Getting ready for your baby’s arrival can be overwhelming with all the advice you and your partner will receive. However, there’s no need to fret, as there’s no perfect method to becoming a dad, especially when it comes to your baby’s arrival. Our previous article on Breaking Dad even talks about how you can never truly be prepared for parenthood. And despite society’s expectation that the mother will be the one to usually care for the child, you can definitely take responsibility as well. To help you start caring for your newborn, here are some essentials to start you in the right direction:
Nappies and Hygiene Needs
When your baby’s nappy overflows, you should wash them with a gentle body soap in a washbasin with enough space for you to properly support their head. Speaking of nappies — which are a given, of course — nappy rash cream will come in handy in case your newborn’s skin is sensitive to a certain brand. For covering their small bodies, your baby’s first wardrobe should be a layette set, which consists of a bodysuit, mittens, booties, a bonnet, a sleepsuit, and a receiving blanket.
Though you may not be the one nursing your baby, you can still feed them expressed breast milk or formula milk when mum is busy or needs to rest. BabyCentre’s feature on baby bottles can benefit you and the baby in different ways. The MAM Easy Start bottles, for instance, are self-sterilising and anti-colic. Your baby will easily take to the teats as well. Meanwhile, the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles have wide teats that make them easy for a baby to take. The Closer to Nature range also includes a steriliser and the Perfect Prep machine, which can make a bottle of formula to an exact temperature.
Travel and Active Day Must-Haves
For going out, you’ll want a pushchair that reclines so your newborn can lie down flat as you go about your daily tasks or take them on walks outside. It would also be a good idea to invest in a pushchair that lets them navigate a multitude of terrains with ease while keeping their baby comfy. With this in mind, iCandy’s pushchairs are designed to be suitable from your child from birth until they are a toddler, allowing parents to go about their day with their child safely wrapped up in quilted fabrics and safety harnesses. And not only can the cot be angled to let them lie flat or face the world, they’re also removable and can function as carriers. It’s equipped with a storage basket where you can put other essentials, such as the nappy bag. Consider getting a body carrier as well, as NetDoctor explains the benefits of babywearing for father and baby bonding. The physical contact and face time you get with the baby, either by wearing them in a sling or being the face they see when you push their pram, will help create a positive and loving relationship between the two of you.
Some parents prefer to co-sleep, or sleep beside their baby, but this places them at a higher risk of SIDS (the sudden infant death syndrome). This is why the Sleep Foundation recommends that babies sleep in a cot in your bedroom, at least for the first six months. Make sure the cot has a firm mattress along with fitted crib sheets, and a light blanket to keep them cosy. You’ll also need a waterproof mattress cover, as your new baby will have an accident or two along the way.
At the end of the day, bringing up a baby certainly isn’t easy, but these essentials will serve as a helping hand for you and your partner during the early stages of parenthood. When it comes down to it, being a dad is one of the most beautiful roles a person can step into, which is why the preparation and sleepless nights will all be worth it in the long run.
Written exclusively for thebreakingdad.co.uk by Jodi James