You are here
Baby Clothes: Essential Items Every Baby Needs
Luckily, in Tanzania, most women do not have to go through pregnancy alone, they get a lot help from their mothers and other female family members. However, despite the help, there is always a great deal of stress when preparing for a newborn baby - especially if you are a first-time mother and/or parent.
As a result, it is easy to get carried away and purchase items that your baby won’t need or enjoy. But it is also possible to forget about small but useful items that will help you transition into motherhood (or parenthood in general).
So, to help you out, here is a list of baby clothes and items that you will absolutely need when the baby arrives:
1. Practical everyday clothing
Forget about buying your baby dresses and shorts, in the first couple of months they’ll be living in their baby suits, also known as, onesies. Make sure to get:
- 6 long-sleeved onesies. These will keep your baby warm all the time. Make sure to get some that can be opened at the bottom, so that you don’t have to take off all of your baby’s clothes when it’s time for a diaper change.
- 6 vests to be worn under the onesies in colder weather or on their own in hotter weather.
- 4 pairs of socks, for when they are not in onesies. A lot of heat is lost through the feet, so keeping their feet covered will protect your baby from a cold.
- 2 hats, as babies also lose a lot of heat from their heads.
Newborn babies require anywhere between 8 to 12 nappy changes a day. While many mothers prefer the convenience of disposable diapers, there are also some who choose to use re-usable/cloth nappies (because it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly). Whatever method you choose, you will also need:
- Nappy sacks or plastic bags to dispose dirty diapers or nappies.
- Wet wipes to clean the baby with during a diaper change.
- Nappy liners; on occassions that you choose to use a reusable nappy this will collect all the urine and faeces so that none gets on the nappy cloth.
- Nappy steriliser, this kills all the bacteria in the nappy.
3. Feeding equipment
Whether you choose to breastfeed, bottle-feed or both, you will need:
- Nursing bras; they make accessing your breasts for breastfeeding easier.
- Breast pads to prevent milk spillage from your breasts from staining your clothes.
- Breast pump to pump milk for bottle-feeding.
- Bottles for when you want to bottle-feed.
- Plastic teats or bottle nipples, which babies suck on when drinking from the bottle.
- Bottlebrushes to clean the bottle with.
- Steriliser, to kill the bacteria in the bottle and plastic teats.
4. Bathing time
Newborns do not need to bathe everyday, in fact, all they need is 2 to 3 baths a week. However, given Tanzania's hot climate, to cool of your baby and help prevent heat rash and discomfort, you can bathe your baby once a day. For this you will need:
- Baby bathtub
- Or you can get a bath support to use in your regular bath tub.
- A gentle (preferably natural) liquid baby cleanser.
- Baby towels
- Cotton wool to help clean corners and crevices like around the ears and neck.
5. Sleep time! You will need:
Apart from eating and pooping, babies sleep a lot, so make sure yours is comfortable by getting:
- A crib with mattress that fits, sheets and blankets.
- Moses basket with a tiny mattress or blankets, to place the baby in for naps when they are not in their crib.
- Pillows to help the baby sleep properly (not turn around easily or hit the edge of the crib).
- Cotton wrap, to keep the baby warm but comfortable, when it's hot.
6. Everyday travel
While your baby should spend most of their first days and months at home, they may have to move around and travel for doctor’s appointments, family visits and more. So to prepare for these moments, make sure you have:
It’s all worth it in the end
Being a parent is probably the hardest job in the world. Especially in the beginning, when you don't get much rest and are not too sure about what you are doing. But most parents agree that ultimately, it is absolutely worth it. So enjoy preparing for your newborn, because once they get here, things will never be the same again - and you wouldn't want it any other way!