SafeMotherhood
safe motherhood

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO LOOK AFTER YOUR BABY?

You can get away with buying very little for your new baby - especially if he or she sleep in your bed and are carried around in a baby carrier. There's a lot of stuff out there though, and buying for a new baby is fun, but it can be difficult to know what you really need.

An important thing to remember is that babies grow fast, so you can save money by not buying expensive first-size baby clothes or a costly pram that will only be used for the first few months.

Also, it isn't essential to buy everything new. Because clothes and equipment for newborns are only used for a short period of time, you'll find a lot of second-hand things are generally in good condition. So look in second-hand shops, charity shops, or NCT nearly-new sales (contact your local branch and find out when the next one is coming up). You may also have family or friends with older babies who can pass things on. And don't forget that you'll no doubt be given presents for the baby when he or she is born!

If you know parents with young babies, it's a good idea to pick their brains about what they've found most useful and what they could have done without. You'll hear different things from different people, but it's a way of beginning to think about what it is YOU want for YOUR baby.

Bedtime

What you need for bedtime depends to some extent on where your baby is going to sleep. If he or she is going to sleep independently, rather than in your bed, you will need something like a crib, Moses basket or carrycot. Some parents put their babies in a cot from birth, but new babies don't always like being in a cot at first as it makes them feel exposed and insecure.

If your baby sleeps in a crib, you will need:

• Several cotton sheets - you only need one over the mattress and one over the baby, but they'll need frequent washing and it's useful to have spares);
• Several cotton cellular blankets - one or two to use on the crib or cot, depending on the time of year, plus spares;
• A firm, well-fitting mattress.

You may also like to have:

• A baby monitor;
• A room thermometer;
• An autofade nightlight.

Bathtime

New babies don't get very dirty and don't need to be bathed every day. In fact many don't like being bathed at all! One simple solution is to hand your baby over to your partner when he's in the bath so he or she can be splashed alongside him. Remember to make sure that the water is at the correct temperature for your baby.

Many parents choose to bath their baby in a baby bath, although there are alternatives, such as using a large washing-up bowl or the sink (watch out for the hot tap). All you really need to wash your baby is warm water and towels, with some cooled boiled water and cotton wool for washing their face.

However, you might also like to have:

• A bath thermometer;
• A baby sponge;
• Baby bath products, such as soap or bath liquid and shampoo;
• A 'baby bather' or bath rest made of stretch fabric or sponge. This will
help your baby feel more secure.

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