It is always so wonderful to know that someone we know is pregnant (or finally pregnant after years and years of trying). The news taste sweeter than honey. And of course, it reminds me of my experience. Unforgettable, amazing and beyond description.
Recently, a few friends found out that they will be expecting their child soon. And the first time moms (or dads) asked me all sorts of questions when we meet, on or offline. Some of it, never even crossed my mind when I was pregnant. But, I understand how overwhelming it could be for them and how little tiny issues would make them go searching hi & lo for answers. Not forgetting, lots of doubts and feeling lost at the same time. Been there, done that.
One of the common question was what to buy and what are the things they need to prepare for in advance. I have compiled the list below, for my own reference (who knows maybe God wants us to have another bundle of joy) and also for my dear friends' reference.
Here is my own preparation and shopping list:
*The items is subjected to individual's need and requirements.
What To Do When You Find/Suspect Yourself Pregnant:
1. Get pregnancy home test kit
2. If result is positive, get yourself checked by a ob-gyn.
3. If result is confirmed positive, celebrate!
4. If you will need help during the first month of the arrival of the baby, appoint a confinement lady/someone who can take care of you and the baby. In my case, we appointed a confinement lady right away when we found out the news.
5. Rest, Relax and Enjoy the pregnancy
6. For IT savvy mom, sign up and join a network or website know more or to keep track of your pregnancy. I used Baby Centre. This is a popular website for parenting related issues. Till today, I still receive updates for toddlers.
How To Prepare Yourself Emotionally & Physically
1. Many elderly will offer endless opinions and advices and usually believe they are right. Some makes sense while some don't. Just keep the sensible ones. To avoid offending the elderly, just listen, nod your head and smile. Makes everyone happy.
2. Appoint a good and reliable ob-gyn. It helps to have one who is always ready and patient to answer your questions. You will have lots of question marks floating in your mind. Don't let it bother you. Do more reading and ask your ob-gyn.
3. Some believe that pregnant mothers should just sit at home and do nothing. It is a myth. Moderate exercise does more good than harm (of course, with the doctor's green light).
4. Everything you do or eat, moderation is the key.
5. Do not worry about morning sickness, it will come to an end. If you are lucky, you might not have it at all. I had it and it lasted till the end of 1st semester. It gradually disappeared.
For Mommy - Prenatal
1. Comfortable inner wears
2. Comfortable shoes
3. A decent haircut about a month before due date to last you through the first month
4. Clothes ~ No need to rush off and revamp your whole wardrobe immediately. I only bought total of not more than 10 maternity blouses, 5 dresses & 5 pair of pants. That lasted me throughout my whole pregnancy. Some of my very loving & generous friends gave me some of theirs and they were still in very very excellent condition and made me look pretty.
5. Breast pump (I opted for Spectra)
6. Prenatal care book (I read Your Pregnancy Week By Week by Dr Lesley Regan)
For Mom - Post natal
1. Nursing bra pads
2. Loose and comfortable sleep wear
3. I wore sarong for the first 2 weeks. Never thought I would but it was comfortable.
4. Some comfortable and nice looking clothes to wear when you have guests over.
5. Maternity pads
6. Post natal care book (I read Asian Parenting Today by Parent Craft Education Practioners Jennifer Hor, Ho Ai Ling & Jocelyn Oo). I like this book because I can relate to most of the contents and practise because it is written for Asian parents.
2. Baby car seat
3. Baby crib, blanket, mattress, bedsheet, pillows & pillow cases *my Mom made us the sheets and cases.
4. Baby Carrier *We end up not buying this because we did not even need it
5. Sling Carrier *I started using this much later after Isabelle came. I regretted not using this earlier as I posted here
6. Cloth napkins *If I know about cloth diaper earlier, I would have opted for it.
7. Nappy Liners *1 box is enough
8. Newborn sized disposable diapers *2 packets (maximum) will be sufficient. Drypers and Huggies should be good enough because newborns will wet and soil the diapers very very regularly and there is no need to get the expensive ones.
9. Babywipes *Tollyjoy & Pigeon is good because it is unscented and contains no alcohol.
10. Bepanthen cream *Both baby(for diaper area) and mommy(for cracked nipples from breastfeeding) can use this.
11. Baby bath *We used Mustella. But any good brand would do. Try to use non-fragrance version
12. Milk bottles *3 newborn bottles should be enough to just standby. If you are breastfeeding, you would not need too many bottles. Otherwise, you can always get extra.
13. Napkin fasteners
14. Napkin detergents *We used Nappikleen but we found a safer & organic product from Natural Origins.
15. Steriliser *Ours was from Avent. Or you can opt for the traditional method via boiling the bottles and other baby's utensils in boiling water. If so, get a big pot.
16. Tub to bath baby *Or if your sink is huge and with hot water connection, then you can use that.
17. Antislip mats for the tubs
18. Changing mat/pad
1. Newborn short sleeved rompers - 4 pieces
2. Short sleeved shirts - 4 pieces
3. Long pants - 6 pieces
4. Long sleeved shirts - 6 pieces
5. Newborn Rompers (long) - 2 pieces
6. Mittens & Socks - 6 pieces
7. Hat - 1 piece
8. Handkerchiefs - 12 pieces
*Reasonable number of clothes for your newborn. They will outgrow the clothes very quickly.
Your Hospital Bag
1. 1 set of clothes to wear during discharge day to go home
2. 2 set of clothes to wear during your stay (if the hospital does not provide)
3. A few pieces of maternity pads (hospital usually provides, but just in case)
4. Toiletries & some cosmetics (for vain moms like me)
5. A pair of sandals to wear in your ward/room.
6. A book/magazine or any form of entertainment gadget
1. 1 set of clothes to wear during discharge day to go home (hospital will provide everything that your baby needs during the stay)
2. Baby's hat
3. A pair of mitten and socks
4. Few piece of disposable diapers in case you need to change him/her on your way home
5. 1 milk bottle (for water or to make milk for him/her on your way home, just incase. If your baby is on formula, the hospital will let you bring back 2 cans or so of the formula your baby is on).
6. A small blanket
If your husband is accompanying you during the stay, don't forget to pack for him too.
Okay, that is all I can recall. Not sure if I miss out anything.
Wishing all the new parents, all the best and enjoy this beautiful journey. You will miss this moments, I reassure you. God bless you, your partner and your little one in the tummy.