Babies need stimulation and there are many toys on the market that will help make sure your baby gets the stimulation he/she needs to develop well. There are books made just for the little ones with pages made of thick cardboard. There are “gyms”, like the Gymini, that go over the infant with various toys and attachments to keep your baby interested. They are a good investment and will entertain a baby the whole first year. Age old gifts like rattles and teething toys are also good to entertain a baby with!
When they get old enough to hold things, soft blocks or textured items also help challenge your baby to use his/her eye to hand coordination abilities.
Babies will need to be soothed from time to time. Sometimes, wrapping a baby in a receiving blanket or swaddling them will help settle them down since it is similar to being back in the womb. This is wonderful for feeding time and makes it easier to hold the baby as well. Some parents choose to use a pacifier to help give baby a way to soothe themselves. There are many different varieties available on the market so shop around and try different ones if your baby will not take a pacifier right away. Soft sounds might work to help calm your baby. There are many CD and DVD’s available that are made specifically for babies or toddlers. White noise from an air purifier or sound machine might also do the trick. Some parents swear by the swing. Their baby will find it very soothing, but other babies will not be interested in it at all. You may have to try different things with each of your babies to see what is most soothing for them.
There are several things that are must haves to take the baby out and about. The first thing you should invest in would be a diaper bag. There are many styles available now on the market, from designer to daddy bags. Take your time and get the one you like and that will best fit your needs. Every baby needs a car seat too. When you are ready to choose it, make sure it fits your baby and your car. Be sure that you can get the baby in and out easily. If you get a used car seat, make sure that you have all the paperwork and that it has not been recalled for safety reasons. Once you get to where you are going you will need to have a stroller. Some car seats come as part of a stroller which will especially be of help if your baby is sleeping!
After the baby mom will want to get back into exercising as soon as possible. There are several gifts you can offer to mom to help her achieve her fitness goals. If the new mom is a runner, she may enjoy a jogging stroller. These strollers are built so that mom or dad can take their baby for a nice ride as they get the exercise they need. Is she a biker? There are several bike carriers you can attach to your bike, but this is best for older babies that can wear a helmet and hold their head up on their own. If you want to give a gift to a mom that is into fitness you can give them a gift certificate for an exercise class she can take with her baby.
You will need plenty of diapers, just don’t get too many of the small ones to start with, they will grow fast! You will need some place to put the diapers once they are soiled so you might want to invest in a diaper disposal system. This will help your home stay smelling nice and fresh! You will need a place to change the baby like a table or waterproof pad for the baby to lie on. You will need wipes and rash creams as well as fasteners or diaper covers if you use cloth diapers.
You will want to invest in a crib or some bed rails if you plan to have a family bed. The crib will need bedding as well. Sheets, blankets, and waterproof crib pads or mattress covers will protect your investment. Purchasing a lovie for the baby to cuddle with while get themselves to sleep might also be a blessing. If you travel or plan to visit relatives, having a portable crib is also a good idea.
You don’t have to buy this right away, but having it ready to go once your baby is mobile is a good idea. For the kitchen you will need door latches, knob guards for the stove top. If your table has sharp edges, you might need padding for that as well. In the bathroom use a toilet hatch and a non-slip mat in the tub. Though out the house, you will need to add door knob and outlet covers. Use baby gates in front of stairs or dangerous areas to keep baby safe!