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What Babies Need

Lori Ramsey


What could a tiny, helpless newborn need in terms of material things? Food, clothes and love, right? Well, I was really amazed at all the stuff my tiny newborns needed; More stuff than anyone else in the household it seemed.

Probably the most important thing you will need to get your baby home is a car seat. The hospital will not let you leave with baby unless you have a proper car seat in your vehicle. These cost anywhere from to several hundred and come in a variety of styles and colors. You will need a rear-facing seat until your baby is both one year old and 20 pounds in weight. If the car were in a crash, a baby under the age of one who weighs more than 20 pounds needs the neck support of a rear-facing seat.

Your baby will also need a variety of clothing. You will want several unisex "onesies" as well as several footed "pajamas" and/or gowns. These will certainly get you through the first few weeks and depending on the sex of your baby - you'll want cute little outfits to accommodate the season. Conventional clothing tends to "swallow" newborns - which is why the onesies and pajamas are so nice at first. Have on hand several pair of socks and be forewarned - these little socks have a way of disappearing or loosing a mate. It is best to buy them in bulk packages. If it is cold out, a knit hat or two will keep your baby warm.

The next important thing for baby is a place to sleep. Whether you decide to co-sleep (allow the baby to sleep in your bed) or not - I think it's important to have a safe place to put baby to bed otherwise - for naps and such - especially when baby is old enough to start rolling over. A crib is something you can put baby in from the very beginning. A bassinet is nice - and baby can sleep in it up to about 3 months of age. A bassinet is nice because of it's mobility. At night the bassinet can be pulled right up to your bedside. Be sure to stock up on about five or six receiving blankets - these work well to swaddle baby in those first days.

The "little" things that a baby needs are many. If you plan on bottle-feeding - be sure to have several bottles with appropriate infant nipples. If you plan on breastfeeding - have a breast pump and a couple of bottles. Don't forget the burp rag. A clean cloth diaper, wash rag, small towel or receiving blanket will do for this - and they make "burp cloths" too! For bath time, baby will need a baby bathtub - unless you want to bathe your baby in the kitchen sink - the bathtub is too big right now. There are also baby washcloths and towels, but you may also use regular ones. The only difference is the size and softness of the baby towels and cloths. A bottle of baby bath will do. It is not necessary to have separate baby shampoo (unless you want it)- as the baby bath will clean both the body and the hair. Powders, lotions and oils are strictly up to you and they are not a necessity for baby.

For first aid purposes, you may want to have on hand some infant acetimetiphen for fevers and simethicone drops for gas. Be sure to ask your pediatrician for dosage amounts. These are safe to give an infant. Be sure to also have a good baby thermometer and a nasal aspirator. Many hospitals send these home with the newborn.

A high chair is an important item that baby will eventually need. Though you probably will not put baby in a high chair until he/she is about 6 months old - it is a necessity at that time. You may want to consider what type you will want - and keep in mind traveling. Some high chairs fold up for easy travel - or you can buy little booster/portable high chairs that work well under traveling circumstances.

And now for the Equipment! These are not necessarily a "have to have" but are more or less a luxury item and many go a long way in helping make life a little easier with baby. Bouncy seats - seats that are cloth and have toys that attached are nice. Some babies will not care for them - but they serve a nice place to put baby other than crib or bassinet. A baby swing - and I prefer the battery operated swing -can be a God-send for some parents. Then you have your "jumping johnnies" (seats that attach to doorways and bounce), playpens or yards, exersaucers, changing tables and walkers. All these things serve to help with baby - but if you never have one you probably won't know what you're missing.

One more important thing - last but certainly not least - diapers!!! Whether you choose to cloth or disposable diaper your baby - be sure to have a good supply on hand. A newborn will go through 6 to 10 disposables and more cloths a day. And don't forget the wipes - whether you buy the disposable wipes (which come in a variety of formulas) or use wet wash clothes - you'll have a good stack of them on hand - a newborn also soils several times a day - a breastfed newborn will have a bowel movement just about at every feeding.

The market is chocked full of baby things for parents to buy. You will probably find an item for every possible situation you encounter with your little one. We do all want what's best for baby, right? Happy shopping!

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My name is Lori Ramsey. My education consists of a diploma in Business Data Processing. I also successfully completed two courses with the Famous Writers School on Basic Writing and Fiction Writing. I am a mother of two children ages 4 and 2. I am currently pregnant with my third child, due to be born in early November.

Embarking on first conception then parenting, I realize how ignorant I was at the beginning. Knowledge is power and since I have literally devoured books, magazines, and online articles on the subject of conception and pregnancy. I honestly feel I know more than the average "public" about this subject. And was shocked at how little I actually didn't know before!

My hobbies, as such, revolve around being a mother and a wife. Being a writer has been a long time dream - even to the point that I have written 16 chapters in a fiction novel and numerous articles (non published). And at present, I am focused on my pregnancy, enjoying each moment and loving the expressions on my children's faces as my belly grows. I am involved in my church, working with the nursery and am one of the leaders of the worship dance ministry. And lastly, but certainly not least, I love surfing the web!

Lori is a Contributing writer for The Baby Corner as well as for Suite 101 Preconception: Trying To Conceive.

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