Preparing for you baby’s arrival is a lot of work. From Nursery furniture to clothes, diapers, feeding equipment , strollers, car seats, it makes a long list . But what are the most essential items you should have before your baby arrives ?
To help you get baby ready, we have compiled a checklist of the absolute essentials to have or buy before your little bundle of joy arrives. It will help make your hospital stay and coming back home a breeze.
It can be overwhelming for new parents to decide what stuff you need for your newborn as there are so many things they need. To make it easier we have made two lists as below:
Your newborn doesn’t need much in the first few days apart from milk, sleep and you. However here is the absolute basics to pack to make both your lives comfortable in the hospital.
Although the hospital provides blankets to keep your baby warm, you should take some of your own in case they get dirty or you think they are not soft enough.
1 large cotton blanket and 2 or 3 swaddle (receiving) blankets will be enough. Swaddle blankets will keep your baby cosy and warm and give it the “womb” feel. It can also be used for burping.
Make sure you pack some clothes to use while you are in the hospital. Sometimes a diaper and blanket is not enough to keep your baby warm. 3 or 4 pairs are usually enough but if you stay longer then your partner can always bring in some more from home.
From my experience sleepers preferably with zippers and integrated socks and scratch mitts are invaluable. 4 vests ( 2 long sleeve and 2 short sleeve) to go under the sleepers ( as babies can get really cold) and 2 hats (cotton or woollen depending on which month) will be ideal. Make sure you have 1 or 2 different sizes like 0-1 month and 0-3 months as you don’t know how big your baby will be till its born ( especially if it’s your first baby).
You will also need a going home pair of clothes. Choose according to your weather conditions at the time of birth. If its cold then don’t forget booties, mittens and hats as well. These are also great in summer months to keep the draft/breeze off your baby’s sensitive skin.
You will not be allowed to leave the hospital unless you have a properly installed rear facing car seat at the back of your car. Check that the seat has extra padding and can be installed easily and taken out easily while baby is in it. A hooded one is extra valuable to keep the sun and rain out.
You will get disposable diapers at the hospital but its good to pack some newborn nappies just in case.
Some mothers prefer cloth nappies in those first few days so if you are one of those then packs few of these ( at least 12 ) and 2 or 3 diaper covers and 1 or snapping fasteners.
Water wipes are recommended by midwives as they are good on newborns skin ( no harsh chemicals) and really handy for those first black, sticky poos that are so hard to clean !!
You can also use wash cloths ,usually provided by the hospital, but if you like to use your own then pack 4 or 5 of these as well. You may pack a small tube of barrier cream just in case your baby has sensitive skin . it will help protect against nappy rashes.
If you will be breastfeeding you really won’t need any equipment . Put some muslin cloths for covering during feeds and burp cloths for burping after feeds . 5 or 6 burp cloths and 2 muslin cloths should be enough.
If you are going to bottle feed then pack 2 x 4 ounce bottles and 1 can of formula as well. Breast is best but sometimes the milk does not come due to emergency C-sections or traumatic birth experiences. There are lots of formulas out there so you can choose as per recommendation from midwife or other mothers.
While I loved these personally -keeps baby calm and happy as they love to suck on something when they are not sucking on your breast ! don’t worry they still cry if they are hungry or grizzly/irritated, its your choice totally !!
We really like this video by Emily Norris on what to pack in your hospital bag for newborns as well as mums and it’s worth a watch !
Remember everything your baby needs should be centred around these main things :
Sleep, Feeds, Toileting, Bath , keeping warm and lots and lots of LOVE and you !!
They don’t need or care about designer things nor used or new gear, so that’s totally on you how much you want to spend .The main thing to concentrate on is keeping the baby comfortable as all they will be doing in the first few weeks/months is feed, sleep, and keep awaking you up all night along !!
While it’s easy to overindulge in all those cute things for babies especially clothes, just remember that they don’t need too many things in the first three months . we have created a basic newborn essentials list for use while shopping to take the guesswork out of what you really need for those first few months !
Naturally its easy to overspend on all those cute little clothes for babies ! before buying a huge amount of newborn clothes just remember that babies grow very fast and will probably outgrow a few clothes even before its has touched their skin ! also a lot of clothes are gifted as well ! bearing that in mind all you need is :
6 to 8 all in one sleepers (zipper ones are loved by new mums) and integrated socks and scratch mits are invaluable as you won’t have to buy these separately.
You will also need a Laundry detergent to wash your baby clothes and/or cloth diapers and we highly recommend a scent free, dye free one to keep your babies sensitive skin free of reactions and rashes !
If you are going to breastfeed then all you are going to need is
Some mothers like to have a breast pump and some milk storage containers but its not essential ! If you do get these then do follow the safety tips for storing breast milk !
For Bottle and Formula Feeding its best to buy a bottle feeding starter kit which will come with everything you need. Otherwise you will need
While disposable diapers are easy to use and dispose of , Cloth diapers can save you a lot of money as they are reusable and you can easily make them at home ( if you are into sewing and have some spare time on hand!!).
If you are going to use Disposable diapers , don’t buy too many as your baby may be born bigger than the nappy size and they do outgrow them fast !
If using reusable cloth diapers then you will need :
Change table is optional ( does prevent stooping on the bed though !!) but great if it comes with a Bath tub and storage sections for nappies/wipes/ soaps and creams.
Putting your baby to sleep is simple but there are some mind boggling options !
Some parents prefer co-sleeping while other like to use bassinets , cribs or Pak N Plays (portable cots – easy to move around the house) while some do all !!
Essentially, if you are going to use a crib, you will need
Pillows are not recommended for newborns . they should lie on the back with head directly on the mattress
If you are co sleeping, you will need :
Its’ better to put the baby on top of the comforter you are using to keep it safe. Some mums like using a bassinet to keep the baby close to them as an alternative to co sleeping.
If you are using a bassinet for the first few months ( you will have to eventually put the baby into a crib) then you will need :
Some mothers love using the Pak N Play ( Portable cots) that come with bassinet and changer as it takes care of sleeping, changing/diapering, playing and storage . and they are great to move around the house ! after 4 or 5 months just remove the bassinet/changer and it will work as a great play area !!
Babies love water and a warm bath is great for settling and calming the baby ! to keep your baby clean you will need
Aside from these other necessities include
Medicines and medicine droppers will be needed for fevers or colds but need to be recommended first by either your midwife , Doctor or Pharmacist
We are also including Some “nice to haves” but not essential items below which may make life easier or more comfortable for you as a parent .
Being a mum is a great joy and while it can be stressful sometimes ( especially in those first few months ) the most Important thing you both will need is lots of love and rest !!
we have tried our best to give a detailed description of all the essentials things your newborn needs. However, don’t stress too much if the list looks daunting or tedious. we have condensed all the information in a checklist below to keep it easy and simple
Just remember you can improvise with a lot of things at home and take all the help you can get in the form of gifts , housework, cooking etc !
Wishing you a happy and enjoyable mummyhood !!
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