Go through your home and pack away anything that seems especially impossible to baby-proof. Glass vases, favorite decorative items, coffee tables or TV stands with sharp corners (you can buy corner-proofing online as well). Put outlet covers in all your electric outlets. You will eventually need childproof gates for the top and bottom of your staircase, and anywhere else you plan on having “off-limit”, so if you have extra time, look into these now.
Secure any large pieces of furniture to the wall with special anchor kits, and consider replacing any cord string blinds on the windows. Get safety latches for cabinet doors and find a new, high place for poisons, cleaners and medications.
A comfy place to nurse. Can be a recliner or armchair you already have, or a specialty nursing rocker to go in the nursery. A little night table near the chair with water and your nursing “station” supplies- snacks, remote, phone charger, etc. You will really appreciate having these items close at hand while nursing!
A box for on top of your bed that will hold all the essentials you need for baby during the day, so you don’t have to be climbing all around and walking all over the house. A few diapers, wipes, diaper cream, burp cloth, outfit change, nursing supplies, pain relievers, a granola bar and a water for you should get you through the day at times when you don’t have much help. Don’t forget the TV remote and phone charger! This helps especially if you are confined to a bed after a c-section.
Get your bathroom ready- you’ll need a trash can at the ready for all the used pads and medical supplies you will go through, some Clorox wipes to keep everything clean and feeling under control, 1 or more Peri bottles (little water squirt bottles you can get at the hospital or online, help to dilute and rinse away urine so there is no sting), some wash clothes (ones you don’t care if they get bloody), some nipple ointment, Dermoplast to spray on your privates before you pee/poop, and your Sitz bath receptacle. Extra toilet paper couldn’t hurt either. A lot of women swear by Earth Mama Bottom Spray for those first bathroom adventures.
A detachable showerhead for the shower can come in handy for times the peri bottle doesn’t quite do the job or also for baby bath time as they get older.
A nightlight or salt lamp can come in handy for the middle of the night nursing sessions or diaper changes.
Consider buying dark or blackout curtains for the nursery windows to help baby sleep better. Others also swear by a white noise machine, light projector or lullaby machine as tricks to help baby fall asleep and stay asleep.
There is nothing like a new set of sheets (make sure they are within your budget though because in all likelihood they will get stained) for your first nights home from the hospital. Plan to spend a lot of time in bed those first days, you may lose track of day or night as you spend all your time sleeping or nursing a new baby to establish a great supply. Especially if you have a tear or a c-section, you may really be out of commission for a while. Plan for it, accept it if it happens, and knows these days are just a short season in your life and it WILL all get better.
Back-up bed sheets.
Lots of pillows for your bed.
A backrest pillow or wedge works well if you have a c-section and can’t easily sit up or lay down. This kind of reclines you while you sit so you can sleep sitting up comfortably.
A small pillow to carry around for you and hold against your incision, if you have a c-section. This will help anytime you have to laugh, cough, sneeze, or going over bumps in the road when you driven home from the hospital.
A step stool for your bed, especially if you have a c-section, you won’t be as limber as you are usually and this may come in handy if you have a tall bed.
Washable crib liners work well for EVERYTHING- put them down on the couch before you sit down in case you or the baby leak something. Put them under baby when changing them to keep the floor/sheets/diaper pad clean a little longer. Use them over your lap when holding baby in case they spit up. The list goes on and on. You can even use them- gasp! In the crib as a protective liner! Disposable puppy pads work well for this too. You can use any of these before birth too in case your water breaks in the days leading up to the big day, or after when baby is older and you are in the middle of potty training.
A diaper changing station or designated area, with some padding you can easily sanitize, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream and anything else you need within arms8reach. You don’t absolutely need an actual table; you can put a towel on a bed or on the floor.
Some people love their diaper wipe warmers and diaper pails. Your baby might cry from the shock of a cold diaper against their skin. You might cry from the smell of diapers seeping out of your household garbage cans. Personally we just tied up diapers in grocery store bags and brought them out to the outdoor trash as soon as possible. Others feel diaper pails make the most sense for them.
Cloth diaper squares also work well for multi-use purposes, cleaning up sit up, leaking breasts, wearing over your lap while holding baby, etc.
Speaking of puppy pads, I ordered a bulk supply of dog poop bags to tie up all the poopy diapers as they came in. It made disposing of them so much easier than walking out to the trash every time baby pooped. They even come in handy holders to stick a few in the diaper bag for on-the-go adventures. They make the same for new human babies but the dog ones are much cheaper and come in handy bone carrying-cases.
Keep some hand wipes in every room to quickly clean up messes on your clothes, hands, floor etc.
Stock your fridge and pantry with your favorite healthy comfort foods. Prepare as if you won’t leave the house for two weeks. Healthy frozen foods and healthy convenience foods will be essential.
Lots and lots of meals already prepared and/or frozen so you don’t have to focus on anything but taking care of yourself and your new baby.
Paper plates and such will come in really handy in those first few weeks when you don’t feel like doing the dishes or even loading and unloading the dishwasher.
Stock up on random household items that you may need while you are recovering after birth. Paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, etc.
Peroxide to get bloodstains out of sheets. If for some reason you do bleed on your favorite sheets, pour some peroxide on the stain as soon as possible. Then wash as normal. Should be color safe as well, it’s worth a try rather than living with a stain on your favorite item.
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