There are a few essentials every new baby will need upon coming home from the hospital, and I’ve compiled a short list of several of those essentials in hopes of helping new dads everywhere be a little more prepared for their journey through daddy-hood.
1. A place to sleep. My wife and I prefer to use a close-by crib or co-sleeper for the first 2-3 months; this is a small crib type bed that can be placed close to our bed in our bedroom, usually on the wife’s side, so that it is easier for breast feeding. As well it is easier for mom or dad to hear the baby and make sure all is OK throughout the night. When Baby is over 3 months old we usually begin the transition into a full-size crib in a nearby space or designated nursery.
2. A place to change the baby. I am a true believer in what I have come to refer to as diaper changing stations. We live in a three-story house, and I insist on a diaper changing station on every floor. It is important to always have a nearby table in the ready position. This means having an inventory control system in place for: baby wipes, diapers, diaper cream, nasal aspirator, baby q-tips, burb cloths, fresh changing covers for the changing pad, onsies, and sleepers. This is important as during the first 3 months mom and dad are quite often up in the middle of the night and when you need to change a diaper you want everything in place ready to go.
3. Diapers and a place to put dirty diapers. It’s as simple as that. You’ll go through an abundance of diapers raising a child, and you won’t want your house to smell of baby poop. I suggest investing in some sort of sealed off diaper trash bin. I love the Dekor Diaper Pail; I have tried most every diaper bin on the market, since I do have 7 kids, and the Dekor is the easiest for me to load and empty. It also keeps the dirty diaper smell to a minimum.
4. A source of food. If your wife decides to breastfeed it is really nice to ask her to pump milk – once she is able to – so you can help with feedings. Feeding Baby allows Dad a chance to further bond with his new baby, and it’ll allow Mom to get a few extra minutes of sleep, too. If you decide to use formula make sure you do research into which formula will work for you and your baby before baby arrives, and keep a stash handy, so you won’t run out.
5. Clothes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for a newborn – especially when shopping for newborn clothes. Let me tell you now: babies grow quickly! You won’t need all that many sets of newborn clothes. I suggest picking up only the essential garments and letting friends and family shower you with all of the cutesy, slightly less than necessary, outfits later on.
As long as you have the essentials you’ll be just fine. You can add to your collection of supplies as your baby grows and changes, too.
Good luck and happy parenting!