Preparing for baby arrival calls on shopping for all the essentials before hand in order to avoid the mess and give the baby comfort on its arrival to the new world.
These are some baby-care essentials, often called the layette to have on hand when your brand-new bundle arrives:
1. Cotton balls/ Wipes /Diapers – For the first few weeks, a cotton ball dipped in plain water is the gentlest way to clean your newborn’s tender tush. After a few weeks of cotton-ball-and-plain-water cleanups, your baby will graduate to diaper wipes. Look for the hypoallergenic ones that are alcohol- and fragrance-free. Wipes are also great for hand washing on the go and cleaning up leaky diaper spills and spit-up on clothes. Two packs of disposable diapers or enough cloth diapers for sufficient for at least two days. Newborns can go through 10 to 12 diapers a day!
2. Receiving blankets: They are an all-purpose blanket made of lightweight material such as thermal waffle, polyester, fleece, muslins, flannel, and more eco-friendly options such as organic cotton or bamboo. They are either square or rectangular in shape and are not overly thick so that they can be easily wrapped around the baby to help maintain their body heat. Newborns need to preserve their caloric intake for weight gain and can waste calories maintaining their own fragile temperatures.
3. Clothing: You’ll be changing your baby’s clothing several times a day – babies can be messy! – so make sure outfits you buy are uncomplicated and open easily for diaper changes. In general, opt for soft, comfortable clothing with no irritating tags or seams. As its hard to predict which size clothing your baby will need at first. Many babies outgrow newborn or 0- to 3-month clothes quickly, and some larger babies skip the newborn sizes completely and start with 3-month or 3- to 6-month sizes. Others will start out in preemie sizes and wear newborn clothes for months. The best tip is to buy clothing in several sizes and return what you don’t use. Look for T-shirts and turtlenecks with plenty of room in the neck, or snaps at the neck, so they slip easily over your child’s head. No matter how cute it looks, avoid sleepwear that has complicated snaps or requires lots of effort to get on or off!
4. Bottles – be sure to get the correct size of nipples, such as preemie, or newborn. A small sized bottle holds approx 150 ml. It is composed of a bottle itself, a teat, a ring to seal the teat to the bottle, a cap to cover the teat and optionally a disposable liner. Teats come in a selection of flow rates, based on the age of the infant. Different flow rate teats either have more holes or larger holes. Variable flow rate teats are available for older infants. Accessories for bottles include cleaning brushes and drying racks.
5. Rectal or digital ear thermometer: Most digital thermometers are fast, accurate, and inexpensive, so any brand will do (and you could decide whether to take your infant’s temperature rectally or under her armpit).
6. Bathtub: Luckily, you have lots of choices these days: hard plastic tubs, foldable tubs, tubs with sling inserts to hold infants in place, inflatable tubs, and even bubbling baby spas. Many tubs are contoured for comfort. Some are lined with a soft sponge interior. And the best will make it much easier – and more fun – to bathe your squirming child.
7. Diaper rash ointment and/or petroleum jelly: No matter how careful you are, your little one will probably get diaper rash at some point. Most babies do. So plan ahead. Look for zinc oxide or petrolatum (petroleum jelly) in the ingredient list. If you use baby powder, take care to keep it away from the baby’s face. The talc or cornstarch in the powder can cause breathing problems. Place it in your hand, then apply it to the diaper area. Skip the steroid creams you find in the drug store (hydrocortisone) unless your doctor tells you to use one. They can irritate your baby’s bottom even more if not used correctly.
8. Hooded towels: When a baby is born, the nurse quickly covers his or her head with a blanket, and soon after makes sure the baby’s head is covered with a tiny hat. This is important because babies can lose a lot of body heat in a short amount of time when their heads are uncovered. Hooded towels can help keep the baby’s body temperature from dropping. There are many different styles of hooded towels to choose from and they are available in sets to match with other layette items. These sets make great gifts for expectant moms.
9. Burp cloths and waterproof lap pads: Go for 20 burp cloths or Cloth diapers. So that you have at least two in every room of the house at all times.
10. Baby nail clippers/scissors manicure set: Buy the right-sized tools — not the adult kind, which are larger and sharper. Look for a pair with rounded tips.
Starting with these basics will prevent the hush-a-rush.