We need all the help we can get when we become parents for the first time, and that first couple of months is a major shock to the system, and it’s then that we realize that we could have prepared better or been a bit more organized. But the feeling of flying by the seat of your pants in those first few months is very natural, and you soon become settled in a routine of sorts. Wouldn’t it be easier if someone gave us a care package that helps us ease into the process on the first few months as a parent better? So, here is the ultimate care hamper that you should prepare before your little one is born, not just to help your baby, but help you too!
For The Baby
The ultimate package for looking after your baby in those first two weeks is, surprisingly, very simple. The first thing to decide on is if you are planning on breastfeeding or not, in which case if you are, food is sorted! If not, you will require formula, but also, you need to be prepared for common baby issues during the first two weeks, colic being one of them. So, think about getting colic drops, like Infacol, as well as diapers, lots of diapers! It’s better to get the pull-up diapers, rather than the taped ones. This will be a lot easier in the middle of the night when you’ve not slept! Also, a handy hint, if you have major issues at 4 in the morning trying to put on a diaper the right way, they usually have a picture on the diaper of something like a sheep, printed on the front and the back, the face-on view of the animal is the front! This will save you a lot of anxiety in the middle of the night, believe it or not! During the first few weeks, you will be surprised how much waste comes out of one human being! The same applies to the amount of mess that they can make, from puke to urine, as well as the dreaded poop. This means, lots of wet wipes, muslin cloths, and many different changes of clothes for the baby. In addition to this, the baby’s hygiene is something that you need to think about, although for the first couple of weeks, there is no need to bath the baby. After this, there can be a myriad of problems with regards to picking the right products, because some bath products can cause issues for your baby’s skin. So, it’s always best to pick the gentle organic versions of products. A product like Mustela foam shampoo for newborns is made from natural products and has been used for common newborn issues, such as cradle cap. Also, “rash” is going to be the word you will say more than anything in those first few months, so invest in a good quality emollient.
Unsurprisingly, the lack of sleep means you’re going to be feeling like you’re running on fumes. And as easy as it is to say that you sleep when the baby sleeps, it isn’t always feasible, especially if you have the midwife coming to visit, or you’ve got relatives wanting to see the baby (yet again). Especially during the first two weeks, you will feel waves of emotion, high and low. It’s for this reason alone that caffeine can be a help, but can also be a hindrance. And so, if you thoroughly expect coffee to be your friend during the first couple of months, go for something dark and strong, but is easy to make. And on the topic of hot drinks, you will find that the first sip of your hot beverage may be 20 minutes after it was prepared, meaning that it’s very likely gone cold! So, insulated mugs are a lifesaver, as these keep liquids hot for a good couple of hours! Unsurprisingly, survival and functionality are what you need from your food, so if you can find meals that are healthy and quick to eat, you are onto a winner. The one thing to do before the baby is born, and as part of the nesting routine most expectant mothers go through, you could make meals that you can portion up and freeze. At least, this way you don’t need to think about preparing a healthy meal from scratch. Also, you need to avoid the temptation of reaching for the takeaway menu, as well as indulging in sugary snacks, as nice as they are when you are thoroughly exhausted! Instead, if you want to go for a sugary snack that gives you energy, go for the paleo bars that are very popular now, or you can make your own, they usually consist of nuts, seeds, and the main ingredient is usually dates. You can prepare these and freeze them. Also, fat bombs are another lifesaver, and there are various recipes for fat bombs online. But, you need as much energy as you can get during these difficult few weeks, and also, it’s important to try and keep your brain as stimulated as possible. As you are spending a lot of time doing midnight feeds or getting up with the baby, you need some form of entertainment to keep you occupied, and, more importantly, to stop you falling asleep when the risk of cot death is so high at this time. This means you need some form of stimulation to keep your brain active, and this is dependent on your own tastes. Something that seems to be useful is something like music documentaries or something that you can dip in and out of. The benefits of something like a music documentary that there are plenty of songs to keep your mind ticking over, but you don’t necessarily need to follow the story. But there are a multitude of documentaries on Netflix.
By getting these items together, it will make a smoother transition into parenthood. But remember, it’s never going to be easy, and it never was meant to be easy. But remember, the first couple of months are most definitely the hardest. Once you have got over the lack of sleep and the overall shocks to the system, you begin to find your feet and truly enjoy life as a parent.