***Following this post I made some amendments & additions not just for bringing home your first baby, but also subsequent kiddos. Click here for those updates***I have said it many times: I am a planner. I have a list for everything and I look forward to crossing things off. My life runs on lists folks. While I was busy making lists of things to get ready for when Dutch arrived, I forgot that there were many things that I needed to do to get myself ready to bring a newborn home. Seems obvious right?! Well it completely slipped my mind….let’s call it mommy brain. Okay? Additionally, there were many things that I didn’t know that I needed to add to my list simply because I’ve never been a mommy before and I had no idea what it was like to bring a baby home from the hospital. Today I’m sharing the things that I either had and was SO GLAD that I had, or things that I WISHED I had ready when we first brought Dutch home from the hospital.
1. Mother’s Milk- This organic tea is great! It helped my milk to come in within 45 minutes, and it also helps promote healthy lactation. Put this in your hospital bag and start drinking it as soon as your baby is born (not before your baby is born though). I am still drinking 2 cups a day, with 2 tea bags in each cup.
2. AfterEase- After birth, your uterus contracts when you nurse and it feels like labor pains. I used these natural drops in my water to help with those pains and I never had the painful post-birth uterine contractions. Also add this to your hospital bag.
3. Motherlove Nipple Cream- I was nervous about Dutch consuming chemicals so I used this natural lanolin for the first couple days that I was nursing, and I never experienced nipple pain and I felt comfortable with Dutch consuming it. Another plus is that it didn’t stain my clothes like many other lanolin nipple creams do.
4. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Spray- This perineum spray was also a great natural spray to help with healing and cooling The V-Downtown post-birth. Add this to your hospital bag…..you’ll thank yourself after birth (I PROMISE!)
5. Stamps- I know you might think this is a little weird, but it is a nice convenience. As soon as you bring your baby home you will start getting flowers, gifts, and meals that you will need to write thank you notes for. You will not want to take a trip to the Post Office just for stamps with a newborn. Just purchase a book of stamps to use once the baby arrives.
6. Digital Clock- The Mr. & I share an alarm clock and it sits on his nightstand. When we brought Dutch home I had to keep asking him what time it was with every feeding in the middle of the night. He never said that he was bothered by it, but I was annoying myself by constantly having to ask for the time. I ordered this really small, well-lit, digital clock to put on my nightstand. I purchased another one to put in the nursery so that I didn’t have to lug my cell phone around. Occasionally I would forget my cell phone and would hate to interrupt a feeding just to asses the length of feedings. This clock made life easier.
7. Nightlights- This was also something that just made life easier. I put more nightlights in the bedroom, the nursery, and the hallway in between those rooms. After Dutch falls asleep and I’m moving him in the middle of the night, I do not like taking the chance of waking him by turning on lights. The nightlights have helped out tremendously.
8. LARGE Feminine Napkins- When I say “large” I really mean HUGE! I don’t think I need to provide an explanation here. Lochia is a real thing.
9. Batteries- Before you head to the hospital have all baby products assembled and batteries installed. Read the instructions and know how everything works. You don’t want to have a crying baby in the middle of your first night home and pull out the swing to use only to discover that you need 4 C batteries. Have everything ready to go.
10. Breast Pump Instructions & Accessories- Even if you plan to breast feed you’re going to want to have your pump accessories ready to go when you get home to help encourage your milk to come in. This means that you need to read through the pump manual so you know how it works so when you’re sleep deprived you can be as educated as possible. Have your pump parts sanitized for that first usage when you return home from the hospital. Be sure that all bottles and bottle nipples are BPA- free and latex-free. If you’re worried about the cost of a breast pump, remember that because of the Affordable Care Act most insurances will give you a pump for free, so call them before you purchase anything.
11. Bottles- Sterilize one set of bottles for when you get home with your bambino. You do not want to spend time cleaning bottles when you don’t have to. I say to only sterilize one set of bottles because every baby is different and prefers different bottles. Until you know which brand your baby prefers just sterilize one set, that way you can return the others, or start going through your stash. We use the Comotomo Natural Feel bottles because they feel so close to the breast. We have not had any nipple confusion with these so far.
12. Diaper Bag- I know that you don’t need to take your diaper bag with you to the hospital, but you will need it for your first outing, which might be to the see the pediatrician a few days after you get home. I promise you don’t want to take the time to figure out what goes in a diaper bag before that first appointment because you will be late for the appointment. Here is what I have in my diaper bag.
13. Hospital Bag- Duh! Obviously you should pack this before you head to the hospital. Here is what I had in my hospital bags for me, the Mr., & Dutch.
14. Nursing Tops & Yoga Pants- You need A LOT of these! Like waaaaaaaaay more than you think you need. I only had 3 of each and I go through that in like 2 days. Milk leaks and sprays even with nursing pads and babies spit up, so you will need several of these. I just ordered 6 more online. Here is a list of my favorite nursing tops.
15. Car Seat- This is another “duh”! Have your baby’s car seat installed by 35 weeks and have it assessed to make sure that it is installed properly. More than 70% of car seats are installed incorrectly, so make sure your car seat is safe for bambino! Here is a link where you can type in your zip code to find the closest places to have your car seat assessed. Fire stations are no longer certified to do the inspections, so make sure you take your vehicle to be inspected by a certified location.
16. Laundry- Wash all clothes, sheets, towels, nursing cover, etc. that you are certain you’re going to use for your baby when they get home. Again this will help you to be prepared for when you welcome baby at home. Leave tags on things that you’re not totally sure that you’re keeping that way you can return or exchange it later. Doing baby laundry was my absolutely favorite baby preparation "project" and even though I do about 3 loads of his laundry a week now, I still love it. I am in love with how those little clothes smell.
17. Freezer Meals- Once the baby comes home you wont have time to be fixing a gourmet meal, let alone a meal at all. Cook ahead of time and freeze meals in smaller containers so that you can pull food out when you need it. This has saved me so much over the past 4 weeks. Ideas include: soups/stews, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, chicken spaghetti, spinach rolls, casseroles, marinated chicken, chicken pot pie, and waffles (don’t forget about breakfast!).
18. Finish off the Registry- When all of your showers are finished and you’re getting close to your due date, take all of those gift cards you have received and purchase the remaining items off your registry that you know you’re going to want when the baby arrives. Use your registry as a checklist.
19. Baby Announcements- Even though the baby hasn’t arrived and you don’t have your newborn pictures yet, go ahead and pick out your baby announcements. This way you don’t have to spend a lot of time going through various websites finding your favorite and you can just plug in your images once the baby arrives. It’s much faster this way, and it will give you something easy to research while you are waiting for your baby to arrive.
20. Stool Softener- I know this is TMI, but I PROMISE you want this. The first few times post-birth are scary without it! If you have a c-section you wont have a bowel movement for about a week (not because you’re constipated but because your organs have been shuffled around), so your doctor will probably write you a prescription. Don’t take this lightly…..take the medication!
21. Wipe Warmer- I was gifted a wipe warmer and set it on the changing table for when we got home… EXCEPT it was empty when we arrived home. If you have a wipe warmer put wipes in it. I know this seems obvious but I forgot & Dutch has a fancy boo-tay and prefers his wipes to be warm.
22. Amazon Prime & Amazon Mom- If you don’t have a membership already then you NEED to do this today. Once the baby arrives it will be a challenge to get out of the house sometimes, and you can’t beat free 2-day delivery, not to mention all of the money you can save on products and movies you can watch. If you purchase a Prime membership then you’re Mom account will be free. Just do this! In fact, even if you’re not expecting you should do this!
23. Pet Care- Not only should you prepare your pet as best as you can for the baby (my tips are here), but also make sure that someone is taking care of your pets while you’re at the hospital. This way your hubby doesn’t have to worry about coming home to care for the pets while you’re getting to know your new baby.
24. Individually Wrapped Snacks- Have a nice stock of snacks (e.g. granola bars, trail mix, goldfish, etc.) and sandwich fixins’. You will be starving if you’re nursing and you wont have time to make a snack so you will want something that you can grab fast.
25. Tissues- Lots of tissues! I’m not a crier……or at least I wasn’t before Dutch, and now with my hormones trying to rebalance themselves I cry a lot; happy-cries of course but still a lot of crying going on. Get some new and soft tissues for when the water works start flowing.