Inspired by Joanna at A Cup of Jo, I decided to make my own baby list of needs for when a baby comes. I wish I had found something like this when I was pregnant, but since I didn't I am making one for all those who might need some help (of course, this is so subjective and every family has different needs, this is what I think works best for us).
First of all, for the mom:
- Prepare some meals in advance. Lots of comfort food. Everything you like for those first very emotional days. The less you and your partner have to do, the better! Another great tip I read was to ask for homemade meals instead of presents for the baby, I thought that was genius!
- Maxi pads. Super absorbent and LOTS of them. You will bleed for a while after birth and it's important to be prepared for that. (-other great tip I read: put some drops of water onto your maxi pad and then freeze it, you'll have a cold press that way!)
- Ibuprofen and paracetamol. Have them handy for those postpartum contractions and any other kind of pain you may have after birth.
- Breastfeeding advice! That was by far the most difficult part for me. Know that it shouldn't be painful, if it hurts, there is something off, so, if you feel pain, get help as soon as you can, because once your breasts get sore, it is quite difficult to get them to heal since you are using them ALL the time. I thought that it should hurt at the beginning, and so I didn't get help on time, and then it was really painful until an angel of a midwife came to my home to help me until I found a position that was right for me, after that, everything went smoothly.
- Even if your baby seems like a puzzle, and everything seems overwhelming and difficult, know, that in a few days, you will know your baby much better and will be able to solve the tasks you have in hand now, everything passes... I cant say this enough, but it does. The baby blues goes away, the breast pain gets better, the sleeping eventually regulates itself, nature is wise, give yourself and your baby time. That is all you need to know, everything passes.
- If you have a dog or pet, it worked for us to let him be part of everything. Allow him or her to smell and be close so they don't feel left out. Give them lots of love and attention, so they don't think they are being replaced. It has worked very well for us. Rafa is very sweet and interested in Olivia, he just wants to know what's going on, then goes back to what he's doing.
- Be aware of what happens to your body after birth and know that you will recover fairly quickly although it may seem slow.
Things for the baby:
- A stroller. Choose one according to your necessities and check out reviews online. This is one of the most expensive purchases you will make, so, choose consciously. We have the TFK Joggster Twist and we are super satisfied. We don't have a car and we live in a city that needs a sturdy stroller, so, this is the one for us. I use it every day to go everywhere, it has lots of space, many pockets, it's light and easy to handle, in general, worth every penny. If you are in a place that has very cold weather, a sleeping bag for the stroller is a great investment. We have one my mother in law made us, and it is fantastic, she took her inspiration from here, I can't wait to try it out! You can find the pattern here.
- Extras for the stroller: depends on the weather, a thick or a light blanket. We've used a cotton knitted blanket for warmer days and a thick chunky woolen blanket for the colder days. We also have a lambskin, it is perfect for any time of the year. It breathes much better than any mattress and is warm during the winter, we are very happy with it!). A rain cover, a mosquito net and a UV rays protector or a parasol.
- A baby bed. We bought the cheapest crib we found at Ikea with the best matress and matress pad we could find at Ikea as well. The matress should be firm and breathe well. So we splurged a bit here. You will also need sheets and something to cover the baby with, either a swaddle, a baby sleeping bag or a baby duvet. Whatever you are most comfortable with. Olivia hates swaddling, so I would suggest for you to try it first before investing in expensive swaddle blankets because you might not use them at all. (You might also like to have a moses or bassinet for the first couple of months, we used a bassinet we borrowed from some good friends until Olivia was around 8 weeks, we then moved her to her own bed, but the thing was, Olivia co-sleeped with us the first 3 weeks, then we moved her to the bassinet and then to the crib, I think we could've skipped the bassinet all together...if I could do it again, I would. Good thing we didn't buy one!).
- A changing table or a changing pad. We have a changing pad on top of the dresser. You will change around 10-16 diapers a day if not more the first few months, so make sure you change your baby at a height where you will not mess up your back, a mom with a sore back is not a happy mom. Along with the changing pad or table: diaper cream, diapers, cotton towels or cleaning paper towels and somewhere where you can put away the used diapers without having to much odor in the room (we have the diaper bin out in the balcony).
- A bouncy chair: honestly, I don't know what I would do without it. We have a second hand one from Baby Björn, it is fantastic.
- A baby carrier: when Olivia was born, she loved being in a baby carrier wrapped around me or Jonas, she would sleep in there for hours, we have a Didymos and it is great, very expensive though, but great quality fabric that you can use for ages and will just be reliable. We also have a carrier (second hand as well) from Baby Björn that has proved to be very useful now that Olivia is older and likes to see everything around her. There are some great choices, if it wasn't because we got this one really cheap from a friend, I would have chosen this one or this other one.
- Some toys: I am not into buying a whole lot of toys. I believe she will find anything interesting so why buy a million things she will loose interest in? We do have a few very loved ones: a pacifier (not technically a toy, but she uses it as a toy. We tried EVERY brand, she will only take this one), a baby gym, a teether, a rattle I made her from Lotta Janstodder "Simple Sewing for Baby), a cozy blanket that I made her since she wouldn't take the pacifier and some stuffed animals she got as presents but isn't so into yet. Baby books! Can't get enough of them!
- A bag to carry all the baby stuff: I just have a very practical backpack where everything fits and doesn't take much space. It fits well under the stroller but it's also comfortable to carry without hurting my back. What's in the bag? Well: A changing pad, no less than 5 diapers, always, a light blanket, wet wipes, sunblock, a bottle of water (for me), an apple (for me as well), a bottle with formula, a pacifier and a burping cloth (is that the name?? oh well, it's late and I am half asleep, can't remember the name of this thing).
- Clothes: To begin with, you don't need a whole lot of things, also depending on the weather and the time of year, you will adapt to your necessities. I think, for us, in a mild, chilly weather (spring in Norway), when Olivia was born, this is what we really used, the rest, was excess:
Tip: Wool, wool, wool!
(can't go wrong with wool, it is warm when it is cold
but it breathes when it is too warm, so, wool is great!)
couple of baby pants or tights
3 pairs of socks
a baby hat to go outside
a jacket or body suit
(if colder, add some layers or use thicker wool or fleece,
if hotter, remove layers. If it's too hot, probably a diaper is enough :D )
- Now the extras: These you might not need, and you will definitely not need at the beginning, but just to keep in mind later on:
a traveling bed
a traveling stroller
a baby monitor
Well, I guess for now that is my basic list to start your life with your new baby. I don't know if I am forgetting something, probably, but if I forgot, it means that it is not essential and you will probably figure out what you need on your own. I hope this helps! Ask away if you need to clear something up, I am more than happy to answer any questions.
Enjoy your new life!