*This is a sponsored guest post*
Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? Every mum wishes they knew then what they know now. When you’re a mum for the first time just about everything is really scary. You feel completely unprepared. Worse still, you may find you are unprepared when the baby comes! There are a lot of things to do and a lot of things to buy before baby arrives. Here’s my list of essentials to have in place before those contractions start.
FOR THE NURSERY
- Changing Table
Any woman who has given birth will tell you that changing a baby on the floor and getting up again can be very uncomfortable. Yes, changing tables are expensive. But if you don’t have something at waist height to place the mat on, you might find things are more difficult than they need to be. Nurseries should be full of fun things for the baby. They should also be practical for mum!
- Cotton Wool Balls
You will not believe how many of these things you will get through. Some midwives discourage using anything but warm water applied with a cotton wool ball on a newborn. Get a couple of big bags in. And yes, balls are easier than trying to tear at a big wad pack.
Most of us are keen to have a Moses basket next to the bed. And if your master bedroom is small and bijou, then there is no way a cot is going to be practical in there too. You can shop around at places like For Your Little One for both and the bedding to fit them. However, there will be times when that Moses basket will get covered in ‘something’, so you’ll need another safe place to put the baby down. Get the cot in and assembled before the baby brain kicks in!
- Neck Pillow
You will not believe how achy your neck can get when you’re looking down at your beautiful baby as you nurse. When you finally look up again, you want something that can support you comfortably in front of the TV or just resting on the sofa.
- Feeding Pillow
Those big V pillows are amazing in the last weeks of pregnancy between your legs. They also support baby in the right position for feeding. I love items that are multifunctional!
- Breast Pads
Every time a baby cries, your chest is going to react. Whether you find nursing easy or not, chances are you’ll be grateful for pads when you’re out and about.
- Bottles and Steriliser
If you decide to express or formula feed bottles come in very handy.
OUT AND ABOUT
You have no idea how heavy a baby can be to carry any distance until you’ve had to walk the whole length of a hospital just hours after giving birth! Slings are great after you’ve had a chance to heal.
- Car Seat
You can’t bring baby home from the hospital without one. You can always buy a travel system that has a pram and car seat combined. But definitely get it assembled and ready to go before the birth.
- Baby Grows – LOTS of baby grows!
This is a popular present to give a new mum. But if you didn’t get a dozen (or more) at your shower, then buy a few more before the birth. Your last scan should give you a rough birth weight so you can pick the right size.
Many hospitals have teams of volunteers knitting little tiny newborn hats for the women that use the maternity rooms. However, you should pick up a couple of your own and pop them in the change bag.
- Stock the Change Bag
While many pregnant ladies do remember to pick up a change bag, not many of them are fully stocked. Nappies, baby wipes, a bottle of water, hand sanitizer, and tissues are just some of the things you might forget to have ready for your big day.
Go Go GO! BAG
Not all hospital floors are clean. Rubber soled slippers are essential if you’re giving birth there. You might stay in the hospital for a few days. Even if you get to go home the same day, you’ll be dressed for bed for a few hours. Walking around can help you cope with the labour pains.
Some hospitals do give you one or two, but don’t expect them. Bring your own, and plenty of fresh pants.
- Hair Band
It’s sweaty work. Keep your hair out of the way with a simple hair band for a ponytail. Having a hairband handy is ideal if you’re prone to forgetting your hairbrush too.
This is mostly for your other half who will not leave your side even if his stomach is growling louder than you’re screaming. Snack bars (and a juice box) are ideal.
All those breathing techniques you learned will undoubtedly disappear from your mind. Try to put the breaths to music, especially during the early part of labour. Music can be a welcome distraction too.
BABY IS HERE!
Your new arrival will need some clothes as soon as he’s born. Pop him in a baby grow and a little hat to keep him warm. Don’t forget, he may need a little coat when you leave the hospital. Alternatively, make sure you can swaddle him in enough blankets for the weather conditions.
It’s not easy to work out what size nappy you need until your final scan. Even then you might get it wrong. Pack about twenty nappies. Newborns can need changing every four to five hours! Once he starts nursing, expect to change between eight and ten nappies a day.
- Baby’s First Soft Toy
Baby’s love comforters – a small soft toy like a teddy bear or a bunny is ideal. Some mums like the toy to smell of them. Others let dad ‘scent’ it! It’s up to you. Congratulations on your new arrival!