10 Must Haves Before Baby Arrives
Maybe this is baby number one or it could be baby number five, either way being prepared before baby makes the transition with a newborn a lot easier. If this is your first baby then you may not be sure what you need to have before bringing the baby home. I can tell you that you will not be in the mood to make a store run at any point during that first week, so it is best to have things stocked. This is my list of 10 must haves before baby arrives.
Postpartum Bathroom Essentials
- You will be bleeding A LOT for a few weeks so having large pads and large underwear is necessary. I typically like to have two large packs of pads and that usually lasts for a couple of weeks.
- You will be pretty sore in your pelvic area if you delivered vaginally. They make witch hazel wipes that help with the pain.
- Dermoplast spray numbs you and I absolutely think this is a must!
- After pushing out a baby and organs shifting back into place you typically will become constipated. Most of us also have hemorrhoids after baby comes, so get a stool softener. You will be glad you did!
We typically use the same household items every month so I know what we will use in a four week period. I like to stock up on these items because my husband doesn’t ever go shopping and won’t know what to get. Also, the thought of running to the store a few days after having baby while nursing 24/7 sounds like a nightmare to me.
A general list of things most households use often:
- Paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates (if you use them), flushable wipes)
- Pet food
- Medicine or vitamins
- Cleaning products (laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwasher pods, disinfectant wipes, trash bags)
- Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, face care)
Non-perishable Food Items
You will be recovering from labor and in order to keep up with baby you will have to have energy. So make sure you have snacks and drinks on hand. If you have kids then they also will need things for breakfast, lunch and snacks. So just round up what you typically use every week to feed your family, except dinners and make sure you have that times two.
Don’t forget about any drinks your family likes to have throughout the week!
I love getting diapers when they are sale either at Target or through my Subscribe and Save. Since I do that I currently have a stock of diapers through size three. Plus I know how much my kids usually wear per size so it is easy for me to stock without fear of it not being used.
That being said a pretty good idea of things to have stocked before baby arrives is:
- Newborn (2 boxes) & Size 1 Diapers (2-3 Boxes)
- Wipes (2 Boxes)
- Formula & Bottles (If you are not breastfeeding)
- Burp cloths
- Nursing Pads (you will use these whether you nurse or not when your milk is drying)
- Nipple cream
- Infant medicine (you never know and it is always good to be prepared!)
A Deep Clean of the House
You will more than likely be too tired and sore to clean your house as you’re used to. For instance, I clean my house everyday to make sure it is almost always spotless. I also do laundry daily, except Sundays, since I have a family of five. After I come home from the hospital though the cleaning is the last thing I want to use my tiny bit of energy on.
Having a nice deep clean done will help you relax since there will be nothing to clean when you get home. Also knowing it was thoroughly cleaned means it won’t be necessary to do anything other than surface clean for a little while. Laundry of course will still need to be done, but husbands and older kids can help with that!
Child/Pet Care During Hospital Stay
It is best for you and those helping you out to arrange for this a few months prior to the due date. On the off chance baby comes early, you don’t want to be stuck worrying about your family at home because your sitter isn’t available. Going ahead and setting out a plan with your sitter will make any unforeseen events less stressful.
It is good to have a week or two of freezer meals prepared. I did not do this with my third child and quickly regretted it. Not only because I felt obligated to make sure my family was being fed properly and it put a huge stress on me. The other reason is that I had some of my out of town family visit at separate times and not everyone cooks. Thus, I again felt obligated to make sure everyone was fed.
Freezer meals are also easy for the person watching your children. They can easily pop them in the slow cooker or the oven and your children are still getting healthy dinners that they will eat. It definitely makes it easier for someone else to take care of the cooking for you. It even makes it super easy for you, even in your state of absolute exhaustion.
A good rule of thumb is to have your hospital bag packed from 35 weeks. The further along you are the harder it is to get through the day. At 35 weeks you will hopefully still be pretty comfortable doing a ton of things and remembering things. It is always good to have a checklist so you don’t forget anything though.
We never can determine for sure when our little one will arrive. So, don’t be caught of gaurd. Go ahead and have your bag ready to go.
This is the same as the hospital bag, it is always good to have this installed early so you don’t have to worry about it during labor. Some car seats are a nightmare to install anyway so who wants to be in labor trying to figure that out? Or even worse getting into an argument with your husband because you’re both too frustrated to figure the dang thing out.
List For Husband
So this is just an added bonus, my husband works A LOT, so he has an idea of what goes on in our house, but doesn’t know the actual running of our house. If your husband will not be home with you directly after birth and someone else will be there to help, then this list would be helpful for them as well. This also comes in handy for the sitter that will be watching your children. I like to make sure my “person” has a general idea of what needs to be done each day.
Some things to include:
- Any type of routine your other children have (they will already be thrown for a loop with a new baby home and mom out of commission. Don’t make it harder by not helping keep their day to day life somewhat consistent.)
- Since you have the freezer meals for dinner and non-perishables already stocked for all other meals, then any perishable items that need to be bought weekly (fruit, milk, bread, butter, etc.)
- How often to do a load of laundry or any chores your older children have
- Extracurricular activities that older children are involved in
What are some of the must haves on your pre baby list? Let me know in the comments below!
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