The Fourth Trimester

The first weeks following the birth of your baby are known as the Fourth Trimester; and with good reason. The Fourth Trimester is a time of recovery; it is a time full of emotions, sleepless nights, and tears that are not necessarily always coming from your baby. Your first weeks home can be made easier by being prepared supplies-wise. Here we’ll list the must-have items to make your return home with baby as smooth and as gentle as possible.

What you need and what’s nice to have for the nursery

The nursery is where you will be spending most of your time following the birth of the baby. A space that is both baby proof and calming for you is a worthy investment. Choose a room or area in your house that is peaceful, comfortable, easy to use, and in which lighting can be easily dimmed. The nursery is your baby’s warm cocoon, their first environment following the sweet confines of the womb. Here’s a list of what you will need and what would be nice to have:

Need:

  • A crib and mattress that meet all safety requirements (steer away from second-hand cribs if you are unsure about safety)
  • Two bedding sets
  • Waterproof liner
  • Lighting that can be easily dimmed to make night-time feeds easier
  • Baby monitor
  • Bathing tub

Nice to have:

  • A changing table that does not require dexterity for use. This is not being listed as a necessity as a pad for use on the bed does the trick too. Storage-wise, existing furniture can be utilised
  • A bassinet for the early days – being close can help in establishing breastfeeding
  • Rocking chair – the back and forth motion is soothing for babies. A comfortable rocking chair also comes in handy during hours of breastfeeding or of rocking baby to sleep
  • Diaper bin – whilst not a necessity, this item can come in handy in preventing odors
  • Hangers for baby’s clothes
  • Hamper for baby’s used clothes

What you need for your baby’s first weeks

Being prepared for your baby’s arrival at home helps with the transition from hospital to home. Remember that it might not always be easy to leave on shopping trips following the birth of your baby: having all you need close by helps aid a smooth start.

Your baby will need:

  • Newborn diapers. It might also be wise to stock up on first size diapers in case you are expecting a large baby
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Wipes or cotton pads
  • Small thermos to hold warm water for nappy changes
  • 6 rompers that snap at the crotch. Rompers that snap on the side and crotch are also handy and easier to dress in
  • 6 long/short sleeve vests (depends on season)
  • 4 sleep suits
  • 6 pairs socks
  • 2 pairs mittens (rompers sometimes include mittens so check beforehand)
  • 4 bibs
  • sweater
  • 2 hats
  • sun hat
  • 10 burp cloths (when it comes to burp cloths, the more the merrier)
  • 3 hooded towels
  • 2 washcloths
  • cotton swabs
  • Baby shampoo and body wash
  • Baby nail clipper
  • Baby thermometer
  • Soft brush and/or comb
  • Bulb nasal aspirator
  • 4 receiving blankets
  • 5 bottles with newborn nipples
  • Bottle brush
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Formula, if bottle feeding

Nice to have for baby:

  • Insulated bottle holder
  • Bottle warmer
  • Swaddling blanket
  • Pads for changing table/changing mat
  • Rattles
  • Baby hangers
  • 4 pairs cotton pants
  • 4 t-shirts
  • going out outfits
  • scented bags to dispose of dirty diapers

Other things you will need

  • Mild baby laundry soap
  • Rear facing infant car seat
  • Stroller
  • Diaper bag

New Mom post-birth checklist

Both vaginal deliveries and C-sections require recovery time. Being kind to your body by not overdoing it, and having all that you might need handy, makes life simpler. Just like labor itself, the recovery period and how it ensues is unique to every woman. Recovering from an episiotomy or tears is not so straightforward for all; the same applies if you’ve been graced with hemorrhoids as a souvenir from birth. Recovering from a C-section also requires care.

What you need post-birth

  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing bras
  • Nursing pads for bras
  • Breast pump
  • Nipple cream
  • Maternity pads
  • Comfortable underwear
  • Ice packs to ease soreness in case of tears
  • Squirt bottle
  • Wipes and cream to treat hemorrhoids
  • Comfortable clothing

This list is aimed to serve as a guide as you prepare for the birth of your baby. Certain items will depend on your specific needs as well as the season in which your baby is born. What must be recalled though is that preparedness is key in ensuring a smooth transition from hospital to home.

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