Things you need to buy before the baby's arrival

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When you are expecting, preparation is the key. This is a list of things you will need in the first few weeks after delivery

"Abhi se kyon itna saara samaan le ke rakha hai? "(why have you purchased all this stuff right now?) someone asked me when he saw our baby shopping one week before my wife was due. This is an attitude still prevalent in India, even in the metros. But we had talked to many recent parents and we received one common advice from everybody: prepare in advance!

This is a list compiled after talking to many recent parents, and you can time the purchases to save rush later.

Here are the categories of things you need to buy in anticipation of the baby.

#1 Diapering

For the first time parents, this is a category you may miss out on. The essentials in this category are
• diapers (newborn size)
• wipes (preferably pure water wipes)
• Diaper organiser (optional)
• diaper changing pad (essential)
• Baby lotion (after every change)
• diaper rash cream (just in case!)

The newborn diaper sizes vary from company to company, but the newborn size can be used till the birth weight is about 4.5-5 kg. It is safe to keep a three week’s stock handy. Typically, in the first three weeks, the baby would end up using ~120 diapers. You would get some time to run around after three weeks.

Diaper changing pad is a must-have! I thought that the bed was a good enough place to change the diapers, but in just three days, I had the worst backache.

Diaper organiser keeps stuff together and I find it quite handy.

#2 Bathing

We started bathing the baby after the cord stump fell off. Till then, we sponged him using wipes and distilled water.

The things you need afterwards are
• bathtub with a sling for infants
• body wash (preferably fragrance-free)
• moisturizing lotion
• towels hooded two sets
• A set of wash clothes for delicate areas.

Go for a bath tub that can rest on a stand. It is painful to bathe the baby while you are crouching.

Find out about the other things you need to buy before the arrival of the baby

#3 Nursing

You will soon know that the first few weeks are an endless loop of feeding, changing diapers and sleep. Your wife would need all the help she can for nursing. Lactation consultants are a blessing when it comes to breastfeeding the first kid.

The list for nursing would be
• nursing bras
• nursing pillow (get one with a good support)
• nursing pads
• Lanolin cream (absolute must. It can also be used for diaper rashes)
• Nursing clothes (You get really good outfits nowadays)
• Breast pump (invest in a good pump)
• Bottles and steriliser (would be needed a bit later)

Make sure that there is a chair with handles or a bed with a headboard and ample pillows. This is the most delicate process, and any form of stress affects breastfeeding.

As a husband, you can go through videos about breastfeeding and help your wife out. There are very few things as satisfying as seeing your child feeding properly.

#4 Clothing and bedding

Newborns would quickly outgrow the clothes, so my advice is to purchase a limited quantity to start with.

Your scans would give you a rough idea about the weight of the baby. The 0-3 months for most brands would fit a child weighing around 3-3.5 kgs. If you find that your baby is going to be a small one, it is advisable to get some preemie clothes, at least for the first three weeks.

For bedding, most parents opt for a co-sleeping arrangement.

The things you need are
• Newborn clothes: body suits, night suits, mittens socks and caps.
• warm clothes (as needed)
• crib / bassinet/swing
• mattress if you buy a crib
• mattress protector
• crib mattress sheets
• baby blanket for swaddling (dedicated swaddles are also available)

#5 Other things you need

You need some toys, rattles and travel aids, but these are not required at the time of the birth. The most you would require is a good car seat.

The car seat is a safe way to carry your child home from the hospital. Invest in a good car seat. Use it early on as the child will get used to it.

Get a baby hygiene kit, with a thermometer, nose aspirator and a clipper. You will need the first two sooner than you think.

Talk to your doctor and keep a small pack of infant formula handy. You never know when you may need it.

There are a hundred more things you could buy, but I think these are the ones you need the most.

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(Image courtesy RAND.org)

Written by

Anay Bhalerao