What To Prepare for Your Newborn Baby

One of the most exciting things for expectant parents is getting ready the stuff – either second-hand or new – for your baby when he arrives.

You do not need to prepare a lot of things. It is most important to provide a safe place with a firm mattress that is not too far away from you for your baby to sleep.

Items You May Wish To Prepare

Below is a list to check off some of the other items you may wish to prepare before the baby’s arrival:​

  • Towels. Handkerchiefs, bath and face towels for the baby.
  • Wash basin. For bathing the baby.
  • Toiletries. Baby wash, nappy wipes, nappy rash cream.
  • Nappies. Cloth diapers are washable and cheaper over the long term. Some come with Velcro fasteners or you can use nappy pins. If you are using disposable diapers, buy just a few packs in “newborn” size; your baby may outgrow this size quickly.
  • A changing pad. More practical than buying a changing table as a pad is light and portable and allows you to change your baby’s diapers anywhere you want.
  • Baby clothes. Buy just enough to last him through each growth spurt. You may consider choosing one-piece body suits (or onesies) with an opening so that you can change diapers easily without having to undress your baby. Also prepare enough socks, booties and mittens.​
  • Small table lamp or night light. Very useful during night feeds.
  • Baby cot. The cot should be sturdy with smooth moving parts so that fingers or clothing would not get trapped. If you are recycling a borrowed or old cot, make sure you get a new firm mattress.

Tips on selecting a baby cot:

    • ​The mattress and bedding should fit snugly in the cot to prevent the baby from getting tangled in the excess material.
    • The base should be adjustable so that you do not have to bend too far down to carry your baby during the early months.
    • As your baby grows, you should be able to lower the base so he cannot climb out of bed. One or both of the side rails should also be adjustable.
    • Side rails should be protected with​ a plastic covering. When the baby starts teething, he may chew on the side rails.
    • The distance between the slats should not be more than the width of a soda can so as to prevent the baby’s head from getting stuck in between.
    • There should be lockable castor rollers so that you can move the cot around.
  • Cupboard and/or chest of drawers. Storage space for his clothes and toys.
  • Baby carrier. Baby carrier, also known as a sling, lets you carry your baby in front to keep him warm and close to you. This will allow you to manage your baby hands-free if you are out and about without a pram. Get one that has good support for his head and his back.
  • ​Stroller. Young babies need fully reclining seats. Check the adjustable sleeping positions that allow this.

Tips on selecting a stroller:

    • Look out for strollers with multiple functions. Some can convert from a pram (with the baby facing the mummy) to strollers. Others can transform from a pram to a bassinet and to a stroller. Some also come with a carry-cot fixed onto the pram, which can later be removed and converted into a stroller when the baby outgrows it. Always ensure that the parts are well anchored and not loose.
    • Make sure the brakes are working well.
    • If you take public transport, consider the weight and ease of opening/closing. Mothers who usually travel alone with their baby may prefer a stroller with one-hand easy-fold mechanism. If you drive, make sure that the stroller can fit into your boot when it is folded up.
  • Discover more cot and stroller tips with Consumer Product Safety Office (CPSO) infographics.
  • ​Car seat. It is regulated by law to use a car seat when travelling. Prepare a car seat for your newborn as he will need to travel in one, right from the first ride home from the hospital. Newborn babies should use a rear-facing infant car seat (baby faces the back of the vehicle) which is well-padded. Make sure the car seat is properly installed. If your front passenger seat is fixed with an air bag, do not use a rear-facing baby seat there. Put it in the back seat instead.

Preparing the Hospital Bag

  • Letter of admission
  • Documents for birth registration. Births should be registered within 14 days from the date of birth. Some hospitals have a birth registration centre so if you intend to do it there, prepare both parents’ identity cards, your marriage certificate and the Notification of Live Birth issued by the hospital.
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and facial care products
  • Comb or hairbrush
  • Nursing gowns that open in front to facilitate breastfeeding
  • Slippers
  • Cardigan and socks to keep you warm
  • Nursing bras and nursing pads
  • Maternity sanitary pads
  • ​Underwear. Some mums prefer disposables, or pack your old undies which can be thrown out after wear.
  • An outfit to wear home. Your body won’t go back to your pre-pregnancy size instantly so pick clothes that you can fit into. Mums who are doing a caesarean section (C-section) may prefer something loose around the waist.
  • A new set of clothes for the baby
  • Music, magazines and books to help you relax
  • Breast pump (optional)

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