When you are thinking of what you need for your new baby it’s easy to go a little shopping crazy when you see all the cute clothes and gear that’s out there.
It’s worth sitting down and making a list of what essentials you might need and then working out the extras you might want on top of that.
If you are having a baby shower you will probably get loads of beautiful clothes however bear in mind you’ll be changing your baby’s clothing several times a day — babies are messy! Make sure outfits are uncomplicated and open easily for diaper changes. In general, you want soft, comfortable clothing with no irritating tags or seams.
Babies outgrow newborn sizes quickly, so buy big — at least three months ahead.
The following is the bare minimum you might need for the first four months.
At least six vests. They come in all sorts of styles and colours. Ones that have poppers at the shoulders are easier to get over a baby’s head. There is a range of organic cotton ones at Baby Shoppe.
Three or four babygros or all-in-one sleep-suits will be very handy. Small babies tend to live in these in their first few months.
Hats protect a baby’s sensitive skin against the sunlight.
Bottles and teats
You are going to need bottles and teats even if you are breast feeding, for expressed milk. Initially you will probably need about six to eight bottles to start with far less than that if breast feeding.
Teats come in different flow rates (the speed at which the milk flows out of the bottle) by the size of the hole. They are available in slow which is usually suitable for babies of three to six months and fast for over six months. Teats are usually made of latex or silicone.
All feeding equipment and accessories should be sterilised until your baby is one year old. There are three types of steriliser: microwave, coldwater and electric steam. With coldwater sterilisation you can use any container but need to use sterilising tablets. Microwave works by steam and the electric just plugs in.
If you are breast feeding, a pump can be useful. Electric pumps are speedy and efficient but they can be noisy and you have less control over suction. Motors can burn out so if you plan to use one every day, invest in a good-quality pump. Hand pumps are better if you are not expressing every day.
Baby baths can take up room and have to be filled. There are easier options including bath supports where the baby can be placed in a sink or in a larger bath and be safe and supported.
Changing mats are essential and come in washable covers or PVC.
Bibs come in a huge range of materials and styles. Small, basic cloth bibs are all your baby needs to begin with, but you may find that you need something more substantial as he or she gets older.
You can of course use any bag to carry around bottles, nappies and all the rest, but bags designed for the purpose are wipe able and the better ones come with foldaway changing mats.
Sheets and coverlets
Having a few sets of sheets is a good idea as babies can be rather messy. Coverlets are needed because at night a baby can feel cold in air conditioning.
Sleeping bags are another option but not so big that a baby can slip down inside them.
Towels with hood
These are very cute and soft and dry the baby’s head too. But ordinary towels will do just as well.
Wash cloths and soap
Baby monitors are not essential but they make some parents feel more secure. Many of them are equipped with room temperature sensors.
Look for a lightweight, rear-facing model designed for infants under 20 pounds. Some car seats are designed to snap out of a base, which allows you to move the baby. Some designs also fit into wheels that become a stroller. Convertible seats can be used for both newborns and toddlers. A convertible seat is designed to face the rear of the car while your baby weighs less than 20 pounds. Once your baby is a year old and weighs 20 pounds, you can turn the seat around so that it faces forward. Convertible seats will last longer but are not as portable as an infant seat.
A baby carrier is a good item especially for very young babies. They feel safe and secure and it leaves you with hands free. You can even get housework done while they sleep.
For use in Cayman a lightweight stroller that folds away easily and can fit in a car is probably best.