Planning for Baby: 10 Items You Need

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Planning for Baby: 10 Items You Need
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As you prepare for the arrival of a new bundle of joy, begin collecting the must-haves to keep your baby safe and comfortable. “With so many baby products available on the marketplace today, parents can be confused about which items they need versus items that are less necessary or even unnecessary,” says Debra Holtzman, child safety expert and author of “The Safe Baby.” Find just what you need with this quick guide to what every new parent should buy.

Car Seat
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Car Seat

Give your newborn a proper homecoming with a new car seat. The key word is “new” Holtzman notes. “It’s impossible to know the complete history of a seat, which means there’s no way to tell if it has been damaged or in a crash,” she warns.

Crib
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Crib

Although many well-intentioned family members may offer you a crib for your newborn, it’s best to purchase a newer model that meets today's federal safety standards. “The most important piece of furniture you will buy for your baby is the crib, so be especially vigilant when choosing it, keeping in mind that safety is the crib’s primary role,” Holtzman says.

Mattress
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Mattress

Make sure your little one is cozy and comfy with a new, firm mattress in her crib. A new mattress is also a safer option than borrowing or using an older one. “For hygiene reasons, a secondhand mattress is undesirable, as it may be contaminated with urine and feces,” Holtzman explains.

Bouncy Seat
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Bouncy Seat

A bouncing baby is a happy baby. Available with a variety of accessories, including mobiles and music attachments, bouncy seats help soothe your little one with their vibrations.

First Aid Supplies
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First Aid Supplies

It's important to make sure you have proper first aid supplies in your home in case your baby gets sick or hurt. Your medicine cabinet should be stocked with a thermometer, bandages, diaper rash ointments, antibacterial ointments, non-aspirin liquid pain relievers, topical lotions and cotton balls to soothe cuts and scratches.

Diaper Supplies
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Diaper Supplies

Not only will you need to purchase diapers -- cloth or disposable -- that will fit snugly, you'll also need to buy wipes or wash clothes, as well as fasteners for cloth diapers. Purchase petroleum jelly or diaper ointment, too, in case of a rash.

Bathing Supplies
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Bathing Supplies

Bath time can be one of the best bonding moments you have with your baby. Stock up on bathing supplies to keep him splashing and smiling. Mild soap, baby shampoo and lotion should top your shopping list. Don’t forget wash cloths and hooded towels, too, to wrap up your little cutie after his bath.

Bottles and Formula
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Bottles and Formula

Even if you plan to breastfeed, it’s important to purchase a few bottles for when you need to pump and store it as well as some formula your child. “I am a huge proponent of breast feeding, but when there are concerns for jaundice or weight gain, it’s just nice back up to have formula on hand,” says Sumi Sexton, family physician in Arlington, Virginia. She also recommends having more than one kind of bottle on hand in case your child struggles with a particular type of bottle.

Pacifier
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Pacifier

Some breastfeeding parents have mixed feelings about using a pacifier; however, Sexton recommends using a pacifier for sleep at night once the newborn is at least a month old. “The pacifier has been shown to reduce SIDS, so that is why I favor it between ages one month through six months of life, the greatest risk period,” she explains.

Clothes
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Clothes

Babies need onesies, undershirts, sleepers, infant gowns, socks, booties and hats to keep them warm. If you anticipate the need to brave cold temperatures, a snowsuit or outer coat is a necessity.

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