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Facts and advice from a pediatrician about what a baby needs. A little baby needs help with everything. It is your job as a parent to make sure that the child gets what they need. So, what does a baby need? Read about what a newborn needs in terms of food, sleep, love and transport.
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Feeding a newborn
Babies need food. As a parent, you can choose between breastfeeding and bottle feeding. If you live in a country with good access to clean water and good infant formula, the health differences between breastfeeding and bottle feeding are very small. Choose what you prefer.
What do you need to buy if you want to breastfeed?
- Two or three breastfeeding bras is good to have. Wait until the end of the pregnancy to buy them. That way you’ll have a better idea of what size you need. If you have smaller breasts, you can probably buy breastfeeding bras anywhere. If you have a greater need for support and an exact fit, I can really recommend nursing bras from the brand Anita.
- Nursing tops are convenient if you want to be able to breastfeed a little more discreetly outside the home.
What do you need to bottlefeed?
- Baby bottles and pacifiers
- Standard formula powder, for example NAN or BabySemp.
- To make it easier to prepare formula, you can purchase a formula machine or a porridge machine.
Diapers, changing tables and care
Your baby also needs help with hygiene. Diapers and washcloths are a good start. Cheap paper washcloths you soak in lukewarm water and a little drop of baby oil works well and is gentle on the baby. You can buy a changing table, but a towel on the floor or bed works as well. A tube of Bepanthan baby ointment for red diaper rash and a small bath tub is great too.
- Diapers in the smallest baby size
- Baby oil
- Bepanthan baby ointment
- Possible changing table
- A thermometer (the simplest variety works well)
Sleep – Does the baby need a cot?
Some babies sleep most of the night, others do not. Some sleep in their own bed, others do not. It is important that newborns sleep on their backs, to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. The safest way is to sleep in your own bed, pram or cradle in your parents’ room, but many children refuse to sleep in bed.
You do not really need to buy anything for the baby’s sleep before the baby arrives. If you want, you can buy a cot or cradle. Some people use baby nests to screen off the baby’s sleeping area in the parent’s bed.
- Possibly a cot
- If you buy a cot, then also buy sheets, mattress and small pillow
- Possibly a baby nest
When the baby arrives, you will see if your child is of the friendly kind who sleeps most of the night, or if the child wakes up every two hours and wants to eat and then only falls asleep if a parent gets up and carries them for half an hour. If you have problems at night: be unpretentious and creative. If the child only sleeps well near you and wakes up as soon as you leave: think about whether the sleep would be better if the child was allowed to sleep all night in the adult bed. If the child sleeps very well in his pram but hates his cot: let the child sleep in the pram at night. Is the child so difficult at night that neither of you can sleep in the same room? If so, take turns taking the night-time responsibility.
Stroller, baby car seat, harness or shawl
If you are going to drive your baby, you must buy a rear-facing baby seat. Buy it from someone you trust. You want to guarantee that it isn’t broken and almost-new quality. Otherwise, buy a new one. Make sure you install it correctly in the car.
Many people think it’s nice to push the baby around in a stroller, but it’s not absolutely necessary to purchase. Some people only use a sling or shawl and that works well. Many children like to be carried, so a harness or shawl frees the hands and saves the back.
Baby clothes – what do we need?
Many newborns vomit a lot and their poop can often spill over onto their clothes. So a lot of clothes are required. If you do not have your own washing machine, consider buying one. It is one of the smartest purchases will make before having the baby.
You can count on receiving a lot of clothes from friends and families in the smallest sizes. So even if it’s good to have 5-6 bodies, see if you can get away with only buying 2-3 pieces. Here is what I suggest you prepare for before the arrival of the baby:
- 2-3 bodies
- 2 pairs of soft trousers, preferably with feet , so you do not have to keep track of socks
- Possibly pajamas (works just as well during the day)
- By season: for spring and autumn children – one fleece overall .
- For winter children: lined overalls and thick hat and gloves
- A thin baby hat
- One baby blanket
Environmently-friendly parenting – do not buy too much
When you are expecting your first child, you naturally want the very best for your baby. The marketing specialists at the companies know this. They will try to convince you that you should buy everything, in order to give your baby the best start in life as possible.
In fact, you do not need more than what is written on this page. And you can buy everything used. It is not only environmentally-friendly but also wallet-friendly. Do you want to give your child the best start in life? Invest in joint parental leave with the other parent if there is one. This way you can both support each other during this challenging and exciting point in your lives and it’ll make you both feel good contributing equally. So what does a baby need? In addition to quite a bit of stuff, the baby needs a lot of time with their parents. This really matters a lot!