Your baby will be arriving in a few weeks. Experienced parents will tell you that a first baby requires a lot of time and energy in terms of preparation and organization. You have to take care of both the baby and Mom!
Do I have everything I need? What are the essentials that I should not forget? Are there any accessories that could save me time? There are many questions surrounding the birth of a child.
Vie de Parents, in collaboration with Familiprix, has made it a point to collect all the information you need in one place to make it easier for you to get through this crucial stage in your life.
Baby hygiene and health essentials
Caring for newborns is often demanding. Since the reality of being a new parent is full of unforeseen events, it's best to have the necessary equipment on hand in case of glitches.
Some toiletries help keep your baby clean and dry, for example:
- Diapers of different sizes, disposable or washable, depending on your preference
- Wet wipes or washcloths to clean your baby's bottom
- A baby bathtub or washbasin
- A mild soap/shampoo
- Nail clippers and a nail file
- A brush and a comb
- Soft washcloths and towels
It's a good idea to put together a small basic kit at home to treat your baby for any ailments that may affect them. This could include, among other things:
- A thermometer
- Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
- Acetaminophen (for fevers)
- A syringe (to give medication)
- A heating bag (for colic)
- Zinc oxide cream (for diaper rash)
- An antihistamine (for allergies)
- A nasal aspirator for babies
- Saltwater (to clean the nose)
Overview of your baby’s diet
You have two choices when it comes to feeding: breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Normally, your baby will feed exclusively on milk for the first 6 months of life.
For breastfeeding, the essentials are:
- Nursing bras
- Nursing pads
- A nursing pillow, for comfort
- A breast pump, if needed
- Moisturizing nipple cream
For bottle-feeding, the essentials are:
- Feeding bottles, with nipples of different flow rates, adapted to the age of the baby
- Commercial milk (powder or liquid)
- A brush for cleaning bottles
Preparing your baby for sleep
Newborn babies sleep for many hours during the day. Since this is a vital need, their safety and comfort must be assured with:
- A bassinette (crib or cradle)
- Contour sheets
- Soft blankets
Baby clothes and accessories
Your baby doesn't have to have new clothes. Your family or friends may have clothes to donate. Since they won't be wearing them for long, choose comfortable, affordable clothes in reasonable quantities, such as:
- Diaper covers
- Socks and slippers to keep little feet warm
- Caps to prevent heat loss
- Mittens to avoid scratches
- Practical seasonal clothing
- Pacifiers, if needed
- A stroller with a clamshell (the clamshell is essential to leave the hospital)
- A shell cover if needed, depending on the season.
A new mother needs care too!
As a first child turns a life upside down, it is quite possible that the mother feels disoriented and a little overwhelmed by the turn of events. Hormones, adapting to a helpless little being, and the decisions to be made can cause doubts and anxiety.
Follow these practical tips:
Prenatal classes help prepare you, reduce stress and answer questions about your health, delivery and baby care.
The birth plan
The birth plan is an amalgamation of the measures and atmosphere desired during birth. You must inform the medical staff who will follow your recommendations as long as your health and that of your baby are not in danger.
The help you can receive from your family and friends and even from your local CLSC is important. Fatigue is omnipresent after childbirth; it is essential you take time to recover.
Getting out and about with other moms will make you feel less alone.
Hygiene and clothing
Pyjamas are tempting, but washing and dressing will improve your mood and reduce the risk of vaginal infection.
The luxury trousseau for baby
New parents are often very busy with a new baby. There are some accessories that seem superfluous at first, but can make the daily life of some parents much easier:
- A rocking chair
- A vibrating chair
- A bottle drainer
- A baby bottle sterilizer
- A bottle warmer
- A device for the preparation of bottles
- A baby carrier
- A diaper garbage can
- Toys for bathing, teething, awakening, etc.
- A breast pump
- A baby monitor
- A diaper bag
There are registries for moms and babies that can help you figure out what you need. But be sure to get a head start on your shopping list for your first baby, because he or she may surprise you by arriving earlier than expected!
Above all, take care of yourself!