There’s a baby on the way, and you’re undoubtedly excited for what’s about to happen.
If you’re reading this, let’s assume this is your first child. As such, you’re nervous about being underprepared for the moment your baby comes home with you. This is a normal reaction, but you should be able to calm those nerves if you read through this checklist to see the essentials you need:
We may as well start with this one as it’s the thing that so many people dread – especially that very first poo! You will need a good supply of nappies for your newborn (and beyond!), so make sure you have them when they arrive. You can use disposable or reusable ones; just be sure you have more than enough to last for at least a few weeks. In all honesty, the more, the better! Alongside them, consider cotton wool and water, baby wipes or reusable cloths.
- Feeding equipment
One of the biggest questions you will be asked when you present your newborn to others will be about whether ‘you’re feeding them yourself’. Strange question, hey? Of course you are, whether that is via breastfeeding, a bottle of formula or a mixture of the two. In fact, I had a friend who expressed the entire time (well over six months) as her daughter just wouldn’t latch onto her at all. Some people believe you should get a fairly decent list of feeding equipment for your newborn. This will include bibs and burp cloths (muslins come in handy in so many situations!), along with plenty of feeding bottles. It also might be useful to have a breast pump, just in case you’d rather feed them via the bottle – or at least begin transitioning to bottle-feeding as they grow.
- Baby-approved toiletries
Be sure you also have a collection of toiletries for your baby. This includes shampoo, soap, shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrush, and so on. The key is that all these items are made for newborn babies, meaning they shouldn’t be potentially dangerous or contain any harsh chemicals. Speaking of keeping your baby away from harm, it will help to have some baby medicine around as well, especially useful for after their vaccines. Remember to read the label thoroughly and give the correct dosage for their age.
- An approved cot
Obviously, you need somewhere for your baby to sleep. The best thing to do is get them an approved cot, keeping them comfortable and safe. You can get suitable cots from anywhere that sells nursery furniture sets, so it won’t be an issue. Just remember that you must also get a (new) mattress for the cot bed and ensure that you’ve set it up correctly! A nice bed for your baby can be the difference between a baby that sleeps and one that’s awake all night (but it’s no guarantee).
- Car safety seats
Of course, you need an approved safety seat to put in your car. This is absolutely essential as there is no other way for you to safely carry your child in a vehicle. If you are unsure how to fit the seat into your car, most decent stores will show you how. Alongside this, you should also get a buggy or a stroller. Sometimes, the seat can be detached from a stroller and used as a car seat, which is a lovely bonus.
- Baby monitor
You probably won’t be in the same room as your baby the whole time, so you need a way of checking in on them. A good baby monitor is a must-have, and they’re pretty advanced nowadays. Ideally, you want one that’s capable of recording video footage, so you see exactly where your baby is and what they’re up to.
- Baby clothes
Finally, you should get your hands on some suitable baby clothing. Don’t go overboard, seeing as babies grow really fast. Just have a few outfits and babygros that you can cycle through each week. It’s likely that people will buy clothing as gifts, so resist the temptation to buy too much.
From here, it’s entirely up to you to decide what else you might want to buy. However, everything on this list is essential. If you tick everything off, you can rest easier knowing that you’re prepared for the imminent arrival of your little one.