Baby preparation is as important as birth preparation – to think about what you and your new baby might need, what to expect and how to prepare your home.
It’s really easy to buy loads in order to feel better prepared, it can certainly make some of the anxiety about looking after a newborn easier to handle. But new babies need very little.
1) Baby Preparation – essentials for your new baby
- Clothing – sleepsuits, body suits, socks and a hat
- nappies, cotton wool, cleaning cloths, wipes (depending on how you are planning to do it)
- changing mat
- changing bag
- cellular blankets and sheets
- somewhere safe to sleep – moses basket, cot, your bed
- car seat/pram system
large and small muslin squares
- bottles/formula/breastpump/silicon breastpump/sterilizing equipment – if you want an alternative to breastfeeding
- v pillows for feeding
- towels, baby sponge/cloth
- baby bath or a bath support (or you can use the sink or pop baby in the bath with you)
You will add to this as you need it and as your baby grows and changes.
2) Baby Preparation – preparing your home for life with your new baby
Life with a new baby can be a bit chaotic, with no routine or much clue what you are doing – that is totally normal. You may also be tired and sore as well so it can be helpful to make your home as comfortable as possible. Some ideas include:
- batch cook and fill your freezer with easy meals
- have food available – healthy snacks as well as the treats that might get you through when you are tired
- it can can be useful to have a box of useful items in the bedroom and in the living room as well. This can include changing mat, items for changing nappies, a spare set of clothes, muslin squares, some water and some snacks.
- have water and snacks everywhere – you might be thirsty and ravenous
- make your bedroom a comfortable space to rest and recover in with snacks & water, pain relief and v cushion
- have breastpad, maternity pads/TENA pads handy for when you need them
- some women want to use cooling pads on their perineum or they pop maternity pads in the fridge to cool
3) Baby Preparation – have an idea of what to expect
So you know a bit more about what a newborn does, what feeding can be like, how much cuddling they may need as well as how you may be feeling both physically and emotionally because it can be a bit of a rollercoaster in those early days and weeks.
Beyond Birth Session
4) Baby Preparation – what does a new baby need?
You, love, food, warmth, sleep, security, to be held, to be dry, to have some attention and comfortable.
Babies only have needs, not wants – they cry to get your attention or to tell you that something is quite right.
5) Baby Preparation – what do you need as a new parent?
As a new parent you could sometimes feel overwhelmed because you don’t have all the answers. This is totally normal, even if this is not your first baby. You need to look after you so you can look after your baby and some of these ideas may help:
- eat well
- enjoy some snacks
- get some fresh air
- sleep/nap/rest as much as possible
- if you are part of a couple, try to work together to look after your baby and to support each other
- ask for and accept some help around the house and with food
- to feel supported
- to feel listened to, especially if you have any concerns
- remind yourself you are not doing anything wrong
- meet the needs of your baby
- give yourself the time to get to know your baby
- talk to friends and family
- you can book some time with me if you are feeling overwhelmed or just feel in need of some additional support
With a calm and knowledgeable approach, my aim is informed and confident parents.
Janine Smith | A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting