By Jessica Stuart-Shor, LMHC and Mom of 4 children
“What do I actually need?” As a counselor and mother of four young children myself, I have asked the very same question. We want to be prepared, yet items for babies are not only expensive but can take up so much space. Believe me the amount of stuff you will accumulate throughout their young lives will astonish you. Start small!
Below is a short list of items most parents find helpful. In creating your own list, think of the space that you have and the lifestyle you live or wish to live with your new addition.
A baby carrier
Whether it is a wrap or a front/back carrier make sure it will be the appropriate size for your child and their stage. Newborns need significant support. Make sure you feel comfortable wearing it. Practice putting it on! You will want to be comfortable using it and arranging it outside the house. So practice! It’s a fun exercise for expecting parents to watch each other struggle with the nuances of the carrier.
A comfortable chair
Find a spot in your home where you feel comfortable feeding/soothing your child. If you plan to buy a rocking chair or glider, sit in it for a while before you purchase it. Your behind and back will need ample support.
A sound machine
Don’t underestimate the power of ambient noise. Babies are used to ambient noise in the womb and find it soothing.
Whatever blanket, wrap, or contraption you choose most newborns are soothed being swaddled. Practice! I was never able to swaddle as tight as my children wanted, so my husband was our in-home swaddling expert and our kids loved it!
A place to safely put baby down
This can be a bassinet, a bouncer or swing. Choose this item based on your space and your preferences. Remember to always strap the infant in (even newborns).
You may want to or have to travel at some point. Most pack-n-plays have options for bassinets as well.
Remember that a lot of items are not necessities. Take time to think about your family’s needs and how you wish to function. And do not be afraid to buy some items used, or accept hand-me-downs from family and friends. I can guarantee your child will not care if they are being rocked in a $1000 glider and I can guarantee at some point it will be peed on.
And as always, reach out to us here at MVPediatrics. We are here to support you and your child as they grow-up into happy, healthy adults.