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Coming Home

Eight must-haves for you and your brand-new baby.

With a new baby on the way, you probably want to buy, buy, buy. Go right ahead, but in your frenzy, make sure to include the following necessities for your first days home from the hospital.

1. A car seat
It’s the law: You must put your baby in a car seat on the way home from the hospital (and any other time he’s in a car). So you’ll need to buy an infant car seat, specially made to fit newborns.

2. A front carrier
Carriers promote parent-baby bonding, and some allow you to nurse discreetly while you’re out and about.

3. A bassinet
Look for one that gently rocks and has wheels so you can always keep your sleeping babe near you.

4. A bouncy seat
A bouncy seat keeps baby safe and happy. Place it on the bathroom floor while you shower (leave the curtain open enough to keep an eye on him).

5. Nursing Lingerie
You’ll need these items for easy nursing.

6. A thermometer
A rectal thermometer is the gold standard. But if you are hesitant to take your baby’s temperature rectally, place the bulb of a standard mercury thermometer under baby’s arm for about four minutes. Then add a degree to the reading to get the true body temperature.

7. Diapers
Whether you want disposable or cloth diapers, reusable tabs come in handy for checking to see if baby needs changing.

8. Newborn outfits
A few simple one-piece outfits, made with 100 percent cotton (softest for a newborn’s skin), and several receiving blankets are all you will need to keep your new baby warm, wrapped up and happily snug. (He won’t need fancier clothes for at least a month.)