After four babies I can’t advise you on the best way to get your figure back, I can’t tell you how to keep the spark in your relationship and I certainly can’t tell you anything about keeping on top of your housework.
One thing I do know, however, is that the baby business is a big one. Understandably so. Parents want nothing but the best for their children and advertising companies know this all too well. New parents are easily convinced, because while you might not be sure you need a video monitor with built in intercom and a nifty little app that checks the babies breathing you sure as hell don’t want to be lacking at this early stage when it comes to your child’s safety.
The other thing I know about babies is they are unpredictable. They are near impossible to work out once they are here earth-side so whilst they are in utero you have no chance. Guessing what your particular baby might need is like lucky dip. There is always going to be something else. Hear me when I say:
You are never going to be prepared.
That might seem daunting but I don’t look at it like that. I think the first hurdle for a lot of new parents is the moment they realize they did the classes, read the books, joined the forums and heard all the anecdotes the internet had to offer and yet still, they are up shit creek without a paddle. I say, go into it with an open mind. Yes, read the books and go to the classes but know that in this instance you are going to do the real learning on the job.
It’s amazing fun to go to the baby shops and look at all the gadgets and gizmos and collect it all in the empty nursery. I won’t lie to you there. Gadgets are handy, they are convenient and sometimes they feel like a life saver. But what does a baby need?
I like to call this The 3 B’s.
Babies need boobs. And believe me on day three postpartum boobs need babies.
I’m not a breastfeeding nazi, I like breastfeeding babies and I like to see others breastfeeding their babies. Didn’t we talk about how every baby is different though, so it won’t shock you to find some babies need bottles. If you plan to bottle feed from the word go then of course you will need to stock up before the baby is born.
Or really, clothes. You’re going to need to dress the little dot. Please don’t buy it jeans though. I mean, its up to you. But… no jeans. For mine I bought 12 babygro’s and a few more vests. A hat is handy too! We come here to my only weakness when it comes to baby items and that’s blankets. I love them so much, I probably have accumulated 20+ but 3 is more than enough.
Baby need bed. Somewhere safe where they can rest their head after a long day of…sleeping. Lots of people get a Moses basket but I started off with a crib. I think J was 4 months before it was snug in there but then he is on the larger side. Could go to 6 months.
And there you have my comprehensive list. That is in my opinion what a baby requires.
Apart from another small detail, more than anything else a newborn baby needs people. A baby needs you. They need to be close and feel safe. Babies need to sleep on your chest and lie in your arms gazing up at you, trying to focus on the face they already love so much. They need to be picked up when they cry and talked to about things they won’t understand for years and years. Babies need you to forget the housework (not hard for me!) so they can soak up every last bit of you. You will never be more needed than you are in those first few months. When you are in the midst of nappy changes and feeds and winding the days seem endless but they slip by.
Before you know it you’re packing the video monitor and swaddle pods away and wondering why you didn’t stay and watch those baby slumbers or hold them in your arms so they didn’t feel they were falling apart.
So to end my list, after all of the things you get for your baby, don’t forget to give them you.