What Baby Gear Do You Need for Your Newborn?
Bathing Baby: What You Need
- Baby bathtub (sloping with foam pad or flat with molded sponge insert)
- 4 terry cloth bath towels (hooded towels are OK, but not necessary)
- 4 to 6 washcloths
- Tearless shampoo
- Baby soap. Many brands make baby shampoo and soap all in one.
- Brush and comb
- Rounded-tip nail scissors or clippers. Baby's nails grow quickly and can scratch his or her face.
- Bulb syringe nasal aspirator. These are used to suction excess mucus from baby's nose and mouth (the one you receive in the hospital is a keeper!).
You may want to check with your baby's doctor before the first bath. Most doctors recommend that you wait until the umbilical cord has fallen off and the circumcision site has healed before giving your baby a tub bath. In the meantime sponge baths work great.
Washing Baby's Laundry
Although it is not necessary, you may want to wash all clothing and bedding in a detergent safe for babies. Some popular brands are Dreft and Ivory Snow. These products have been tested for their safe use for all skin types, especially infants.
Wash all infant clothing, bedding, and towels, prior to first use.
To remove tough stains (such as spit-up), spot-treat the item with one of these detergents or soak prior to washing.
- 12 nipples and covers
- 1 bottle and nipple brush for cleaning
- Dishwasher basket for bottles and nipples (optional, but makes for easy cleaning)
- Infant formula and measuring cup (if you are not breastfeeding). Use the brand recommended by your child's doctor.
- 12 burp cloths
- 6 bibs
- 12 bottles. Even if you are breastfeeding, you should have bottles to use for pumped breast milk.
The Diaper Bag
When buying a diaper bag, pick one that has lots of pockets and places to store individual items. Also, keep in mind that your diaper bag often becomes your purse, so find one large enough to keep your wallet, keys, glasses, cell phone, and other items you need for yourself.
It's a good idea to keep this bag packed with the following items at all times so if you need to leave the house in a hurry -- especially if you have to take baby to the doctor unexpectedly -- you'll be ready:
- 5 to 6 diapers
- Disposable wipes
- Diaper rash cream or ointment
- Pad to lie your baby on top of when changing the diaper
- Plastic bags to wrap dirty diapers in until you can find a trash can to throw them out
- Change of clothes for baby: Infant onesies, a pair of socks, hat, baby outfit
- 2 clean bottles and powdered formula (if bottle feeding)
- Burp cloth
- Pacifier (if using)
- Baby toy or rattle
- Baby Tylenol
- Sunscreen for babies older than 6 months
Keep your baby in the shade, if possible. Their skin is thinner and more sensitive. Cover them up with clothes and a hat, limit their time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest), don’t let them get overheated, and get them out of the sun right away if they show any signs of sunburn or dehydration, including fussiness, redness, and excessive crying.