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Take a look at any baby cosmetics isle during pregnancy, and you are likely to feel overwhelmed. Do you really need all that stuff? Baby shampoo, bath lotion, soap, diaper cream, baby oil, scalp oil, foot cream, body lotion, talc powder, and the list goes on. Should you stock up on everything you see, or is there a case for raising your newborn on a minimum of cosmetics, too?

When I was expecting my first baby, you bet I bought everything on the list! I ended up with a cupboard full of baby... stuff and I will immediate confess that I did not use half of it. When you are expecting your first baby, it is extremely hard to know in advance what you will really need. A lot of what you will really need depends on personal preference, but here are the things that we ended up truly using and loving:

Baby soap or baby shower gel. You don't need both, because they are essentially used for the same thing. We went with a nice shower and bath gel from Chicco, and stuck with it for a long time. When your baby doesn't have a lot of hair, this can be used as shampoo as well. Diaper cream is a must-have, unless you are using cloth diapers. Many cloth diapers will soak up diaper cream, making the diaper ineffective. And, because cloth diapered babies usually have their diapers changed more often, you will find there is less of a need for it. Scalp oil to prevent or treat cradle cap. A good sunscreen during the summer to protect your baby from those UV rays and prevent sunburn. Wet wiped, if they can be considered to be a cosmetic. Baking soda to add to baby's bath. This helps to prevent diaper rash.

That's it! Really. Here is what we didn't use, and why:

Body lotions can do more harm than good. That sensitive skin doesn't need body lotion. Baby shampoo and conditioner, not until much later when the babies had more hair. Anything else that surely exists but I can't recall now.

And of course, you'll need toothpaste once your baby gets his first tooth.

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