Product Reviews

Everything first-time parents need to buy and prepare before the baby arrives

Prepare for your baby’s arrival with these top must-haves

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when preparing for the arrival of your first baby, whether you’re pregnant or adopting a precious little one. While friends and family love to offer unsolicited advice about their must-have gadgets, and you can walk into any store and get lost in its many baby aisles, you might still be wondering what you need.

While the number of items you need to care for your little one is fairly short, there are a ton of helpful tools that will make your life easier. We’ve consulted BestReviews baby and child expert, Dr. Aimee Ketchum, to help us figure out everything first-time parents need to buy and prepare before the baby arrives.

In this article: Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Baby Carrier, Boppy Nursing Pillow And Positioner and iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer.

How to prepare for the arrival of a new baby

Gather baby gear

“Babies seem to require so many accessories, but it can actually be quite simple,” said Ketchum. “There are a lot of extras that take up space and are not necessary for a newborn baby.” Instead of getting overwhelmed, opt for the “less is more” approach, especially during those first few months when your baby isn’t doing much. Then, you can figure out what will make your life easier and the gear your little one will love.

To start, Ketchum said, “The most important things to have on hand before the baby is born besides clothing and diapers are a new car seat, a bedside bassinet, formula and bottles (even if you are planning to breastfeed, a little bit of formula is a good idea in case supplementation is needed) and I recommend a Boppy, a baby carrier and some baby health essentials.”

Stock up on food and essentials

Whether it’s making and freezing meals ahead of time, stocking up on toilet paper or ensuring your furry pet has ample food and treats, preparing these essentials will ensure you have everything you need in the first few weeks after bringing your baby home. You can also make a meal train, fill prescriptions or hire a cleaner.

Pack your hospital bag

You don’t know when your baby will be here, so it’s important to be prepared at all times. Pack your hospital bag ahead of time with essentials for both the parents and the baby. Items include disposable diapers, baby wipes, a nursing pillow, a toothbrush and other must-haves.

Best products for first-time parents

Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Baby Carrier

Ketchum recommends a baby carrier to keep your baby close during daily tasks. Babies are often leaning on their heads while in the car seat or crib, so a baby carrier is an excellent alternative to keep pressure off their heads. Plus, they’re great at helping babies develop vision and neck strength to see their world.

Sold by Amazon

Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner

From breastfeeding to bottle feeding, a Boppy pillow is a lifesaver for a plethora of tasks throughout a baby’s life, including sitting up as they gain more strength. Ketchum also prefers this pillow to position the baby during tummy time and offer extra support.

Sold by Amazon

iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer

Life as a new parent is hard enough without trying to determine if your little one has a fever. Give yourself peace of mind by keeping this no-touch thermometer on hand. This option is more hygienic, delivers an accurate reading in just one second and can be used without waking your baby.

Sold by Amazon

Ingenuity Boutique Collection Deluxe 5-Speed Portable Baby Swing

While Ketchum doesn’t advise parents to let their infant sleep in a baby swing, she notes that gentle rocking and swinging are helpful for calming and soothing. This model is designed with five swing speeds, sounds and a timer with auto-shutoff.

Sold by Amazon

Mika Micky Baby Bassinet Bedside Sleeper

Ketchum notes that The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room with parents, but in their own beds. To ease a new parent’s mind and comfort the baby, this bedside sleeper is the ideal solution.

Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

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Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.


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Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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