Unfortunately for new parents, babies don't come with instruction manuals. So when it comes to even the simplest tasks, like baths and nail trimming, some parents feel confused.
If you're unsure about the baby grooming basics, here's a handy guide to help make hygiene as easy as loving your baby.
To find out, WebMD went to the pros -- pediatricians as well as new moms and dads in WebMD’s parenting community -- and asked them what items they found indispensable for newborn care.
From baby carriers to cameras, here’s a simple list of baby gear that got the thumbs up from new parents -- and a few items that didn’t make the grade.
Newborn Care: Diapers and Diaper Bags
Along with a safe car seat and a great crib, two baby care basics are diapers and a diaper bag. The question is, what kind, and how many?
Diapers: New parents are pretty evenly divided: Some prefer the lower-cost of cloth diapers, while others enjoy the convenience of disposables. Whichever you pick, you’ll need about 10 to 12 diapers daily.
Diaper Bag: Here you should think small, say moms in the know. Because your hands will be busy with a baby, less is more in the diaper bag department, with some moms raving about sleek, backpack-style bags.
Diaper Bag Basics: A well-stocked diaper bag holds more than just diapers, says Atlanta pediatrician Jennifer Shu, MD. Think a small camera for sweet moments, snacks for mom, and sun protection, too. Shu, co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn, also recommends:
Newborns need a bath two or three times a week, says the American Medication Association. The AMA recommends sponge baths only for baby’s first two weeks, until the umbilical cord falls off. Bathing items that topped the list of moms and the experts include:
Baby tub or small plastic basin
Washcloths or bath mitts
Soft towels (hooded baby towels work well)
Lots of parents forgo a special baby tub and instead share a bath with baby. Though you can use mild adult soaps in those instances, products made for infants are best in the early months to avoid irritation, Shu tells WebMD. “When in doubt, talk to your pediatrician.”