A few weeks before giving birth, I made a list of essential things to buy for me and my baby. With our small one-bedroom apartment, limited budget, and minimalist lifestyle, I had to carefully think about every purchase.
Here are the items I found helpful during the crazy first few weeks with a newborn.
This is a no-brainer yet I made a mistake of getting EQ instead of Huggies or Pampers. The former is indeed cheap yet it’s not as comfortable as the latter. Buy in bulk, 30 diapers would be good, just in case you have to stay longer in the hospital.
Diaper Changing Mat
Neil took on the diaper changing duty from day one because I was still recovering from my C-Section operation. That’s why he noticed how crucial and handy diaper changing mats were. It made changing diapers on any flat surface easy and germ-free.
Onesies with short & long sleeves
Buying used onesies from people you know is a good idea because babies grow so fast. Receiving onesies as gifts is one of the sweetest ways to prepare for the arrival of your little one. Just stick to the ones with soft, not-too-thick fabric.
We asked our friends with new babies whether we needed to get a swaddling blanket or not and they said a “lampin” or receiving cloth is enough. And they were right. However, when Cyd got bigger, he wouldn’t fit in his lampin for swaddling. So we got him a set of 3 muslin swaddling blankets from Piccolo Bambino and we loved it.
The hospital where I gave birth required us to get two thermometers – one for me and one for my baby. If your birthing facility doesn’t require it, buy one for adults and your baby. You are likely to get sick after a few weeks of sleepless nights and stress of caring for a newborn, who might also get a fever from the shots – especially pentavalent vaccine.
Baby Bath Tub
I knew we needed a tub because our kitchen and bathroom sinks are too small to give our baby a bath. But we didn’t get one until I was confined. My former boss and his wife visited me and got Cyd a tub as if they read my mind. It made me really happy. More brains are better than one.
Some babies are okay with mittens but ours loved to remove his mittens we had to make sure his nails were trimmed. During the first few weeks, the baby’s nails are soft so it can be a bit scary to cut them, but you’ll get used to it.
As a first-time mom, it can take a while to get comfortable with breast feeding in public. Thankfully, there are clothes designed for breastfeeding mamas and they don’t even cost a fortune. I got a shirt and a dress from Great Expectations, another shirt from bfeedingmum.com, and a nursing dress and breastfeeding cover from Lozada. Now, I don’t panic when I need to go out with my baby because I was sure I could feed him comfortably anywhere.
Based on an informal survey I’ve done, electric breast pumps are better than manual breast pumps. I got a manual breast pump from Babyflo. It costs about P100 a piece. First-time moms or mothers who had a C-section or major operation don’t often have milk or enough supply on the first few days so expressing milk with a breast pump is recommended.
Once you have milk, a new problem might come up: cracked or sore nipples. I swear it’s painful when you get one. And most first-time moms are bound to get sore nipples because newborn babies feed frequently. For some moms, putting expressed (breast) milk is enough to numb the pain. For me, it wasn’t the case. I got a Baby-safe Nursing Salve from Buds – it was pricey at P1k plus but it was worth it.
Waterproof Bed Cover
If you decided to co-sleep with the baby, get a waterproof bed cover to protect your mattress. We got one from Mandaue Foam and it was really useful.
What You Don’t Need
What You Can Buy Later
Caring for a newborn is a wonderful experience when everything you need is ready. If you’re a mom, let me know the top items on your shopping list. If you’re pregnant, I hope you give this some thought and prepare to welcome your baby with less stress and more happiness.