Having a baby is one of the most exciting things that can happen to a couple. To be able to bring a new life into the world and watch that new life grow as you care for her is one of the most gratifying processes on earth.
It brings so much joy and contentment. Sometimes, though, life can throw you a few curve balls, and the joy that you were expecting from this new life can quickly turn into despair if not properly prepared.
That is why every caregiver needs a basic idea of the items that are needed when you bring baby home. Some things are essential for living every day with an infant.
Items in the essential category would fall into feeding, sleeping, going places, bath time, extras, and diapering/clothing.
There are other items that are nice to have, but parents can get along without them if needed. To make sure you have everything you need to bring baby home, here are a few items broken up into categories.
One of the most essential decisions to make is the way the baby will be fed. Many mothers today are choosing to breastfeed for the obvious benefits for the baby.
There are also many benefits for mom, such as quicker healing and weight loss. There are many well-meaning mothers who have their hearts set on breastfeeding, but as problems arise, they are forced to give it up.
Here are some basic guides for moms, whether the choice is to breastfeed or to bottle feed.
A Nursing Pillow: Bring baby home with one of these pillows to make nursing an infant much more comfortable by supporting other and baby.
Nipple Cream: Nipples can become sore and tender in the first days and weeks when baby and mommy are learning how to nurse.
Nipple cream helps the nipples to remain soft and smooth so they do not become dry and cracked. It is safe for baby, too.
A Breast Pump: There are always times when a mother must be away from baby. Having a breast pump allows mom to extract milk to later be fed to baby in a bottle. A manual pump will take too much time, so it is best to go with an electric pump for efficiency.
Bibs: Babies will need bibs to keep drool and spit up off of clothes. They will also use them later.
Bottles and Nipples: Make sure to have nipples that are slow flow for breastfeeding mothers who use a bottle occasionally.
Formula: Formula is essential for bottle fed infants, so make sure to talk to your doctor to get a recommendation before you bring baby home.
For Breast and Bottle Feeders: When you bring baby home, it is nice to have a bottle ready for when dad would need to feed baby. Make sure to wait a few weeks for an infant who is nursing, but keep the bottles handy.
Babies need a safe place to sleep. Here are the essentials for when you bring baby home:
A Crib: A crib should be sturdy with wooden slats that are narrow, not allowing for the baby to slip through.
A Mattress: The mattress should be firm to make sure the baby is safe from SIDS.
Bedding: Again, bedding should be tight fitting to protect the infant from SIDS. Crib bumper pads may be used, but only tightly fitted for safety reasons.
One of the greatest essentials to bring baby home from the hospital is a car seat. Here are a few other things you will need for going places:
Car Seat: The car seat should be rear facing and able to be used until the baby is 20 pounds. Checkout here Best baby car seat to buy.
Sling or baby pack: Babies like to feel comforted by mommy in the first few months of life. A sling or baby pack keeps baby close to mommy during the first months of life.
Stroller: If mom wants to get out of the house for a walk, it is important to have a stroller that is safe for an infant. Many strollers come as a travel set. You may place the infant car seat in the stroller for the first few months for added safety and comfort for baby.
One thing that is fun is bath time with baby. Remember that when you first bring baby home, you will need to wait a few weeks for a baby tub bath. In the first few weeks until the umbilical cord falls off, you will need to give the baby sponge baths. Here are the essentials for bath time:
Baby Tub: A baby bath tub with support for the neck and back are ideal.
Wash cloths: Babies will need soft cloths for sensitive skin.
Mild Baby Soap: Many people like fragrances, but it is important to keep everything mild for baby.
Pacifiers: Many babies like to suck, even after a full feeding. Make sure to have a pacifier for these times.
Receiving Blankets: These have a wide array of uses. Swaddling, extra warmth, etc.
Diapers: Make sure to have at least a few packs of newborn and Size 1 diapers, whether disposable or cloth.
Changing Table: A safe place for baby while being changed is essential.
Baby Wipes and Cream: Keep a supply of things to make sure baby is clean and fresh.
Clothing: You will need at least a few sleepers and onesies in the first few weeks, but not a lot else is as essential.
Having a baby can be a lot of work, but the rewards are worth the countless hours that are invested in this little life. When you bring baby home, remember that love is the most important gift you can give your baby.
Having all the preparations in place will just make it easier to love your baby because you feel prepared, not overwhelmed.