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A Doula’s Guide to Baby Prepping Your life
March 3, 2017 8:00 am | by

Everyday I see something new for babies; some new gadget, toy, or item that is guaranteed to make your life as parents easier. When reality hits though and your sweet bundle of love is home and in your arms, the items you will use the most are pretty minimal. Here are some tips of things you really need and how to get them when baby prepping your life.

Prepping a Sleeping Space for the Baby

Figure out where your baby is going to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends baby sharing a room with you for the first 6 months. Will your room fit a crib? Or would a co-sleeper or bassinet be a better option? If you want to bed share, a Dock A Tot can be a great option.

Bouncy Seats, Swings, and Rockers

These are great to use when you are making dinner, watching TV and want baby to be in their own space, taking a shower, or whatever else you are doing. As long as you are awake, a swing like the MamaRoo can be a really helpful tool for baby.

Blankets, Swaddles, and Burp Cloths

How many blankets you need and what kind to buy can be pretty intimidating. In my experience, the best swaddle blankets are those that can be used for swaddling, covering a car seat, using as a nursing cover, or a burp cloth. The Aden + Anais blankets are versatile and affordable. Having 6 of these blankets will give you enough to use for multiple purposes. If you are looking for an easy swaddle, the Woombie Mod’Swad may be just right for you. I loved this with my babies because it took the guess work out of swaddling and was really easy to do in the middle of the night.

Get the Diapers Ready

Are you going to use disposable or cloth diapers? When looking into either type, I highly recommend asking around and getting tips from experienced parents. If you are doing disposable, buy a few different brands of diapers in the smallest packages available. This way you can see which brands work best for your baby.

With cloth diapers, do the same. Buy one or two of several different types. You may think you will love prefold diapers with a cute diaper cover, but find for your lifestyle, a pocket diaper is a much better option. One great thing about cloth diapers is the ability to resell them. It is pretty easy to find gently used diapers. This is a great way to figure out what style and brand you like best. Cotton Babies has a great selection of used diapers. If you can’t find what you want there, I recommend Diaper Swappers.

Clothing for the Baby

Wait until your baby is here before you splurge on all the cute outfits. It is very common to buy several cute outfits that your baby will never wear because they are not the right size. All you really need for the first few weeks are short or long sleeve bodysuits. Once your baby is here and you know what size to buy, go ahead and splurge!! There are so many darling options to choose from and it is easy to find exactly what you want for your baby.

Bras and Nursing Accessories for Postpartum

It is tempting to go out and buy a nursing bra while you are still pregnant. It is highly recommended to wait though. Your breast size will change a lot in the first few weeks. A good sleep bra or nursing tank is all you need for the first couple of weeks until your milk is in and your supply is established.

Nursing pads, and nipple cream are also a must have. If your nipples become blistered or cracked, I have had clients use and love the Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers.  You won’t need a breast pump right away, but it is a good idea to talk to your insurance company before the baby comes to find out what brand they will cover.

A good breastfeeding pillow is also really helpful. You could use pillows, but a pillow made especially for breastfeeding can give you more support and make this journey easier. One like the Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow is a great option as it provides back support, has a firm pillow, and a removable cover to make washing easier.

These are the must have items for having the early days and weeks of having a baby. Anything else is optional and may or may not make your life easier.

About the Author

Kim is a birth and postpartum doula in Austin, Texas. She is the Mom to 6 children and has experienced both cesarean birth and home birth. She is a champion for VBAC's and postpartum support. In her free time (ha!) she likes to knit, sew, read, write, and take long walks with her podcasts. You can find her on Instagram at @kimborchert.


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