Your newborn’s arrival is undoubtedly an extraordinary and momentous experience, especially if you’re first-time parents. While all this does come with certain challenges and you may feel like you’ll need all the help you can get to successfully navigate these turbulent waters, it’s all worth it in the end. Seeing your precious angel happy and healthy is every parent’s ultimate goal.
In most cases, parents-to-be are excitedly and somewhat frantically preparing their home, making sure that they’ve got everything they need to ensure proper care of the baby. Nurseries are usually the first thing parents focus on, nit-picking their way through the colour of the nursery walls to baby decor. This is completely normal, but you wouldn’t want to get too caught up in decorating that you push all other baby care items to the sidelines and consider them an afterthought.
But how can you make sure you’re not forgetting anything? Look, we’re perfectly aware that preparations can be hectic and overwhelming, which is why we’re swooping in with a list of necessities that are absolutely crucial to your infant’s upbringing.
Add Diapering Gear to Your Arsenal
It’s impossible to make a baby care checklist without mentioning diapers. Babies can be quite messy too, so make sure you stack up on nappies. In fact, some of you may actually be surprised at how often babies need changing so you definitely don’t want to come up short in that department. There’s no strict rule as to how often you should change your little one, after all, it depends on how often they need to dip in the loo. But generally speaking, every two to three hours, or around 10 diapers a day, should be just fine.
Nowadays, you can choose between reusable cloth nappies and disposable ones. Reusable nappies are quite cost-effective as well as environmentally friendly since there’s less waste. On the other hand, they do require you to go the extra mile in terms of washing and laundering as opposed to disposable nappies which you can simply chuck down the rubbish bin. In the end, it’s mainly a personal preference.
Changing nappies may seem like a bit of a challenge when you’re first starting out but with a little practice, you should get the hang of it pretty quickly. Remember to clean the area beforehand though, using baby wipes or a warm cotton washcloth for those with sensitive skin. Moreover, it’s quite common for babies to develop a rash at one point or another, so use ointments or powder to prevent or heal them.
If you want to reduce the strain on your back while tending to your bundle of joy, purchase a sizable changing table which can also serve as additional storage for your supplies. Most of them come with a soft cushion to make it more comfortable.
Organise It All in a Good Changing Bag
You’re bound to leave the house at some point, so packing these essentials properly in convenient and compact baby changing bags is the way to go. Most baby changing bags have a stylish and versatile design with separate pockets to ensure that everything is in its place. Look for bags with internal pouches for bottles and other baby accessories. In some cases, you can even find extra access to your keys, wallet or phone so that you don’t have to rummage through all your belongings.
If you’re getting a backpack, opt for one with cushioned back straps and breathable pads for even weight distribution and less back strain. The high-end stitching and zippers make them extremely durable and sturdy and they’re so lightweight, you won’t even notice you’re wearing one! The adjustable straps and multi-purpose compartments allow you to gear up and head out in style. When you’re feeling tired, you can easily use the straps to place the nappy bag on the stroller too, if you want to rest for a bit and stretch your back. You can’t possibly go wrong with a timeless and effortless backpack that you’ll no doubt use for many years to come.
What’s more, many nappy bags have a generously sized or even matching changing mat included so you don’t have to worry about that either. So basically, a baby bag is the ultimate accessory for mums that wish to be both fashionable and functional. It’s should definitely be on the list of essentials for mums and dads alike.
Feeding Supplies to Keep Their Tummies Full
Those little rascals aren’t doing much during the day but they sure can work up quite the appetite. Which means they need to be fed, a lot. When it comes to a feeding plan, you have two options: breastfeeding and baby formula.
Keeping It Natural with Breastfeeding
The good news here is that you don’t need a great number of additional supplies, with the main focus being on, shockingly, your breasts. Breast milk is rich in all the nutritional elements and immune properties that your child needs for healthy growth and development. And for mums, it helps promote post-pregnancy weight loss, so all that extra fat you gained in those 9 months will be quick to go.
When breastfeeding at home, it’s important to have a designated nursing station along with a comfy pillow to keep both mummy and baby happy. You may not always get the chance to breastfeed in all circumstances so you might want to invest in a breast pump to get that milk stored in bottles for use at a later time. You can even get a wearable breast pump since it’s small and discrete and you’ll probably feel comfortable wearing it to work too.
In a perfect scenario, all women would be able to breastfeed whenever they want and for as long as they want. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes breasts can be achy and tired, or simply out of order since mum works an extremely stressful 9-5 job. Baby formulas are engineered to closely resemble the nutritional values of breast milk and they’re the only alternative. Make sure to consult with your pediatrician before use to ensure the ingredients in the packaging are appropriate for your baby, since even the slightest change in the composition may have a great effect on its overall wellbeing.
Keeping Clean With Bathing Items
We’ve already mentioned that babies can make quite a mess and because of this, you’ll probably end up bathing two or three times a week. You can use washcloths in between baths to clean up any additional messes.
When it comes to actual bath time, you’ll need a teeny tiny tub to fit your munchkin and gentle, scent-free soap and shampoo. It might seem difficult to handle a slippery baby, which is why you shouldn’t rush the process. Keep a cool head and try to have some fun.
Clothes – One Size Does Not Fit All
Don’t be surprised if your baby has a growth spurt within the first twelve months. This means that you’ll be shopping for onesies, pyjamas, shirts and pants. There’s nothing more adorable than looking at mini clothing items and accessories – we’d want them all! Take into consideration the weather changes that might occur during a particular time of the year and shop accordingly. Your baby doesn’t need anything too fancy in the first couple of weeks, it’ll just outgrow everything soon anyway.
Playtime Essentials to Maximise Fun
As your infant begins to interact with the outside world over time, you can expect a lot of chewing, touching and dropping going on. They’ll want to get their hands on everything. Entertaining your child can be as simple as getting them a new squishy toy, a fun bouncy seat or even playing some gentle music in the background. Make sure to stimulate all their senses and show them high-contrast, vibrant images that resemble real-life scenarios to keep them entertained.