Whether you had a natural childbirth with a doula or you were begging your nurse for an epidural at four centimeters dilated, I think there are a few must-haves every mom would agree on when it comes to staying calm during life with a newborn.
The best advice I have for new parents preparing for a baby is to think in terms of the Boy Scout motto – Be Prepared! In my experience, we tended to have our minor baby “emergencies” like projectile spit-up or explosive diapers in public or late at night. Here are a couple of helpful hints to consider while you’re navigating life on the go with a newborn:
If you’ve ever underestimated your diaper count and been stuck in a situation without a much-needed clean diaper, you know that sinking feelings all too well. This is why I began to stash little stacks of diapers everywhere! I put them upstairs, downstairs, in the bathrooms, in both cars (trunks), in the diaper bag, in the back-up diaper bag.
The same holds true for baby wipes. Ever try to clean your baby’s messy poopy diaper in a public bathroom without wipes? Oh. My. Gosh. It happened to me once and once was enough. Just like I stashed diapers, I bought extra wipes. The small sealed packs were perfect for the cars, bags, my purse, etc. I put them in the glove compartment of our cars just in case.
Clean Shirts for Everyone
After a few unfortunate spit-up incidents, we started packing clean onesies for our baby and a clean shirt for each of us. I packed our shirts in large Ziploc bags and put them in both cars and the diaper bag. It may never happen to you, but if you’re drenched in spit-up five minutes after arriving in a restaurant, you’ll be glad you have it.
Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into your happy schedule like a runny nose. Since babies can’t blow their noses, you have to use a bulb or aspirator to remove the mucus. Sometimes it’s due to a cold or it can be allergies, but either way your baby will be much happier if she can breathe normally. If your baby is still breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, she definitely wants to have a clear nasal passage to feed comfortably.
Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops
Gassy babies are not happy campers! That’s why I always had Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops nearby. These drops helped my son immediately, so within a few minutes of taking them he passed the gas bubbles that were causing him tummy pain. While I was breastfeeding, I used them when I ate foods that I typically didn’t eat just because he was sensitive to changes in my diet.
A Reliable Thermometer
The first time your baby runs a fever it’s just plain scary. The best thing you can do is have a working thermometer on-hand when you need it. If it needs batteries, buy a few extra ones. If you’re not sure how to use it, read the directions. Familiarize yourself with how it works before you need it. Today you can find thermometers that attach to iPhones and have apps that track temperatures, days and times. No matter what kind of thermometer you decide to use, just make sure it’s working.
Burp Cloths & Blankets
The amount of burp clothes, blankets, crib sheets and onsesies we went through during those first weeks with a new baby are a complete blur of dirty laundry. There’s not much you can do other than recognize this will probably be the case. Newborns are just messy. Having extra burp clothes and clean blankets is nice, especially at night when you tend to operate in zombie mode and would rather not turn on the lights in search of an elusive clean blankie.
First Aid Kits
It’s not something you want to think about, but accidents happen. And I mean they can happen to you! When you’re caring for an infant and you cut yourself at the park or get a minor boo-boo, having a first aid kit nearby can be exactly what you need. This is especially helpful as your baby gets bigger and is constantly on the move. Scraped knees or insect stings can be quickly disinfected and tended to, even if you’re out & about.
What are the 5 essentials in your middle-of-the-night survival kit?