When you think about the imminent arrival of your new baby, you immediately want to do your best for them. You want to make sure that their every single need is met and that you have everything perfect for them. Magazines and blogs shout about the huge range of things that your newborn will need.
While many of them are sensible suggestions, there are some that are not really baby-friendly, no matter how they try to sell it.
A bit of a secret is that more than anything, a baby needs food and sleep and you. They can get by without much else in those first couple of precious months. Of course, it is understandable that you want to give them more than just the basics.
These are a few things that you might want to think about and not necessarily choose automatically for your newborn. Everyone has a different experience and there is no typical baby. Some people might swear by some of these things, but we suggest you have a read before you dive in and buy it all.
Also read the full article "The Ultimate Guide to Safety for Babies and Kids to discover even more about the safety of your love ones, and to know the best practices for them as well as what to do to keep babies safe.
It sounds like a really important item, but many people find a baby bath is just not that useful. Baby baths are large and cumbersome items which makes them difficult to fit under the faucet and balance while filling. It is also hard to carry when filled.
Equally it is difficult to hold baby in the baby bath while washing them, which can lead to them slipping a little under the water. When you bathe, bathe your baby (just avoid harsh bath products). Nestle them as you normally hold them and clean them that way.
Alternatively use a sponge baby support in your big bath with a little water. Or use the sink instead of the bath. It is the perfect height for your arms and there is no awkward carrying around.
There are so many alternative solutions to a baby bath, that are easier and more natural as well as kinder to the environment.
Baby Laundry Detergent
Many companies rely on your emotions to sell their products. They also develop products to tug on your heartstrings. One of the products where this is easy to see is in laundry detergent.
Some companies suggest their baby-specific detergent is better for babies, but there is no proof this is true. Have you noticed that these detergents are more expensive than your regular detergent too. It also encourages you to complete separate washes for different people's clothing within your household.
This gives you much more work and uses additional energy, water and detergent. In the end, babies clothes are often more soiled than adult clothing and need proper washing. It is mainly the agitation and warmth of the water that cleans out stains.
Your regular family non-biological laundry liquid is fine. Avoid ones with strong scents and bleaching agents as residues can be left behind, but no need to use a baby specific one; after all they have only recently been invented if you think about it!
Diaper Pail Or Disposal Unit
There is really no need to have a special disposal unit for diapers, or a special pail unless you are using reusable diapers. If you are using a disposable diaper then placing it in a diaper bag and into your household garbage to dispose of it is easiest. In fact, this removes the diaper from your home much quicker and more effectively.
If you feel a diaper is smelly, just take it straight outside to the garbage! The disposal units use cartridges that you have to purchase again and again, and are costly. They also use a high level of plastic in their construction which is not good for the environment.
None of the pails or units have a practical application after baby is out of nappies due to their unusual sizes. Therefore the chances are, they will just end up in the garbage too.
Check out our guide on What to Pack in a Diaper Bag?
Baby Bath Products And Toys
A newborn baby is able to do very little. They mainly want to feel secure being cuddled by their family and hearing your voices, as well as eating and sleeping. You want to ensure their skin is clean of course and like with their clothes, there are lots of products available to help with this.
Baby skin is thin, fragile and delicate. The masses of scented products available to buy do nothing for your newborn. After all, what smells better than a newborn baby's skin?
Unlike adults they don't get sweaty and smelly. All you need to clean your baby really, is warm water and a flannel. If you want to use a product perhaps if you do not want to be worry about diaper residue then a very simple unscented soap or soap-free liquid is best.
A small squirt in the bath water and that works as shampoo and body wash. As there are no scents or colors it is unlikely to irritate that sensitive skin, but it can be drying if you use too much. Therefore work on the principle that a little is enough.
Lotions, shampoos, conditioners, colognes, oils none of these are actually necessary and can cause skin irritation. Save those for when they are rolling in mud!
Baby wipes are extremely popular. As any mom knows they are amazing and can clean up any spill, stain or problem that comes along. A wipe warmer can either be for disposable wipes or reusable cloth wipes.
A solution to a problem that isn't really a big problem, they are marketed to make comfortable bottom changes. However, you are still putting something wet on baby's bottom, which is the most likely thing to lead to upset.
If you are at home, your wipes are not going to be freezing cold either, so the temperature differential is not all that great. With reusable cloth wipes, you can use warm water from the faucet to warm the wipes up if you really want to.
They are another costly item that is not really an essential. A note on wipes, again the strong perfumes can irritate the skin, so stick to perfume free varieties for your newborn.
Shoes For Your Baby
It might make them look like little adults, but shoes for newborn babies are not a very sensible choice. Babies don't walk or use their feet, so shoes are just an unnecessary waste of money for you. While they may look cute, they could be restricting their little feet, which need to grow quickly.
If you are concerned about the cold when you go out, then think about getting some booties which are double layer soft shoes with an elasticated part at the ankle. They are large and flexible providing that extra layer of warmth.
As for mini sneakers or snow boots, they would be all for show. Wait until they are on their feet- you will love that first trip to the shoe store.
In later years you might feel completely the opposite. You will bemoan just how quickly their feet grow and how many pairs you need to buy!
Once considered an essential item for your baby, this would have been on every new parent's shopping list. Baby powder is now felt to do much more harm than good. It is made from a stone which is ground down into a very fine powder that has an intentional drying effect on skin, for absorbing excess moisture.
However, it can be too drying and cause irritation on your little one's skin. If you are worried about wetness in the diaper area, give them a little extra diaper-free time to dry out naturally. The main concern with the powder these days is that it is a very light dust.
This dust goes into the air around your baby and can be breathed in by baby and by you too. This can cause coughing, sneezing and more seriously, breathing problems. Therefore it is better to avoid it completely to keep your little one safe.
Baby Pillow, Blankets And Crib Bedding Packages
When you are thinking about your baby's bedding you want to make their room and crib the most inviting and adorable they can be. Companies advertise for many extras that you simply do not need and one of these is crib bedding. This usually consists of something to string around the crib in addition to sheets, quilts and pillows.
These strung fabric surrounds look really pretty, there is no doubt. However there have been instances where babies have been hurt from getting tangled in them and where they have gone over the top of their faces to make breathing difficult. The same has happened with pillows and quilts, where babies have wriggled under them and cannot get out.
Babies need only their crib with blankets or a baby sleeping bag in their first months, along with a single sheet covering the mattress. Before this other things can be dangerous as they are not able to move things off their faces. Avoiding this items it safest for your special little one.
Disposable Changing Pads
A changing pad allows you to comfortably and easily change your baby. A lot of people who use disposable pads might do so when travelling or away from the home. Overall, these pads are not that useful.
They allow any residue to soak into the pad which means it could easily get on baby's clothes. A travel changing pad is wipe clean and completely reusable which means you can wipe it while changing and remove the residue.
Disposable pads are single use and damaging for the environment. They can also be bulky while travelling if you take a few; far more bulky than a folding travel version.
Having a smaller changing mat for while you are away makes perfect sense, but choosing a travel one makes far more sense. They are more padded and comfortable day to day. The ultimate in sensible solutions for you.
Toys And DVDs
A baby loves hearing voices and noises and seeing patterns, but as far as toys go, they are a waste of money. For the first few months baby is getting used to living in this big wide world. Their eyesight is coming into focus and developing, and their time is spent eating, sleeping and getting to know you.
Until they can hold up their head and begin to move, toys are not really that helpful. Perhaps a rattle or a single teddy will provide a little entertainment, but certainly for the first couple of months that is all they need.
As for DVDs, they might be very entertaining for kids, but they are not that useful for babies. Babies cannot focus their eyes properly, so you will get a better response out of some music than you will with a DVD.
Meet their basic needs first and then build their interest in other things when they are ready to grow and develop. Don't wish away their baby days too soon!
Read our tips on Happy Motherhood – How to Be a Joyful Mom? and Best Toys For Every Child
Best Types of Buggy Or Stroller
It is tempting to consider buying a gigantic buggy with every single bell and whistle going. With a soft carrycot, a seat, footmuff, a forward-facing setting and a back-facing setting there are so many options. You can spend thousands of dollars getting something that does everything.
There are definite disadvantages though to getting something so big. You are the one that needs to get it in the car and out again, you also have to put it up and down to get to the mall or shops. You need to do this every time and you are giving yourself lots of extra work.
It can be really difficult to get through the aisles with a buggy built like a tank! You might also find you never even use all those extra features.
Consider getting two lighter buggies, one back-facing and snug, with the other forward-facing for when they are older. Together they could be much better value than the bigger one and far more practical too.
Give Your Baby The Best Of The Useful
When thinking about your newborn baby of course you want to do your absolute best for them. You want to give them all the love and care they need. You want to give them absolutely everything you can.
However that does not mean to say that just because people have done it before you, that it is right for your baby.
Also that just because a company tells you that something is essential, that is will be any use for you. There is a difference between doing what works for you and doing what someone else thinks is right. Just be sure that you know the difference.
If you are thinking of getting something and you are not sure how useful it will be, just wait to see. It might become obvious quickly that you do need it, and so you have to wait a day or two for it. This is so much better than having ten expensive things that you end up giving to a friend or goodwill, that you never used.
Anything Super Expensive
If you are thinking of making any super expensive purchases, then you might want to wait. Wait until you little man or lady comes along and see whether it is something you are missing.
In the days of internet ordering, you could get it in a day or two, whatever it is you need. There are people living across the world without all of these luxuries that you can't wait to get for your little one. That shows how few of them are really important.
Having said that, it is good to be prepared and ensure you get what you need. Is the expensive purchase something you can borrow? Or is there a standard version of it (rather than a baby-market one) that is in fact much better value and quality.
Companies will do whatever you can to get you to buy whatever they are selling. As with all things, think about whether you truly need it, and whether you need it right now.
Considering Second Hand Items For Your Baby Is Good Too
You might want to try borrowing any items you are not sure about before splashing out on them. Is there someone you can borrow it from or a place you can rent it? Can you get one from goodwill and replace it if needed.
You shouldn't be afraid to get some things second hand or from goodwill. Many will be those purchases that were rarely used and this is giving them a good lease of life. It is good on your pocket, good for the environment and gives some funds to charity so it is a situation where everyone wins.
Not everything for a newborn has to be new- period. You are not letting your little one down if you borrow something or buy it secondhand. Equally you are not letting the world down if you buy something new and end up not needing it.
This is normal at some point! These are the life lessons of parenthood- get used to it!
Check out The Ultimate Guide to Safety for Babies and Kids. Apply achievable solutions to the biggest issues we are experiencing as parents.
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