One of the most common questions that expecting parents ask at my prenatal classes is – “What are the things I need to arrange for, before I bring my baby home from hospital?”
Newborn babies do almost nothing all day – and yet you need a lot of things for them.
Arrange things according to the ‘activities’ that you will be undertaking with your baby
You may think that you will just need your breasts for breastfeeding – but that is not true
Here is what you will need:
- Comfortable front-open clothing for yourself – so that you can feed easily
- Nursing bras with good support
- Feeding pillow to support your baby and yourself
- Breast pads – to prevent leaking
- Nipple shield – you may buy these later if you have soreness
- Burping towels
- A breast pump
Pumping is not recommended in the initial months if your baby suckles well. However, if you need to pump – at first buy a manual pump and when you are comfortable. invest in an electric breast pump. If you are using a pump you will also need breast milk storage bags to store the breast milk, bottles and nipples to feed the baby, a steriliser for the bottles, a brush to clean bottles and a bottle warmer.
Most expecting parents are worried about the diapering of their babies.
Cloth diapers are best.
You are likely to need 2 or 3 diapers at each feed. This means an average of 24 diapers in a day and almost 100 diapers in a week
- Cotton balls / wet wipes
- Ice cream sticks to serve as spatulas to scrape off the stool passed into the toilet
- A dedicated metal bucket with bleach to collect used diapers
- A liquid detergent for machine wash that cleans well but does not leave a residue on the clothes
Make sure you buy one that follows all the safety recommendations
- A mattress that fits snugly and is firm and supportive
- Crib sheets that can be tucked well below the mattress (at least 2 inches on the under surface of the mattress)
- A waterproof cover that fits snugly and is not made of plastic
- In the colder season – avoid blankets and pick a zip-up blanket sleeper
- A mosquito net
- A non-perfumed soap
- A non-perfumed shampoo
- A soft bath flannel for sponge bath
- Towels to wipe
- A hooded towel to wrap the baby after the bath
- A hair brush
- Nail file / emery file
- Cotton balls
- Virgin coconut oil
- A soft towel to place the baby on
Stepping out of the house
Having the right things in advance, should keep you prepped. Happy parenting!
Dr Debmita Dutta MBBS, MD
Dr Debmita Dutta is a practicing doctor, a parenting consultant and the founder of the website WPA whatparentsask.com – She is based in Bangalore and conducts Parenting workshops at schools and corporate organizations. She also conducts prenatal classes for expecting parents and infant care classes for new parents.