I walked into my client’s home for a postpartum visit. As she snuggled into the corner of her comfy sofa, ready to nurse her deliciously squishy newborn, I noticed the collection of baby items nearby. There were two types of nursing pillows, a double electric breast pump, and a manual silicone pump. On the floor in the corner was an activity mat, swing, and one of those fancy rocking, swaying, bouncing thingamabobs.
As a doula who supports families from pregnancy through early parenting, I try to stay up to date on all of the items coming out daily, it seems, to make life with a baby much easier. I recently took a little field trip to Buy Buy Baby, a massive baby warehouse, and quickly became overwhelmed with all of the options. If I felt this way just looking around, I could only imagine what soon-to-be new parents feel like while they’re trying to make these important decisions.
As a seasoned mother of four, I have sometimes found myself saying to my clients some of the same things my mother and grandmother said to me when I was shopping for the latest and greatest years ago. "You don't need all that newfangled stuff!" LOL! And you know what, whether you're on a tight budget, have unlimited resources, or minimal disposable income, knowing what is absolutely needed for your baby is welcomed. Just because you can have it now doesn't mean you need to have it now.
Here's my list of things your newborn baby absolutely needs:
· Safe Sleep Space – Crib, Bassinet, Bedside Co-Sleeper with a firm mattress, free from blankets, bumpers, or stuffed animals
· Nourishment – Human Milk or Formula
· Bottles - if pumping or formula feeding
· Clothing – Onesies, Sleep and Play outfits. Your baby will live in these for months.
· Diapers – Cloth or Disposable
· Burp Cloths – Spit-Up Happens
· Receiving Blankets/Lightweight Blankets
· Hands Free Baby Carrier - Moby wrap, Ring sling, etc...
· Rear facing car seat
I know it doesn't look like much. Believe me, babies really don't need that much. However, as your baby grows, so will their needs. They just won’t need everything all at once, especially not from day one. Take your time. Gather these things as you need them and don’t forget to check out the local consignment stores and the seasonal consignment sales for items that will only be used for a short while.
Above all, remember that what your baby needs most is YOU!
You are enough.
Atlanta Family Doulas supports families during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and early parenting. We combine your intuition with our compassionate support to help elevate your experience and set you up for a lifetime of creating memories and stories you’ll want to tell time and time again. Contact us today if this sounds like the experience you’re looking for as your navigate the journey to parenthood.