Whether you are an excited newfound mother, or a very anxious to-be father; it’s normal to be completely clueless about what the next step is. Buying books and asking relatives for advice may help to a certain extent, but nothing will truly prepare you for the bundle of joy that will be placed into your arms when you’re in that delivery room. In my experience, to distract my mind from the panic and nervousness of becoming a mother I made lists (of everything for everything) to do, get and buy prior to the baby.
Now coming in to this new part of your life, you should probably already know that babies are a huge responsibility and also an incredibly expensive one at that. From baby proofing your house, to emergency needs, clothes, breast feeding/bottle feeding equipment, the list is endless. I’ve come up with a helpful guide that will cover most of the important things you would need prior to your baby’s arrival.
Before you can allow a small human to be crawling around your house, it needs to be baby-proofed so you won’t be in a constant state of anxiety when your baby is out of eyesight. All your antique decorations? Yeah those have to go. Anything made of glass, is breakable, and has a high chance of smashing into pieces if knocked over? Yep, they all have to go. A few of the more common baby proofing items would be the edge & corner guards, pinch guards, door/cabinet locks, and of course outlet covers.
As a soon to-be mother, it’s easy to forget about the things that you need for yourself instead of the baby. A mistake I wish I had foreseen after my baby, was assuming that I would be able to fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes immediately after. Oh how wrong I was. Which is why it’s good to have some in-between clothes before you get your body back to its former state. Preferably some loose, stretchy waist band type things that you may still be able to pull off once losing weight.
Before moving on to the big things like cots and strollers, I’d like to just add a few small ones as you might oversee its importance. Babies don’t really know what they’re doing with most of their body parts, they just kind of do it. So make sure you’re prepared to be the victim of throw up, saliva, and anything else that would come out of your baby’s mouth. Get a few bibs, they’ll come in handier than you realize, pacifiers for when you can’t put up with the constant crying, and sets of plastic cutlery that is essentially unbreakable.
A lot of thought goes into your baby’s sleeping arrangement. Are you going to be co-sleeping with your baby? Are you getting a cot? Will you be in the same room in case your baby wakes up in the middle of the night? So many questions. If you do decide to get a cot (which will be a lot more practical), one thing you do need to watch out for is the paint. I stupidly bought the cheapest cot I could find, only to realize later on I had to repaint the whole thing because it was painted on with lead paint. Lead paint contains toxic chemicals which can be very harmful for your baby especially when they start teething. Besides that, you will definitely thank yourself for getting a few extra bedsheets as your baby is prone to make a bit of a mess sometimes.
One of the biggest decisions you would have to decide is your baby’s feeding option. Although breast-feeding has been proven by scientists and researchers to improve your child’s immunity, depending on your lifestyle, and what you feel comfortable with, it would be wise to weigh the pros and cons of both choices as it is a personal decision. For myself and my baby, I went with breastfeeding, as not only did it save costs it also strengthened the bond between me and my child. If breastfeeding, as a working mother you may have to invest in a breast pump, and the essentials like nipple cream, and some nursing bras. However if you decide to bottle feed, you just need to get yourself a few good quality bottles (as some of them break easy), and find a good formula that is suited to your baby.
Bath & Baby Care
Babies are soft, gentle creatures, so it is crucial to buy daily products that accommodate their needs. There are a few things you need when wanting to bathe your baby; a baby bath (try to avoid using your own bath tub as it is slippery and very accident prone), baby soaps, conditioners, lotions and a fine brush to avoid hurting their scalp. You might also want to purchase an anti-rash cream which might be required due to diaper usage –reusable or otherwise.
Like any other excited parent, the day you get to bring your precious baby out into the world and show off their cute face is one to be remembered. However, there are many things you have to buy before this day. Yes, I can hear your exasperated sigh thinking about the money you’ll have to be spending; but trust me, it’s all necessary. First off, a car seat is vital (and make sure you install them in correctly) because you really can’t have your baby sitting on your lap while driving. In addition to that, prams, walkers and baby carriers will also be important when bringing your baby around.
You don’t need it, but it would be nice to have; especially if it keeps your child entertained for a few hours. In this modern day and age, I realize it’s easy to just hand your baby a tablet and leave them be. But personally, I prefer watching my child read, interact and play with things that might also improve social skills. Getting a few story books was really important for me, as it helped my baby cultivate a sense of curiousness to learn about sounds and words that I was projecting out loud. It’s also another great way to bond with your child. A baby gym was another thing that my baby absolutely loved, it also reaps many benefits like developing muscles and motor skills. I’ve linked down below a few other things that your child may enjoy having fun with.
At the end of the day, as a parent you will be making a lot of decisions that you’d think are best for your own child. Whether it be about what they eat, or how they’re fed or even what toys that play with; as long as your baby is receiving some much needed TLC, you’re on the right track.