Do you feel overwhelmed thinking about everything that’s needed to take care of your baby? These 7 baby care basics can help you begin to compartmentalize the mile long to do list, and help you settle in or readjust your routine with your baby.
It goes without saying, there are many cool baby gear and gadgets that are extremely tempting to splurge on. But there are some baby basics that are essential and some that money cain’t even buy.
The basics of baby care can feel a bit daunting at times. Especially the first time around.
Let’s keep it practical and manageable as we get down to the 7 basic categories that all babies need.
Deciding between which style of diapers, cloth or disposables is a decision that may change.
Many parents feel it’s an all or nothing decision. Which is totally not the case.
Even when it comes to different brands of diapers, there are hundreds of brands to choose from.
Often times, you won’t know until you try which brand you like best.
And more importantly, until you see what works best for your baby.
Even as your baby grows and you begin to transition into potty training you may need to switch your method and brand again.
Some diaper materials may cause irritation to your baby causing you to have to yet switch again.
Cost, quality, and product availability are also other factors to consider when deciding how you will diaper your baby or toddler.
My ultimate favorite brand of disposable diapers is Honest Company, although they are a bit pricey.
The quality is unmatched and they work fantastic. We never have leakage or diaper explosions and not mention they have the cutest prints and designs.
But, I also used clothed diapers and although I no longer use the inserts I now use the outer coverings to cover my toddler underwear as we are potty training.
You see, there is not just one way to diaper your child. Try and see what works best for you and your child as they grow.
BABY CHANGING STATION (or mobile station)
Since my boys’ room is upstairs, we decided having a changing table upstairs in their with all the supplies made sense.
But, we also spend a lot of time downstairs and I knew I did not want a full changing table downstairs.
To solve that, I have a huge basket (mobile changing stations) with changing supplies and a changing pad to easily change Cyrus while downstairs.
I would suggest using some type of changing basket that won’t become an eye soar for you to look at.
But choose something neat and neutral that blends with your decor.
This definitely makes changing baby in either location quicker and easier.
2. BATHING BABY
While babies are super tiny they don’t need much bathing.
According to the medical experts too much bathing may cause your baby’s skin to become dry.
As your baby grows and is more active more frequent bathing will become necessary later on.
Newborn, older babies and toddlers all have one thing in common when it comes to bathing. They are all slippery!
So I would highly suggest taking safety precautions as you bath your baby.
Some ways to practice safety while bathing baby are:
- Making sure you have all your bathing supplies in arms reach
- Keep extra towels close by
- Give your baby your full attention
- Check the water temperature before placing your baby in the water
Buying baby hygiene products is one of my weaknesses.
It’s hard resisting the temptation to try all the various products that are labeled “natural, pure, gentle, no bad ingredients, etc.”
Like any mom, I enjoy using quality products for baby’s delicate skin. But I try not to go overboard.
Not to mention, times when I brought several of the same products because I thought I would like it, only to find that every product in a pretty wrapper doesn’t always work.
After narrowing it do to some tried and true baby hygiene products these brands are what I know works well for us:
Another bath essential to consider is the style of baby tub you choose to use.
With Cyrus, we used the Angel Baby Care tub.
I really liked this bath sling style because it was perfect for washing him up and providing grip so he wasn’t so wiggly.
Once he started sitting up, we transitioned to the big tub.
3. SLEEP FOR MOM & BABY
In the early days when you first bring your baby home, sleep for baby may feel random and unpredictable.
As your baby grows and is able to stay full longer they may begin to sleep longer and a little more predictable.
Even though late night and early morning feedings may feel gruesome, your baby will (at some point) develop better sleep patterns.
Equally important as your baby getting enough sleep is making sure that mom gets enough sleep as well.
Don’t feel ashamed for needing daytime naps, letting the house work go, or not cooking elaborate meals everyday.
Rest as often as you can.
Even as you need rest beyond the newborn stage.
A well rested mom can best take care of her children.
You will appreciated feeling less irritable, grumpy and mentally foggy.
Be kind to yourself.
Especially on days when everything does not go as planned and things may be a little off schedule.
Be flexible with your expectations of baby getting to bed “on time”.
At 10 months I still do not force my baby on a sleep schedule. I believe when he’s sleepy and restless, he will go to sleep.
Of course as he gets older this will change. But for now this is working for us.
Although, we don’t have a set bedtime for baby, we have a nighttime routine I believe makes it easier for him to go to sleep.
Be mindful not to overdress your baby so he’s not too warm while he’s sleeping.
And keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
As an exclusively breastfeeding mom, I practice co-sleeping with my baby.
Don’t judge me, it’s just easier for nursing.
We’ve tried a few co-sleepers and my favorite which we are still using now is the Happy Parent-Child Time lounger.
If you choose to co-sleep with your baby or place your baby in a crib, make sure you use safety measures to keep baby safe.
Removing choking hazards, suffocating objects, and furniture hazards are important.
And as always, check with your child’s doctor if you have concerns about safe sleeping arrangements for your baby.
4. ORAL CARE
Starting regular teeth / gum cleaning even before baby’s first tooth erupts is good oral care.
Even breastfed babies need their teeth and gums cleaned regularly.
Check in with your pediatric dentist to see when is the best time to bring baby in for their first check-up.
It may seem like your child is not eating a lot of food, but practicing oral hygiene is still needed to keep your baby healthy.
5. DRESSING BABY
When it comes to my baby’s wardrobe I lean towards a more minimalistic approach.
Babies grow so fast and don’t even wear half the wardrobe they accumulate.
I like basic pieces. With a few special outfits for photos or special occasions.
Since we spend a lot of time at home, my babies are most often in onesies.
Another motivation for not going overboard with baby clothes is remembering baby laundry piles up fast.
Anything I can do to make life less stressful, even if it means fewer clothes works for me!
6. FEEDING BABY
This is always a hot topic among parents between breastmilk or formula.
I’ll never forget what one of the nurse’s told me before I brought Cyrus home from the hospital…”a fed baby is best”.
I totally agree.
As a mom you can only do the best you can and what works for your baby.
It helps to have support from your spouse, partner, or loved ones on your decision about how you will feed your baby.
No one wants to feel shamed by others for choosing to breastfeed or formula feed their baby.
Once you and your spouse or partner has chosen what will work for your family, proudly stand by your decision.
I chose to exclusively breastfeed my baby and not everyone thought it was necessary. But that was the choice we made.
After reading and educating myself I did what felt right for us.
Sometimes, sharing educational information with people on your decision to choose to breastfeed or formula feed can better help those around you understand.
And if formula is the route your choose, then proudly stand by your decision.
As any good parent your choosing what you think is best for you baby.
And remember, this doesn’t have to be all or nothing you can try both methods as well.
As long as baby is growing, and developing properly that’s what’s most important.
Always speak with your pediatrician if you have concerns with feeding your baby.
Last but not least. Nurturing your baby is one of the most important baby care basics your baby needs.
Your baby needs to feel loved and protected.
From the earliest age possible my goal is for my baby to know that I’m here for them.
To feed, love and care for.
I don’t worry about spoiling a baby, I’ve learned to cherish all the hugs and snuggles from their chubby little arms while I can.
Providing a loving home and creating sweet memories, will impact your baby for years to come.
Find simple ways to bond with your baby like going for walks, reading, talking, singing, or just smiling and looking into their eyes.
Pray protection over your babies and (big kids) as we prepare them for the future.
They have an entire future ahead of us and in comparison we have a few short years to give them the best head-start we can.
With these 7 baby care basics, you will be off to a good start of giving your baby a loving, solid foundation.
You’ll never regret giving your best for your baby.
Until next time.