Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
There is no shortage of advice for new parents on what to buy, how much to
buy, or when to buy it. While there are a few absolute necessities, many items
for baby or the nursery can be acquired according to personal preference. Here,
we discuss the bare necessities you'll need to have for your newborn.
A crib, unless you plan to have a family
bed. You'll need to make a plan for baby to sleep somewhere. A bassinet or
cradle can be a good option for the first few months if you prefer to start
small. Most cribs do not come with mattresses, so you'll need to put a
fire-retardant mattress on the list. Be wary of hand-me-down or older cribs;
make sure they meet current safety recommendations. The slats should not be more
than 2 3/8 inches (6 centimeters) apart, for example.
Linens, if you're going to use a crib. You
can use a waterproof mattress pad with crib sheets on top, or you can look for a
waterproof pad (called a sheet saver) that fits on top of the fitted sheet.
Whatever you choose, you'll need one quilted mattress pad, a few waterproof pads,
and at least two crib sheets and lightweight blankets. Babies don't need pillows,
crib bumpers, or fluffy comforters. These can even pose a danger of suffocation.
The same goes for stuffed animals left in the bed.
Diapers, whether cloth or disposable, plan on
70 to 90 diaper changes a week to start out, and then around 50 changes a week
after six weeks. You'll need some kind of pad for the baby to lie on while
changing, moistened (alcohol free) diapering wipes, a pail or bucket to dispose
of soiled diapers, and probably,
diaper rash ointment or cream.
Clothing. It's a good idea to start with at
least six "onesies" (undershirts that snap at the bottom), three to four infant gowns with a
drawstring at the bottom, three receiving blankets, a sweater and cap, and three
to four pairs
of socks or booties. Some parents like to buy several sleepers (stretch suits)
that zip up the front.
For bath time, you'll need some kind of baby
tub. For tiny babies, you can get tubs with a sponge insert or those that are
sloped with a foam pad inside. You'll also need a few terrycloth bath towels and
washcloths, baby soap and/or tearless shampoo, brush and comb, and round-tip
nail clippers or scissors.
For feeding, you'll need some burp cloths
and bibs. Even if you're breastfeeding, you will need bottles and nipples to use
with milk that you pump. A bottle brush and dishwasher basket can be very useful
for cleaning. If you are not breastfeeding, you'll need
formula and an accurate
An infant car seat.
This can also serve as a baby carrier, and some models snap into a stroller so
that you need not carry the car seat everywhere.
Breastfeeding mothers usually appreciate
having a breast pump to express milk when you have to be away from baby or if
your breasts become engorged when baby isn't ready to feed.
Talk to your pediatrician about his or her
recommendations for the medicine cabinet. A thermometer is usually necessary.
There are many types available; ask your doctor which type he or she recommends
for you. A bulb syringe to suction excess mucus from the nose and mouth is
helpful, and you may get one at the hospital to take home. Your pediatrician can
tell you what kinds of medications or ointments you may need in your baby's