Parents are naturally excited about their newborn baby arrival; much of the anticipation gets channeled into shopping – cute baby clothes, baby essentials and the baby nursery. Whether or not your home will have a separate baby room, there are must-haves that will make life easier for your baby and you. Let’s go and get these 12 items now!
Item #1 – Space for Yourself
Strictly speaking, this is not an item to buy. In fact, you may be giving things away to make space. We always think of allocating a conducive place where the baby can sleep but think first of where you and your husband will be. If you’re living with your parents, is there enough space? If not, should you be renting an apartment nearby? Honestly, is the relationships under your roof strong enough to withstand the stress of taking care of a newborn baby? If not, is there a way to create more space between each other (while convenient enough for you to seek help)? If you already have a child, is it time to upgrade him to his own room? More importantly, if you want to take a breather when caring for your baby, is there ‘breathing room’ for yourself?
Item #2 – Space for Baby
The good news is baby doesn’t take up lots of space. The bad news? Her stuff takes up a lot of space. If you are someone who hates clutter, start considering having two baby areas – one where your baby sleeps with an area for essentials (clothes, diapers, milk powder/bottles) that can last a few days and another area for all the rest of the stuff. It’s safer too – you may be rushing around your room when your baby cries and you don’t want to have to step over a whole lot of stuff lying around.
Item #3 – Baby Crib
If you’re short on space, you may want to opt for a bassinet which can last for the first few months. If you have the space, it would be cheaper to get a crib that can accommodate a child as she grows. If you’re getting a hand-me-down crib, make sure it meets the safety requirements with no loose or broken parts. Get a crib that has no past incidence of product recall and get a new one a few weeks before baby is due to air the crib. Choose a crib and the mattress without volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Item #4 – Changing Table
Changing table allows you to change your baby’s diaper without straining your back. There will be a lot of diaper changing and all the minutes add up to a significant time where you will have to bend uncomfortably if you’re changing diapers on your bed. There is also the worry of the stools accidentally touching your bed sheet. A changing table with compartments to store diapers, can make the room look much neater.
Item #5 – Bathtub and Chair
Bathing the baby is another daily activity and one which you want to enjoy in a relaxed position. It is safer to put the bathtub on the floor and bathe your baby while sitting down. The last thing you would want is a strained back while trying to bend over to bathe your child. Get a non-slip bathtub with no broken or sharp edges for baby’s safety. Always remember, never leave a baby unattended in the bathtub, not even for a second.
Item #6 – Comfortable Chair for Mom and Baby
This is important and one often overlooked. A chair that is comfortable and located close to an electrical outlet for connecting the electric breast pump. Even when breastfeeding, there will be times when the mom will use the breast pump at home. With an electrical outlet, you can also plug in the night light near to where you will be feeding at night. It will be really awesome if the chair is placed near the baby cot too. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a comfortable chair where you can cuddle, rock and comfort the baby back to sleep?
For your baby, he will also need a bouncer seat to be able to see the world without someone carrying him all the time. This can really help if you need to cook and the baby can be propped up in the chair at 45-degree angle and see you in action in the kitchen!
Item #7 – Table for Sterilizing Milk Bottle
It is generally recommended to sterilize milk bottles for the first 12 months as baby’s immunity is low. By sterilizing baby’s milk bottles, it will keep bacteria, parasites and viruses away at bay, preventing baby from falling sick. This can either be in your bedroom (for convenience) but if your bedroom is not big enough, it can be in the kitchen where an electric outlet is available. Having a separate table or corner for placing the sterilizer along with other feeding equipment like food blender makes feeding easier and less likely to be contaminated with other foods the family is eating.
Item #8 – Tummy Area
A baby will be learning how to move on the tummy and crawling very soon. You can buy tummy mats for your baby to practice being on stomach with rings or soft toys attached, one that baby can reach out to. To be safe that your baby isn’t crawling where he should not be, get down on your hands and knees and look around for danger spots such as electrical outlets, dangling wires, choking hazards or items that can be pulled down and collapse.
Item #9 – Baby Monitor
Now, a mom has plenty of work to do. If you are working in the study room or cooking in the kitchen, it is good to also keep an eye on your baby via the baby monitor. There is no substitute for physical adult supervision though, use these only for a short period of time.
Item #10 – Music
Music can help your baby sleep better. And mom too. If there isn’t much space for a CD player, you can buy a portable USB speaker and play it from your mp3 or phone. You may not think that this is a big thing, but if your baby sleep well with music, it will be a huge relief for the whole family.
Item #11 – Dim and Cool Sleep, even in the afternoon
You may not know that your bedroom is bright and hot during the day if you’re in the office or out during daytime. During the four months of maternity leave, your time will basically be spent in the room – day and night. Ensure that your bed and baby’s bed are positioned away from direct sunlight. You can switch on the air-conditioner or fan to keep the room cool even in the afternoon. Alternatively, you can open up the windows and allow sufficient cool air to breeze in through the windows. A light curtains may also help to block off some sunlight too.
Item #12 – Rubbish Bin
This is a must! The amount of rubbish created from taking care of a newborn is quite significant – disposable diapers, used baby wipes and sometimes, soiled clothing that you simply do not want to use anymore.
There’s quite a lot of things to get ready in the home for your baby’s arrival. Most of it requires space. Start making arrangement to ensure enough room for everyone to be comfortable, you don’t want a crowded living condition to add to the stress of caring for a newborn!
Related Post: 12 Items that A Home Should Have – Toddler Edition