On average, U.S. moms and babies stay in the hospital for two days after delivery. This is on the lower end compared with the rest of world. For example, in Italy the average is 3.4 days, in France it’s 4.2 days, and in Hungary, it’s 5 days.
In all countries, once parents head home with their little bundle, they want to be as prepared as can be to welcome baby with ease and in comfort.
To help, we’ve put together a preparing for baby checklist. Keep reading to learn some of the must-have basics you’ll want on-hand and the must-do items to keep baby safe and comfy cozy.
Then, you’ll be ready to get started checking off that list so baby will thrive in your care and your whole family can relax and enjoy this happy time to the fullest.
Make Your List and Schedule
You can’t be too early in preparing for a baby. You can start with this list and add on any items that are important to you. Add in deadlines and timelines. Sometimes it helps to have a baby arrival calendar that includes tasks from your list.
Begin early on the items that need some research, time, and footwork, like your birth plan, your nutritional plan, your caregiver needs, and learning how to put in your car seat properly.
There’s plenty of information on newborn care so ask questions, read up, and make decisions that feel right for you. You can always adjust as needed when baby arrives, and because you did your research, you’ll be informed on how to adjust. You’ll also be savvy on where to get more information.
In the first few months, you don’t need that much to take care of baby but there are a few must-have items. You can also get the items that you don’t need right away so you have them on-hand to make your life easier once baby is here.
Gear You’ll Need Right Away
You’ll need a car seat to drive your baby home from the hospital. Car seats are made to meet state regulations and need to be installed properly for safety.
Car seat installation can boggle the minds of even the most handy parents. The solution: Your local fire department will install it for you.
For ease, you can opt for the car seat that comes out and snaps into your stroller. It’s a good idea to have a stroller ready to go when you come home.
Look at strollers and consider size and compatibility with your car seat. There are some great lightweight options that fit easily in your car trunk.
You’ll need a place for baby to sleep. With a newborn, you may opt for a bassinet placed next to your bed for ease and go with a crib later. This one you’ll want to do your research on.
For your crib, look for a firm mattress.
Be sure to get a diaper bag and clothes hamper too.
Gear That You May Not Need Right Away
There are various types of baby carriers to consider. Sling baby carriers you can use with a newborn. Baby carriers that allow you to wear your baby in a front pack with straps on your waist and over your shoulders are for when your baby is a bit older.
You can change a newborn on a small towel or blanket but as she or he gets a little bigger, you may prefer to use a changing table.
Also, after a few months, you’ll need a small bathtub. They make some handy ones that fit snugly and safely right into the sink.
The time is now to decide on a solid nutrition plan. Learn about breastfeeding and healthy formula for supplementation or full nutrition.
For breastfeeding, learn about technique, what to eat to get the best milk, and breast pumping and formula supplementing.
For your formula, learn about cow milk versus goat milk formula, European formula, and why organic formula makes sense.
Also, stock up on glass bottles for both pumped and formula milk.
Wearables and Cuddly Items
The main thing your baby will be wearing is diapers. Stock up on newborn size before baby comes home and a few of the next size up in case you need it. Some babies don’t stay in the newborn size for too long.
Also, stock up on baby wipes or a few washcloths.
For clothes, the basics include tee shirts, onesies and pajamas. When going for the foot pajamas, opt for the ones that zip or snap down the front and leg to the foot. This will make it significantly easier when changing a diaper.
Also, depending on weather, you may need a cap, jacket and socks.
Also, stock up on bedding, snuggly wrap blankets, and light cotton wraps.
Be sure you have a full bottle or box of scent-free laundry detergent so you don’t have to worry about running out in the first month.
Your Preparing for Baby Checklist
Now that you know the important basics that you’ll want to cover before you bring your bundle of joy home, you’re ready to make your own ideal preparing for baby checklist and start doing the footwork.
You can use our list as your base and add on as needed.
Begin with the items that need some research, like nutrition, for one. You can peruse our European organic formulas and go deep with our baby formula comparison chart.
You’ll find a contact form there as well if you have any questions.
Then, continue down your baby-ready to-do list. You’ll feel fabulous as you tackle each item knowing your baby will be in good hands when it’s done.