While it may seem as though being pregnant for nine months can last for years, especially the last trimester, it really doesn’t. Before you know it your pregnancy will be complete and you will have a beautiful baby boy or girl. The question is, are you ready for baby to come home? Do you have the essentials? I don’t mean the baby’s room necessarily, though a crib or basinet is important, but I do mean the items that you are going to need to take care of your baby once she/he is longer inside you.
Let’s start with the basics, diapers and wipes. Whether you are planning on using cloth diapers or disposable diapers you need to make sure that you have plenty of them on hand. If you are going to use disposable diapers I recommend that you at least have one package of newborn diapers, which typically will fit a baby up to 8 pounds. I wouldn’t go and buy a case of diapers until baby is born and you know his weight, because you don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of diapers that baby can’t wear. As far as wipes go, I always opt for the natural ones that are for sensitive skin. That is just a personal preference.
Next let’s talk about clothes. I know that everyone likes to go out and buy all of these adorable little outfits for baby. Which is wonderful, but you also need to be practical. Make sure that you have atleast ten onesies. These are the little undergarments that cover baby’s torso and snap over the diaper. I would even go as far as to recommend that you go to a second hand store to get these. Why? Two reasons, you need a number of them and they are going to be spit up and pooed on. You can buy brand new ones as well, but there are a number of baby second hand stores that really offer very nice clothing for baby and a fraction of the cost. Depending on the season you are also going to want to invest in pants of some sort, something soft and comfortable to put baby in. My favorite baby item is the nightgown, they are long, and cover baby from head to toe yet offers them room to move. You can also get a few other pairs of pjs with feet in them. Baby should not sleep in their cute outfits; make sure they are in onesies or pjs.
Blankets, goodness get blankets. You want to have atleast seven receiving blankets to cover baby with. Actually, even if you are going to use disposable diapers you may want to get a package of cloth diapers to use as spit up towels. Trust me when I tell you that you are going to be thankful to have more than one or two of each of these items.
Now that we have the basics covered to make sure that baby is dry and clothed we should look at food. Obviously you have two choices for your new born, bottle or breast. If you are going to breast feed then really all you should get is a breast pump, breast pads and lanolin and a couple of supportive nursing bras. This is more for your comfort than anything else.
If you are going to be bottle feeding then you are going to need bottles. Make sure that you have 3 to 6 4 ounce bottles. Baby isn’t going to need the bigger bottles at first seeing as how his or her stomach is only going to be able to hold about 2 ounces at each feeding for the first month. I highly recommend getting the bottles that are designed to minimize the amount of air that baby consumes during feeding. If you are going to use the straight bottles then I recommend getting the orthodontic nipples for the bottles. I would like to tell you that you can use the orthodontic nipples on the air vent bottles, but you shouldn’t.
Bottle feeding also means that you are going to need to have formula on hand. This I didn’t have prior to bringing baby home simply because I wanted to breastfeed out third child, but couldn’t. So we kept her on the same formula the hospital started her on. Do not switch baby’s formula unless you have to. The only reason for this is that it is hard on baby’s tummy. We had to switch because we found out that our daughter was lactose intolerant like me, so we went to a different version of the same formula that did not contain lactose. You also have the choice of concentrated, premade or powder versions of the same formula. The hospital will start baby off on premade bottles. You can switch to powder or concentrated if you want. The main difference in those three choices is the way the formula is pasteurized, so one may be easier on baby’s tummy then the other or it may not matter.
Now there are other little essentials that you are going to want to have on hand to care for baby. So here is a list of those items:
- Infant thermometer
- Gripe water (this is a natural solution that you give to baby to help with colic and hiccups, it is simply fennel and ginger and babies can have it at 2 weeks of age)
- Infants Mylicon (safe for baby from birth, helps with gas… it is a Godsend)
- Baby wash
- Baby lotion
- Baby powder
- Baby wash clothes
- Diaper rash ointment (hopefully you won’t need it, but it is always better to have)
- CDs of instrumental music or lullabies (this is more because it is important to introduce baby to music at a very young age to help brain development)
If you have all the items that I have listed in this article then you are prepared to care for baby. It will also make life easier to have these things prior to baby coming home so that you can focus on caring for baby and not have to run to the store.