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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
- Keep an eye on your little one up to 700 feet away without Wi-Fi or troublesome apps using the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor.
- Instead of fiddling with formula bottles in the middle of the night, opt for the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced Wi-Fi Formula Dispenser that automatically makes a warm bottle by using your phone.
- Babies’ skin is sensitive, so the WaterWipes Plastic-Free Original Baby Wipes are fragrance-free, plant-based and made with just two gentle ingredients.
- Not only are the Medela 3-Pack Bottles ideal for making formula bottles, but they’re also compatible with all Medela breast pumps, so you can pump, store and feed your little one with a single bottle.
- The Summer Deluxe Baby Bather can be used in the sink or bathtub and gently cradles your baby in a mesh sling and comfortable headrest.
- In addition to being hypoallergenic and free of bleaching, parabens and latex, Pampers Swaddlers Newborn Diapers are up to 100% leak-proof and feature a gap-free fit.
- Ketchum lists an infant car seat as a must-have for new parents, and the Graco SnugFit 35 Infant Car Seat is safe and comfortable for babies starting at 4 pounds.
- In just three minutes, the Philips Avent Fast Baby Bottle Warmer will warm a 5-ounce bottle of milk to your desired temperature with no hot spots by the touch of a button.
- The Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Wash protects your baby’s skin while cleaning it without parabens, phthalates, SLS or petrolatum.
- With the iRobot Roomba s9+ that comes with automatic dirt disposal and Wi-Fi, your house will stay clean and dust-free while you spend time with your new baby.
- If you can’t function in the morning without a cup of java, consider the Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 to keep your coffee warm, even if it takes all day to finish your cup.
- The NoseFrida Baby Nasal Aspirator helps you clear your little one’s nose and helps them breathe using clinically proven hygienic filters.
- Instead of standing over the stove all morning, the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker independently cooks hard-boiled eggs, poached eggs, omelets, scrambled eggs and more in just minutes.
- The Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Breast Pump is entirely hands-free, giving you the flexibility and freedom to pump anywhere while completing everyday tasks.
- Not only is the Hatch Rest+ Baby and Kids Sound Machine a soothing sound machine to lull your little one to sleep, it also offers the perfect glow for nighttime feeds.
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Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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