.Raising a child in the modern day takes careful planning and preparation. Baby gear and essentials cover a lot of bases, from big items that occupy up your home to smaller ones that fit in your diaper bag. As parents strive to give their loved ones the best possible start in life, they must build an arsenal of baby gear that will help fulfill not only their babies’ immediate needs, but their own too. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the must-have items every parent should have ready before their newborn comes home.
Babies don’t come with an instruction manual, so shopping for their gear requires a fair amount of research. But here are a few of the basics that you should be sure to include on your checklist of baby gear and essentials:
- Crib/Cradle: The crib or cradle is your baby’s primary sleep space throughout their early months and years. Be sure to purchase a reliable, safety-tested model that adheres to current standards.
- Car Seat/Stroller: Whether you’re taking your little one out for a walk or you’re driving across town, a car seat or stroller is essential. Look for models that offer ample padding, harnesses, and reclining features.
- Diapers: Cloth or disposable, diapers are a key part of most parents’ shopping lists. If you opt for disposables, select a brand offering leak protection for your baby’s comfort.
- Baby Sleeping Bag: Baby sleeping bags are similar to swaddles but designed to give babies full-body warmth as they sleep. Select a model made out of 100% cotton or bamboo.
- Changing Table: A changing table ensures comfort and stability while you change your baby’s diaper. Look for one with adjustable height, drawers, and/or shelves for storage.
- Baby Monitor: Whether it’s a video monitor or an audio monitor, a device like this can provide great peace of mind. If you opt for a video monitor, be sure to select a model that delivers clear images without worry of hacking or interference.
- High Chair: Look for a high chair with plenty of support and safety features. A five-point harness, adjustable heights, and easy-to-clean surfaces are all important qualities.
- Bottles: Whether you opt for glass or plastic bottles, be sure to select one that won’t leach toxins into your baby’s milk. BPA-free bottles are always a safe bet.
- Toys: Babies love playing and exploring, so stock up on toys that stimulate their senses. Rattles, books, teethers, and soft blocks are all smart choices.
- Baby Gear Organizers: This is an often overlooked item, but a great way to keep your nursery tidy. A collapsible organizer can fit over the edges of a crib or changing table and hold diapers, wipes, towels, and other items.
- Clothing: Newborns grow quickly, so stock up on onesies, socks, and other clothing items as needed. Soft cotton and natural fabrics are always a safe bet.
- Bath Products: Consider investing in a small baby bathtub, soap, shampoo, washcloths, and a hooded baby towel. These items will ensure your baby is always comfy after bath time.
- Pacifiers: Pacifiers can help soothe fussy babies and provide comfort during sleep. Be sure to select a brand that’s free of BPA, phthalates, and lead.
Other Items To Consider
While the items above cover the basics, there are other things you may want to consider adding to your baby gear collection:
- Baby Swing: Swings provide comfort and motion stimulation for babies. If you’re short on space, try opting for a hybrid swing, which serves as a rocker and swing in one.
- Playmat: Playmats are great for tummy time, giving your baby plenty of space to explore. Look for models made of natural fabrics with sensory features like crinkles and rattles.
- Breast Pump: Whether you plan to exclusively breastfeed or you’re supplementing with formula, look for a breast pump that offers adjustable suction strength and comfortable flanges.
- Storage Containers: Storage containers are essential for keeping diapers, wipes, and other items neat and organized. Opt for containers with locking lids and slots for labeling.
- Bouncer: For extra comfort and fun, consider investing in a bouncer. Some even come with sound and light features to encourage playtime.
- Bottle Warmer: Bottle warmers are perfect for quickly reheating formula and breastmilk. Choose one with settings for different bottle sizes and warming times.
- Bottle Sterilizer: To ensure your baby’s bottles stay germ-free between feeds, think about investing in a bottle sterilizer. Look for models that come with storage baskets for drying.
- Activity Center: Activity centers are excellent for improving both physical and cognitive development. Look for models with adjustable heights and features for spinning, bouncing, and more.
- Bath Support: Bath supports provide extra security and stability while bathing your baby. Look for models with foldable legs, slip-resistant materials, and drainage holes.
- Feeding Pillow: Feeding pillows are great for reducing arm fatigue and providing support for moms during breastfeeding sessions. Look for models with adjustable straps and firm yet comfortable surfaces.
What is a must-have item for a newborn? One of the most essential items for a newborn is a crib or cradle. It will be your baby’s primary sleep space for the first several months of their life. Additionally, a car seat or stroller, diapers, and a baby sleeping bag are important items to have ready for your baby’s arrival.
What is a high chair used for? A high chair is an essential piece of furniture that allows toddlers to sit safely at the dinner table. It also makes feeding time easier for caregivers by keeping food within reach. Look for a high chair with ample support, adjustable height, and easy-to-clean surfaces.
What is a baby monitor? A baby monitor is a device that allows parents to hear or see their baby from another room. Audio monitors enable parents to listen to their baby, while video monitors allow them to view their baby’s sleeping area. Be sure to select a baby monitor that is secure from interference or the risk of hacking.
What is a baby gear organizer? A baby gear organizer is a device that can be attached to the sides of a crib or changing table in order to keep diapers, wipes, and other items neat and organized. Most organizers feature pockets, dividers, and slots for labeling.
Are BPA-free bottles better for babies? Yes, BPA-free bottles are always a safe option when it comes to feeding your baby. BPA, otherwise known as bisphenol A, is a chemical found in plastic that has been linked to health issues such as cancer, infertility, and diabetes.
When preparing for your baby’s arrival, it pays to do your research. Make sure to purchase quality items that are safe and comfortable, and don’t forget to select products free of toxins like BPA. As long as you make sure to invest in the essentials, you’ll be well on your way to building a complete collection of baby gear and essentials.