Before your baby is born, there are a few important things you have to do. Otherwise, you will have to handle everything – from buying diapers to finding a breast pump- when you and your husband come home from the hospital with a newborn. Expecting a baby is exciting, overwhelming, and money-draining, but you and your partner can make it easier by preparing the following 10 things for your little bundle of joy.
Despite all the cons of using newborn diapers, let’s be honest, they make a new mom’s life easier. Whether you choose cloth or disposable diapers, you’ll need a lot of them to tackle all those endless changes in the first month of your child’s life. If you can afford, you can buy diapers for several months to come, but if not, ensure you have at least 2 packs of the newborn-sized diapers waiting for you at home. If you’re going to buy for a few months, opt for different-sized diapers.
- Baby bottles and a breast pump
Even if you’re not going to breastfeed, you need a couple of baby bottles. If you’re going to breastfeed, then ensure you invest in a high-quality breast pump. Not only does a breast pump help a new mom to rest while her husband or parent feeds her baby with a bottle of breast milk prepared in advance, but it also helps to stimulate the production of milk in the first days after birth. If you’re planning on returning to the office, you might need a hands-free or hospital grade breast pump to speed up the time it takes to pump breast milk.
- A baby bed
When choosing a baby bed, it’s important to buy the one that will serve you for at least a year. New parents tend to purchase a bassinet as it’s cute and comfortable. However, it’s quickly outgrown. If you’re going to co-sleep, opt for a co-sleeper, but remember that it’s not as safe as a regular crib. Avoid buying secondhand baby beds as they might cause allergy and other illnesses. Invest in a good crib and a firm, crib-sized mattress that will promote a baby’s sleep and reduce the likelihood of crib death or a sudden infant death syndrome.
- Ice packs and maxi pads
Ice packs are needed for relieving any swelling and soreness you might have after you give birth, especially if you’re going to have a C-section. Moreover, after the delivery, you’ll have relatively heavy bleeding for 3 to 5 days. It’s lochia or the first stage of the postpartum vaginal discharge that all new moms experience. Depending on successful the delivery process is, the discharge and bleeding tend to last from 2 to 6 weeks. That’s why it’s essential that you have enough maxi pads to handle this period. Doctors don’t recommend using tampons, though.
- Baby blankets
The majority of infants enjoy the act of swaddling as it soothes and calms them. Swaddle blankets are perfect for making your newborn burrito, but make sure your blanket is of the right size and shape. Since swaddle blankets aren’t cheap, you can simply opt for a lightweight, small-sized, and square-shaped blanket that will suit your baby’s body.
- Baby clothes
From stretch suits and cotton or woolen cardigans to vests and a cotton or wool hat, socks, mittens, and booties, your newborn will need all of it. While you don’t have to splurge of a pile of baby clothes, there are essentials that you should have ready at home when you and your bundle of joy arrive home. Since infants grow fast, you don’t need too many newborn clothes. Check out this guide to ensure you have everything before you and your partner will welcome your baby.
- Burp Cloths
Infants usually eat each 2-3 hours and they spit up after almost every meal, so a burp cloth is a must-have during the first several months. Buy a few burp cloths and keep it in each room, particularly when you’re going to feed your baby more often. Sling a burp cloth over your shoulder to be able to quickly clean your newborn’s face after they spit up and keep your shirt clean. You can sew your own burp cloths if you’re tight on cash. Check out this step-by-step guide.
- Newborn car seat
A newborn car seat is often required by the hospital when discharging new moms. Whether you have a car or you’re going to take a cab, you need to have a car seat specifically designed for infants. Even if you don’t have a car, you’ll need this seat for further regular hospital visits. As an added bonus, newborns love car seats and you can use it as a nap area in your house. Before your baby arrives, learn how to use a newborn car seat and how to adjust those straps correctly, as an infant has a very delicate body.
- Basic grooming tools
The fingernails of infants grow very fast. Plus, newborns have the shocking amount of snot. You’ll also have to check your baby’s temperature once in a while. Not to mention that newborns often need gas relief drops. Even though you don’t know when you’re going to need a thermometer, a bulb syringe, baby fingernail clippers, or gripe water, it’s crucial to have them handy.
- Baby carrier
If you don’t have a car, you’re going to need a baby carrier for those park strolls or quick grocery shopping trips. Babywearing is also a wonderful way to comfort and bond with your newborn. You can use it at home when doing simple household tasks, such as dusting a room or folding clothes.
As your infant grows, you’ll also need plenty of others things, but these 10 are the most important ones in the first few days after delivery. Moreover, it’s not necessary to invest in other stuff like toys or tons of clothes right now. Your baby is too little for those toys, no matter how tempting it’s for you to buy them.