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What does a baby need?

Updated on August 30, 2010

Babies need lots of cuddles and touch

In mum or dad's arms is where newborn babies want to be, as much as possible.
In mum or dad's arms is where newborn babies want to be, as much as possible.

Is it really that complicated? Babies don't think so.

What does a newborn baby need?

It’s a question every parent-to-be asks themselves. In this day and age where we don’t have a whole lot of contact with other people’s babies it can feel like something of a mystery to figure out, on your own, what a newborn baby is going to need. But thankfully, the solution to the mystery is not very complicated. They need your love and your loving attention to their needs. They will need to be fed, changed and kept dry and clean, bathed and they need lots and lots of cuddles and touch. They need to see your smiling face and to hear your soothing voice just like they heard it in the womb.

But of course you will need some products too, so let's have a look at these.

Aside from the big purchases such as car seats and strollers, etc, your baby will some personal items. He or she will require a modest wardrobe made up of soft, gentle and comfortable clothes, which are easy for you to put on and off. So look for the wide neck openings on the tops. Look for onesies with three poppers at the bottom to hold up teeny little trousers on little babies who squirm and kick. Look for light fabrics in summer and warm fabrics in winter. Try and avoid artificial fibres, because they can be a fire danger and they also do not breathe as well as natural fibres.

A baby will need a nappy system. Rather than getting stuck relying on disposables, which are really not that much faster since you still need to scrape any waste off into the toilet before throwing the nappy away anyway, then invest in a quality cloth nappy system before baby is born. Fitted cloth nappies are an option, but don’t forget that terry nappy systems made up of terry squares are a much cheaper option that are also more versatile, since you only need the one size which fits all size babies and children. Because they are cheaper due to simpler design you can afford to spend the extra saved money on getting the best quality ones. Organic or bamboo terry nappies at the same price as a set of non-organic fitteds? The organic ones are much better for baby’s skin and are much softer and thicker and cuddly.

Baby slings are also a must. Once you've tried a good one, you'll never look back! The most highly marketed slings are the front packs which are clipped into place, but most of these let baby dangle by the crotch, so avoid them - just because they are widely advertised does not make them good, necessarily. They can also get uncomfortable on the shoulders of the wearer, where most of the weight goes. Look for a sling with a nice waistband that transfers weight to your hips, and a style of carrying which does not dangle baby by the crotch, which according to new research can put pressure on baby’s delicate parts and possibly even cause damage to male babies - better not to take the risk. For a newborn, a ring sling is also an excellent choice, because baby can be carried in the “kangaroo carry”, which keeps them snug and cradled upright against your chest. Be sure to check out the instructions to make sure you are carrying them correctly as you need to carry them correctly so that they have a clear airway and their backs are supported. Other than that, get ready for snuggles with your baby in a soft, supportive sling!

After these things are covered, there are not many other things you need. Don’t forget, baby is happiest when he or she is held and attended to when upset, as this is how they understand love in this tiny newborn and baby stage. Lots of cuddles, loving parents and lots of breastmilk make for a very happy baby indeed.

Lots of kisses, lots of attention. You can't spoil a baby. They only want to feel that you love them.

Babies love to see their mother and fathers' loving, smiling faces.
Babies love to see their mother and fathers' loving, smiling faces.


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