Mom and Baby Basics

Your world is about to change in countless, wonderful ways with the arrival of your baby. This new era in your life comes with specialized "to do" and "to buy" lists -- but neither is necessarily long or expensive. In fact, the most important things you can give your child are love, time and patience -- and those are free!

Nevertheless, you'll want to purchase some items to make life a little easier for you and your baby. To get you started, we've assembled this list of useful items and helpful shopping tips.

Maternity Clothes
Comfort should take precedence over fashion, although, fortunately, maternity clothes have come a long way in the style department. Look for attractive, easy-care clothing that can accommodate your expanding figure without feeling restrictive. Plan around a basic color scheme (black, gray or beige, for example), so you can mix and match items to keep your wardrobe fresh and interesting as the months go by.

If you need a psychological pick-me-up during your eighth or ninth month, consider purchasing a new outfit that you can also wear home from the birth center or hospital. (Because you won't lose all your pregnancy weight at the time of birth, you may need to continue wearing maternity clothes for a while.)

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