Congratulations! Having a baby is an exciting and beautiful blessing, yet a daunting journey ahead as your life is about to change immensely.
Being pregnant is a similar feeling to ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, with this new alien feeling of life moving around inside of you…but I don’t mean to freak you out, I’m sure many mothers out there can relate to this sentiment.
There’s an overwhelming amount of guidance out there on preparing for a newborn baby. Of course we all aim for the best for our babies, to be safe, healthy and happy so that they can develop into the best versions of themselves.
Therefore we have created a helpful and concise guide covering all the best and most relevant newborn essentials and tips from baby proofing to sleeping routines, to help make your new adventure as parents easier.
It’s entirely normal to be focused on the arrival on your new baby, however it’s important to remember to take care of yourself to ensure you're as comfortable and healthy as possible. These nine months are time to nurture your delicate bump whilst being conscious of what you are putting inside, on and around your body.
Good health is one of the best starts in life, from the right vitamins and nutrients to gentle exercise to antenatal classes to prepare you and your partner for labour and taking care of your newborn baby.
Having a fit pregnancy is possible! Yoga, walking and swimming are some ways to gently exercise, in turn help and strengthen your pregnant body in numerous ways. Such as helping your body adjust to the weight gain, improving lung function to allow a better flow of oxygen to you and your baby, preparing your body for labour's physical toll and eases your postnatal recovery later on and so on.
Of course, please consult with your doctor first for the best advice based on your individual circumstances.
The excitement of planning your little one's arrival can distract you from preparing yourself for labour.
- Where... Giving birth at home, a hospital or at a midwifery unit?
- Pain relief... Whether or not and which pain relief to take?
- Time... When is the best time to go to the hospital?
These are some of the vital considerations alongside preparing items to take with you.
After having six children...Bill Murray knows what you need for the hospital.
(Jimmy Kimmel Live | ABC)
3x changes of comfortable and non-restrictive clothing for during labour to keep you cool.
4x supportive and comfortable bras & nursing bras for breastfeeding
25x super-absorbent sanitary pads
Wash bag with a toothbrush, soap, hairbrush and so on.
Music, books or magazines
A night light
An oscillating fan
Loose and front opening nighties for breastfeeding
A dressing gown & slippers
A comfortable and loose outfit for post-birth and leaving the hospital.
Baby clothes and a light hat
A shawl or blanket to wrap your baby in.
Changing diapers, the unavoidable part of having children and soon enough you will become an expert. It's highly important that you change your baby’s diaper frequently to prevent diaper rashes. It is an ideal time for social interaction to bond with your baby.
Safe Changing Space
Can be on the floor, a bed or a diaper changing unit. All of your diaper changing items will need to kept out of your baby's reach. You should wash your hands before and after and the space needs to be hygienic, warm and dry to avoid infection. Of course never leave your baby alone on a raised table as they can fall and get hurt.
Pick One & Stick With It
From diapers to baby wipes, a change of texture too often can cause diaper rashes.
Bulk ordering diapers online will be cheaper and easier in the long run.
Sleep, something to be cherished before giving birth. It will be something you miss unless you can create the right sleeping pattern for your baby. Sleeping patterns are unique for every baby and are unlikely to mirror yours. It’s best to sleep whenever your baby sleeps, even if it’s for a short period of time.
The safety and comfort of your baby is of utmost importance. Decorating the nursery, while considering the right cot and mattress will create a secure and serene environment for your child, in turn the ideal sleeping environment.
Your baby should sleep in the same room as you day and night until they are six months old. From the beginning, you'll notice your baby will fall asleep in yours or your partner’s arms or when next to their cot. Your baby will get used to sleeping without you once you start putting your baby down as soon as they finish feeding or before they fall asleep. Once your baby stays alert more frequently and for longer, it will become an easier process.
To prevent future sleeping issues and enjoy having one-on-one time with your baby, a calm bedtime routine is a good idea from three months old. A good routine could entail giving your baby a bath, changing diapers and clothes, brushing teeth, putting them to bed, reading a bedtime story, singing a lullaby or using a musical mobile, dimming the lights and lastly a hug and kiss goodnight.
One Size Ahead
Always buy a size one size ahead of your baby’s actual age as sizes can be small and babies grow fast. Sizes 9-12 months can work on 6 month old babies and so on. Of course take into account seasonal clothing.
There is no evidence that bio (with enzymes) washing powders or fabric conditioners can cause irritation to your baby’s skin.
Soft and breathable fabrics like cotton are best and fleece is good for the cold weather. Avoid skin irritation by removing any tags and check the seams are finished.
Buttons and Trimmings
Any cute buttons or trimmings need to be checked, if they are loose, cut them off otherwise they are a choking hazard and avoid items with fringe or strings as they are strangulation hazards.
Over bundling is one of the biggest mistakes, dress your baby in the same amount of layers that you are wearing for said weather conditions, then add a soft and light blanket. Too much warmth can cause discomfort and sleepiness, in turn dehydration which can lead to hypoglycaemia because they aren’t awake to eat enough properly.
(Jimmy Kimmel Live | ABC)
Well done to all the brilliant parents out there who have managed to keep their children alive! I equate having a baby to being on an endless suicide watch, your ultimate aim is to keep this new human being alive whilst following all the rules and laws out there.
Accidents can happen to anyone and anywhere but infants are at the highest risk at home and vulnerable without adult supervision. Risks change based on the room you're in, therefore baby proofing is vital prior to your baby becoming mobile, in turn avoid unnecessary traumas.
Prevent Falling Injuries
Babies are at risk of rolling off beds and changing tables, as they quickly learn how to roll over, kick and wriggle around. It would be best not to leave babies unattended on a bed, sofa or changing table. Diaper changing on the floor would be ideal. Babies move a lot, so it would be sensible not to leave your baby in a car seat or bouncing in a cradle on a table as their movement can push it over to fall on the floor. Using a pram, car seat and high chair with 5 point safety harnesses will make sure your baby is secure. Prams.net have a wide variety to choose from.
Knowing which toys are the best for your baby can be a challenge as different toys and methods suit the different stages of development. The overall aim is for your child to grow into the best version of themselves.
The more you get involved in playtime, the more your child will learn.
Children's YouTube videos, books and singing to your baby will enhance their communication and language skills.
A wide variety of Sesame Street and other children's videos can be found on YouTube. . .
Baby and children's apps can enhance development and will be a huge advantage prior to starting school as your child will learn about colours, numbers, shapes and so on. Of course in moderation.
Some of our best childhood memories are reading books with our parents. Reading early on will enhance language, communication, imagination and is a great opportunity to bond with your child, in turn good for their emotional well-being.
Before babies can speak, they find sounds, language rhythms and rhymes appealing whilst being stimulated by colourful pictures. Local libraries have a vast range of children’s books and have baby groups to take part in. 10 minutes a day will make such a difference!
Something that should never be limited, even if they are playing inside a cardboard box, you can ask “Where are you going?” and your child may say “I’m flying to the moon” and you can say “Wow, may I join you?”
Learn more about your child's development through these insightful and short Ted Talks.
Bath time can be one of the best parts of a baby's day but also a risk, finding the right balance between fun and safety is highly important. Checking the temperature is correct and safe is essential whilst adding some bath time toys to see your baby's treasured smile.
Water should be a little bit warmer than lukewarm and approximately three inches deep. You can check the temperature by submerging your whole hand and wrist into the water. When your baby is in the tub, the water should not be running as the depth can become dangerous quite fast, the temperature can rise quickly, becoming too hot. Turning your water heater down should avoid scalding.
Pouring water over or squeezing a wash cloth to rinse your baby is a safer and less frightening method for babies, instead of water from a faucet.
Raising the temperature slightly will avoid a shock to your baby’s system when they come out of the bath. Babies shouldn't be cold for too long as they have a hard time regulating their core temperature.
You're going to be excited to go out and introduce your little one to the world. A fitted car seat is essential if you intend to travel by car. Finding the most suitable pram for your lifestyle is a must. There are numerous other essentials to make travelling with your baby safe, easy and quick.
Changing Diaper Bag
Public transport or steps leading to your home . . . A lightweight and compact folding pram would be ideal.
Car . . . Measure and compare the size of your car boot to the size of the stroller when folded. A multi-functional travel system will allow you to transport your baby from home to car to pushchair without disturbing their sleep.
Walk regularly . . . A strong model with lockable and swivel wheels for easier manoeuvring and handling over rough surfaces.
Handle height . . . An adjustable handle height to suit you and your partner.
Storage . . . Is there enough space available at home for your pram to be compactly stored away?
Seat Direction . . . Forward or backwards facing seat for bonding between parents and baby and outside exploration.
All you can do is your best to be as prepared as much as you can. If you stumble across something you don't know, simply ask your loved ones, consult Google, a book or a helpline. Your instincts are there to be trusted, but there’s no harm in asking for help!
Images by Archictectural Digest, Dollar Photo Club, Buzzfeed and Google Images.