Your baby’s due date is fast approaching and over and above trying to deal with seemingly never ending family, work and personal to-do lists, you still need to prepare the nursery and make sure all is ready for baby’s much anticipated arrival.
The best time to go through the checklist is a month before the due date. If you were fortunate enough to be given a baby shower, you have probably received most of the small items that are needed for a newborn baby.
- Cot: Although this is not an immediate, essential item for a newborn baby, it should form part of the basic nursery furniture. Most parents feel comfortable moving a baby into a cot at the age of three months.
- Cot linen: The cot will need a bumper and usually the cot linen is sold in a combo that includes the bumper, aerated pillow and duvet.
- Pram: Select a pram that will grow with baby. Most prams include the carrycot and this can be used as a baby bed during the first few months.
- Change station or compactum: This is an essential item of furniture for any nursery. The change unit is used to for nappy changes and to bath baby and it also doubles up as a storage unit for nappies, vests, toiletries, etc. Most compactums have built in baby baths, which prove to be valuable time savers for new mothers.
- Night lamp: This is mostly for mom’s benefit, and will be used extensively during the pyjama parade (the two in the morning feeds and nappy changes).
- Heater: If you are having a winter baby and the nursery is particularly cold, a small heater will take the chill off the air. Don’t leave the heater burning all day as this will dry out the air. Warm up the room before bathing and during night time feeds.
- Baby monitor: A baby monitor offers first time parents peace of mind that their newborn arrival is safe and sound. The baby monitor will alert parents to the baby’s cries.
- Car seat: This is one of the most important items. Be sure to buy a car seat which is SABS approved and that meets all the safety requirements and regulations.
- Sterilising unit and bottles: For the mom who is planning to bottle-feed, a sterilizing unit is a definite must. Other than the water sterilising unit, there are microwavable units and all bottles need to be thoroughly sterilized before they are used for feeding.
- Dummies: To use or not use a dummy is personal choice. Some parents love them and others hate them – if the decision has been made to use a dummy, it must also be sterilized before being offered to the infant.
- Comfortable armchair or rocking chair: A must. Newborn babies require feeding every three to four hours and during the late night feeds, moms will value this comfy feeding chair.
- DÃ©cor: Putting the final touches to the nursery is a delight of all mothers. A baby’s nursery should have a relaxed atmosphere, so it is important to use soft lighting and warm colours.
- Nappies: You can never have enough nappies. During pregnancy try to purchase a pack of nappies (in varying sizes) each month. Disposable nappies are costly and having a good stock of nappies will soften the financial blow.
- Babygros: Have at least ten long sleeve babygros and a few short sleeve gros on hand. They are simple items of clothing that will keep baby warm and comfortable.
- Vests: Ensure that you have enough vests (especially important for winter babies); these are used during the day and night.
- Thermometer: When a baby is ill, the parents need to be prepared. Investing in a good electronic thermometer is a wise choice. Electronic thermometer offer quick and easy-to-obtain results. These devices will be used long after the infancy stage.
- Toiletries: Babies require good quality toiletries. Buy well-known brands like Johnson and Johnson or Elizabeth Annes. Baby skin care lotions and creams will be needed, along with baby shampoo, oil, bum cream, baby soap and powder. Wet wipes (stock up); these will be used during nappy changes. These items can be bought during the pregnancy and put away until needed.
A month before the expected due date, expectant moms are recommended to have their hospital bags packed and ready and their newborn baby’s bag. A list of the necessary items is usually obtained from the hospital – both for baby and for the delivering mother. Basic items that should be packed into the baby’s bag, includes babygros, vests, socks and nappies. For mom’s bag, the common items are pyjamas, a nightgown, slippers, underwear.
– Kathy Baron