Congratulations! You are soon to be parents! Once you are over the initial shock, you must prepare yourself for the onslaught of well-meaning advice from friends, family, and once the bump starts showing, from strangers on the street. You are now entering a new world; one which you have never had to notice before, but it has always been there – lurking. In this new world, you will be made aware of unexpected gadgets and gizmos that apparently a baby needs in order to thrive. However, amongst all the products out there, there are some essentials that you will need straight after birth.
First things first: when the baby is born, they will need to be clothed! You are going to need clothes for a baby whose size is a mystery. Newborn clothes are very, very cute; however, your baby will not be in them long, and may even never wear them depending on his birth weight, so do resist buying too many. It makes far more economical sense to buy 0-3 months, otherwise, the baby will be dwarfed by them initially. Note that sleeves can be rolled up, and legs left long. Buying secondhand or accepting hand-me-downs is the ideal because babies just don’t wear these sized clothes for long. Remember to buy a quality washing detergent that will be gentle enough for a baby’s sensitive skin.
Whether you choose cloth nappies or disposable ones, be prepared. You will use up to 15 a day at first. It is best to buy small packs of different brands so that you can find the type that suits your baby – some may irritate your baby’s skin or not fit as well as another brand. Be mindful that baby wipes, while they get your baby’s bottom clean, are very harsh on their skin – warm water and a cloth is the gentlest. Remember to pat your baby dry, and use a diaper rash ointment to not only prevent nappy rash, but to treat it too. Choose one that is free from any chemical nasties.
How are you going to get the baby home from the hospital? The baby needs to be transported in the safest way available, and now there are a vast selection of car seats available on the market. You need to think about whether the seat is suitable for your car’s make, or if you have more than one car, make sure the seat fits both. Consider as well whether the seat will fit safely in the front and the back seats of the car – you may have a 3-door, in which case you need to think about how easy it is to lug the baby seat in and out, and be able to fix it securely from a front viewpoint.
Current advice is to have your newborn sleeping in the same room as you, placed on their back, for the first six months of life. Choosing a Moses basket or crib provides a cozy and confined space for your baby, however, you may prefer to go straight to a cot. Make sure to think about whether you will want to have the baby sleeping near you when they have their daytime naps. Remember that it is always advisable to replace the mattress if you have a second-hand Moses basket or cot – it is inexpensive, but may prevent your baby from getting ill or worse from lingering mattress bacteria from another child.