Throughout my whole first pregnancy, I dreamed of how I would react when I first held my baby boy in my arms. Would I cry? Would I laugh? Would he open his eyes and smile at me?
As my mind raced with made-up images of what those moments would be like, I also wondered how it would go once we were home. And I couldn’t have survived that first month without these top 10 items.
1. A bassinet/play yard with a newborn insert. I delivered naturally but I still had a lot of healing to do, and it would have taken even more time if I had him via C-section. So having a bassinet or play yard with a newborn insert was a great solution for all of the nighttime feedings. I didn’t have to walk across the house to get to him because I kept the bassinet right next to my side of the bed.
2. A nursing bra and nursing pads. Trust me, once you sleep without nursing pads, you’ll wish you had them! I made that mistake and woke up the first morning wondering why our bed was soaking wet. This is also a good time to purchase a mattress cover in case of accidents, either from you or the baby :).
3. A prearranged schedule for the hubby to help with one or two of the nighttime wake ups. Even if he is going to work the next morning, it will help to keep you sane during the day if he’s able to help put the baby back to sleep at least one of the multiple times he/she will wake up throughout the night.
4. A strong diaper cream! Newborns use the restroom so often and my boys would always get bad diaper rashes if I didn’t use diaper cream. I wouldn’t recommend waiting until a rash appears to use it. I used it preventatively and it worked wonders.
5. Someone to help with the chores. My mom came and stayed with us when I had KJ, and just having someone there to do the laundry, clean dishes, and hold KJ while I showered was so wonderful! Even if you need to save up throughout your pregnancy to hire a maid for the first few weeks or month, it is totally worth it!
6. Clothes that were bigger than “newborn” size. As cute as those newborn clothes are, they only fit my boys for like three days! Haha. We moved on to the 0-3 month outfits very quickly.
7. Speaking of what covers their tiny bodies: I couldn’t live without swaddle blankets! Disney Baby has some adorable options to wrap your baby up in and to help ensure a good night’s rest. It gives your baby the sense of being in the womb and calms them for nighttime.
8. For the non-breastfeeding mommies, I highly recommend a bottle warmer. I didn’t do very well with breastfeeding, especially with Bentley, so having a bottle warmer plugged in next to my bed was great for nighttime feeds. I would grab my pumped milk from the fridge, then bring it to my room to heat it and feed him right there in bed. Comfy for Mommy and Baby!
9. Good diapers! Investing in a good brand of diapers will ensure fewer accidents throughout the day. My hubby bought a very cheap box of generic diapers once and not only did they leak ALL THE TIME, they also gave my boys the worst diaper rash! I think it’s because the poorly made ones don’t breathe as well. Just don’t get more than one box of newborn size. You will use a lot more of the size 1 diapers and will probably be putting your baby in them before the first month is over.
10. Time with my spouse. As hard as it is to be away from your baby, it is vitally important to still show love and affection to your spouse. We sometimes get so caught up in the moments with our baby that we accidentally neglect our spouse. Even if you just have someone come over while your baby sleeps in the swing while you step out on your porch for 15 minutes with your spouse, it’s worth it. Share the love so they know they are appreciated too!
I know the first month home from the hospital can be stressful and sleep-deprived, but looking back, I would do anything to live that month all over again, to smell that newborn smell on my baby’s face, to soothe them back to sleep all during the night and to watch my husband’s eyes fill with tears as our little one made his first noises. Enjoy these moments! They are priceless.