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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: 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.

Newborn Care: What’s Not Worth the Price?

While it’s great knowing which items make newborn care easier, it’s also good to know what may be a waste of time -- and money. Some baby gear new parents on WebMD message boards sounded off about included:

  • Crib bedding sets: Because these sets may come with newborn-inappropriate quilts, crib bumpers, or heavy blankets, many mom’s gave them a thumbs down. Got a bedding set for a shower gift anyway? Do what one family did with their baby quilt: Convert it to a nursery curtain. 
  • Changing table: The recommendation of many new parents: Skip a single-purpose changing table and opt instead for a chest of drawers topped with a changing cushion. Or just keep changing pads scattered throughout the house to change baby anywhere -- on the floor, your bed, the couch. 
  • Convertible beds: Most new parents weren’t fans of these "money savers," where a crib can later convert to a twin bed, citing a tricky conversion, ugly (and possibly unsafe) screw holes left behind after the conversion, and a too-small bed as major problems.
  • Diaper disposals: Surprisingly, lots of parents gave a thumbs down to fancy dirty diaper disposers. Moms and dads said bag refills were expensive, the products didn’t seem sanitary, and they weren’t always easy to use.

Advice From Moms: Putting It Into Perspective

Newborn care shouldn’t be a mad rush to get everything ready. It’s impossible to know beforehand what your little one will really need, says Shu. That’s why lots of new moms say to take it slow.

And really "the best thing to have on hand when the baby comes home is dad," sums up Mel Lanham, mom to eight-week-old Keegan. Shu echoes her. When it comes to taking care of your newborn, "less is more."

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Reviewed on September 15, 2013
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