I was talking with a friend recently who had just become a great-grandmother. She said that several young couples in her extended family were about to have babies and she was amazed at what they were buying in prepartion for their infants.
Because she knew I was a pediatrician, she asked what I advised parents about which baby care products to buy. My answer was simple. I told my friend that I always urged mothers to use the simplest, least expensive products. Cornstarch works well as a powder and also helps cure diaper rashes. Baby shampoo is o.k. to wash a baby's head, but ivory bar soap is the best for their baths and ivory snow is the best to use for washing their clothes. I discouraged the use of lotions because many babies have very sensitive skin and the less you put on it the better.
I said I was amazed at all the expensive equipment parents think they need to buy. I would rather they save their money and use it for a weekly night out or mini-vacations. A lot of stress could be prevented if parents heeded this advice. Having a new baby is lots of work and means many sleepless nights, so mini-breaks are extremely important. Post-partum depression is a real problem for many mothers and getting away frequently from their baby can make all the difference in the world.