There are so many new products on the market geared towards new parents that it can become difficult to determine what new parents might actually require, and what is just popular due to excellent marketing. Some products might make life more convenient, but they are by no means necessary.
Every new mom and dad need a car seat to bring the baby home in. Without a car seat, new parents will not even be able to take their baby out of the hospital. An infant seat that doubles as a carrier comes in handy, though it might also be a good idea to forego this seat to purchase a convertible. Convertible car seats start with the infant facing backwards, and then at the appropriate age & weight, you can turn it to face forward. This keeps parents from buying a new product after the infant outgrows the infant car seat. The carrier is often safer and more convenient than a stroller, and can be easily attached to a stroller frame or shopping cart. Weigh the options and figure out which will suit your life better.
Another must-have are bags of diapers in various sizes. Even if you’re opting for reusable diapers or a cloth diaper service, it’s always good to have disposables on hand for back up. Many well-meaning guests at baby showers present the expectant parents with newborn-sized diapers. This is helpful, but it is also important to know that newborns will outgrow this size fairly quickly, and some babies may even be too large for the diapers at birth. Diapers in size one should always be on hand before baby arrives.
When it comes to clothing, the types of clothing most parents actually use may come as a surprise. Some parents underestimate just how many times young babies need their outfits changed each day. In addition, infants need more sleepers, onsies and light rompers than complete outfits. Also consider your climate at the time of year the baby will be born, and make sure to have appropriate clothing.
In terms of the sleep situation, a bassinet is more helpful in the first few months than a crib. A bassinet or co-sleeper is much more versatile and easily moved. It is important not to discount the value of a sturdy crib a few months down the road, however. It is also perfect for nap time.
Many expectant parents are eager to shop upon learning about the good news, but it is important not to spend too much money on items that are simply going to create trouble. Some companies push gliders, wipe warmers and diaper holders without fail, but these items simply take up money and space. There also seem to be a lot more disposable items these days, when a simple washable item is just fine, and better for the environment. Also, try not to stock up on too many of one type of thing before you know if your baby will like it, such as pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups. You might prepare with a small variety, then see which is most preferred.