An Experienced Mom's Advice
By Kirsten Hawkins
Baby's coming home soon - have you got what you need to take care of the little angel properly? You know you need footie pajamas and onesies, baby towels and bibs - but how many is enough? Having done this five times now - please hold the applause and gasps of shock - I consider myself a bit of an expert on bringing baby home to a prepared household. Most estimates of 'what you need for baby' are a wee bit off, in my opinion. Having brought baby home both with and without a handy washing machine, here's my recommendations for what the well-equipped baby should have at home before he leaves the hospital.
Four to six undershirts - the usual recommendation - is actually plenty. You'll find you use them far less than I did when my oldest was born - pre-Onesies days. Skip the tank tops, as cute as the little midge might look in one just like daddy's, and go straight for the lap-shoulder t-shirts. They slip on easily, and if you buy them a size or two too big, they'll be long enough to tuck into sweatpants or bottoms.
Sleeping gowns are underrated. They make a great second layer over onesies, and are cool, loose and comfortable for baby in the summer. If you're bringing home a summer baby, pick up at least 6 or 8 sleeping gowns. They're much more comfortable in the heat than stretchies.
You can never have enough onesies. Whether you use them as the bottom layer in winter outfitting or the only thing baby wears in the summer, you'll go through several a day. If you have a washer at home, you can get by with 6-8. Otherwise, pick up even more. An even dozen isn't really too many at all.
- Experienced mom's note: DO use them in the summer. They'll keep your baby cooler than being in a diaper alone because the cotton absorbs moisture and wicks it away from the skin.
Stretchies are the second handiest baby invention ever. Stick with 100% natural fabrics like stretch cotton or cotton terry for the summer. For the winter, fuzzy jammies should go OVER a pair of onesies rather than against the skin to prevent irritation. 6-8 stretchies should be enough for baby's first few months.
Pick up one or two sweaters or sweatshirts to keep baby warm in wintertime or on cooler spring/summer evenings.
Four to six pairs each of booties and socks should be plenty. Cotton stretchy ones will be far more comfortable for baby than nylon.
One special take-me-home outfit and a few cute everyday ones.
Half a dozen baby washcloths are a must. They're far thinner than regular adult washcloths, and less likely to irritate baby's skin. I never used more than three or four hooded towels, but your mileage may vary. They're awfully handy for wrapping a baby up from head to toe after a bath, especially in a cool house.
Bibs are another of those things you just can't have enough of. Drool bibs are fine for tucking under baby's chin to keep drool and spit-up from staining clothing. You won't need the bigger bibs for feeding for a while, but pick up one or two to have on hand.
Receiving blankets make great all purpose you-name-its. They're the perfect size for swaddling baby under a crib blanket, tossing over your shoulder when you burp the munchkin - or for privacy while you nurse him. You'll use them as towel substitutes, to toss on the floor or on a changing station before you put the baby down, spread them over the stroller or baby seat in the sun - in other words, for just about everything. 6-12 certainly aren't too many. It's not like the baby will outgrow them - my toddlers used them as bath towels for years.
Even if you're using disposable diapers, pick up a dozen cloth diapers. They're simply the best burp rag ever made.
Two packages of disposable diapers (size newborn and size one) if you've decided to use disposables.
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