When you have a brand new baby, you need some “stuff” to take care of it. So what are going to be the items that will help you most in your immediate postpartum period (besides the basic clothes and diapers!)?
Let’s take a look!
1. Blankets — Lots of them. You can wrap them around your baby to keep him warm, use it as a spit-up cloth, etc. You may need to change them a lot, too, in case of diaper blow outs and so on. Have them around everywhere!
2. Cotton swabs and cotton balls — For cleaning your baby. For the most part, water is sufficient at this point. Your doctor may recommend rubbing alcohol for around the cord, though, to help it dry. Use the swabs and water or alcohol (or hydrogen peroxide) to clean carefully around the cord stump at each diaper change, especially if it starts to look at all red. (If it’s really red or seems painful, go see the doctor! A small amount of yellowish “pus” is actually normal though.) The cotton balls can clean off the baby’s eyes and face. It’s not uncommon for tear ducts to get clogged and eyes to get crusty in the early days, so a cotton ball dipped in warm water is the perfect way to gently clean the eye. (One ball per eye, please, so you don’t spread infection in case there is one.)
3. Olive oil — Meconium (baby’s first poop) is sticky. It’s not a bad idea to smear a little olive oil on after a diaper change in hopes that if the next diaper is meconium, it won’t stick so much. Plus the olive oil is totally safe for baby’s skin, unlike some commercial lotions. It can also help to get rid of the stickiness during the change (without harsh soaps). If your baby gets dry skin (very common), a little olive oil is also a safe moisturizer.
4. Gripe water — Babies are prone to hiccups, gas, and sometimes “colic” in the early weeks, just because their digestive systems aren’t quite working well yet. If burping, bicycling their legs, etc. don’t work, gripe water (an alcohol-free combination of fennel and ginger) can help calm the tummy so babies can sleep. Most labels say “after 2 weeks” but it should be safe sooner than that, just ask your doctor.
5. Pacifiers — If you plan to use them. Some babies have a strong need to suck, beyond the amount of milk they want (even if they’re nursing). Some babies will comfort-nurse; others won’t (one of mine wouldn’t). Bottle-fed babies should never be offered an empty bottle to suck because it can fill their tummies with air and cause them pain. A pacifier is much safer. Remember that not all babies like them, and some babies are picky about which kinds they want.
What were your top 5 new baby items?