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Newborn Care: What You Need for Baby

What do you need for good newborn care when baby comes home? Moms, dads, and pediatricians offer their quick tips.

Newborn Care: The Nursery continued...

When stocking baby’s nursery, pediatricians and new parents on WebMD suggest:

  • Crib (with slats no more than 2-3/8 inches apart)
  • A tight-fitting, firm mattress
  • Well-fitting sheets

What about pillows? For safety reasons, pediatrician and American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson Laura Jana, MD, suggests keeping all pillows (including crib bumpers) out of your newborn’s bed -- and cautions parents about the risk of pillows in the "family bed" as well. When in doubt, keep it out.

Newborn Care: Around the House

To help new parents get things done around the house, or around town, “must-haves” for some moms and dads include:

  • Booster seats: These often come with attached toys to keep baby entertained when mom and dad need a little time to get things done.
  • Baby sling: Pediatrician Jana, co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn, is a big fan of these adjustable pouches that let you carry baby hands-free. They’re “great for close contact,” she tells WebMD "and practical for everything from taking a walk, to traveling through airports." Before you buy, be sure to check the manufacturer's lower weight limits, Jana suggests.

Newborn Care: Clothes & Blankets

Those first weeks will be a busy time for you and baby. Moms and dads were pretty unanimous when it comes to what kinds of clothes and incidentals you need once your newborn comes home:

  • 4-6 long-sleeved onesies
  • 4-6 short-sleeved onesies
  • 4-6 footed sleepers
  • Swaddling blankets
  • Socks (look for a style that can’t be kicked off, suggests one mom)

Lots of parents advise against getting too many newborn-sized clothes as baby won’t use them for very long. Clothes they can wear a bit big can be more convenient in the long run.

And because you and the baby won’t be traveling much the first month or so, many parents suggest foregoing newborn shoes, hats, and mittens, opting instead for swaddling blankets to keep baby warm.

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