Bringing a new baby home is stressful enough; you don’t want to realize too late that you’ve forgotten something that’s vital for caring for your little bunny! We’ve collected some essentials to help you make sure that caring for your newborn will be smooth sailing.
You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of clothes for baby in newborn sizes. But the kind of clothing you choose matters, especially in the first week or so! Clothing with waistbands may be cute, but it can irritate the stump of the umbilical cord while it dries out and eventually falls off. One-piece rompers, gowns, and even sleep sacks will help keep your baby safe and comfortable while the cord naturally separates and falls away. Clothing for newborns should be loose-fitting enough that it doesn’t bind, but snug enough that they won’t squirm out of it. Opt for every day outfits that are machine washable, and make sure you have enough; you may find you go through more changes of clothing than you anticipated!
Receiving blankets are the workhorse of any nursery. They can serve as swaddling blankets, burp cloths, playmats, and even just regular old blankets. Since these blankets are so versatile, you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of them on hand when you bring baby home. Receiving blankets are usually lightweight and are around 30 inches by 30 inches. The fabric should be soft to make sure it doesn’t irritate your baby’s delicate skin. Since infancy can get a little messy, it’s best to ensure that your receiving blankets are machine washable.
While receiving blankets are quite lightweight, you may want a heavier blanket to ensure that baby is kept warm enough. Especially if your room temperature is below 65 degrees, your baby may need the extra warmth. You may even want a quilt style blanket with several layers of fabric stitched together. Thicker blankets are also nice as playmats for tummy time, because they help insulate and cushion your baby from a hard floor or irritating carpet. Remember, babies should not sleep with loose blankets unattended. The blanket may cover the baby’s face and newborns lack the strength and coordination needed to remove the blanket.
Custom Baby Blankets Add A Special Touch
Booties and Slippers
Speaking of keeping baby warm, they lose heat from their feet! Even though your baby isn’t moving around on their own yet, footwear is important. Slippers will help keep them warm and comfortable, and they don’t need sturdy soles yet. Soft slippers or booties are the perfect option for keeping your baby warm, and they make excellent baby shower gifts for new parents. Booties should be soft inside to avoid irritating baby’s sensitive skin, and as with all baby clothes, it’s nice if they’re machine washable!
Rattles are a great toy for newborns, as it helps them develop their vision and attention. Baby’s vision isn’t fully developed at birth, so a toy that makes a noise catches their attention and makes them look toward the sound. It’s best if rattles or other sound making toys for newborns are soft, since hard materials can injure baby if dropped. You can use toys that make a variety of sounds, as a diverse range of sensory input can help their brains develop. Soft toys with crinkly material inside can also be a good source of sensory play!
Soothers and Pacifiers
When a baby starts to fuss, sometimes a pacifier or other soothing toy is the best option. The sucking reflex appears even before birth, while baby is still in the womb. It’s one of baby’s most powerful calming behaviors, and has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure. Babies suck to nurse, but they’ll also suck when full, as a means of self-soothing. They may suck on their fingers or on toys. Providing your baby with a toy specifically designed for this behavior is the perfect way to help them. Pacifiers should be comfortable to baby’s gums, and it’s best if they’re machine washable. A pacifier holding toy can help keep the pacifier nearby at all times, too.
Gifting made Easy
Though your newborn can’t understand spoken language yet, hearing your voice is soothing for them and hearing spoken language can help them with developing the parts of their brain that they’ll need to learn to talk later on in life. One perfect way to expose your baby to more spoken language is to read to them. Infants will enjoy hearing a parent’s or caregiver’s voice, and getting to look at the pictures in a picture book can help develop their vision. Baby books are short and use basic words that will be some of the first that appear in baby’s vocabulary early on.
Soft Toys and Loveys
Finally, getting a soft toy or a lovey for your baby is a great way to soothe and entertain them. While newborns aren’t really strong or coordinated enough to grab and handle these toys, touching and looking at them is interesting to baby and helps develop their brand new senses. Lovies and soft toys can end up becoming your child’s best friend, too! The best loveys are soft and baby safe, without hard plastic pieces that can come loose and be choking hazards. A variety of textures is great, too, as it gives baby more to touch and feel. Small soft toys are best for newborns. Remember, babies should not be left unsupervised with blankets or soft toys, to ensure that they don’t accidentally suffocate.