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Getting Ready For Baby – A Newborn Checklist
Having everything you need to get baby ready to go before you bring your newborn home is a smart thing for a new parent to do. But what to get a newborn?
Keep in mind that you will never need as much as you think you will. Be reasonable. Do you really need a bottle warmer? If you are a parent who can afford it and want it even if you don’t need it, get it. Just know that in a few months you will be selling it again because you have realized that some things are more problematic than they are worth.
I recommend having the nursery set up, with equipment in place, clothes washed and ready to go, three to four weeks before your due date. That way, even if your baby comes early, you will be prepared. It’s a lot easier to go home from the hospital when you know you have everything you need on hand.
Below is a list of essential items that you should have in order to keep your child comfortable and safe.
• Bassinet, Co-Sleeper/Crib or Pack and Play for your bedroom.
In the first 12 weeks, you will be feeding your baby every 2 to 4 hours so having him in your room will help keep you from going back and forth to the nursery. It’s also great to keep your baby swaddled and close. Your newborn baby has just come out of the joint, so he likes to feel comfortable. I recommend using a bassinet instead of a bed until your child can roll over or there is no room for them to lie down. You’ll only need it for the first few months, but you’ll be really glad you have it!
• Bed and Mattress
When your baby outgrows the bassinet it’s time to sleep. Make sure you buy one that meets current safety standards and make sure the mattress fits snugly around the sides so the baby can’t move or fall under.
• Child ceiling
Every mom I know swears by a sling or some type of carrier. It allows you to be mobile and keep your baby connected to you. Make sure it provides good neck and head support, and is made of washable fabric. It should feel comfortable for you and allow you to carry your baby inside or out. At first, you’ll want him to look inward, too. As he grows up, he will want to face to see the world.
• Changing the mat
This is a plastic pad that you place on the floor to change your baby. You can put a towel over it or use a lid so your baby doesn’t feel the cold plastic. If you have the budget, you can also buy a changing table, although it is not necessary. The time you will spend is very short.
• Baby Carrier/Car Seat/Controller
I’m a big fan of ‘the process’. It is a carrier that connects to the car and stroller attachments. They make it much easier for you and the baby to go from home to the car and on the go. Make sure your car seat is checked or installed at the hospital where you will be delivering. You won’t be able to leave the hospital with your newborn without a proper car seat so install this 1 week before your due date if you can.
• Senior Chairman
You won’t need a high chair until your baby is at least 5-6 months old so you may want to hold off on this purchase for a while.
• Baby Bumbo Sitter
When your baby is about 3 months old and has neck control, this is great! They can sit on everything.
• Baby Bath
It is important to start with a small bath tub because in a small space with little water, you gain confidence in how to hold and handle your baby. I like the ones with the sling because until they are about 3 or 4 months old they don’t have neck control. A ceiling helps you keep them in place.
• Flexible/vibrating chair and/or swing
Having a safe place to put your baby while cooking or dressing is important and babies love the movement it provides.
OTHER EQUIPMENT YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
• Large free rocking chair
• Sound Machines – These are useful to help soothe your baby. They play sounds from mothers’ wombs, water sounds, sounds from nature and so on. They even go inside soft animals.
• Baby Monitoring System – There are many options out there now including video monitoring systems so you can see the baby in his crib. Two monitors or multiple monitors are necessary if you have multiple levels in your home or your master bedroom is on a completely different level. There are also remote pager systems so you can hook it up and listen as you go from room to room.
• Breast pump & accessories
• Nursing Pillows – I love Boppy. It can also be used by a baby, so it is used for many purposes. The Brest Friend, however provides good support and impact and has a strap that you can tie around you if you want to go. It also has a zipped pocket for stuffing.
• CD Player with Headphones and Audio Books – For you when you wake up at night with the baby
• Baby Car Mirror – For babies that look in the back until they are about a year old and/or 20+ lbs., I love this. It allows you to see your child through your rearview mirror. Some of them will entertain your child with lights and songs.
• Activity Mat or Baby Gym/ crib mobile – If you get a crib mobile or play pack, make sure it’s colorful and has music. The same is true for work mats. Make sure the toys include mirrors and sounds.
I highly recommend all cotton. It is soft and can be washed in hot water to clean the germs. Everything should be washed with a mild detergent, such as Dreft, before contact with your baby. For the first six months, wash baby clothes separately from other clothes. A baby bed should keep your baby comfortable and safe. Use only quality, breathable materials and avoid flexible materials until your child is able to remove items such as clothing from his face.
• 3 stretch cotton-fitted sheets in the bassinet, and later in the crib
• 4 cotton blankets that can be used for wrapping
• 3 warm blankets
• 2 mattress pads
• Many absorbent cloths (cloths) can be used to wipe away saliva and all kinds of dirt.
• Padded towels and washcloths
When it comes to baby clothes, it’s all about layers. Another important thing to know is that babies do not regulate their temperature well until they are about six months old. It is very easy for them to get too hot or too cold. It is up to you to maintain the correct temperature by placing clothes and using a blanket.
Consider practicality and ease of wear. Make sure the crotch opens easily to change the diaper. Clothes that are soft and easy to change are recommended because you will be changing your baby several times a day.
• Sleeps 4-6
• 5-7 single coats of clothing
• 3-4 robes / kimonos
• 5-7 days free shipping
• 8-10 undershirts
• 3-4 bibs
• 4-5 pairs of socks or boots
• 3 cotton caps/hats
• 2 sweaters if it’s winter
• 1 snowsuit or fleece if it’s winter
Optional – Sleeping bag. These are imported from Europe – it’s the smartest way to keep a baby warm at night without blankets, which the baby can kick. It’s like a sleeping bag, but with open arms for ventilation and a zippered bottom so diaper changes are easy.
• Diapers – Your baby will go through about five thousand diapers before they are potty trained! And in the first days you can change your baby up to 12 times a day. Whether you plan to use disposable, recycled, cloth or diaper service, make sure you have plenty on hand.
• Pipe wipes – I like them unscented for the first few months
• Diaper Bag – Find a good durable bag with large pockets and make sure it always has:
• 4-5 diapers
• Wipe the diaper
• Cloth diaper/ commercial wipes to clean up saliva and spills
• Dirty diaper bags
• Diaper rash cream
• Antibacterial gel to clean your hands
• Changing pad
• One change of clothes from head to toe
• Side cover
• 1 Bib
• A bunch of soft toys and rattles
• 1 bottle of water that can be used for bottling
• 1 -2 bottles
IMPORTANT THINGS TO LOWER THE BREAST
• 2-4 nursing bras
• One box of disposable breast pads
• Nipple cream
• Either an electric breast pump or a hand pump
• Breast milk storage containers
• A kit or bag to put your milk bottles and ice packs in
• At least 2 bottles
• Good Support Book – I love ‘The Female Art of Breastfeeding’ by La Leche League
ESSENTIALS OF BOTTLING AND PUMPING
• 6-8 slow or curved neck bottles with soft nipples
• Bottle Brush and Special Bottle Cleaning System – It is important to wash the bottles thoroughly after use and then clean the bottles every 2-3 months. You’ll also want to sterilize your breast pump parts if you pump.
OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS
• Baby thermometer
• Baby soaps and lotions
• No tear shampoo
• Bath toys
• Baby oil
• Diaper rash Ointment
• Sterile cotton balls
• Scissors/clippers for baby gifts
• Baby brush/comb
• Rubbing alcohol
• 3-4 pacifiers
• Bulb syringe for nasal suction – usually provided by the hospital so make sure you take it
• Hypoallergenic (non-dye) mild laundry detergent.
• Night lite
• Lots of Good Parenting Books – I like ‘Secrets of Baby Shower’ by Tami Hoag and ‘Happiest Kid on the Block’ by Harvey Karp
Preparing for your newborn will help eliminate as many of those worries about parenthood as possible so you can enjoy the process. It’s much easier to feel confident coming home from the hospital when you know you have everything you need on hand. Enjoy your new baby!
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