There is a lot of focus on birth prep – and rightly so – but it can also be useful to prepare for baby: to think about what you might need, what your baby might need, what to expect and how to prepare your home for your baby.
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.
What essentials do you need 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 can add to this as you need it and as your baby grows and changes and you can see what they need.
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
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.
Read well and you can book in with me for a Beyond Birth conversation.
What does your 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.
What do you need?
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:
*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
*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
*book some time with me if you are feeling overwhelmed or just feel in need of some additional support
Janine Smith – a specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting