I’ve been on maternity leave for a few days and one of my priorities has been preparing a space for baby and packing all our newborn essentials. Over the last 18months, we have been building our new family home – so the best place (and space) for our new baby, who is due in a few days, is in our master bedroom. In about a months time, we will move into our new house and I’ll get to do this all over again, but it’s not something I will rush, as I’m sure I will be very busy.
I have always been a co-sleeping Mama; you may recall that my daughter only moved to her own room a few months ago. Knowing that I will have a Caesarean section, co-sleeping is going to be the easiest option, given the restrictive recovery period. Over and above that, there are many sleep and emotional benefits to co-sleeping with your child – when done safely.
I have had help moving a few things around, to prepare a baby nest and as usual – I want to share these, in case you will be taking this journey soon. Many items are considered “essentials” and I think this will always be a subjective topic, as family needs and preferences will always differ from one home to the next. In this post, I’ve tried to cover the basics, while keeping it simple and affordable as this is our third baby – the joys of experience!
Not that I will be getting much sleep in the first few months of baby’s life, but one of the first considerations I made was our sleeping arrangements. My priority is making sure that we have a safe space for him to sleep. What worked very well for us last time, was for baby to be in their own cot next to our bed and I’ll be doing the same again. This minimizes the risks of suffocation, while still being close enough for feeds and comfort.
I have bought a Ko-Koon sleeping pod that baby will sleep on, inside his cot. I loved it for a few reasons:
It’s made of merino wool, which is 100% natural and fully breathable. It helps regulate body temperature (keeping baby warm in winter and cool in summer) and it’s portable. It apparently has multiple uses as baby grows, so I’m really keen to try it.
In terms of sleepers, there are many options on the market and I recommend that you do your own research and choose the option that you think is best for you. For example, you could choose to go with a cot, a moses-basket, a co-sleeper or bassinet.
Make sure that baby’s sleeping space is clear of any objects and hazards.
Oh there will be so many of these! You want to make sure that you have a comfortable place to change baby, plenty nappies, wipes, bum cream and a reliable disposable system.
In my view, the most cost effective way around comfortable nappy changes is to get a changing pad, especially if you don’t have the luxury of space or like me, the option of buying a new compactum with a separate changing station. These changing pads usually come with a washable cover and they double as bathmats. They are light and give you the flexibility of moving from room to room.
We will be using the TommeeTippee Simplee Sangeni nappy disposal system. It holds up to 18 nappies and completely blocks odour, in an antibacterial film.
Here’s to retaining that fresh baby scent in my room!
Surprisingly, little humans have a lot of stuff! From toiletries, to clothing, blankets and all the accessories that make our lives as parents easier. Having this storage space, like chest of drawers or a compactum will allow you to keep all your baby essentials close-by. I will be reusing my daughters chest of drawers, which she initially wasn’t too keen to give up.
Baby Room Extras:
Night light – newborns typically wake up every 3 hours for a change and feed. To help baby to differentiate between day and night, you would need to keep your room well-lit during the day and dark at night. During the night-feeds, you want to keep your bedroom dim, while still being able to see what you are doing, so a nightlight becomes a great tool. I will be attaching our GroLight to my bedside lamp. It attaches to any normal light fitting and allows you to adjust your nightlight brightness.
Monitor – as a new mom, you will probably be concerned with baby’s safety and breathing; a monitor gives you an opportunity to keep “an eye and ear” on baby in this regard. The monitor we have, is currently being used in my toddlers room, because she still has nights where she wakes up and calls for us. However, during the day, we will use it for baby, when we’re in separate rooms.
Thermometre – temperature plays a very important role in a baby’s sleeping area; this is because babies cannot regulate their own temperature in their early days. I have been raving about the GroEgg2 which gives parents an indication of a room’s temperature, from a glance. The Gro-egg changes colour to let you know whether the temperature of a room is too low, too high or just right, helping you maintain a safe sleeping environment for your baby. The only challenge I’m having at the moment is getting my daughter to accept that its for baby and not her.
Humidifier – with the sinus issues in our home, this is more of a necessity and game-changer when it comes to preventing nasal congestion. If you’re using a panel or oil heater in your room during winter, the humidifier will replace the humidity (water) in the air and allow you and baby to sleep better. In a room with a child, a cool mist humidifier is said to be safer. Please speak to your doctor or pediatrician about this.
Toiletries and other essentials:
These are the items that I want to have within quick reach, so I have packed them in the first drawer:
Bath wash and body lotion – Johnson’s Cotton Touch range is the new and ultra-gentle range that was created with delicate newborn skin in mind. It’s made with real cotton (for its soft and gentle properties) and smells absolutely divine. Read more about it in this post.
Diapers – I’ve always been a Huggies mama with all babies. I’ve been stocking up at sales over the last few months and Huggies also sent me a seeding hamper. Newborns need a nappy change about 10-12 times per day.
Breastpads – I’m praying for a generous milk supply, once my milk comes in, so I have stocked up on a few boxes of breastpads from TommeeTippee. I usually have these lying around everywhere – my handbag, car and nappy bag, just in case.
Nipple and bum cream – sore and cracked nipples are the worst part of the early breastfeeding process, so I wanted to be fully covered in this department. I also have a few options for barrier creams to keep the nappy rashes to a minimum.
Surgical spirts and cotton wool – I have these to gently clean baby’s umbilical cord.
Grooming kit – I’m terrified of cutting baby nails, after once cutting a small piece of my daughters skin by mistake, but it’s an essential because babies nails grow so fast and they just love touching their faces. Most grooming kits contain a hair brush and comb, thermometer, nail clipper, nasal aspirator and a medicine dispenser.
Hand sanitizer – it’s essential to keep your hands and those of any visitors and caregivers clean, especially because my older two children will be back at school and bringing home more germs. PS: Never apply hand sanitizer on a baby’s hands, as most of them contain a high concentration of alcohol.
Baby Carrier – babies love to be held and snuggled and baby wearing is not only a long-standing tradition in many cultures, but one of the best ways to bond with your baby, boost breastmilk production and reduce fussiness and crying. I’m hoping that our Ubuntu Baba stage 1 carrier is going to be a much-loved addition, as the stage 2 was with big sis.
I hope this list of essentials was helpful for preparing your baby room and getting all the newborn essentials.
Did I leave anything out? Please do leave me a comment to let me know what your essentials are.
Modern Zulu Mom