According to a survey on Stacker, only 12% of all parents feel prepared when they first have children. While most new parents know to get bottles, a crib, and clothes ready, determining what else is essential and what can wait is a little murkier. For any new parents preparing for their newborn, here’s a list of helpful items to buy:
Baby Care Items
- Breast Pump
Over 80% of newborn babies are breastfed, and they need up to three ounces of milk every two to three hours. Understandably, this can be exhausting and even painful for moms. As such, a breast pump can be a life-saver. Moms can choose between manual, battery-powered, and electric options. If expressing is difficult, a battery or electric-type pump may be less strenuous. Otherwise, a manual pump is sufficient and should still be kept on hand as a backup.
An average newborn can use over 12 diapers daily. If you’re using disposable diapers, prepare three boxes on hand before the birth. Anything more than that may just be wasteful if they end up too small for your baby. On the other hand, if you want to go the sustainable route, you’ll need roughly 50 reusable or cloth diapers ready. This way, you won’t run out of clean diapers, even while the soiled ones are in the laundry.
- Car Seat
In every state, parents are federally required to have a car seat before they leave the hospital with their newborn. The CDC-recommended rear-facing car seats are specifically preferable from birth until the age of four. This will protect your child without putting them in the path of an active airbag. As an added precaution, car seats are recommended to have a 5-point harness. This ensures that in the event of a collision, the child is in the “proper” position with the force of the crash more safely distributed to lessen injury.
An important investment in your baby’s development, a stroller can keep you and your baby safe and mobile. Since babies grow over an inch in length and two pounds in weight monthly, it’s important to invest in a stroller that can be adjusted accordingly. Some models can switch between parent- and world-facing modes thereby allowing your growing child to find a configuration that fits their size. For newborns who cannot support their necks yet, you can configure it to be flat. And as they grow older, they can enjoy a more upright configuration.
Since reading boosts development across every stage of early childhood, you can get a lot of mileage out of a simple storybook. Dr. Michael Rozen explains that exposing unborn children (as young as six months) to different sounds helps establish connections between neurons. So when you read to your unborn child, the sound of your voice helps stimulate brain growth. After birth, reading can be a great way to bond and teach your child communication skills. And once your child is old enough, an article on teaching children empathy by SymptomFind outlines how reading can help them understand outside perspectives. Stories help young children better understand, connect, and address the emotions of others.
- Anti-Scald Devices
For bathing, the Mayo Clinic suggests using bathwater around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, since water temperatures can fluctuate depending on a home’s pressure-balancing valve, a temperature guard will safely cap your hot water at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. These devices can be easily attached to faucets and showerheads to prevent accidental burns on your baby. Anti-Scald devices promote safety for everyone in the household as well.
- Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Guards
Inhaling too much carbon monoxide or smoke makes it difficult to breathe. And because babies are especially vulnerable to inhaled irritants, detectors for carbon monoxide and smoke guards can help with baby-proofing. While you’ll want smoke alarms in every room, carbon monoxide detectors can be placed near sleeping areas. Should these detect the presence of either substance, they’ll emit a loud alarm and directly alert authorities. For the utmost efficiency, it’s best to use 10-year batteries for each detector.
Parenthood is equally exciting, nerve-wracking, and rewarding. But by being informed and prepared, you can spend less time worrying and more time bonding with your child. If you need more resources, check out our ‘7 Awesome Online Pregnancy Tools’ list for apps, websites, and software that can help you through your pregnancy journey.