So you are expecting your baby and are on your designated maternity leave. While there are a hundred different things you may want to do during your maternity leave, let us present you with a quick list. Here are essential things to do and buy in your maternity leave.
Get help for the first week
There is no need to be a power mom for the first week. The most important thing is to recover from the exhaustion of labor. Get your friends or family (or both) for at least the first three days.
Maybe your significant other is good at changing diapers, or it may be your mom or a close friend. Get a person whose strength is one important task. There should be a person for diaper changing, one for shopping, one to occupy the baby while your rest or do your tasks.
Quick tip: Make a list of all the required regular shopping both for you and your baby before the baby arrives. You don’t want to forget things when sending others for shopping.
Bassinets for babies cannot be stressed enough. Newborns sleep a lot. It is, therefore, the natural choice to choose a good bassinet for your infant. Many young parents tend to buy cribs directly. Cribs tend to take up a lot of space, and while you may think your nursery is big enough, the baby stuff will take up all the space before you know it. Cribs are also more expensive than bassinets.
Their smaller size also makes bassinets more portable. Choose a bassinet with a hood or cover so your baby can sleep perhaps even in the living room during the day. Many parents want their newborn to sleep in the same room, but since it is unsafe to have the baby sleep in your bed, a bassinet will do fine.
Quick tip: choose your bassinet to be easily cleanable or washable as well. Babies can be a mess, sometimes.
Setting Up the Nursery
Assuming you have already babyproofed your home, let’s quickly go through the essentials for your baby nursery. We have already covered a baby bassinet that you may one day replace with a crib.
The next item on our checklist is a baby mattress that fits for your bassinet size. Choose a firm flat mattress that leaves less than an inch on the sides. Bedding Essentials include sheets and light blankets.
You also need a changing table with a diaper stand preferably nearby. Avoid changing babies in the bassinet or crib. A toy basket or similar container for your babies toys is good. Don’t leave toys lying around!
The most overlooked item in the nursery is a rocking chair. You will be spending a lot of time soothing your baby in the nursery. If possible, buy a rocking chair for the nursery. Thank us later!
Quick tip: don’t forget a dim nightlight for the nursery and curtains for the window.
Baby Bathing Essentials
So your nursery is all setup, there is only one more big essential: a baby bathtub. Some parents tend to choose the unsafe way to bathe babies in their tubs or even in small sinks. Get a nice and good bathtub for your child.
Some bathtubs have built in the soft surface for your child. Hard plastic can hurt a baby sometimes, so it’s best to be safe with some cushion. You may even want to buy some customizable bathtubs that can adjust size as the baby grows.
Other than the bathtub, you must buy baby bathing soap/gels, baby shampoo, a moisturizer (oil, lotion, cream) after the bath, soft washcloths, soft towels and other hygiene products. We recommend buy them ahead of time.
Quick tip: familiarize yourself with the bath tub before the baby comes. Try the bathtub at least twice, and you may even wash a small teddy bear to get the hang of it!
A few others…
You may want to buy a baby car seat, strollers, baby sling/carrier and some other items according to your lifestyle and need. As the baby grows, you will need to look into some baby gates for keeping your baby safe and away from danger in the house.
The final tip: buy a gentle laundry detergent for you baby’s laundry. The softer, the better.