You’re getting close to the end of the pregnancy and all you can think about is being able to walk normally, sit normally and sleep on your stomach. And of course, that little ball of cuteness you will hold in your arms soon! But take a break from daydreaming, and get the following things in place before the big day.
1. Feeding pillow
Talk about lifesavers. This little contraption is a C-shaped foam pillow. It applies a strong counter-pressure to your back when you sit to breastfeed. Since you will end up feeding about 12 times a day, and add to that the trauma the body has just undergone for childbirth (vaginal or C-sec), this is such a comfort for the back that I can’t say it enough. Don’t think – just get it!
2. Bath chair
You would’ve probably heard from family elders that the right way to bathe a baby is by placing him/her on your legs. How they managed to hold a slippery little thing with one hand while handling the entire bath with the other is beyond me (never mind the forced bath you would end up taking in the process). If you go to the hospital for inspiration, you will see the nurses using a baby tub. But that amounts to the same thing – an awkward bath for the baby and stronger arm muscles for you. Enter bath chair. It’s a reclined chair made of soft net. My son always looked comfortable on it, and I wasn’t huffing and puffing trying to hold him. When my mom saw the bath chair, her instant reaction was “Why couldn’t they think of this during our time?!”
3. Changing station
This is not some elaborate, expensive product but just the idea of having a designated space to change diapers. The “station” should be high enough so that you can change comfortably while standing – another back-saving device. It needs a soft padded base to place the baby on (I used old bedcovers folded to shape). Arrange all changing essentials in the corner – diapers, wipes, creams, a bin for dirty diapers – for easy access. Of course, always keep one hand on the baby while on the station. Not only will the changing station win you admiring glances from visitors, you will thank me later that you didn’t end up in a Moov commercial.
This was the first substantial purchase we made for our son, although we didn’t start using it till he was about 2 months old. It’s a little rocking chair with an adjustable back and an optional stand. Our son loves it – the gentle rocking calms him down and he has often fallen asleep in it. Since he is safely strapped in, it allows independent play for short durations. This has also become his first feeding chair. We use the green one from Fisher Price – nice to look at and well worth the investment.
5. Soft rattle
I’m surprised we don’t see more of these. All the hard rattles available in the market were useless for my son – since babies wildly wave around anything in their hands, he would end up hurting himself and anyone sitting close to him! The ideal toy is a soft plushy one (no fur) with some bells inside, and some long thin areas that are grab-friendly. We had to hunt long and hard for this but finally found one at Mothercare. More recently, I’ve seen such toys from the German brand Nici as well. Hope this list is helpful as a starting point as you embark on this special journey.
Also read more about: The Must-have shopping checklist before your baby arrives!
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