Babies mostly need you.
Let’s be honest, the baby industry is booming. There is no shortage of things to buy that can help you take care of your newborn babe. There is indeed too much stuff, too many choices and everyone has an opinion they want to pass on as hard cold facts.
It can be overwhelming. Did our ancestors face something similar? Did my Baba in the village worry about how to prepare the baby room, or how to use that long piece of fabric to carry her baby? Surely she also had everyone and their mother giving her (mostly) unsolicited advice throughout her pregnancy and likely to continue as she births her babies and fulfills her role as parent. The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.
Here is the most basic breakdown of what a baby needs at birth (barring complications or special circumstances):
Babies need you, their parent(s) to fumble through keeping them alive: surviving and thriving. And so to do that, you need to be healthy and rested to the best of your abilities. This could mean adding contributions towards services to your registry like hiring a doula, meal services to your door, house cleaning or dry cleaning delivery; if it contributes to your rest and ease, it will help you to cope better with the challenges of learning to live with a newborn. It’s tiring and continuous. Setting yourself up early with things that will support your wellbeing is a worthwhile investment.
Ask for help from the people close to you, get specific. If the other people can take care of the dishes, the meals, cleaning the bathroom and picking up some groceries, then you can concentrate on learning and nurturing (and learning to nurture) your precious (and sometimes totally frightening) new little baby.
Beyond taking care of yourself, the main things you need to think about in figuring out what you need for a newborn, consider:
- Where will baby sleep?
- How will baby eat?
- How are you handling baby’s poo/pee?
- How will you carry / transport baby?
Anything else is a nice add on, and likely not needed in the first few weeks anyway. Once you cover the basics, the number one thing that will have you coasting through your immediate postpartum period is support.
Well here is one more golden nugget of wisdom to stick in your basket:
Stop listening to opinions and advice as facts or even as advice. Take it in as caring suggestions, and only hold on to the ideas that work for you!