Your labor and delivery is planned as much as any can be and preparations are in place - now it is time to get your home ready for baby. Here is a baby checklist of sorts that will help you to understand what things you may want to have on hand both including baby essentials and non essentials.
Getting Ready for Baby - Bringing Baby Home:
Clothes- You need to know that your baby is going to go through a lot of clothes between spit-up, leaks, activity and weather changes and with how fast they grow so it is important to make sure you are ready for baby by having a good selection of baby clothes on hand at home. Here are some of the essential baby clothes items you will want to have: Onesies, shirts, socks or booties, pants, bibs, hats, jackets, blanket sleepers, pajamas (zippered, button ups and or two piece stretchies.
Furniture- Cribs or Bassinets are great to have in order to give your baby a safer place to sleep. Just be sure to do your research before you go shopping and ensure the safety standards on the brand and model of crib or bassinet you choose for your baby.
Nutrition for your Baby- If you plan on formula feeding it can often be wise to wait until your baby is born before investing in formula. This is only because some babies are born with sensitivities while others will require more iron, soy based or other varieties or formula. Don't fret if you have none on hand just set aside a formula fund for once the baby is born. The hospital will often send you home with a newborn baby gift bag which includes some formula as well.
If your intention is to breast feed then you will want to consider having bottles and a breast pump at home just in case. This comes in handy if you have a partner that is willing to take on a couple of feedings to give mommy a break.
Optional Non-Essential Furniture- Playpens can come in handy for a lot of parents, they provide a safe place to watch over your baby - especially in busy households and households with animals, they can also (when not in use by your baby) be a great place to store babies everyday toys and extra easy to access diapers.
Bouncers are another non-essential but sometimes helpful item to have around and definitely worth considering when getting ready for baby. These seats come in an assortment of manual and electric styles. The manual bouncers will move and bounce as baby wiggles, kicks or makes a movement or can be manually bounced by mom or dad to help soothe a tired and or irritable baby. The electric styles can be turned on and will cause the seat to gently bounce unassisted and will more often than not (these days) come with a setting for soothing vibrations that are sometimes known to calm and relax your little one.
Baby bathtubs are great to have on hand especially if you are not comfortable bathing your baby in the sink or don't have the time to climb in the tub with them for their bath. These tubs often provide a semi angled and slide resistant surface in which to lay your baby on - they resemble a tub that is half baby seat / half bed and can be placed in the tub or nearly any other flat surface with ample and sturdy space. These do not get filled up as a tub would but instead use a much smaller amount of water and provides an easy platform for a refreshing sponge bath.
Baby Swings come with options, some are; manual requiring you or the baby to propel motion, windup working off spring like mechanisms that cause the swing to move back and forth for various lengths of time and electric swings which can come merely with an on and off switch or different options for swing speed and will be motion propelled by the use of batteries.
(At the risk of veering from the articles theme and getting a little personal - I will point out that not all babies like swings however 3 of my four loved their swing and it got me through many colic ridden nights with my sanity intact).
Miscellaneous Non Essentials- Pacifiers have long been used by many parents with their infant children and there are equally as many who prefer not to use them. This is often something that a parent must decide at their own discretion - for those who intend to not use them it is wise to refrain from using them even briefly as they can become somewhat of a security blanket to a little one who's just getting to know the big old world around them.
Miscellaneous Essentials to Get Ready for Baby: Baby blankets and receiving blankets and going to be constants in the first several months. This makes it a good idea to have several on hand consider 2 for the diaper bag, spare in the car, and 2 or 3 for home.
Crib sheets and blankets you will want to have at least 2 sets of each - try to stay away from blankets that pile or that have tassles and frilly's at the end.
Tear free shampoo, gentle baby soap or bath wash are going to be needed for general cleaning at bath time. Make sure that you trust the brand you use and that it is in fact tear free because accidents do happen.
Diapers Oh Boy how you are going to need diapers. If you plan on using cloth diapers it is ideal to have at least half a dozen or more cloth diapers (which can also be used as burp rags) and 3 to 4 pairs of plastic pants to go over them. For those parents who plan on using disposable diapers it is wise to have a good supply on hand as your baby may go through several hundred diapers in his first few months of life.
Recommendations for Things to Avoid when Getting Ready for Baby: The following list is compiled of things that really are unnecessary, have better alternatives and some that are widely used but could cause potential health risks to your newborn or small child.
Baby powder and talcum powder has been around for many many years and used by many parents however unless used sparingly and properly these powders can cause health risks to your baby if inhaled. Their use is not mandatory and rarely will you find a need for their use. If you choose to use them still then apply away from the baby a small amount directly on your own hands and rub it onto your babies skin staying away from their eyes, nose and mouth.
Scented soaps and shampoos. Though you find these on the store shelved marketed for babies they can be highly irritating to a babies sensitive skin. Babies smell good already leaving little to no reason for the need of scented body washes or cleaners.
Baby Wipes as seen on the shelves of your local market can come in handy for messy situations but the fact that they can dry out your babies delicate skin causing rashes and irritation make them definite non essentials when you are getting ready for baby. An easy alternative though can be had with some tri-fold paper towels, a lidded Tupperware container and a small amount of water - just enough to keep the paper towels moist.
Options For Mommy: Things that mommy will need to be ready for baby will include: Nursing pads, breast pump, support person and a rocking chair.
For some this getting ready for baby list may feel overwhelming but not everything is going to be needed immediately and many are optional and only listed because of their potential to be helpful.
Keep Reading to Learn How To Be Prepared for Your Labor and Delivery