Yay! Congratulations on your pregnancy! Having a baby is a glorious blessing!
So many emotions ran inside me during my pregnancy, in fact literally EVERY emotion did! Besides feeling overjoyed about bringing a child into this world to share with him all the beauty and love there is, I was also very nervous. Nervous about being a mother.
Quickly, I realized that it’s not about me anymore. There is a living human being inside that needs me. This was very overwhelming at first, because this little guy for 9 months drained more than half of everything of me… even more scary to think of, is how on earth do I care for him once he’s out in the world.
It’s a weird feeling to describe, because it was almost bitter sweet. I was aching to meet him so bad that I was looking forward to seeing his face, and holding him in my arms. On the other hand, I was worried that I might do something wrong as a mother. Yes I know, crazy to think about right! But it’s true, so that’s why I wanted to know everything there was about preparing for a newborn because my life was about to change even more in the greatest way!
I wanted to be prepared for my life with a newborn. Which is why I decided to put all my tips together for the moms-to-be out there and hopefully make things easier in those early months!
Now, because there are SOO many things I want to share with you about preparing for having a baby, I had to break it into 2 parts! I will be going in depth sharing every detail and every tip I can think of, so be sure to read my next post! 🙂
#1 Research before Registry
First things first is making sure you have everything you need for your newborn. Begin thinking about what you want on your registry list & the types of items that would be useful. Some important things to consider before registering are:
Most Popular Items:
- bouncer or swing– This was unbelievably difficult for me to choose between, because there are so many out there and they keep coming up with the new best thing. I had no idea how to choose. Your best bet is to read reviews on products, and word of mouth opinions of those who tried them from friends & family. Yes I had both a bouncer & swing for W and he preferred the swing more than the bouncer. Looking back I could probably do without the bouncer next time around and stick with the swing only. I used the Graco Glider Lite LX Glinder Swing. It was great and worked wonders especially for quick chores, potty breaks, and soothing. It’s also budget friendly, wasn’t bulky, lightweight, had several speeds, a timer and different melodies. I was very pleased with this swing and will probably use it again for the next baby. My other pick was a little more pricey but several people recommended it to me was the Fisher Price Snugapuppy Cradle N Swing. This one goes side to side versus the Graco Glider is front to back.
- carrier– To Have or Not to Have…Must have in my opinion! This is how I got things done hands free. I’ve tried 3 different kinds of carriers all the way from newborn until 7-8 months. I stopped using carriers around 8 months. I used the Moby Wrap and loved it! Takes a little practice but its so snug for baby and it doesn’t take long to master. It’s perfect for newborns-6 months. My next favorite carrier was the Infantino Mei Tai Sash! I used this one the most. I liked how it felt, and it was easier on my shoulders & back once W got heavier plus it came with a detachable hood for outdoors or naptime.
- car seats– I’m a fan of getting an infant car seat first because they are great for newborns and will last you awhile before most babies outgrow them, typically 22-35lbs. I like them because you can click them in & out of the car and tote your baby around! It’s nice to just click the car seat out if your baby is asleep instead of unbuckling out of a convertible seat. Plus its nice to have a infant seat that clicks into a compatible stroller for walks. My pick was the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35.
- strollers– Do you plan on getting some fresh air and going for walks/jogs with baby? If yes, then I like the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect because I used it for walks/light jogs and to venture onto trails plus it was compatible with my infant seat and affordable. It was not as bulky as some of the other jogging strollers, easy to fold up and I still use it today now that W is a toddler so big plus for me!
- crib – The biggest consideration is how you plan to sleep train your newborn. Do you want to start right away in a crib or just purchase one to have when your baby is ready? Do you plan on sleeping baby in a pack n’ play with a bassinet combo or bassinet only, set up next to your bed for the first few months then transition to crib? Do you plan on co-sleeping in bed with you? Doesn’t matter which brand you choose for cribs just as long as it’s safe, nothing but a sheet basically and maybe a breathable bumper. I went the pack n’ play with bassinet route then crib that transformed into a toddler bed. I figured it would be easier to wake up during night feedings and nurse in bed then lay him back down. This actually worked out nicely for the first 3 months until I began transitioning W to his crib and that’s when things got hairy. Due to sleep deprivation and lack of discipline, he ended up in bed with me most nights. Next time around, I plan on going straight into crib sleeping from the beginning and breastfeed in the nursery. It will take some strength on my part but having a newborn sleep through the night at 6-8 weeks will be the ultimate goal!
Before you register, check out my post on FREE BABY STUFF!
- baby monitor– I wholeheartedly feel a monitor is needed on the registry, but it is an optional choice for parents. Will you be able to hear your newborn when he/she cries? Do you want to see what your baby is doing? You can always crack the door open and check up on your infant as many times needed, whatever makes you feel more comfortable. I personally opted for the video monitor because I like to see whats happening. I didn’t feel it was necessary for us to have all the bells and whistles because I wasn’t planning on tuning in with my smartphone, or other devices, but some people like that doing it that and more power to them. I simply use the traditional video monitor from Infant Optic DXR-5 and it’s worked great for what we need it for. Another popular video monitor is the Summer Infant View Digital Color Video Monitor.
- changing table- Decide whether you need a changing table, changing pad on top of a dresser, or none at all. Some people actually change your newborn anywhere its convenient for them and keep a handy diaper basket near by. But having a table offers storage options and is easily accessible. There are some really nice changing tables with drawers out there and are a space saver. With W, I used a changing pad and had a diaper tote next to it for easy grabbing without bending down. Some people go ahead and purchase a dresser with a topper set included. They really are quite popular and eye catching in a nursery.
- high chair– first off you won’t need a high chair until about 4-7 months depending on when your baby is ready to try purees. It’s still a popular item people add to their registry, but it can also be held off. If you do hold off, there are so many places you can buy used high chairs. The question is, do you want a standalone highchair or a space saver that clicks onto your dining chairs. I have tried a standalone high chair and liked that it was easy to fold for storage but I have a soft spot for space savers. Fisher Price and Graco are good to choose from.
- portable playard– There are way to many benefits for getting a playard. They make some pretty nifty playards now. Some have a changing station, and/or bassinet included with music and even hanging toys. I used one during the first 4 months next to our bed. I figured having the bassinet combo would come in handy during bedtime especially since I was breastfeeding. If you plan traveling with your baby in the future, or weekends with grandma, a simple playard like the one pictured is also great to have as backup.
Baby Clothes Tips:
Most new moms love buying baby clothes, believe me I know I did. Before you stock up on cute little outfits, wait to see what you get at your baby shower. After I added countless clothes on my registry, I was told by my mom friends that its best not add clothes on the registry. If you do it’s better to plan ahead and ask for varying sizes 3-6 months and 6-12 months. Baby clothes are so stinking adorable that your guests will be showering you with newborn or 0-3 months sized clothes.
After your baby shower, sort out all your newborn’s clothes in totes by sizes so you can get an idea on what you still need. I like to check to see if there is enough clothes for the next season and next size up. This way if any family members ask if you need anything, you can inform them.
Maybe you have a friend or family member that can pass down their kids outgrown clothes to you.
If your still looking for clothes… look up when your area is having their next consignment sale. I love stocking up on the kids clothes at these sales! Look into facebook baby & kids swap pages, they are always selling baby clothes in lots.
Registering for diapers, wipes & gifts cards to target/amazon is a smart move! Even more so, see if you can add a note on your registry asking for giftable diaper subscriptions as well. Once you get a good estimate on all the diapers you received from your shower, you might need to stock pile a little bit before your newborn arrives. Rule of thumb is don’t get anything larger than size 3 diapers right now.
Typically speaking, a newborn can go through 8-10 diapers a day. Pass up buying newborn sizes because most infants can go straight to size 1. Here’s what you need in your diaper stock pile to start out:
- 8-16 jumbo pk. of Size 1 (.11-.14 per diaper)
- 6-13 jumbo pk. of Size 2 (.14-.16 per diaper)
This should last you about 3-4 months or so.
Once your baby hits size 2, go ahead and start getting size 3 diapers. These will last quite awhile so roughly 28 jumbo pk. (.16-.19 per diaper)
You can save some money if you subscribe and save with Amazon Mom for a 20% discount (look to see if you can use an amazon coupon too). You can save by buying in bulk with a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club too! Also, go ahead and jump on diaper sales at drugstores and Target. *Always get on the stores & diaper brand rewards programs that you buy from for added offers.
#2 Stock- Up
The benefits are endless when you stock up on items when you know your having a baby. Be prepared to be extremely exhausted, and frustrated at times most days. I lived off my pre-baby stockpile for awhile. Life with a newborn will consume you and it will consist of mainly no make-up, wearing the second stained shirt from spit-ups, messy bun, and cold coffee. It’s all worth it moms believe me when I say it gets better. As moms we kinda automatically sacrifice ourselves for our family, but as time goes we learn to take time for ourselves. Your best bet is head to a warehouse store for all items or split up your shopping to fit your budget. Stocking up on bulk items early will most definitely help you survive the early months with baby, especially when your not quite ready to get out and shop with baby.
- freezer meals-MAJOR LIFE SAVER! I hardly had the time to cook, and when I did I rarely felt up to the task all I had to do was throw one into the crockpot and boom done! I would get together with my bestie and all Saturday afternoon we would have fun making batches of freezer meals!
- baby items– 4+ cases of wipes, & diaper genie refills
- postpartum care–
- diy soothing popsicle pads (find more in my hospital bag checklist)
- tylenol (safe for nursing), women’s multivitamins and I highly recommend looking into placenta encapsulation.
- big box of nursing pads
- milk storage bags
- food items–
- coffee, coffee, and lots more coffee! If you use creamer, grab some dry creamers they last longer. Extra sugar.
- Stock up on your favorite recipe ingredients for easy one pan meals like tacos, spaghetti, etc. like noodles (egg, penne, spaghetti), broth, potatoes, rice, beans, tortillas.
- freeze-cut up veggies (peppers, carrots, celery), bags of shredded cheese, large chunks meat (hamburger, roast, pork chops, lunchmeat), loaves of bread, fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries-perfect for quick smoothies) and even gallons of milk.
- You can be even more proactive and take a day to make ahead more meals to freeze like breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, and some casseroles dishes.
- Water bottles, (Price Chopper’s 24pk goes on sale a lot for 1.99- limit is 2, but come back as much as you want each day until the sale is over for more water) or purchase a nice Brita water filter pitcher.
- home goods–
- disinfecting spray/wipes
- dishwasher liquid
- dryer sheets ( free & clear)
- laundry detergent (use ALL Free Clear brand, dye & perfume free for new baby) Pre-wash clothes 2 months before baby- no need to spend extra on expensive baby detergent.
- large bags of pet food/extra container of litter & treats
- freezer bags
- foil/plastic wrap
- hand soaps/bottle of refillable soap
- plastic cutlery
- paper towels
- paper plates
- toilet paper
- body wash/gel
- makeup (mascara, foundation, concealer etc)
I’d love to hear if Part 1 of Life with a Newborn has been helpful to you!
The next post in this series will have even more tips including a newborn sleep/feed schedule, must-have newborn survival products, breastfeeding advice & support, and more mommy hacks to simplify your life with a newborn!