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Baby gear comes in numerous types, and parents can easily get overwhelmed determining what things they’ll need to buy and what things they can skip. There are a few basic needs that most parents should not be without, but remember infants grow quickly, and they won’t require every single piece of baby equipment at the same time. For instance, newborn-sized clothing has a pretty short shelf life. As much as clothes for tiny babies are really cute, they’ll probably only see a few months of use before a baby needs new sizes.
Some of the things that are definitely needed once a baby arrives include a bed, car seat, a stroller, and various blankets, feeding apparatus, plus plenty of diapers. There are certainly things that fall into the extras baby gear category. Buying a crib means that a bassinet or baby rocker isn’t completely necessary, since a crib can be used for newborns.
Feeding apparatus and diapers can really depend on a mom’s choices. If a mom is breastfeeding, she may need access to a breast pump, and a few bottles, but little else. The mom who formula feeds the baby will need far more, in the nature of lots of extra bottles and formula. Diapers are another issue that requires some choice, and moms who plan to use cloth will want a fairly good supply (at least two dozen and more likely three dozen) of these on hand, in addition to rubber pants or diaper covers too.
Car seats are non-negotiable baby gear. Any time a baby is in a car, he/she needs to be seated in a safety approved seat. Yet here there are some choices too. Parents can buy a seat designed only for infants, or one that can be converted to a child safety seat for older kids too. Strollers are also helpful, since this means parents can walk the baby on a regular basis. Some people opt for backpacks or baby slings instead, but they’ll have more freedom of movement if a stroller is available
Having a place to set a baby down during the day can be very useful, and baby gear designed for this can include playpens, bouncers, and baby saucers. Some babies love the gentle movement of baby swings, and these may free up mom or dad’s hands for a few moments while the baby is content. It isn’t always necessary to have these extras. A baby stroller that fully reclines can make a great substitute for a baby bouncer.
Other baby gear that many people find useful from the get go is a changing table. Though people can certainly change babies on a pad on the floor, the amount of changing required can be hard on the back, and most changing tables are a little easier to clean after accidents. As baby grows, another important feature in the home is the high chair, so that a child has a secure place to sit while sampling “adult food.”
Most people will find plenty of inspiration on needed baby gear at department or toy stores with good infant and child sections. It’s also a good idea to ask friends with young babies which pieces of equipment or gear they’ve found most useful. These word of mouth recommendations usually help parents come up with excellent lists on the best items to possess once a baby enters the home.