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  • Newborn Checklist: What to Prepare for Your Baby's First Three Months

    This is the only newborn checklist you will need.
    by Rachel Perez .
Newborn Checklist: What to Prepare for Your Baby's First Three Months
PHOTO BY iStock
  • My due date arrived earlier than expected. I went to the hospital with just a hastily prepared hospital bag. When it was confirmed that I was to give birth, my then partner quickly dropped by at the mall to buy everything on the newborn essentials list in my pregnancy book. We ended up with a lot of products we didn't need. 

    Here's what you really need for your baby during the first three months: 

    Layette (a.k.a. Your Baby's First Wardrobe)

    • Tie-sides, short-sleeves
    • Tie-sides, long-sleeves 
    • Caps/bonnets
    • Booties
    • Mittens
    • Shirts, sleeveless
    • Shirts, short-sleeved
    • Shirts, long-sleeved
    • Long pants/pajamas
    • Onesies, short and long
    • Sleepsuits
    • Receiving blankets
    • Diapers
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    In an article for Smart Parenting, Dr. Cricket Chen, M.D., recommends choosing baby clothes made of cotton fabric. You can borrow these or buy only three sets of each since newborns can outgrow them quickly. Tie-sides help you dress your newborn easier. Mittens are must-haves to prevent your baby from scratching their face, adds pediatrician Dr. Florianne Valdes, M.D. Use caps or bonnets when bringing your baby out and about. As your baby grows, you can move on to shirts, onesies, and pajamas, so you can get four to six of each of those. 

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    Receiving blankets can be used to swaddle your baby and even double as a bath towel sometimes. Newborns skin are so sensitive that some moms defer using disposable diapers for after a few weeks. That, and sometimes, the newborn size doesn't fit a baby. Still, cloth diapers can come in handy as burp cloths. 

    Remember to be mindful of the weather when you dress your baby, or if you're staying in an air-conditioned room for long. If you're a little cold, then the baby must be, too. Also, don't forget to wash the clothes with gentle laundry wash detergent before letting your newborn wear them. 

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    Nursery (a.k.a. Your Baby's Sleeping Space)

    • Firm mattress
    • Fitted bed sheet
    • Waterproof sheet/rubber mat
    • Sleepsack
    • Changing pad
    • Co-sleeper/Crib

    Less is more when it comes to your baby's sleeping space. You don't need blankets and bolster pillows or stuffed toys, as these can increase your baby's risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Instead of a blanket, opt for a sleepsack — it's a safer alternative to keep your baby warm when sleeping. As for toys, Dr. Chen says newborns get interested in toys that stimulate development when they hit three months. 

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    Settle for two sets of sheets and pillowcase. Co-sleepers are now a great alternative to a crib. It saves space and ideal for safe co-sleeping. If you were to opt for a crib, choose one that can grow with your child or one that converts from a crib to a toddler playpen. It's also nice to have a changing table and a breastfeeding chair or nook, but these can be optional. 

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    Hygiene and grooming 

    • Hooded bath towels
    • Washcloths
    • Baby bathtub
    • Bath support net
    • Baby soap or liquid baby body wash
    • Baby oil/lotion
    • Nail cutter or nail file
    • Diaper rash cream 
    • Wipes (a lifesaver!)
    • Nasal aspirator
    • Digital thermometer

    Some moms opt for a small wash basin instead of a bathtub, so it's really up to you. The important thing is that whenever you're bathing your baby, you should always support his or her neck with one hand, stresses Dr. Chen. 

    A small hair comb and brush for baby are optional since you can use your hands instead. Also optional are baby shampoos as a head-to-toe wash will do. Baby oil or lotion is optional, but it helps moisturize your baby's skin after a bath. Make sure you use baby-friendly products. Ask your baby's pediatrician or other moms' for recommendations.

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    Cotton buds are unsafe, so you don't need them. Have a new nasal aspirator and digital thermometer ready just in case. Using a new one for your baby can help prevent contamination. A nose aspirator is always handy when baby has a stuffy nose. You also don't want to run to the store to get one when your baby's temp already feels a bit hot.  

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    Nursing and Feeding 

    • Breast pump
    • Four-ounce feeding bottles
    • Milk storage containers
    • Nipple and bottle brush
    • Sterilizer
    • Nursing bra
    • Nursing cover
    • Breast pads
    • Nipple cream

    Ideally, you breastfeed your baby for the first six months for up to a year. It's also recommended that you nurse your baby directly from your breast during the first six to eight weeks before you start expressing milk. A few pairs of good nursing bra will help support your breast and offer easy access when nursing. Nipple cream is optional; some moms swear by breast milk to heal nipple cracks.  

    Breast pump and milk container bags come in handy when you start to build your milk stash for times when you're away from your baby. You can choose from manual pumps to the many electric breast pumps in the market. If you're bringing your baby with you out and about, you'll need breast pads to prevent leakage and a nursing cover or not; it depends on you.

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    Newborns don't need bibs since they're not chewing food yet, but they can be used wipe spit-ups, though that's what burp clothes are for!). Whether you're breastfeeding, mixed feeding, or bottle feeding, having about six feeding bottles is handy. Dr. Chen does not recommend sterilizing bottles via a microwave. The tools for cleaning feeding paraphernalia tools, just like breast pump parts, should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the transfer of bacteria. 

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    Travel essentials

    • Diaper bag
    • Carrier
    • Car seat
    • Stroller

    Make sure your diaper bag fits the baby's essentials you baby would need for travel. Carriers, baby clings, and strollers come in various forms; choose one that suits you and your baby. Car seats are not mandatory yet for private car owners with babies, but it has been proven to help in safely baby transport. 

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