I just spent most of the afternoon watching videos on Youtube about how to give a newborn baby a bath and how to properly breastfeed a baby. From watching videos, I went to worrying if I already have EVERYTHING I need for when the baby comes home. Then, I panicked again.
I have been slowly completing my stash, as I mentioned in my Cloth Diaper Stash post. Sometimes I feel like I’ve already got it listed down and I already have a plan, and we’re ready, but then I realize that there’s still so much more to prepare and that the plan is actually all jumbled up. So for this post, I thought of ironing out my plan of getting ready for baby Light by writing them down. Hopefully, other mommies can also find this “process” helpful when they start preparing for their baby, and of course, so will Light.
Where And How To Start Preparing For Your Newborn Baby
I started preparing when I entered my second trimester. I think that buying baby things on your first trimester is too early, specially since you don’t know the baby’s gender yet. Although most mommies I know, especially new moms, choose to buy baby items in neutral colors. That way, their second baby can still use them whatever the gender might be.
So here’s where and how I started preparing for baby Light.
My Care Essentials
My baby care essentials include clothes, diapers, towels, wash clothes and other bathing stuff. Basically what my baby needs to be properly cleaned, clothed and warmed.
We are fortunate because we got a lot of hand-me-down care essentials such as clothes, mittens, socks, and cloth diapers (flat ones) for babies. They are still in good condition. At least we don’t have to spend a lot on clothes that might only be worn once or twice. If you can get a hold on hand-me-downs from relatives, it’s better to wait for what they’ll be handing down to you before you start shopping.
It is also a wise advice not to stock up on many baby clothes since your baby will quickly outgrow them. Some babies will also skip the 0-3 months size. It would be such a waste if your baby can’t use those new clothes you just bought.
There are a lot of references online about the quantity of onesies, mittens, socks, etc. that your newborn needs. I used these links as a guide.
- From Baby Center | What Your Newborn Needs In The First Year
- From Baby Center | Baby And Mom Gear For The First Six Weeks
- From Pinoy Baby | A List Of Essentials To Buy For Baby (For Filipinos)
What I did was sort out what we got from my husband’s relatives. I listed them down so I’ll know what else we don’t have and what else we need. I plan to buy a few of those things we still need and ask some in our baby shower. 🙂
Don’t forget to clean well those hand me downs, too. Since most of what we got where stored for a long time, the white ones sort of turned yellow now. What I did was soaked the whites in Zonrox, washed them with just water, then washed them again using Cycles. The colored ones I soaked with Tide Ultra Original Scent, washed them with plain water then washed them with Cycles, too. I’m not sure how my baby’s skin will react to this. I’ll let you know if she has an allergic reaction to these detergents.
(Update June 15, 2015: So far Light had no skin irritations from the hand me downs. I guess how I washed them were just fine.)
Should you decide to use cloth diapers, I read that you still need to get disposable ones too. This will come in handy when you’re still at the hospital. I’ve already decided to use cloth diapers but we will use disposable ones while we’re at the hospital, so I don’t have to worry about cleaning the cloth diaper ones. Also, so that I can focus more on breastfeeding.
I suggest that we as moms do at least some research on what’s really the essential things our newborn baby will need in her first few weeks or first year of life. You want to be practical and ready.
My Sleeping Essentials
My sleeping essentials are the cribs, crib mattresses, fitted sheets, blankets and bumpers or other crib accessories (if you plan to use them).
My husband and I plan to have two cribs for Light. We wanted two cribs because we plan to use our spare room for Light’s room so we’re going to set it up as a nursery room/visiting room (for when family and friends start to visit) and put a crib there. Then, of course, we need another one in our room since she’ll be sleeping with us for, I don’t know, the first 3 years of her life? 🙂
My aunt already gave us her baby’s old crib. It is actually a nice and sturdy crib. It’s one of those made from wood and not really easy to move around. So we got another one, which will be a combination of crib and playpen. We ordered the Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard With Reversible Napper And Changer from Amazon. The reviews on this one were actually good. I also saw the actual product in the department stores here in the Philippines. We chose this because (aside from the price) on my first few weeks after giving birth, I will be staying with my parents. This 2in1 crib will be easy to bring around when we travel. I also liked the reversible napper and changer. Since we have limited space in our bedroom, there’s no place to put another changing table. At least this already has everything. 🙂 It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m really excited to review it.
It’s our first time to order “big” items from Amazon. We ordered online because it was half the price, even with the shipping fee. We also found this company who can bring the item straight to our doorstep. When you live here in the Philippines, you know how the customs can be such pains in the butt! So the process was I order online, anywhere, then have the item shipped in the company’s U.S. address, then have them ship it to my address here in the Philippines. I hope everything goes smoothly.
We will use the wooden crib in the nursery room and the Graco Pack ‘n Play in our room because it is smaller. We can also move it across the living room if we wanted to.
We didn’t get much old sleeping essentials so next week, my mom and I will be doing some crazy shopping. I’ve already measured the size of the crib’s mattress. I plan to get maybe a couple of swaddle blankets (and hopefully I’ll get a few on my baby shower ^_^). The old crib from my aunt already has bumpers. I’ll check first if they are safe to use. I read that you don’t really need to put bumpers, pillows and other accessories in the crib. Some even think they’re unsafe for a newborn (could cause SIDS). I’ll just use my “mother” instincts regarding this though. 🙂 I plan to get at least 1 set of pillows for Light just in case.
I had a problem with the old crib’s mattress. My aunt had a foam mattress customized for the crib. I read somewhere that old crib mattresses could have bugs or molds in them from the previous occupant’s pee and what have you. Although the mattress looks clean and in good condition, I’m still not sure how well it was maintained. Google to the rescue! I searched for information on how to clean mattresses. Here are some important tips I found.
- Do not soak your mattress in water or any liquid combination (water + alcohol or water + detergent). If not dried thoroughly, will only cause more molds.
- To clean a mattress, use a vacuum cleaner with clean filters. You don’t want to transfer the dirt to your mattress.
- This is how you clean a mattress. First, suck out all dirt by using a good vacuum cleaner. Second, if there are stains, combine water and laundry detergent in a container and spray it on the stained portion ONLY. Use as little liquid as possible. With the use of a sponge, blot (not scrub) that area. Spray again with just water. Let it dry completely. If you just want to clean your mattress, spray water with alcohol on your mattress and BLOT with sponge. Let it dry completely under the sun or use a hair blower.
- It is best to put the mattress under direct sunlight. The sun will act as disinfectant.
- You may use baking soda to get rid of bad odors from your mattress. Simply shower baking soda on top of the mattress, let it stay for maybe 30 minutes, then use a vacuum to suck the powder up.
- Turn your mattress of flip it every 3-4 months. This will even out the wear of the mattress.
My Feeding Essentials
Feeding essentials for me are those breastfeeding accessories I’ll need and everything about feeding Light. I plan to breastfeed exclusively for, at least, the first six months. From the breastfeeding seminars I attended, they recommend mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months. This will give babies more nutrients from the breast milk.
It was, again, fortunate that we got a few feeding bottles, sterilizer, breast pumps, etc. from our relatives. Although, I don’t think I’ll be bottle feeding Light. It’s nice that I didn’t need to buy these things since I’ll be using them only for emergency purposes, just in case my breastfeeding journey becomes a failure (I’m really hoping it goes smoothly). After the first six months, they say that I can already introduce normal food to her.
I’m not sure if I need to use baby dish washing liquid for the feeding things. I did get some samples of Cycles dish washing liquid for bottles and nipples. I’m just going to use up those samples and then use the ordinary ones and see if there’s a difference. I will definitely use a different set of sponge and bottle brush for cleaning the baby stuff.
We also had a “breastfeeding” chair made. I actually wanted a desk/breastfeeding chair. I have my own little “work desk” in our room and I’ve been looking for the perfect chair for it. My husband and I just decided to have a leather chair made that will be my breastfeeding chair and work chair (it’s his birthday gift to me ^_^). Hopefully it will turn out really comfy to use.
Here are some of the things I got that I think would be helpful in my feeding journey.
- Sterilizer (Old School) – I believe this is the type where you dump the bottles into a pot of boiling water after you wash them. I got a stainless steel pot and some thongs for taking the bottles out. This works best for glass bottles. For plastic bottles, you just dip them really quick into the hot water then air dry them.
- Sterilizer (Electric One) – My sister-in-law wasn’t able to use this so technically it’s NEW (yey!). This we will definitely use.
- Breast Pumps (Manual and Electric) – I received two brands and kinds of breast pumps. I got a Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump and Pigeon Electric and Manual Breast Pumps. I’m not sure which brand and type will work well for me so I’ll just ready these just in case. 🙂
- Bottles (Plastic and Glass Ones) – I got a few feeding bottles from my brother-in-law’s wife. Some are well known brands such as Avent. I also got Pigeon glass bottles. I’ll have to replace the nipples, though. Some say that glass bottles are better than plastic bottles. But I also heard from one mother that glass bottles are too heavy for the baby and that she might have a hard time feeding with it.
- Playtex Bottles With Disposable Liners – I think these would be great to use so that we don’t have to clean the bottles so often. I’m just not sure if the disposable liners are still okay to use. They’ve been stored for a few years now. Although they are still in their boxes and sealed, I’m not sure if they remain sterilized for that long. Any idea if I can still use these disposable liners?
- Disposable Bottles Liners – I also received A LOT of these. What I plan to do with them is to use them with the Playtex bottles for storing breast milk (and not for feeding anymore). They are not resealable liners, though. I asked my mommy friend about this and she said that it’s okay to store breast milk like in a bottle, so I’m going to try doing that. If it works well, I won’t have to get a milk storage kit.
- Bottle Warmer (At Home and For Travel) – I’m not sure if we’ll be able to use this if I’m going to direct breastfeed my baby whenever I can. But it’s great that we have this on hand just in case (again ^_^).
- Feeding Utensils And Sippy Cups – Do I need to change the “nipples” of these sippy cup, if they can be changed? Is it okay to use the old ones?
- Breast Pads – These things I heard are really useful since I’ll be leaking milk whenever, wherever! I received some Pigeon brands of breast pads. Are they any good?
My Travel Essentials
My travel essentials are these: baby carriers (at least 2), stroller, car seat and diaper bag. These things cost a lot, especially the stroller and car seat. I’m thankful that we already got hand me downs for these two. I only have to check if they are still in good condition. I think my husband’s sister already gave us one stroller for toddlers and one car seat. I think she will also give us the stroller her daughter used when she was an infant (I hope!). 🙂
Now, this is where I get really excited. Baby Carriers! I just love the idea of carrying my baby. I didn’t research much on these baby carriers, though, but just ask my mommy friend Char from Yellowyum. I gave her a ring sling type of baby carrier on her baby shower because she requested for it. I saw her and her husband use it with their baby and they loved it. They found it really useful. So I plan to get one ring sling type of baby carrier too. Actually, it’s in my baby shower gift list. 🙂
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They also got a pouch type of baby carrier. It’s the one they use now that their baby is a year and half years old. I won’t be getting the pouch type though because I feel like it’s constricting. Unlike the ring sling which you can adjust easily.
I also bought (finally something I bought LOL) the K’tan Baby Carrier from My Baby Dragon. My sister-in-law researched on this and said that it was one of the most used baby carriers. At first, I wasn’t too keen on getting this wrap around type of carrier because I feel like it’s too hot to wear, especially with your baby inside. It didn’t look like it was easy to wear. Also, there’s a size. You and your partner may not be able to use the same one. But she said that it was one of the best and when Tiffany from My Baby Dragon showed me how to use it, and when I felt the organic type of K’tan, it was actually easy to wear and the cloth was not that thick. Plus, my husband and I have the same size so he can use it too.
Some of the things I considered when getting a baby carrier.
- Is it easy to wear, especially if you don’t have someone to assist you?
- Is the cloth “breathable” when your carrying your baby?
- Will it fit me and my husband?
- How durable is it? How long will I be able to use it?
- Is it easy to clean?
- Is it easy to carry around (too bulky or heavy for travel)?
My General Cleaning
I will be doing a general cleaning of the house. I plan to do this maybe early November. Of course I’ll be needing some help. I imagine I’m still going to get bigger by then, but hopefully, I can still move around.
This is actually one of my problems. I don’t want to do the cleaning too early because it will only get dirty by the time we bring home Light. But if I waited until I’m nearly due, I’ll be too big to move around. So how do other pregnant women do it? Any tips or suggestions? Share ’em in the comment section below. 🙂
I really want to make sure that the house is clean enough for the baby. Nowadays, I hear a lot of mothers talk about their baby’s allergies. Babies have allergies to food, dust, detergents, soaps… there’s just too many factors, and if you’re not lucky, the doctor might not be able to even tell which ones are causing your baby’s allergies.
After the general cleaning, I’m really excited to start decorating Light’s room. I’ve already got a lot of pegs for her room. Of course, Light’s room won’t look like those. I have to work with what we already have. Anyway, here are some of the nursery room interiors I really like. 🙂
Do you have any tips on how to prepare for your newborn? Any comments on my “process” of preparing for the coming of baby Light? Please do share them in the comments section below. I would love to hear and learn from you!
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Tom dinning says
Hiya, I’ve just started following your blog, it’s great!
I have a little boy who’s nearly two, I loved the whole planning process before he arrived. It looks like you have everything covered! And more! Can’t think of anything else you would need really.
You could make yourself a little pamper kit so after the baby’s born you can have a really relaxing timeout to de stress when you get a break when the baby’s napping?
That’s a great idea! I let my wife figure all those out. I just stay quiet and keep my thoughts to myself (…babies need that much stuff?!)
My biggest responsibility now is to get that hospital bag prepared so we’d have everything and wont stress out once we go to the hospital.
Thanks for dropping by! Now I need to prepare myself…to clean turd everywhere…IF my daughter acts like your son LOL!
Crossing my fingers…PLEASE DON’T!
Stethoscope Guide says
After having two babies with one on the way, you are definitely well-prepared. And I really like that sling.
Thanks! We’re excited to use ours!
I hope you could’ve used your real name though 🙂
It’s really exciting to take preparation for a newborn. in this regard one thing I would like to state that precaution for baby’s sickness is an important issue. Though I had taken all the measures to keep my little one in a good health, could not safe him from the diaper rashes those appeared onto the bottom of my baby and made annoyed the baby very much. It the stage of first few months what steps actually should be taken for baby’s diaper rash removal. Thanks for your nice post.
Nikki Cledera says
Hi! You mentioned you ordered a Graco Pack n Play through Amazon and used a company’s US address and had it shipped to the Philippines. I’m planning to do the same but I’m just wondering, what was the forwarding company you used and approximately how much was the shipping rate and tax you paid? Appreciate your response! 🙂
Hi Nikki. I used POBox(dot)ph. I can’t remember how much the forwarder charged me, but in total, I think compared to buying the items here, I saved about 3-4K. I have to say that it was a gamble because I didn’t know how much the forwarder was going to charge me especially since my items did not fit their standard boxes. I had to ship it to them first before they can calculate the total charges. It could’ve gone the other way and I could’ve ended up paying more haha.
Mrs Money Saver says
Wow! Very well prepared for newborn baby things. You can also consider buying things with discounts so that you can save money. 🙂
Yes definitely. Mommies should be on the look out for mommy events where some items can be bought at a discount. 🙂