What you'll want this month:

How your baby is developing: Your newborn's first task outside of the womb is becoming accustomed to the lights, sounds, and space of the outside world. Babies at this age love to be swaddled while they become adjusted to moving their arms and legs freely.

A newborn's vision is blurry – they can only focus on objects within eight to fourteen inches of their face. They love looking at stark, high contrast colors, like black and white patterns. Later in the month, bright colors will attract their attention and they love looking at their own reflection in a mirror. Most of all, they love to look at you.

Their attention span isn't very long, so you may find your baby turning away when you least expect it. Don't fret, just move onto something new and their gaze will return.

By the third week, your baby will have discovered reflexes. They will be suckling, rooting for your nipple when hungry, grasping at objects, and blinking.

The real excitement will be your baby's new found ability to communicate. By the fourth week your baby will start to gurgle and coo as a means of expression. Listen closely for those newborn sounds, the gurgles and coo's and hum's change quickly. Be sure to coo in response and talk to your baby constantly.

Tell your baby what you are doing, when you are doing it – they love the sound of your voice, but listening to you talk is how they learn language. Sing gently and quietly to help calm your tired baby. Lullabies and your favorite ballads are always good choices – if Depeche Mode calms and lulls your baby to sleep, why not sing it?

Fun games and activities to play: Your baby likes high contrast patterns, gentle sounds, likes to look at your face and listen to the sound of your voice and there are simple activities that will incorporate all these favorites this month.

  • Sit with your baby on your lap, facing each other, or cradle your baby in your arm and look at each other. Lean forward and talk gently and happily in a high, lilting voice. Pause a moment to give your baby a chance to respond with a smile, a coo, or a wave.
  • After changing your baby's diapers, read a book. Choose a picture book with bright blocks of color, like Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See? Not only are you stimulating your baby's sense of sight, you are encouraging language development.

Aside from the nursery basics - cradle, crib, changing table - there are a few baby products you'll want to make sure you have.

Nursery
  • Large, soft receiving blankets to swaddle your baby as they adjust to life outside the womb.
  • A glider rocker so you can sit comfortably during those long nights and gently rock your baby to sleep.
Feeding
  • If breastfeeding, a nursing pillow to support your baby and help relax your arms and shoulders while nursing.
  • If bottle feeding, a selection of bottles, newborn bottle nipples and bottle accessories so you don't always have to wash a bottle before each feeding.
  • Soft contoured burp cloths to protect your clothes during after feeding burps.
Baby Care
  • An extra soft washcloth for washing your baby. You don't need soap or shampoo during the first month, just some warm water and nice soft cloth.
  • A skullcap, or newborn baby hat to help regulate your baby's temperature.
  • A pair of mittens to cover your baby's sharp, razor-like nails and to prevent any scratches.
Playtime
  • A baby mobile with high contrast patterns, and brightly colored toys to stimulate and entertain your baby.
  • Picture cards with high contrast patterns and bright pictures to hang above the changing table to keep your baby entertained during those diaper changes.
Travel
  • A travel stroller system that includes a car seat base, an infant car seat, and a stroller to make traveling with your baby as easy as possible.
  • A baby sling for those days you just need to get out of the house and go for a walk.
For Mom
  • If you are breastfeeding, a tube or two of lanolin cream to soothe those overworked nipples.
  • A good, easy to use, supportive nursing bra that makes you feel good about lactating.
  • An herbal bath to help your body heal after birth and to calm your spirit.

Complete your stash of newborn gear with baby products for two month old.

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