What Do Newborn Babies Actually Need?

And where to find it.

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: June 14, 2022
As you’re getting your home and your body ready for a newborn, there’s endless information on what newborns really need. It can be overwhelming, so we wanted to help make it easy for moms who are searching the internet to get answers.

Newborns need food
Whether you’re breastfeeding, bottle feeding, pumping, or doing a combination, it’s hard work. There’s a lot to know and a lot to figure out in those first days and weeks with your new baby. Having a support person like a lactation counselor or IBCLC to help you feed your baby is essential for your baby’s belly and for your peace of mind. 
Instead of registering for 15 types of bottles, a formula mixer, or a breast pump that you may not need, registering for lactation support will give you hands-on help for you and your baby’s feeding needs.

Newborns need sleep (and well rested parents)
Sleep can feel like a tricky and desperate topic for many new parents. Babies need sleep, and so do you. Learning about healthy sleep habits from books like Sweet Sleep and from sleep coaches will help you navigate sleep options and expectations. Here’s a podcast on baby sleep!
You might be convinced that you need every type of swaddle, swing, rocker, and crib in order for your newborn to sleep. But it’s not about the sleep gear, it’s about knowing the needs of you and your baby and how to meet them.

Newborns need warmth
The newborn hats and onesies are adorably tiny, but what a baby really needs is YOU. When your baby is born, embrace “The Golden Hour” if you can, where your baby is naked on your bare chest, just soaking each other up. This regulates their body temperature, syncs your heartbeats, and is a beautiful time to quietly bond with your new baby. Skin-to-skin is an essential need for your newborn throughout the first months of life.
You and your body are far better heaters than the coziest of organic blankets, stockings, or hats. Your newborn needs maybe four outfits– don’t let the big box stores convince you into buying an entire wardrobe (or shoes) for your newborn who will grow out of everything within three days.

Newborns need comfort
 Your baby’s favorite place is going to be as close to you as possible: in your arms, on your chest, on your lap, or right next to you. It can be overwhelming to be attached to a newborn 24-7, so registering for a postpartum doula and other postpartum support will help you sustain this role. Don’t be tricked by every baby store ever, that tries to convince you that you need gadgets with speed levels, sound levels, and hands free movement options. 

There is NO baby item on the market that can replace you, and your baby knows it.

Newborns need safety
When you’re sleeping well, eating well, and being supported, you’ll be able to fully show up for your baby. This means hiring help like a postpartum doula to manage your home, take care of some meals, and to allow you to get a solid chunk of consistent sleep. (Read about postpartum doulas here). Your newborn is likely going to be spending most of its time in your arms, so now is not the time to invest in baby gates, outlet protectors, or some of the other “safety items” you might find on a standard registry list

When you’re getting your needs met, you can show up as the safe space for your newborn. 

Newborns need care and cleanliness
Your baby is going to need some wipes, some diapers, and some baths. And you’re going to have to figure out what to do with an umbilical cord and razor sharp newborn fingernails. What you’ll REALLY need is someone to walk you through these first days and weeks, someone who can help you find the best ways to keep your baby clean, cared for, and happy. A parent coach is a great place to start.
Newborns don’t come with a manual, but even if they did, there would be nothing in it about needing a certain type of bathtub, changing table, or wipe warmer. When you feel confident in your choices, your baby will be well cared for.

Newborns need connection
This connection comes from YOU. They need a stable mom and parent who is looking at them, cooing at them and is connected and sharing their joy, love, and oxytocin! And this is a big job. To help you take it on, it’s great to have people backing you up, like maternal mental health specialists, postpartum doulas, massage therapists, pelvic floor therapists, as well as connecting with other parents of newborns (read about it here).

Traditional registries from big box stores are designed to sell hundreds of baby items, making new moms question whether or not they’ll be able to handle a newborn if they don’t buy this or that. The truth is, when a new mom is fed, rested, and supported, her baby has all that it needs. Moms need a village to support them through new motherhood. And now you can register for your village at BeHerVillage.com so you can be at your best for your baby. What else would you add to this list? Let us know!

BeHerVillage is helping parents like you get the funds they need for the support they deserve! Are you having a baby and are looking for support? Create a registry for support today and get gifted funds directly into your bank account to pay for your support team. You deserve this.

Are you a birthworker who supports new moms? Use BeHerVillage to help your clients pay for your support. Create your free profile here and you can be the best baby shower gift a mom will ever get!
Category: Pregnancy
Tags: family planning , newborn , baby registry , postpartum support , postpartum doula , breastfeeding

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