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With 30 women and 88 (and counting) babies between us, we have a lot of opinions about what a newborn really needs and really DOESN’T need. So we’re compiling some Do’s-and-Don’ts newborn baby checklists for you. Lets start with clothes and sleep…
Something we all agree on: Don’t buy too many newborn clothes. Babies are in newborn size for about a minute, if ever. Any baby over 8 lbs at birth will go right into size 3 months. And, really, who cares if the clothes are a little bit big for a few days?
Also, none of us liked jeans for little babies. Or overalls. Or anything with a collar (they have no necks!) These items just don’t fit right and look so uncomfortable. Newborns stay all curled up for the most part so heavy fabric and big buttons, zippers, etc is…well…it’s unflattering. You want your baby lookin’ good from the get-go, right?
And lastly, you don’t need shoes. Baby feet are not long and slender. They are short and chubby and nothing stays on them very well. You’ll be lucky to find socks that stay on those little chubbers. And what a pain it will be to have to remove shoes to get your afternoon snack of baby toes!
We all agree that lots of “sleep n play” outfits are best. These light-weight cotton sleepers come with snaps or zippers. Some of us prefer the zippers for easy middle-of-the-night changes. Others said the snaps were best because 1. they feared pinching the babies skin (unlikely) and 2. the snaps go down both legs so you don’t have to wrestle that one leg into the sleeper and potentially wake up the baby. We recommend buying a couple of each in 3 month size and see which you like best.
Also buy a good amount of “onesies” in long or short sleeve depending on the season. These are great for helping to keep baby warm at night under a gown. And summer babies can strip down to just a onesie on a really hot day. They are also the second line of attack for blowouts. If your diaper fails, your onesie might just protect your cute baby outfit from complete destruction.
The VERY BEST for nighttime though are the gowns. These don’t have any legs but rather are gathered slightly at the bottom with elastic so they stay over baby’s legs. It’s super easy to slip the gown up and do a quick change.
Baby will also need a lot of little hats. How adorable, right? But don’t go crazy with cute accessories. If your baby has cradle cap, the hats will get washed a lot. A short stack of stretchy cotton caps will keep your baby toasty until your little one can maintain their own temperature better.
If you ever want to sleep again, swaddling is a must. You can use a flannel blanket or a specially-designed swaddling product like Miracle Blanket or Swaddle Me. Ask the nurses in the hospital to show you how to swaddle and then again and again until you can do it in your sleep. Because you will be doing it in your sleep.
Ideally, little baby will fall asleep peacefully in his own crib or in a co-sleeper (your choice, no judgement either way) but that is probably not going to happen. Unless you have an absolute miracle baby, they will need a little extra help. A Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play is something you HAVE to purchase. It will save your life or at least feel that way. Baby can nap safely in a Rock n’ Play and will fall asleep easily with it’s gentle vibration.
A bassinet or co-sleeper (a modified bassinet with only 3 sides, the fourth side is up against your own bed) for nighttime sleep. The likelihood of a baby wiggling out of a Rock n’ Play are slim but you never know. And it’s a good idea to get baby used to sleeping without noise and movement, laying in their own bed, and differentiating between daytime naps and nighttime sleep.
(But I can guarantee you that each of us has had a baby in a Rock n’ Play, bouncy seat, car seat, or whatever overnight just so we could get a few precious hours of sleep ourselves. You do what you gotta do.)
Also, you will have so many nighttime feedings that you’ll want the baby in your own room for a month or more after he comes home. So that’s why we recommend something small to start before baby can go into his crib in his own room. The Graco Pack N Play portable cribs can convert into a bassinet by raising the mattress. These are economical because you can continue to use the crib on overnight trips for a few years.
You’ll also want a baby monitor. Even if you are co-sleeping, the baby will probably be sleeping on his own for naps at least occasionally. The video ones are best so you can see if that little sound was baby waking up or just making noises in his sleep. Do follow the manufacturers instructions about installation. Once baby starts moving around a bit, you don’t want the cord anywhere near the crib.
Stay tuned for diapering, feeding, toting, and more in our Newborn Baby Checklist series!
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