Having a child is one of the biggest and most special moments in one life. For most, having a child is an exciting and wonderful time, although it can also be stressful and worrisome. There’s just so much to think about with such a life-changing event since you are suddenly in charge of a tiny human’s life!
One of the main worries for people can be whether they have got everything they need to get started with parenting. Sound familiar? If you’re expecting a child or just about to try for one, this handy checklist will help you make sure you have everything you need for your baby’s arrival.
Your First Child
The first child can be the scariest one! You’ve never done this before, so you can be full of fears about making sure you’ve got everything you need. It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but don’t worry, you’ve got this!
The next few months will be thrilling, exciting, tiring, and most of all magical. If the fear lies within never having had a child before, that’s natural. But, having everything you need to care for the child prepared in advance can seriously help alleviate those worries. Let’s take a look at some of the key items you’ll want to buy ahead of time to ensure you feel as ready as possible.
Swaddling is a way of wrapping a baby to help it sleep – just like it did in the womb. It makes your child feel protected, safe, and restful. You can click here for tips on how to swaddle a child, but you’ll need an appropriate swaddling blanket or wrap to do so. These are made from breathable, skin-friendly, soft fabrics so as not to cause any irritation or stress to the child’s skin. Furthermore, a good swaddle is designed in such a way that it makes it easier to safely and carefully wrap your baby. This may be the number one item that helps you get some extra hours of rest in, so getting one is essential.
As well as swaddling, resting a baby in a rocking chair (in your arms, of course) can help them sleep. The gentle motion of a rocking chair is soothing for babies, much like a gentle carry or rocking in your arms. But, for the times when you just need a couple of minutes to sit down, a rocking chair can do the trick. Babies wriggle about a lot, so a rocking chair can actually help them rock themselves to sleep. Look for a small rocking chair, but one that your child can continue to grow into so that you don’t need to replace it quickly.
When a baby sleeps, they are tiny and defenseless. They can easily rock or roll their way out of a normal bed, so a crib with high sides is a must. Once again, you want it to be small enough to keep the baby safe, but you also don’t want it to be so small that it can rapidly grow out of it. Cribs are not hard to come by on second-hand sales websites or through friends and family. Just be sure that it is not expired and all the pieces are intact. Also make sure you pack it out with a comfortable mattress and adequate bedding, steering clear of anything that may pose a breathing hazard. You can also look it bedside bassinets or infant loungers, although these will be grown out of more quickly.
Babies grow rapidly so they can quickly outgrow their clothes. However, you need to buy size-appropriate clothing for your little one; their clothes need to fit snugly and comfortably to work alongside their swaddle and comfortable bedding. The problem is, babies can be very messy when they eat and, unfortunately, when they go to the bathroom too. For these reasons, you need to make sure you have ample baby clothes as you may be changing their outfit a few times a day.
Baby Changing Station
Speaking of going to the bathroom – babies are very regular! Before the baby comes, stock up on infant diapers, diaper cream, and wipes. These items will get used multiple times a day, so you need to have a large stock of them ready to go. Before you know it, you’ll be a master at baby changing.
Alongside this, you’ll need a changing table or mat and a diaper bag. You want to make changing your baby as easy as possible, which these items can help you achieve. A decent changing table can make your life a lot easier, as it helps keep your child safe and still during the process, as well as protects your back from having to lean too far over multiple times per day – trust me on this!!
You may keep your child in your room for the first few weeks or months of its life, but at some point, they’ll move into their own bedroom. This can be scary as parents feel separation anxiety and worry that their child will not be safe in another room. Baby monitors are your savior in this situation. They will alert you of any noise or movement in your baby’s room, so you can spring into action and make sure everything is ok. You can also invest in a breathing monitor to ensure they always have a consistent heartbeat and breathing pattern.
Breastfeeding Supplies or Formula
Many moms choose to breastfeed their children. However, breastfeeding doesn’t always come easy and can be a cause of lots of tearful days for both you and your baby! Fortunately, there are various items that can help in this situation including nipple shields/protectors and creams. Sometimes, however, you need a backup or alternative as breastfeeding just may not work for you.
For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have a good pump on hand as well as some formula, just in case. These days, there are many organic options, so it’s best to look into these first. You can also research using donated breastmilk. I myself have helped feed 10+ additional children with my extra milk, so this is an option worth looking into.
Sling or Carrier
If you choose to carry your baby when you leave the house, you’ll need a baby sling or carrier. Baby slings attach around your body and hold your child close to you, which is good for both parent and child. The connection is both nice and healthy for you and baby, and also makes outings much easier. If you can’t manage a sling to start with, a simple carrier or stroller will do the trick, too. Just make sure your baby is carried safely!
Stroller and Carseat
Speaking of strollers, a stroller and carseat are also a must for new parents! Travel systems are ideal as the carseat can detach directly from the car and into the stroller in just a few easy steps. This makes transporting your sleeping baby much easier when the time comes! Trust me, you never want to wake a sleeping baby if you can avoid it!
These few items are all you really need to get set up before your baby arrives. All of them are easy to get a hold of and will make your life that much less stressful when the time comes. Most importantly though, remember that you can do this! Babies are such a joy and it is all worth it!