Carrying a baby for nine months is one of the most fulfilling journeys a woman can have. For many of us, this is a time when we find new meaning, purpose, identity, and responsibility.
Excitement aside, many first-time moms may feel daunted by the preparations needed to welcome her newborn. To make things easier, we have put together a Newborn Baby Checklist that will help to guide you throughout the first year of having your child. We have grouped the items into must-haves and nice-to-haves because not everything your friend is posting on social media are necessities!
There is no fixed amount of feeds a baby should have. Different babies consume different quantity of milk. However, a general guide is that babies usually have six to eight feeds per day. They can feed every two to three hours in their first three months of life and every three to four hours from three to nine months of age. Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for newborns. Some mothers may also opt for formula-feeding due to medical reasons or other challenges.
For breastfeeding, the necessities are nursing pillow, nursing bras, nursing pads, burp cloths, and bottles and nipples (if you will be bottle-feeding your breast milk). The nice-to-haves are breast pumps, milk storage bags or bottles, and nipple cream. For bottle-feeding, the must-haves are infant formula, bibs, burp cloths, milk bottles and nipples, bottle and nipple brush, and bottle-drying rack. The nice-to-haves are baby-friendly dish soap and bottle steriliser.
Once your baby starts on solids, you will also need a highchair, and infant feeding bowls and utensils.
If you wish to read reviews on formula, milk bottles, sterilisers and more, go to our feeding review category here.
Bathing, changing diapers, and dressing your newborn may seem challenging initially. Don’t fret, we promise these routines will get easier with a little more practice each day!
Bathing newborns two to three times a week is good enough to keep them clean. The frequency of baths will increase as your baby grows but try not to bathe them more than two times a day as it may cause skin dryness. Things that you will need to bathe a newborn are baby bath wash, baby shampoo, infant bathtub, baby towels, washcloths, brush, and lotion. Nice-to-haves are bath toys, bath thermometer, bath seat or insert, bath stand, and hooded towels. According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should change your newborn’s diaper every two to three hours. When diapering newborns, always remember to pat them dry before putting on a new diaper. This will prevent skin irritation such as diaper rash. Things that are necessary are reusable cloth or disposable diapers, diaper ointment or barrier cream, disposable wipes, diaper bin with lid and waterproof changing pads. Nice-to-have items include diaper caddy (will be handy if you are moving baby around the house a lot) and disposable changing pads.
Babies are dressed differently depending on the season, weather, time and day, and place. Different types of clothing like onesies or bodysuits, rompers, tops, singlets, shorts or pants, pyjamas, swaddles and sleepsuits, newborn hats, socks, and mittens should be on your must-haves list. You may wish to include special outing outfit, sun hats, and shoes (when baby starts to walk) on your nice-to-haves list.
Newborns usually sleep about 14-17 hours a day. They wake every couple of hours to eat. Breastfed babies feed more often, about every two to three hours, while bottle-fed babies feed about every three to four hours.
Setting up a nursery is fun and exciting for every parent. The most important item to have in a nursery is a crib, cot, or bassinet, accompanied with a baby mattress, blanket, and bedding. You may wish to put the following nice-to-have items in the nursery – waterproof mattress cover, nursing or rocking chair, humidifier, dresser, changing table, baby monitor, and night light.
Some parents prefer having their newborn in the same room with them. Whichever the preference you have, always create a safe sleep area for your baby.
Other Essentials and Nice-to-Haves
Nice-to-Haves: Rattles, playpen, playmat, activity gym, soft books, and toy storage containers.
Must-Haves: Pacifiers, thermometer, nasal aspirator, nail clipper, medicine syringe or dropper, liquid paracetamol.
Nice-to-Have: Colic drops, probiotics, teething remedy and saline nasal drops.
Must-Haves: Baby carrier, stroller, car seat, diaper bag, thermal or cooler bags, insect repellents.
Nice-to-Have: Car sunshades.