You planned and planned and your doctor swore you would have enough time to check into the hospital before the baby arrived. Yet, here you are screaming in the middle of the night as your water broke and your husband is scrambling to put two things together. Don’t think it will happen to you? Well think again and just to ensure you are ready to tackle this head-on – make sure you have packed your Bootcamp Baby Bag. That’s why you need to learn these your checklist for the arrival of your newborn Guide.
Medical files and prescriptions – put together your pregnancy folder. This should include your gestation history and the development of the fetus. This is absolutely essential as the hospital will refer to these notes in the event of an unforeseen emergency.
Baby basics –Two pairs of newborn baby vests, baby socks or booties, mittens and hats, cotton blankets or muslin swaddles. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but needs to be there when you bring the baby home. Best to prepare for hot and cold weather and pack accordingly. A pack of newborn diapers should suffice until the journey home but no harm taking two as well as these can be used at home.
Good to have – but not a game changer if you don’t. Toiletries like brush, toothpaste, and mouthwash for at least 2 -3 days in case of regular delivery. Perfumes, shampoos and soaps, moisturizers and creams if you are addicted to your products and cant work with medically approved soaps and sanitizers touching your skin. Any hospital will already have these but if you plan to breastfeed you may want to stay clear strong perfumes, deodorants, lotions as baby’s immune systems are not so strong and they don’t need to be overpowered by the fragrance of anything more than your natural scent. Pajamas to lounge in if you don’t like the hospital robe. A change of clothes for you for your journey back. Don’t think of a ballgown yet but a clean set of clothes you would like to be photographed in with your baby.
Entertainment supplies – this may sound strange as you will get enough entertainment once the baby arrives but what if you checked into the hospital and there is still some time before you become a mommy? Make sure you pack your cell phone charger and a book or magazine (light reading of course). If you are into Sudoku or Crossword puzzles – this is the time to get your fix. Hopefully, a steady stream of visitors will also keep you occupied.
Don’t fret as your child won’t start crawling from the first week. You can always do a more intensive baby proofing at a later stage. Just take a capsule approach to set the Bootcamp baby home for the first few months after the newborn arrives.
Baby Car seat and Stroller – Start here by purchasing and fitting a sturdy car seat. Try and buy one that has a combo with a stroller as well so you can lift your baby from the car and bring him home in the same.
Diapers and Wipes – Some new parents swear by the washable cloth ones which are great for the environment and gentle on the baby’s bottom. Buy 20 or 30 of these (or have your family gift these on your baby shower) so you can wash a batch along with other bibs and blankets of the baby. If you must, then go for the disposable diapers but as the baby grows older, try and move towards the washable cloth diapers. They are great for the environment and light on your pocket.
An absolute non-negotiable is baby wipes so don’t scrimp on these but make sure you buy the purest kind which won’t irritate your infant’s skin. Also, have diaper rash creams handy as an emergency must-have. There are several choices so research all before you jump into purchase the first one.
Breastfeeding or Baby formula – Assuming you will breastfeed your child, why would you need a breast pump? If you are with your infant all the time then the need for a breast pump may not arise. However, some new moms are unable to nurse easily as either the nipples are inverted or the milk production is slow. The breast pump helps stimulate and massage the area so you can store milk for the baby when ready. At times you may need to step out for an hour or longer in case of running errands or going for a workout or simply meeting friends. If you can use the pump ahead of these times and store it, then your spouse can nurse the baby.
If you have decided not to breastfeed your child then you will need baby formula, at least for the first 6 months. You will also need to purchase the feeding bottles, nipples and cleaning supplies (steam sterilizers or cleaning boxes). Again, the choice of baby formulas is unlimited (and expensive) so best to check with your pediatric on what you can start with.
Breastfeeding if you have a choice, that is. Breastfeeding is safer for the baby (your milk won’t be contaminated compared to an unsterilized bottle), convenient for you and baby – can be served any place and any time compared to cleaning and prepping the bottle with formula and safe water. It also has all the nutrients your baby needs and will be the magic formula for your newborn to develop immunity during those first essential months of birth. And it’s free!
Good to have- A baby monitor to keep in the room in case you or your spouse will need to step out from time to time. Digital thermometer and medicine dispenser in case you feel your baby is coming down with something. Newborns are too small for bathing in a bathtub just yet. However, a good washcloth or baby sponge should do the trick using warm water. Be sure to do this in a warm room with their towel handy to wrap around and don’t forget to massage baby oil as directed by the pediatric before wrapping them up in their baby vests.
The list is endless but with these tools and equipment in handy, you and your partner are ready to welcome the little bundle of joy!