As new parents, it can be quite an exciting and scary time navigating parenthood. From thinking about the necessities you need to have on hand before your baby arrives, to safety-proofing your home, and other baby resources you need, it can be an overwhelming process. So, the Good Hands Advice team has made a checklist for you to follow to help make life easier.
What to Consider Before Your Baby Arrives
Purchasing Baby Products
When shopping for baby products, consider borrowing items from your friends and family to save money. However, something to consider is how safe the baby gear is. All new major items such as cribs, baby car seats, swings, playpens and strollers must meet current safety regulations.
Also make sure that the crib, or other infant products you want to buy, hasn’t been recalled. Visit the recalls and safety alerts database.
Other popular baby items you’ll need:
Feeding. Look for items like easy-to-wash bibs, burp cloths, feeding bottles, bottle warmers and bottle sanitizers (if bottle-feeding).
Diapers. You’ll want to stock up on diapers or cloth diapers (depending on your preference). Also, a change pad for the mattress will help make leaks easy to clean. For your newborn, have baby ointment to prevent diaper rashes and disposable wipes or washcloths for cleaning your baby.
Clothing. Today’s Parent suggests the following newborn baby clothes to get you started:
- 8 undershirts or onesies (mix of long and short sleeves) and one-piece sleepers with zippers. Bamboo and cotton are good cloth choices for breathability.
- 5 pairs of pants.
- 2 newborn hats for wearing in the sun and keeping your baby warm in the winter.
- 8 pairs of socks or booties.
- 2 pairs of scratch mittens to keep your newborn from scratching their face.
- 2 cardigans, jackets, and a bunting bag or snowsuit for the winter.
Other miscellaneous gear:
- Bath time items such as an infant bathtub that meets safety standards, washcloths, baby soap or cleaner (choose natural alternatives in case your baby has sensitive skin), hooded towels for drying your baby and a soft hairbrush.
- Bedding. For example, a crib mattress (safety approved), waterproof mattress covers to help protect the mattress and make clean-ups easier, cotton fitted crib sheets, and a sleep sack that meets safety standards.
- Maintenance items like baby nail scissors, a syringe for suctioning mucous if your baby has a stuffy nose, a baby thermometer, and a baby monitor so you can hear your baby from any room.
- Items on-the-go such as a baby carrier, diaper bag, pacifiers (if you choose to use), rattles, other safe baby toys, a crib mobile and a play mat for tummy time.
There are quite a few sleep training methods that parents can try and implement to help their babies to sleep on their own. Every baby is different, and with any method you must be consistent and patient. Parents need to be mentally prepared when trying any of these methods as they can be challenging when hearing your little one cry.
Today’s Parent goes into greater detail on a variety of sleeping training methods. Talk to your baby’s pediatrician about what is right for your child.
Understanding Developmental Milestones
Baby Center Canada has a newborn to 12-months-old calendar that goes into detail on the variety of milestones your baby will go through. The first year is an exciting time for both the parent and the baby and although the days seem to feel long for the parents, the time goes by quickly, so embrace every moment.
Breast milk is naturally produced so your baby is less likely to be exposed to foreign allergenic material. It also contains antibodies and other immune factors that help prevent illness and it has the right amount and quality of nutrients to meet your baby’s first food needs.
While the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends exclusively breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of life, it’s not always possible for some mothers to breastfeed. Therefore, you should always speak to your doctor and get the support you need to ensure you are doing what is right for yourself and your baby.
This is a method of introducing your baby to solids (at roughly 6-months-old) that bypasses spoon-feeding and purées in favour of your baby feeding themselves. The goal is for babies to develop a healthier relationship with food. For more information and the pros and cons of this method, check out Today’s Parent or speak with your doctor.
Safety tips for Baby-Proofing Your Home.
Safety throughout the home during the child-rearing years is always a concern for parents, so here are some common household items that may pose a safety risk and 10 tips on child-proofing your home.
Understanding What Resources Are Available to You.
Unfortunately, there is no manual for new parents as every child is different. But there are lots of books and resources that parents can take advantage of such as:
- Today’s Parents – offers a Canadian perspective on pregnancy, parenting, and family life.
- BabyCenter Canada – provides resources and information on pregnancy, baby development, and parenting.
- Canadian Paediatric Society – outlines reliable information on child health and parenting from a medical perspective.
Ask for Help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have close family and/or friends who are willing to help for a few hours, take them up on the offer. Your mental health is important, and every parent knows that taking a break whether to sleep, shower or just have some alone time can help you feel less overwhelmed adjusting to parenthood.
Consider Life Insurance.
It can often be overlooked when thinking of your newborn, however, ALL parents can act on it.
What is life insurance?
According to our valued partner, Sun Life Financial, life insurance helps your loved ones deal with the financial impact of your death to:
- replace your income to allow your family to maintain their standard of living.
- provide for your children or dependents.
- pay for your funeral expenses.
- pay off your debts.
Parenthood is different for everyone but planning where you can, can help with the journey.
Disclaimer: This information and the websites referenced are provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice. Allstate does not control or guarantee the accuracy of any content on any third-party site. Allstate is not responsible for the privacy practices of any third-party site.