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A Simple Guide to Baby Supplies

Overwhelmed with lists of what you should buy for your new baby? Here's what you really need.

Diapers for Newborns

For disposable diapers, buy newborn sizes, as well as the next size larger to prepare for your growing baby. For the first few weeks, you'll need about 10 to 11 disposable diapers per day, so buy accordingly. For cloth diapers, have about 48 on hand, as well as three to five diaper covers and a diaper pail. Don't forget diaper wipes and a diaper bag, too.

Strollers and Baby Carriers

Pick a sturdy, conventional stroller with brakes that lock the wheels firmly and a seat belt and crotch strap that are attached securely to the frame. Steer away from umbrella strollers. They're light and handy for toddlers, but they're not a good choice for babies who can't sit up yet.

A front or back carrier is a good way to keep your baby snuggled close to you as you move about.

Baby Safety

Before your baby starts to crawl, you'll want to baby-proof your home with cabinet locks, safety gates, covers for electrical outlets, and other safety products.

But in the earliest months, you'll need to stock only a few key first-aid items: a rectal (not ear) thermometer (rectal thermometers more accurately take a baby's core body temperature), infant acetaminophen to relieve pain and fever, and a diaper rash cream or ointment. "You'll want something that's soothing and protective," Danielson says. "It's nice to have something on hand for a rash that shows up."

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Reviewed on September 15, 2013

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