Whether you are a first time parent or having another baby, it can be complicated and confusing figuring out what you really need for your newborn. With safety standards changing all of the time, and new baby products on the market daily, it can be a daunting task picking out items you’ll need in those first few months.
Here are some top items you should put on your “must-have” list. Purchasing these items in advance will save you from those last minute trips to the baby store once your newborn arrives.
1. Car Seat – You will not be able to leave the hospital without a rear facing infant car seat. There are many on the market, so you will need to find one that best suits your needs. Luckily, it is not necessary to spend a ton of money on an infant car seat. You can purchase a car seat and base alone, or you can purchase a travel system which comes with a stroller as well. I recommend the travel system. You will certainly use the stroller without the car seat, even in the first few months.
Check out these top rated travel systems:
Graco Alano Travel System Stroller ($189.99 Babies R Us)
Eddie Bauer Venturer Travel System ($ 219.99 Babies R Us)
Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System ($329.99 Target)
2. Mirror and neck pillows – To go along with the car seat, you will need a car seat mirror and neck support pillows. The mirror will be attached to the head rest of the back seat facing the baby. This will allow you to see your rear facing baby through your rear view mirror.
Neck Pillows - How many times have you seen a baby sitting in a car seat whose neck is tilted to the side? Head support is a must, and the neck pillows are better than other versions out there. These pillows easily attach to the car seat straps supporting your baby’s head and preventing it from falling to one side.
3. Nursing Pillow – This is something you will use right away. If you are nursing, you may want to bring this to the hospital. One popular brand is Boppy. However, there are other brands available as well. This multiuse pillow will assist you in feeding your newborn via breast or bottle. This is also an excellent seat for your baby, but directions clearly state not to allow your baby to sleep in the pillow for safety reasons. If you are seated next to your baby, supervising her, you can make sure the baby is safe. Do not leave the baby unattended in the pillow.
4. Crib/Bassinet – Your newborn will need a place to sleep right when he gets home from the hospital. You have several options for this. First, and most common, you will need a crib. However, most parents prefer to have their baby sleep in the bedroom with them the first few weeks. In that case, you will need a bassinet. Bassinets can be expensive, starting at $100 and up depending on the brand and style. There are less expensive options to consider. One favorite and highly recommended product is the new Fisher Price Newborn Rock and Play Sleeper at around $45. This is a great place for the baby to lounge and sleep at night. You are able to rock the item either by hand or foot. For added convenience, this rocker folds up for storage and travel.