I have seen and read many lists which set out very neatly all the things you need before the big baby arrival day. When I was expecting my first, I read that the baby’s room needed to be all hunky dory before the big arrival. I stressed to get the room all ready and then she didn’t sleep in it for 6 months! So, what do we really need?
I’ve come up with five things that I think to be pretty important but please do let me know if you disagree!
How do you want to feed your baby? Plan this and get all the equipment you will need as they do need to eat. If you would like to breastfeed, think about going along to a breastfeeding support group. Also, think about getting some nipple guards, breast pads and nipple cream. It can be very embarrassing for your other half if he has to nip into Boots for them! If you would prefer to bottle-feed, make sure that you have the bottles, sterilisers, formula, etc, that you will need.
2. A safe way to travel with your baby.
It is a legal requirement that you have a suitable car seat for your baby. Many pushchairs are mini travel systems and come with a carrycot that fits into a fixed base in the car and also fits into the pushchair. Make sure that you take proper advice and ensure that it fits properly into your car. The systems seem to come in all different sizes. Make sure that you have practised putting the seat in and taking it out a few times. It can be really stressful trying to learn how to do this with a baby in situ.
Make sure that you have a good supply of these. A newborn baby can often need changing pretty much all the time. We went through packets and packets in the first few weeks of our daughters’ lives. You may also want to decide whether you want to use disposable nappies or re-useable ones. There are lots of different brands available, all with their own pros and cons.
4. A sleeping place
Newborn babies spend a lot of time sleeping and can fall asleep anywhere. You may prefer to have your baby sleep in your room with you in a Moses basket or in the cot. Some parents co-sleep with their baby in their in my bed. Decide what you think works best for you and be ready to adapt over the first few weeks. We had a Moses basket in our room for the first few months, then placed the Moses basket in the cot which we had moved into our room and, finally, moved the cot into the nursery when each girl was about 6 months old. I found that having them in the same room as me when they were tiny really helped as I was breastfeeding.
5. Baby Clothes
I found that having lots of vests and baby grows was a real blessing as they were constantly in the wash. It meant that I wasn’t having to put a wash on every day. It also helped with layering.
Newborn babies aren’t good at regulating their own body temperature and so can get cold. It is recommended that you put one more layer on them than you are wearing yourself. Little hats are great as well. Babies lose a great deal of heat through their heads. There are some great designs available so you can have some fun with this!
It can be really stressful trying to accumulate all of the items recommended on various magazine lists. It is also. Focus on the truly basic items you need before your baby arrives and enjoy your pregnancy. I’d love to hear if you have some different essentials or tips for others.