First-time babies can be stressful, especially when it comes to preparing for their arrival. How do you know what you need if you’ve never had one before? Asking your friends and family can only add to the worry as they all give you different answers and you struggle to keep track. Don’t panic; we’re here to help.
We recommend creating a checklist well in advance of your due date, so you can tick things off as you get them and add new ones if you realise you’ve missed something. But what should go on this checklist? Every parent’s situation is unique, but here’s a good list of the basics that you’ll want to cover.Car seat
First things first: you’ll need to get baby home from the hospital! Invest in a good-quality car seat, as safety is so important. Depending on where you buy from, you might be able to get some help making sure you find a model that fits your car as best as possible. And install it before you make the trip to the hospital, as you won’t want to be fiddling around with it when you’ve got a newborn!Newborn clothes
Your baby needs clothes to wear, and you’ll want to make sure you have enough. It’s important to keep your newborn at the right temperature, so you’ll want a mix of long and short-sleeved onesies at first. Six of each is about the right number. Also make sure you’ve got bootees, mittens, a hat and a jacket for taking the little one outside in the cold.Cot
To make sure your child gets the best sleep possible, it’s a good idea to invest in a comfy cot with a good mattress. They’ll spend a huge chunk of their first two years in the cot, so it’s worth investing in the best possible option. Choose a model that’s going to be safe for your baby as well as easy for you to use, as you’ll be bending over it a lot as well!Pushchair/pram
This is another item you’ll get a lot of use out of, so make sure you choose a pushchair or pram that’s hard-wearing and will last you a while. You’ll ideally want one that will protect your baby from bad weather, but won’t be too warm on hot days. At first, your newborn will need to lie flat to protect their neck, so make sure you buy a model that can fully recline.
Unless you plan on staying by your baby’s side for the majority of their first two years - which you might feel like doing at first - you’ll want a good baby monitor so you can react straight away to any crying. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to relax, while making sure your newborn doesn’t miss out on any time they need mum or dad.Nursing bra
If you’re planning to breastfeed, a good nursing bra is a must-have. Without it, feeding time can be awkward, especially when you’re out and about. You might also want to get some nursing pads, as well as soothing cream for when it becomes uncomfortable. A breast pump is another thing to consider.Bottle and accessories
Sometimes breastfeeding isn’t possible, and even when it is, you may want to wean baby onto a bottle after about six months. In addition to a good bottle that will be comfortable for your child to use, you’ll need a supply of teats and a bottle brush, or some other way to keep everything as clean as possible. As an added extra, consider getting an on the go bottle warmer to help when you are out and about with baby.Nappies/changing mat
Finally, you need to ready yourself for every parent’s least favourite part of raising a newborn: changing time. In addition to a good supply of nappies, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a changing mat to keep everything clean. You may want to think about a changing mat that will help with those night time changes. Also think about a nappy bin to store dirties, which will save you a lot of trips to the outside bin, as well as baby wipes and nappy cream to prevent sore bottoms.
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