What Does a Newborn Need When Coming Home From the Hospital?

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Bringing a newborn home from the hospital is one of the most exciting and frightening events in a parent’s life. This tiny bundle relies solely on you for her survival, and that can be a daunting thought. While there are many things a baby will eventually need as she grows, there are a few specific items needed for a newborn at home. It’s best to have these things ready before the baby is born so you aren’t rushing around to find them at the last moment.

Baby's Journey Home

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Before you leave the hospital, you'll need the proper items to get your baby home safely. Make sure ahead of time that you have an infant-only seat, recommends Kids Health. The clothing you bring your baby home in should be chosen according to the weather conditions. Keep a burp cloth or bib handy, in case the baby spits up on the way home.

Baby Clothes

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A newborn will need clothing, and lots of it. This is because newborns have accidents and can be messy. Some newborns spit up and their diapers often leak, which will call for an immediate change of clothing. They need to stay dressed because their tiny bodies aren’t yet able to regulate temperature correctly and they become cold very easily. At the very least, you will need three to four changes of clothing per night.

Keeping Baby Fresh and Clean

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You will need a baby bath, washcloths and the proper toiletries for a newborn. Hooded towels are a great option for bath time because they offer a no-fuss means of drying the baby off while keeping her nice and warm. Make sure any soaps and shampoos you buy are specifically made for a newborn’s skin and are hypoallergenic, because the baby’s skin is especially sensitive.

Sweet Dreams

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a real threat to newborns, so make sure you have proper sleeping arrangements prepared for your baby. The crib should not have a drop-down side, warns the American Academy of Pediatrics. Drop-side cribs have been recalled due to the safety risk they pose to babies. Your baby should be placed on his back, on a firm sleep surface, every time he sleeps. The bedding should be tight and secure, with no pillows, blankets, toys, stuffed animals or crib bumpers, to avoid suffocation. Your baby should sleep in the same room as you, but in his own crib or bassinet, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Time to Eat

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A newborn will nurse often because her little body is growing rapidly and needs sufficient nutrition to develop properly. If you are breastfeeding, purchase a breast pump so you'll have extra breast milk saved when you need it. If you are bottle feeding, you will need plenty of formula along with bottles that have been thoroughly sterilized. If you use bottles that have liners, buy enough liners to last a while, as well as plenty of sterilized nipples.

When Baby Feels Bad

Newborns can sometimes develop skin irritations, diaper rash and gassy stomachs. You will need to have diaper rash cream, newborn-safe lotions and anti-gas medication safe for newborn babies on hand. Never give your baby any type of medication without first consulting your pediatrician.