The moment that you discover you’re pregnant, or that you’re going to be a daddy, will likely be the start of an incredible adventure for you and your partner; from prenatal appointments and scans, during which you’ll watch your baby develop and hear its heartbeat for the first time, to hurtling round mom and pop stores in search of essentials and nice-to-haves, each day of those nine months will be spent preparing for the baby’s arrival.
However, in between shopping trips, reading reviews for products and visiting discount retailers to try and save a cent or two, there’s a chance you’ll also be experiencing a little anxiety; how much stuff can one tiny person need, and is all of it really essential?
As this is your first baby, you’ll no doubt be confused by some of the items you’re expected to have, but worry not; everyone goes through the exact same panic, and you’ll work out what you need in no time. Here are the essentials for your first baby that you’ll want to have when he or she arrives into the world.
Getting from A to B
First thing’s first, you’re going to need a car seat in order to bring that bundle of joy home from hospital, as well as a pram or pushchair so you can safely and comfortably move baby from A to B, and a wrap, sling or carrier if you’re considering baby-wearing.
Now is also the time to put together a diaper bag so you have everything to hand no matter where you are; fill it with diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, muslins, any medication your baby may require, spare pacifier and plastic sacks for the disposal of stinky diapers.
Dressed for the occasion
Until you have a baby of your own you can never truly appreciate how fast they grow, or how quickly a diaper can leak through several layers of clothing. For this reason, you’re going to need to fill your baby’s drawers with a dozen or so sleep suits or onesies, a similar number of vests, a couple of cardigans or light jackets, a coat or all-in-one suit for cooler weather, hats to suit both warm and chilly weather, and socks.
Miniature t-shirts and pairs of pants, while adorable, aren’t a necessity quite yet – keep things simple to start with.
It’s recommended that babies stay in their parents’ room for the first few months, so for now get a crib or bassinet, and accompanying bedding, so your little one can be close by at bedtimes.
You may also want to think about buying a baby monitor for your own peace of mind, a changing table to make changes easier, a bath so your baby can enjoy splashing around, and a selection of light blankets to keep baby warm.
Once your little one moves into his or her bedroom or nursery, you’ll need a cot bed with fitted sheets. Other nursery nice-to-haves include a mobile, selection of soft toys, stimulating and sensory toys, books and a baby bouncer seat, which will no doubt help to soothe your little one during times of stress. The Uplift Baby Bouncer by Skip Hop is perfect for the job; you can find more about this baby bouncer seat on the baby product store’s website.
Your baby will need a number of feeding accessories if you – or your partner – plan on breastfeeding; breast pads, a hand pump, storage pots for expressed milk, and bottles for those occasions when someone else will be feeding, as well as a nursing pillow are all must-haves.
Bottle feeding requires bottles and teats, bottle brushes, a sterilizer or method of sterilizing bottles, formula and a storage tub, as well as a bottle warmer and travel bag for feeding on the go.
Health and safety
Last but by no means least you’ll need to think about health and safety, from a first aid kit to baby-proofing your home and lifestyle; power outlets should be covered, cupboard doors and drawers should be latched, and baby gates should be placed across doorways and staircases.
You may also want to use padded corners on harder furniture to protect your baby as he or she becomes mobile, as well as rearranging furniture so rooms are more baby-friendly.
Your baby first aid kit should contain teethers, pacifiers, a digital thermometer, nail scissors or clippers, a soft bristled brush, and a bulb syringe, as well as diaper rash cream and medication suitable for babies to soothe aches and pains.
Hopefully this will have helped you finalize your pregnancy shopping list. As parenthood beckons, remember to embrace your pregnancy; having a baby is an adventure, so be sure to relish every moment.