped milk within 6 hours of pumping, and keep it away from direct sunlight and heat so it stays fresh.
You should also wash the breast pump thoroughly by disassembling it. But if that is not possible store pump parts in a plastic bag (sealed) in a cooler or a refrigerator to keep moisture and milk residue from spoiling the performance of your next breast pumping session.
- Use nipple cream with harmless ingredients
Nipple cream or lotion is very helpful to heal sore and sensitive skin. But make sure the cream you are using has safe ingredients or not. Natural lanolin is safe to use while nursing, or other food-safe ingredients. Avoid the creams with petroleum ingredients.
- Never buy a secondhand pump
If you are planning to borrow or buy a secondhand breastfeeding pump then we recommend you to reconsider it. There are several reasons, one being that milk or moisture can enter the internal parts of the ore-owned pump and can cause contamination. So even if you have new parts like tubes, a second-hand pump is still not a safe option.
Your baby will be sporting his umbilical cord stump right after the birth for the first 10 to 20 days (usually). The stump can be short or long depending on where it was cut off. If it is long, you may want to go for newborn kimonos and likes, which are safe and won’t rub or irritate it.
In addition to folding down her diaper, stock up on a few “kimono” tops or any part of clothing that covers the round and locks on the side. The side snapping also means you don’t have to pull something down over your baby’s head, which can be a little irritating in the beginning.
In short, one type of clothes does not fit all babies. You have to closely consider what your baby needs and feels comfortable in. For the first-timers, it is not easy to figure out all these details by themselves. So we will discuss everything you need for your baby’s clothing in detail which will make decisions easy for you.
Bodysuits, also called onesies, are the staple of baby’s wardrobe. Most stores call them bodysuits and not onesies because Gerber has a trademark on the word “onesie”. Most of the mothers use onesies instead of regular shirts because they snap between the legs which prevent the suit from hiking up and revealing the sweet belly of your baby to the cold weather.
If you live in a warm climate, full-sleeved onesies are ideal to keep the baby’s little arms warm.
You can and should get several onesies for your baby for each stage of development. They come in a pack of 3 and 5 and are not expensive. You should look for bodysuits that hold up well in the wash, lasts for a long time and are stretchy around the neck and the shoulders of the baby to make wearing easy.
When it comes to newborns, comfort becomes the most important feature of every item you want to buy for your little one. And comfy pull-on leggings make your life easier. Most of the leggings are made out of cotton which is soft, comfortable and offers plenty of room for diapered butts.
While leggings will do just fine for the baby most of the time, when you need pants, there are plenty of options available too. The things to consider: sizing (not only length but waist too).
To deal with the sizing problem, look for the ones which have built-in sizing loops that loosen or tightens as the baby needs.
Leggings you are going to buy must be easy to take off and on (you surely won’t want to put extra effort in clothing your baby), comfortable and cosy and should work for any occasion, whether it is playtime or for a party.
If you want your baby to be the stylish one, you can look for denim but that may cause difficulties while taking on and off and we do not recommend them as it will limit the babies leg movements and affect potty training.
The Footed Bodysuit
The footed onesies are the most impressive, easy and convenient piece of clothing you can get for your baby. The best thing about this kind of bodysuit is that with it, you won’t need pants, onesie, shoes, socks and mitts as it will cover all of them. For working mommies who don’t have time to put all these clothes on, the footed onesie is the way to go.
The problem is that the baby clothing industry has not given or can not decide a specific name for different types of clothes. So there is a high possibility that if you ask for the simple onesie, they hand you the footed one. There is not much difference between footed onesies and jammies except the ones that look jammy-Esque are called jammies.
Pyjamas or jammies are the most common and easily available items in the stores. Footed jammies are excellent to keep your baby’s little feet warm and cosy. For newborns, you can also go for a sleeping gown.
The biggest advantage of the sleeping gown is easy and middle-of-the-night diaper change. They are ideal for the first few weeks when your baby poops every couple of hours and needs a frequent diaper change. After 4-5 weeks, the pooping behaviour changes and slows down and is not as critical.
The disadvantage of the sleeping gown is that it is prone to hike up around the baby’s tummy area, which is annoying and unsafe for the baby as she can catch a cold. So to ensure warm feet and legs, sleeping gowns are ideally used in combination with a blanket.
Newborns need strictly warm footwears. They do not walk or run around in the house so the requirements for the baby’s footwear are different. If your baby is not wearing footed clothes, you will need socks to keep the baby’s feet warm and if it is too cold outside, some shoes or booties can do the job.
But the problem with baby socks is that they tend to move and do not stay very well on the baby’s feet, with a few exceptions. There are many award-winning footwears available in the market to choose from. Just make sure you choose soft and stretchy material.
If you live in a cold climate, you will need a jacket and/or a heavier coat, more importantly, if you spend a lot of time outside and like to walk or going to the park, etc. if you are in not very much colder climate then a simple hoodie or a sweater will do the job.
If you are using a stroller, then a good quality footmuff would be a great option because blankets do not stay on well and footmuff allows you to zip up the fabric around the baby.
In the first few months of your baby’s life, she will be perpetual pee-er and pooper, asking you to be on active diaper duty. The best way to cope up with the situation, set up a strategic stock changing station. Whether it is a stand-alone changing table or a desk or any table, the surface should be big enough to offer a space for easy change.
The table should be well above the floor so you won’t have to bend down while you do the diaper deed. And for the changing pad, the flat is fine, the one with a safety strap that fastens around your baby like a belt is preferred.
Now coming down to the everyday essentials:
The two main types of diapers are disposable diapers and cloth or reusable diapers. Here is what you will find in these categories.
Types Of Disposable Diapers
Disposable diapers are built from layers of synthetic elements (usually polyethene or polypropylene, the same materials which are used in plastic wraps and bags and considered safe) sandwiching a centre layer of super-absorbent polymer, normally sodium polyacrylate, a nontoxic composite that can absorb many times its weight in fluid.
Eco-Friendly Disposable Diapers
You will find a broad range of variety of eco-friendly disposable diapers, intended to be free of chlorine, smells, latex, and petroleum-based moisturisers. Some green disposables are also biodegradable or include panels made from biodegradable or renewable substances. And some eco-friendly diaper brands even use a portion of proceeds to support environmental purposes.
Types of reusable diapers
Pre-folded Cloth Diapers
These fabric diapers (usually made from cotton, flannel, or bamboo) are similar to the diapers used back in the time (maybe when you were little). Diapering a baby with one of these nappies takes a bit of exercise and a few cloth diaper accessories as well: You have to fold the cloth just so to fit your baby’s bottom, fasten it with separate snaps or pins, then wrap it with waterproof diaper protection to avoid any leaks.
Contoured Cloth Diapers
Contoured diapers have a shape like an hourglass, that is meant to fit your baby’s butt better. Like flats and prefolds, you still have to fasten them with separate snaps or pins and use a waterproof diaper cover.
All-In-One Cloth Diapers
These waterproof diapers come in many different colours and patterns and also have a removable absorbing pad that can be flushed or washed. These diapers have elastic throughout the waist and legs, as well as built-in snaps, hooks and Velcro straps. Plus, the good thing is, there is no need to buy a separate cover because it comes with a waterproof material which is sewn right over the absorbent cloth padding on the inner side of these cloth diapers (that is why they are called all-in-one cloth diapers).
These waterproof diapers have both an inner cloth padding as well as a pocket (inside the inner wall) that holds a folded cloth diaper. These diaper inserts or liners, come in disposable, flushable and washable types.
All-In-Twos or Hybrid Diapers
Hybrid diapers are very comparable to pocket diapers, except this diaper insert goes directly against your baby’s skin. It is helpful as you can change out the insert only rather than changing the entire diaper.
Reusable Diaper Accessories
How many cloth diapers to have? No matter if you are using prefolds, all-in-ones, or a combination of both, you will need to buy about 30 to 40 reusable diapers for your baby’s size. Newborns need an average of 14 diaper changes a day, which means you will be washing diapers after every second day.
If you want to do less laundry, you will have to buy more diapers but do not go crazy by stocking hundreds of diapers because you might start feeling it’s not so comfortable being green or you just may need a different way.
Diaper covers: in all-in-one cloth diapers, the covers are already included, but if you are using separate cloth diapers and covers most of the time then you may need about six to eight diaper covers.
The number of covers is less because you will not need to wash the cover after every diaper change, it will probably last for two to three diapers.
Doublers: Cloth doublers are fabric inserts that provide extra protection, no matter which type of cloth diaper you’re using (even pocket diapers). While doublers are great overnight and during long naps, they add bulk and restrict mobility, so they’re not so hot when your baby’s awake.
Doublers: Cloth doublers are the fabric inserts that give extra protection, no matter what kind of cloth diaper you are using, all-in-ones or even pocket diapers. While doublers are ideal especially during the night and long naps, they do add weight and restrict movement, so they are not so hot when your baby’s awake.
Liners: Liners are biodegradable and flushable sheets of paper that can fit any type of reusable cloth diaper. Liners do not provide extra protection, however, they do make cleaning easier, especially once your baby is eating solid food and his poop becomes more viscous and harder to get off the diaper. You do not really need flushable paper liners, but they’re low-priced, so buy a box and see how it works for you.
Cloth diaper container: When it comes to disposing of dirty nappies, any regular trash can will do, but the smell could be a problem, the tighter the lid fits, the better. For preventing smell, spray a little baking soda in your reusable cloth diaper container to absorb the smell. And do wash that container often.
Wipes: Many cloth diapers using mamas prefer to go green with cloth wipes. You can even make these wipes out of your old T-shirts, but you can also use disposable ones. One way to feel better about disposable wipes is to buy the box just once, then refill with minimal-packaging inserts.
Cloth diaper detergent: The choice of cloth diaper detergents depends upon the type of fabric diaper you are using, with different formulas for organic cotton, hemp, and wool. In general stay away from soaps and additives like dyes, perfumes, and fabric softeners. Why? Because they can affect the diaper’s size and ability to absorb water away from your baby’s butt, moreover, they can be irritating and uncomfortable to sensitive skin. To treat stubborn stains, use non-chlorine bleach and then rinse with your usual cloth diaper detergent.
- Baby Bedding
Baby bedding is especially crucial because babies are not able to regulate their body temperatures. And you will need to use the suitable baby bedding to make sure the baby is not too cold or too hot during the night.
Babies should not have loose baby nursery bedding in their cribs including blankets, pillows, comforters, and stuffed animals. Instead, use a simple fitted sheet on the mattress.
Babies should be placed and sleep in zippered or buttoned footed sleepers. Newborns like to be wrapped and you should take care of it by wrapping your little one before bed. As the baby grows, you can replace the swaddling blanket with a sleep sack.
A zipped sleeping bag that will be comfortable for your baby and keep her warm and cosy. However, make sure these bags do not have any hoods, or if they have, do not put it on to prevent extra heat in the bed. Also, do not buy too large bags. Although it might look like a wise thing to do for your growing baby, it is a bad idea as the baby is not safe in it and can slide out of the bag.
Picking the mattress which fits your baby will increase the odds of you both getting a good night’s sleep! The safest option you can choose for your baby to sleep is in a Moses basket, crib, cot or cot bed in your room for the first six months and a safe mattress should fit their bed with no gaps.
Here are a few things to look out for when choosing a mattress for your newborn baby.
Make sure the mattress you are going to buy has good breathable material to help your baby to be at a comfortable temperature. A breathable material of mattress will keep any perspiration away from your baby, so their mattresses stay dry.
Getting the size and fit of the mattress is important so your baby can not get their legs stuck outside of the crib. Ideally, there should not be more than 3 cm gap between the edges or sides, so you can tuck your little one in comfortably.
The best mattresses are firm, on the heavy side, and resilient. To check the suitability of the mattress, press it in the centre and the edges. It should not conform to the shape of your hand and should come back to its original position as soon as you release. You would not want your baby to sleep on a mattress which moulds to the shape of her head.
Types Of Mattresses
Foam: Usually, the most affordable, foam mattresses are lightweight and provide comforting support. They have a PVC wipe-clean material on one side so are easy to keep clean whenever you want. They are most likely to lose their shape with time, so are better for short-term use in a Moses basket or crib.
Coil Sprung: A traditional and trendy choice used by many parents, these mattresses come with a coil-sprung interior with layers of foam or felt padding, that enables increased airflow. They are supportive and will keep their appearance great over time.
Pocket sprung: Alike coil sprung mattresses, every spring in these mattresses has a pocket to provide better assistance and durability. This is surely an expensive choice and not cost-effective unless your baby will sleep on the mattress for many years, or you may use the mattress for another child (Although we do not recommend it).
Double-sided: Some mattresses will have a more rigid and smoother side for use from childbirth to pre-school, with a softer side to use when your child is more grown.
Organic: Built from chemical and allergen-free natural materials such as bamboo, natural mattresses are suitable for families where allergies are a concern. They will also offer good comfort and be naturally anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking and breathable.
Easy-care polyester and poly-cotton have been used for decades but now everyone wants 100 percent cotton sheets for their babies as well as for themselves. But since the manufacturers often use formaldehyde to prevent wrinkling, you might want to try out chemical-free linens. There are many stylish and traditional sheets available in the market to choose from (just keep the quality in mind). Cotton is one of the most treated crops and if you want to go green, you will have to go organic.
- Cotton Sheets
Cotton sheets are by far the most commonly used sheets available for babies. Unsurprisingly, cotton sheets are the number one priority for mothers when looking for the sheets to use in the baby’s crib. Cotton bed sheets provide many benefits like it is suitable for your baby’s skin as it is hypoallergenic. Another advantage of cotton is that it suits every kind of climate as it can keep your baby warm in a cold environment and keeps them cool in hot weather.
- Bamboo Sheets
Bamboo baby bedsheets are not as comfortable as the cotton ones but are breathable and sourced from ethical sources. These sheets are free from any type of harmful chemicals and are completely organic. However, your baby’s comfort should be the priority and the bamboo sheets do not fit the standards when it comes to comfortability. If you want to be environmentally friendly and have a little extra cash, you should go for organic cotton bedsheets.
- Polyester Sheets
If you live in a cold climate or if the winter is coming, polyester sheets are the best choice for your baby. These sheets will provide a great and right amount of comfort and warmth to your little one. But if you are going to shop polyester bedsheets, we recommend looking around different shops first as polyester varies in terms of quality.
Try not to use polyester bedsheets in summer to avoid overheating and use alternative bedsheets like cotton bedsheets.
- Flannel Sheets
If your baby gets cold and wakes up frequently in the night, you might need to switch to flannel bed sheets. These sheets are far better in terms of the warmth and cosiness offered to the babies while being incredibly soft and comfortable.
Avoid using them in summer or if your house is kept warm as these sheets will cause overheat and the baby will feel uncomfortable.
A soft cloud of a polyester-filled pillow, comforter and bumper will not only look great on your baby’s bed but will provide the utmost comfort to the baby. Eco versions are not as squishy, but they have their charm, somewhat similar to your old teddy bear’s. And they’re ideal for babies, who shouldn’t sleep in clouds for safety sake.
There are many types of baby pillows available on the market and some of them are:
- Latex Pillows
As the name shows clearly, these pillows are made up of latex. The advantage of using a latex pillow for your baby is that it provides a great neck and shoulder support and is hypoallergenic, making it ideal for sensitive babies.
Although latex is a comfortable material to be used as a pillow for your baby it is also associated with high allergies particularly in children. So before going for the latex pillows, make sure it is safe and your baby is not allergic to it.
- Foam Pillows
There are many kinds of foam used to fill baby pillows and one of the most preferred kinds is memory foam. It moulds into the shape of the body in response to heat and pressure exerted by the body. It comes back to its normal shape once the pressure is released. In addition to its feature, this kind of pillow is durable and can last up to 8 years.
- Fibre Fill
These pillows are filled with a man-made fibre like polyester. Sometimes, natural fibres like cotton are also used to fill these pillows. These pillows are one of the most comfortable pillows which provide ample support to your little one.
This essential piece of kit is a transmitter that goes in your baby’s room (anywhere near the crib) and a monitor that you can take around the house with you or even sleep near it, so you can hear if he wakes up anytime. There are various options available and the best baby monitor for you will depend on your budget and extra features you may be looking for. Assure that all electrical wires of the monitor are kept well away from your baby’s bed, or play area, so they are safe and never get caught up in them.
There are some key features you should look for when buying a baby monitor.
- Video feature
- Temperature assessment
- Night lights
- Movement sensor
- Remote control
Mosquito nets are essential for your baby because they can not keep disturbing creatures away like grown-ups. They do need a lot of adult surveillance, and to reduce the already heavy load, a mosquito net is an excellent option. These nets cover the entire area your baby sleeps or plays in – this may be its crib, the stroller, carrier, or anything else – and have very small pores to allow almost nothing but only air to flow in and out. With a structure like this, they guard against the attack of mosquitos and other flying creatures, so your babies can have a peaceful sleep.
- Cleaning And Bathing
A newborn’s skin is soft and delicate. Proper skin care and bathing can maintain the health and texture of your baby’s skin while providing a pleasant experience for both of you.
Contrary to common belief, most babies do not need a bath daily. With daily care of diaper changes and wiping of the mouth after feeding, the baby only needs to be bathed 2 or 3 times in a week. Baths have no specific time and can be given at any time of the day. We recommend bathing before feeding as it works well. Bathing your baby before bedtime is ideal as it is relaxing and soothing for the baby and helps them sleep well.
Your baby’s first few baths have to be sponge baths. And you should not bathe your baby in a tub until the umbilical cord falls off. And if it is a boy and circumcised, do not put him in the bathtub until his circumcision heals to avoid any kind of infection.
What Is Needed For Bathing Newborns?
- Thick towels or a sponge-type bath cushion
- soft cloths to wash
- basin or clean tub
- cotton balls
- baby shampoo and baby soap (make sure they are gentle and non-irritating for the eyes of the baby)
- hooded baby towel
- clean diaper and clothing
Newborn baby skincare is a delicate matter and must be given full attention. In the early few weeks of the baby, as her immune system develops, you have to use the mildest cleansers which do not irritate the baby’s eyes and the smallest bit of lotion. But in case of dry skin, eczema, and diaper rash starts to appear, you have to treat those problems. Consult with your paediatrician about when to start using skincare products.
Your baby needs dye-free, fragrance-free baby skincare products. Here are a few tips before you start shopping for skincare products:
- Read the labels carefully. Baby skincare products that contain chemicals like dyes, fragrances, and chemicals are not recommended as they can irritate a baby’s skin and breathing.
- Organic baby skincare products are a safer option for most infants. In case allergies or asthma runs in your family, your newborn may also be sensitive to botanicals and herbs in some products so make sure to consult the specialist beforehand.
- The label “hypoallergenic” can be deceiving. It means that the product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the product is gentler on the skin than other products.
If you are done with baby’s nursery and now ready to buy skincare products for your little one, these are the essential skincare products:
- Baby Shampoos
Cleansers and washes that do not contain any chemical substance are safe for babies. Shampoos formulated especially for babies will help you wash your baby’s hair during their bath. But that’s not it, as you have to be very careful about buying shampoo because there are some key factors which should be considered and can affect your baby’s eyes, hair or skin if not.
- Cradle Cap
It is a condition which causes a yellow-coloured scales or dry skin on your baby’s scalp. This condition is usually harmless and goes away within two weeks of treatment. It can be left alone but it will last for months. There are shampoos which are specially formulated for cradle caps and treat this condition. If your baby has a cradle cap then you should seek for a cradle cap formulated shampoo.
Eczema is another condition or a state in which a baby’s skin becomes extremely dry. Since there is no cure for this condition and you have to wait until the dryness goes away, try to use Eczema-friendly shampoo. These shampoos help moisturize baby’s skin while reducing dryness.
Some babies are sensitive to the fragrance a shampoo provides or the chemicals used to create a fragrance. You can not know for sure that the baby is affected by a smell or not, so it is advised to use fragrance-free shampoos to avoid any situations. The biggest advantage of using these shampoos is that you will get rid of those unwanted and potentially harmful ingredients which are used to create a fragrance.
If your baby has red skin, scaly patches or itchy scalp, then she is most probably allergic to the shampoo you are using. The chemicals used in the shampoo cause allergy to some babies and leave them with an itchy scalp.
There are hypoallergenic shampoos available which are formulated in such a way that the chemicals used are gentle and not harmful to the sensitive skins. Using these shampoos even if the baby does not have any kind of allergy is a good option to minimize the chemicals’ contact with your baby.
We adults can close our eyes to prevent the shampoo from going into our eyes and causing discomfort. But, newborns can not do that and if the shampoo contains the chemicals which can cause tears or any kind of discomfort to the baby’s eyes, avoid it. As the baby’s every body part is sensitive and the eyes being the most sensitive one, you have to be careful while choosing a shampoo.
Tear-free shampoo means that the shampoo will not cause any tears or discomfort to your baby’s eyes if it gets into them. Chemicals like Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLES) are approved and safe to use for tear-free shampoos. Although the extra cautious parents do not use shampoos with these chemicals as they think they harm the baby, these shampoos are safe and harmless for the babies.
- Baby Lotions
Baby lotions help to moisturize your baby’s skin. Baths can dry the baby’s skin so a gentle, fragrance-free lotion can take good care of the baby’s skin. Apply the lotion after bathing but use the lotion sparingly. Apply on the area which looks dry such as ankles, elbows and hands/palms.
Do not use more than one product at a time.
Choosing the best and right baby lotion for your little one is very important in terms of baby’s skincare and health. It may take you time and trial before you find the best product. There are some key factors to consider when buying baby lotion. Every baby has different skin from another and one product can be effective for one and harmful for another. Therefore, some personal observation will help you find the best-suited lotion for your baby. These are some of the things to look for on the labels:
- Free of dye and fragrances.
- Free of paraben.
- Free of preservatives.
- Plant-based oils.
Here are some key factors to consider while choosing a lotion for your baby:
Newborns usually do not have allergies until they are a little older. However, it is necessary to observe and look for any symptom that your baby has any kind of severe allergy or not (nuts, dairy, etc). In the case of allergy, hypoallergenic baby lotions are available in the market like the shampoos. Hypoallergenic baby lotions help avoid any serious condition relating to the allergy your baby might have. To remain on the safe side, we recommend using hypoallergenic lotions for your baby as you can’t always be sure about her allergies.
- Organic Ingredients
The baby lotions are formulated with both natural or organic and artificial ingredients. People tend to go for organic products and rightly so. The best products are 100% or partially produced with organic ingredients.
The natural ingredients are harmless and more effective without any strong chemical reactions that can occur from artificial ingredients. This is not only a belief of mothers but scientific researches also discovered that natural products are more effective at soothing and moisturizing baby’s skin.
Common natural ingredients to look for in baby lotions are lavender, chamomile, shea butter, honey and vitamins.
- Harmful Ingredients
The strong chemicals used in the baby product can be harmful to the baby’s skin. There is a possibility that one lotion containing chemicals works just fine for your friend’s baby and she recommends you the same lotion for your baby and it affects your baby adversely. So, it is important to check that the baby lotion you are buying is free from undesirable and harmful ingredients.
Some of the ingredients which you should avoid are paraben, mineral oils, phthalate and fragrance.
- Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum products can be used to treat the diaper rash of the babies which is a common concern for every mom. The petroleum products protect the baby’s skin with a shield against moisture caused by diapers. It also helps to heal the circumcision site.
- Baby Oil
Oil is a traditional and common product used by almost every mother to take good care of their baby’s skin. It is best used as a massage oil for newborn’s skin and not as a moisturizer because the skin of the babies does not absorb it well enough.
- Baby Powder
If you are planning on using baby powder, try to go for powders that are talc-free and make sure to keep it away from baby’s face, genitalia and going into baby’s mouth. Talc or cornstarch containing powders may cause breathing problems for the baby so it is best to use it sparingly.
- Winter Clothing
With the winter approaching, weather getting colder and colder day by day, do you have everything your newborn needs? You might feel a little overwhelmed and worried, especially if it is the first winter of your little one. But with the proper clothing and care, your baby will be comfortable and happy in chilly weather too.
If you don’t know where to start and what to do, we will go through all the necessities for your baby together. Let’s get to it.
Things To Consider Before Buying Winter Clothes For Your Baby
Before you buy something considering their visual appearance, there are some key things to consider.
You want your baby to be warm all winter, right? But covering them up multiple layers of clothes can be uncomfortable and restrict the movement of the baby. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- The first layer should be a breathable fabric. Cotton or a cotton blend is the ideal material for the clothes of the baby. They are soft and do not cause any itch and that is what you will want as clothes closest to your baby’s skin.
- Quilted polyester or fleece provides a great amount of warmth and ideal for outdoor wear like snowsuits, buntings, and jackets.
- Microfleece is great for keeping your baby nice and warm at night.
Things to Look For
Babies often need to be changed and if you have a drooler, it is a great struggle of keeping the chest area of clothes dry. In this case, clothes that are easy to take on and off are ideal. You never know when your little one will force you to change the diapers. Here are some tips that can help.
- Expandable necklines of the tops are very convenient to take on and off. Babies hate to have clothes pulled over their heads with force and rubbing with their face and head. Stretchy necklines will make it much easier for you and comfortable for the baby.
- Clothes having buttons, snaps and zippers allow you to change the diaper quickly as they do not require to be taken off completely to do that.
Clothes For Winter
At this stage, you might feel more confident about taking your baby outside without worrying about the weather. To further help you in the search of winter clothing we will discuss some of them in detail.
If you prefer a lightweight yet warm tops for your baby, you might want to try the jackets rather than bulky snowsuits. The jackets with their lightweight, keep the baby cosy without them feeling restricted.
The jackets’ cuffs can also be folded to provide more freedom to your baby’s little fingers and protect them from sticking in the cuffs. Jackets are mostly made up of polyester and have a water-proof finish. It is very helpful if the baby drools or throws up.
While out and about during cold days, your baby requires to stay heated. A quality snowsuit that can be slid on over other layers is essential. The snowsuits are quilted and lined (mostly), and warm but lightweight at the same time so the baby does not feel overwhelmed by the weight of the snowsuit.
The sleeves of the snowsuits can be rolled to keep the cold air out of the suit. The snowsuit can be machine washed and tumble dried.
A wearable blanket can be a good companion for your little one in chilly nights or days. A good one stays secure on the baby while allowing space to move hands and legs freely. Certified organic cotton is used in the blankets which makes it soft and warm at the same time. It has a zip on the top and the bottom as well, which makes it easy to take on and off (very convenient for those late-night changes). They come in very cute patterns and colours which your baby will surely love.
The sweater is the most common and widely used attire for the babies in winter (adults too). They are great for those not-too-hot-not-too-cold days of the year when the weather is unpredictable. The sweater made with pure cotton gives a perfect warm experience baby needs.
Taking on and off the sweater can be a little irritating for a baby if the necklines are not expandable.
Usually, babies do not like their hands and fingers to be restricted as they like to grab everything. But to protect them from chilly weather, you might want to cover them with gloves. Baby gloves are made with soft cotton, acrylic fibres, and velvet. They are very warm and stretchy yet breathable.
Some of them come with a thumb and some of them do not. Whatever it is, just keep in mind that gloves should not be very tight and do not restrict the hand movement of the baby.
Blankets give a feeling of a warm hug to the little ones and make them feel safe. There are many types of blankets you can use for your baby including handmade, store-bought, knitted, crotched or quilted baby blankets. The blankets also provide a security prospect to the newborn baby and make them feel comfortable and safe while mommies can run their errands without any worry.
Why is the size of a blanket important?
The babies grow up faster than you think. They are likely to outgrow their clothes quickly and the bedding items and blankets are no exception. That’s why it is important to pick the right size blanket for your baby to make sure it can be useful for a long period before it is repurposed.
But it does not mean that you should buy bigger blankets to keep using them for a long time. You must buy the correct type, size, trims and materials blankets because all of these factors play a vital role in the safety of the baby.
- Swaddle Blankets
Swaddling is an ancient practice of wrapping the baby in a blanket to feel her swaddled and secure. The swaddle blankets help babies feel more comfortable and help them to sleep. Various researches found swaddling increases the total amount of sleep of the babies along with non-rapid eye movement (NREM) when compared to they are not swaddled.
The swaddle blankets are a great help for mothers to calm their babies immediately by swaddling them. The right size is crucial which ranges from 40’’ x 40’’ to 48’’ x 48’’ to tuck babies in securely and make you go hands-free.
Cotton muslin is the most reliable and widely recommended material to look for when buying swaddle blankets. It keeps your baby warm and comfortable at the same time.
With all that being said, there is a possibility of stress being placed on the hip joints of a baby if the baby’s legs are frequently positioned where they are close together. This can cause hip joint misalignment or dislocation (development dysplasia). So if you suspect any discomfort being caused to the baby, consult the doctor and not use the blankets.
- Receiving Blankets
There is not much of a difference between swaddling and receiving blankets except that swaddling blankets wrap-up and snug fit your baby to make them calm while a receiving blanket is also used to swaddle the baby but, they are what your baby will first get wrapped in after birth, hence the name, receiving blanket.
Receiving blankets are slightly smaller than swaddling blankets and are made of thinner materials. The average size of receiving blankets ranges from 18’’ x 18’’ to 36’’ x 36’’. You can use receiving blankets to swaddle your baby as well but because of the risk of SIDS, we recommend not using any soft material or loose bedding while the baby is sleeping or at least not until the baby is one year old.
- Multi-use blankets
These blankets are versatile as it is obvious from the name. You can use them as a travel blanket or spread on the floor to let your baby play and crawl. Use them for a stroller or roll them to form a pillow. Available in different sizes, these multi-use blankets are ideal for gifting at a baby shower. Because these blankets are multi-purpose, they can be used for years to come if you repurpose them correctly. The average size of a multi-use blanket is 30’’ x 40’’.
- Crib Blankets
An average crib accommodates a mattress of around 27’’ x 52’’. It means the ideal crib size blanket dimensions around 36’’ x 54’’. To be more precise and to get the perfect fit blanket for the baby crib, take the measurements of the crib correctly. Add a few inches to the measurement if you want to hang the edges of the blankets from the mattress edge. Crib blankets come in various colours and add the decor of the baby’s room.
Crib blankets can be used while the baby is awake. But the experts strictly recommend that blankets should not be used in the crib while the baby is sleeping or about to sleep. Because they can cause baby suffocation under the blanket.
FAQ about Baby Shopping
- When to start baby shopping?
Ideally, it should be after the first trimester which is around 13-14 week. Why so? Well, in the first trimester you don’t share the news of your baby with your friends and family due to fear of miscarriage. In the phase between 13 – 20th week, you would have ruled out any miscarriage chances and the gender of the baby would be known which would make your shopping specific and more valuable.
If you are planning a baby shower, plan accordingly and the items such as diapers and nursery etc are best to be purchased in between 20 – 32 week. Keep in mind that you don’t need tons of diapers as size will change every 3 months. On clothing, don’t spend too much money on clothing as the weather will change quickly and baby will grow faster in the first year. A car seat and stroller should be purchased right after the first trimester and in that case, you can add baby furniture as well.
- Do babies need to wear shoes for their feet development?
In a simple answer, No! They don’t need them.
To extend this answer for the sake of explanation, we have sources of research such as the American Academy of Pediatrics which suggest that there is no link of baby feet development and shoes. The basic purpose of shoes for a baby is to save their feet from chilly, uneven, sharp corners kind of stuff when they try walking after one year. If the surface is not very chilled or hot, it is better for your toddler to stand and walk without shoes. That is how they learn the balance and feel the surface grip with their feet fingers. Barefoot helps them build their reflexes and balance while standing and walking.
- Is it Okay to use a normal towel for my baby?
There is no specific standard that has been set as far as baby towels are concerned but one thing is for sure that you need well sterilised and soft stuff made towels. Soft enough to not make them feel coarse or rough, and compact enough to not get wear and tears.
- What are the best shoe styles for baby girls and boys?
There are various styles and designs for baby girls and boys shoes. Some of the popular shoe styles that you can choose for your baby are the following.
Shoes for baby girls
You can choose one of the following styles for your baby girl!
- Mary janes
- Slip-on shoes ( prior to the walking phase, if you want)
- Booties (boots)
- Walking sneakers
- Sandals with ankle strap
Shoes for baby boys
- Slip-on shoes for the initial stage
- Walking sneakers
- Boots (especially for cold weather)
Following are some of the tips that you need to take into account regarding shoes buying and use!
- Avoid synthetic material of boots, which won’t let your baby feet to breath. Watch out for leather and good quality mesh material and make sure there is enough aeration.
- Do not force or push your baby to wear shoes as he starts walking or standing. Let him/her build grip on the surface, balance and his natural reflexes. Shoes from the word go will hamper this ability of the baby to build and grow his balance.
- You can start from pre-walker to slip on and booties gradually, once you are sure that he can walk really well and build his balance.
- The right or the best shoes for a baby would be those having anti-slip design, with a soft sole and flexible interior.
- They grow fast, aren’t they? So keep an eye on the size growing as your baby may feel uncomfortable with the pair of shoes that he just started wearing two months back. Moreover, don’t buy a huge collection of shoes, as the size changes, keep changing the style and design.
I hope this detailed guide on baby shopping will help you to buy the right stuff for your baby.
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