In the first two parts of the “Oh baby, baby” series, I talked about furniture and items for the nursery and our key takeaways from setting that up and shared my experience with regard to the stroller/buggy and car seat. In this post (part 3), I want to talk about baby care products. Check below for my list of must-have essentials (including links to my favorite products) and a list of do-NOT-need recommendations.
A remarkably high number of baby care products are one-use-only and can thus drain the family wallet, and it is obviously wasteful for the environment. A lot of times, the same products could just as easily be acquired as a non-disposable (washable) version, which might also be less stressful for your baby’s skin. And this makes sense, since there are only a few challenges with baby care that a washer and dryer combo can’t solve to your absolute satisfaction. Besides the most common example of washable diapers, this also goes for diaper-changing mats to lay on the changing pad so your baby is feeling nice and comfortable while lying there butt-naked, and also to absorb moisture. So make sure to stock up on a reasonable number of cotton mats that are robust enough to withstand millions of washing cycles.
Speaking of pads, for whenever you leave your house with your baby, I strongly recommend a portable changing station, as you never know where you will be when you have to change your baby’s diapers nor how clean it will there. Even if there happens to be a changing table where you are in that moment. I wouldn’t want to be without ours. It’s a diaper changing bag that double functions as a pad.
If you opt for disposable diapers, I recommend the Amazon Prime Diaper subscription (if available in your country). You will go through so many of them that it doesn’t make much sense to get only one or two packs every time you go to the grocery store. And Amazon kindly offers packages that last you half or even an entire month. Don’t forget a baby, especially a newborn, gets through approximately eight diapers a day. That’s a whole lot of diapers… (240 in a month, hence why some opt for washable diapers)
With wipes there are two general options: scented versus non-scented versions. While it might be enticing to buy something with a nice and fresh smell to it, keep in mind that this smell is usually an artificial addition to the wipe/diaper/etc. and that there is actually no real need for a baby butt to smell like a field of spring flowers. Moreover, it might do your baby more harm than good, as its very sensitive skin might get irritated from the ingredients. As it will by using wet wipes, so rather go for dry ones and a bowl of water to wet them. So rather opt for neutral options and if your newborn’s skin does end up being red and irritated, add chamomile tea (or black tea for that matter) to a bowl of water and use a cotton cloth aka dry wipes to clean your baby with it. You do, however, want a good butt cream against the inevitable diaper rashes.
A last word on diaper changing: I strongly recommend investing in a high quality diaper disposal system to keep the odor as minimal as possible. Realistically no one carries a dirty diaper outside to the trash bin every time, especially not at night. A small poll amongst friends and family revealed the Angelcare diaper disposal system to be everyone’s absolute favorite. We also have the Angelcare Sound Monitor, as it is one with the lowest radio wave emissions available on the market. So overall a brand we have quickly learned to love.
Baby skin care
To save yourself an aching back and make sure you have a good handle of your latest family addition, get yourself a stand-up baby bathtub. Thereby you can bathe your baby without hunching down like you would if you were to use your normal bathtub. Plus, there are plenty of great options that have a newborn inlay to support you supporting your baby. When bathing your baby you do not need any bath ingredients and do not need to soak your baby in baby cream afterwards. A newborn does not really get dirty (unless you purposefully throw him or her in the mud), at least not so badly that water alone and a washing cloth couldn’t solve the problem. Moreover, why tamper with your baby’s natural skin with cream and scents. You should, however, have a bit of baby oil handy in case he or she gets dry patches of skin. This can also double function as a bath ingredient if you really deem it essential to make your baby’s skin smoother. Always wash the face and head last and use a different wash cloth for that. It also pays to have baby towels with a small hoodie to keep your baby’s most vulnerable spot warm: the head. A really nifty thing for when your baby has a cold is a boogie sucker. Hands down, one very smart inventions for your mini-me.
Recommended shopping list of baby care essentials:
- Diapers: either disposable or non-disposables. If you get the former, get an Amazon Prime subscription for regular resupply. We now tried several different diaper brands and nothing, really nothing, beats Pampers
- Angelcare diaper disposal system (see here)
- Cushioned changing pad (make sure to get one with a plastic cover to be able to wipe it clean when necessary)
- 6-9 changing mats as a changing pad cover
- Disposable dry wipes
- Butt cream
- Portable baby changing station (we got this one and I love it, it fits everything needed for changing the diapers, including your nursing scarf and a set of new baby clothing in case of an accident)
- Black tea bags or chamomile tea bags
- Nursing scarf for concealed breast-feeding in public (a truly amazing lifesaver when you are out and about with your mini-me, click here for a great example)
- Baby oil
- 4 washing cloths, 2 for the body, 2 for the face
- 2 baby towels with a hoodie
- Baby bathtub with newborn inlay and bathtub stand (click here for an example for a stand)
- Boogie sucker (click here)
List of things you do NOT need:
- (Scented) wet wipes: if you do however get them, get dry once as well, as you otherwise constantly leave your baby with a wet butt, which causes irritation
- Baby bath ingredients: at least not until the baby gets so dirty that they need a proper soap to get clean, water is really all that’s needed to wash your baby. We ended up buying lots of baby bath stuff that we never used. Well at least we now already have it for later.
- Disposable diaper changing covers (that’s a true waste of money, simply get washable ones)
- Wipe warmer (unless you live in an ice block without heating)
- Baby bath thermometer (use your elebow and common sense, we got 2 thermometers for some bizarre reason and never used them)