Getting ready to have a baby is an exciting time, but it’s only natural to have some worries before (and after) your little one arrives. From nervously awaiting your ultrasound scans to keeping track of your baby’s movements, the whole experience is new and nail-bitingly unpredictable.
Screening tests for you and your baby can bring a little calm to the chaos, and offers some reassurance that your nine-month gestation is going well. Used to detect disorders such as Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome and Spina Bifida, it’s completely down to individual choice whether you decide to have the tests done. Newborn screening in Ontario has recently expanded to include hearing loss risk, and is the first province in Canada to include the test to allow for earlier diagnosis and intervention.
Planning and buying any newborn essentials in advance will also help ease some pregnancy stress, and we’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need to get through the toughest times of parenthood.
When it comes to baby clothes, a newborn will tend to live in all-in-ones and bodysuits for the first few months and don’t often need to wear anything else. A warm, cosy hat is essential in winter, as well as some cardigans for some extra layers when it’s cold. No-scratch mittens are good to have, but can sometimes be tricky to keep on.
It’s recommended that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first six months, and a moses basket or bedside crib is a good option for keeping them within arm’s length for night feeds. Cot sheets will need changing a lot, so make sure you have around three to four of them. As duvets, pillows and quilts aren’t deemed to be safe for babies to use, invest in a cellular blanket to let air circulate or a sleeping bag for particularly wriggly babies.
When you’ve got all those dirty nappies to change, you’ll want a safe and sturdy changing table with a changing pad to stop your baby rolling off. Nappy bins are a great idea for keeping used nappies compact until you can take them outside, while also keeping your home smelling fresh.
Your shopping list for the bathroom should include a baby bathtub, which allows baby to sit in an ergonomic upright position, and baby shampoo, hooded baby towels and a soft baby hairbrush.
If you’re bottle feeding your baby, you’ll need a few things to make sure you’re fully prepared. Around 10 bottles and teats are usually enough, and a bottle steriliser will kill any harmful germs that may be clinging to surfaces of the bottles. A bottle brush will also help remove any dried milk from the tops of bottles and teats before you sterilise. For older babies (more than six months) there are feeding bottles that come with a baby sippy cup with straw in a set that you can buy.
For mums that are breastfeeding, a lactation powder from Love Majka, nursing pads, nipple cream and a couple of nursing bras are essential. Supporting your back with a breastfeeding pillow makes long feeding session a little more comfortable, or used to support your arms as you hold baby. Milk storage bags and a pump are handy if you want to increase milk supply or relieve the pressure on your breasts.