4. What supplies do you really need?
Its hard to know what you are going to need in those early, newborn days but luckily there is still plenty of time to send runners out to get it even after bubby is born. The reality is that the pram, the cot and the automatic baby wipe warmers are not it, (although its still nice to already have these things sorted.)
Have you thought about what you are going to wear postpartum? Sounds funny but access is important, seeing as how you could be spending anywhere from six to 12 hours a day nursing you aren’t going to want to be doing cotton gymnastics every time you need to get easy access to your boobs. Lots of mums find shirts that button or zip down the centre are a lot more comfortable than having a long style dress or shirt to pull up or down. A good, comfortable nursing bra a couple of cup sizes more than you ever wished to be are essential and lots of mums rave about nursing singlets that clip open at the straps. They are also good for nursing in public if your shirt is going to be lifted up but you don’t want your newly acquired stretch marks to be on show.
I know a mum who in preparation of the birth of her first child bought only a change table and a pram with a bassinet attachment, maybe a few onsies. Her biggest regret? She hadn’t stock piled premade meals in her freezer! If you have a slow cooker your life will be much easier for you as you can prepare a stew up to the point where you would normally add the liquid, freeze it and then have a handy bag ready to be thrown into the pot with a couple of cups of water at some point in the day (assuming you can tell if it is day but even if not it should be fine) and voilà, stew, curry, mornay, pie whatever. Foil bbq trays are also great for this as you can fill and freeze and then reheat when ready, bonus points for not having to wash up afterwards.
Another important thing to consider here is that whatever may seem easy now will not seem easy after three days without sleep, having a baby and then not sleeping so if you have a breast pump, a baby monitor, car seat or anything which requires assembly or any kind of usage more complicated than pushing a single button then get it out now, while you can still think straight. Play with it and make sure it is working right and safe, you may be surprised how long it can take you to get batteries in the right way when you’ve just had a baby and most times your partner will be just as foggy so you’ll likely have no luck there either (a lot of this ‘baby brain’ actually is a result of hormones and brain changes during birth and pregnancy which is a response that evolved to ensure our species survival, they obviously didn’t have to worry about setting up online grocery shopping back then.
What about creams and cooling gel pads and lansinoh and breast pads and pumps? Surely these are essential ‘breastfeeding tools’? These things are awesome and can be very handy but to be very honest they are not essential for everyone even the Lansinoh (lanolin) it provides a waterproof layer to help your nipples if they are getting sore but dabbing a little breastmilk on your nipples after a feed and letting them air dry can but just as helpful. As long as you have one to two boobs and preferably two arms your newborn will have everything they need right there.
Hello, my name is Celeste. I am a postnatal doula, a breastfeeding counselor and a mother.