Having found out that you’re pregnant, you start reading books and magazines which are full of ideas and pictures of beautiful baby things that would create a dream nursery for any baby – unfortunately most of the time the pictures are without prices because adding up the cost of putting together the perfect nursery would be enough to send the blood pressure of most moms-to-be sky high. What you need to keep in mind is that the pictures are there to tempt you into spending as much money as they can get you to part with; they aren’t there to show you what the baby actually needs!
There are certain things you need to think about in order to create a good environment into which to bring your newborn baby.
A place to sleep
Baby is going to be sleeping (hopefully) quite a lot during the early weeks and so you need to decide where this will be. Will you have your baby sleeping in the same place during the day as it does at night? Or will you have a different arrangement for daytime naps? The baby will need adequate bedding so that it isn’t too hot or cold – it doesn’t however need all the bedding to co-ordinate however pretty this might look! Usually a newborn will sleep without a pillow so even this isn’t something you need to think about buying at first. To go with this, if you are going to leave the baby on its own whilst asleep, some form of audio baby monitor system is a good idea so that you can feel secure that the baby is still breathing!
Whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding you will have certain equipment that you need to have in place ready for the baby coming home. Breast feeding moms will need to take this to the hospital ready to get started as soon as baby is born. None-food related eating equipment for breast feeding moms include breast pads to stop leaks, easy access nursing bras and some form of cover-up in case of public nursing. Bottle feeding moms will have a larger essential shopping list to ensure that they have enough bottles, a selection of teats until the find the one that works best with their baby, some formula which is like the one the baby starts on at the hospital for those first days at home (call the maternity hospital you will be staying and check what they use before you go into labor) and equipment for sterilizing the bottles/teats.
Bathing and Grooming
Diapers are your number one essential here. These are going to be a vital part of the early days when you could be changing diapers 8 or more times a day! They may seem like they come in large packs, but it’s surprising how fast those packs disappear. Somewhere to change the diaper is another priority. If you are happy to do this with a towel over your lap, that’s fine, otherwise you will need some kind of changing mat. Bathing the baby is another important consideration. If you have a tub which is low enough for you to be able to confidently hold the baby on one arm whilst bathing it with the other, then you’ll be fine – otherwise you need to get either a piece of equipment that will hold the baby securely in the family tub whilst you bath it, or purchase a baby bath – the baby won’t be using this for long however so if a friend has one you can have or borrow then that should be fine. Baby lotion and bath soap for a sensitive skin are two additional things you could have on hand for this section also.
Getting the baby from A to B is one area where you will need to spend more than you would probably like if you are on a budget! If you intend to move the baby around in a car, then a car seat is a must, and it has to be one that conforms to current safety standards so if you buy one second hand from a thrift store, or small ads, make sure that it was bought new recently or it won’t be up to the current regulation standard. A stroller or baby carriage is only necessary if you intend walking anywhere with the baby – but if you can get one from a friend, then the baby carriage may be a great place to put the baby to sleep during the day, especially as you will be able to sit outside if the baby is beside you in the baby carriage – just don’t forget the bug net if it’s summer.
There are a lot of other items that can be bought to get your life as a new mom off to a great start but these are the basics that you need to cover before buying any of the more frivolous items such as rocking chairs, changing bags and coordinating wall borders and lamps.