Baby Gear Essentials
Trying to sort through the vast array of baby gear on the market and deciding what are must-haves and what are nice-to-haves can make your head spin. While every parent's definition of a must-have will vary slightly, there are some standard items you should purchase before your baby arrives; and to help you distinguish between the items you really need those you'd just really like, there are a few basic questions to ask yourself:
Why are you buying it (what do you need it to do)?
How long do you want it to last?
Is it worth the price?
Do you need the top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles, or will the purely functional, less expensive one suit you just fine? (Hint: If you plan to have more children who could reuse the item, the higher quality, yet more expensive, model may be a smarter investment.)
Finally, is the more expensive one really better than the less expensive, or is it just name-brand?
Diapers and Wipes
And lots of 'em! You'll be going through 10 to 12 diapers a day during the first few weeks, so stock up ahead of time. If you're using disposable, it's a good idea to have about 150 diapers (about three large packs) on hand. If you plan to use cloth, order six to 10 packs (12 to a pack). Stock up on several boxes of wipes and tubes of ointment, too.
You cannot come home from the hospital without your car seat installed in the backseat of your car. The law requires that your baby be in a car seat any time he or she is riding in a car. There are two options: buy an infant seat designed specifically for younger babies less than 20 pounds; or a convertible seat which can accommodate your baby through early childhood.
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