6 things to make sure you have ready to go when you leave hospital.

As you near your due date, life starts to get a little hectic.

You may need to go in for more check-ups, you’ll be making hospital arrangements, packing your bag and checking you have the house in order for when your little one arrives. In fact, there’s so much going on that you may overlook some of the key items that no new mum can do without.

Here are six items that are absolutely essential to have before you welcome your new arrival into the world:

1. NAPPIES

It may sound like the most obvious thing in the world, but there’s no such thing as too many nappies. Stockpile them now, fill every cupboard, store them in the garage, build a fort out of them; whatever you do with them, and whether you choose cloth or disposable nappies, make sure you have enough… then double it! In your first couple of weeks you’ll be tender and tired and the last thing you’ll want to do is get dressed, get bub ready and head out into the world in a hurry.

If you are opting for cloth nappies, also make sure you have plenty of liners. And don’t forget some nappy cream too! We recommend a natural product containing lanolin for a chemical-free tooshie soother.

2. PADS

Both breast and menstrual or maternity pads are items you will not want to leave home without. As soon as bub starts asking, your boobs will begin to lactate, so having breast pads already inserted into your bra and plenty of spares is essential if you don’t want to be changing your top ten times a day.

Whether you have had surgery or not, maternity pads are also a great help and something you’ll want to be wearing every day for the first few weeks. Not only might there be some bleeding after labour, your pelvic floor will initially be weaker, leading to some little bladder leaks, so menstrual pads serve a double purpose.

3. CLOTHES

It is so tempting to buy the most gorgeously cute outfits for your newborn, but they are often more expensive and less practical. While we believe in buying organic where possible, popping to your local department store for a supply of cheap onesies or romper suits is an excellent idea. Easy to change even in inconvenient places, they may not be as adorable as other garments, but boy will you be grateful for them!

And don’t forget you. In your last few weeks, when your body is almost at its fullest, get a proper maternity bra fitting. While you’ll probably be doing laundry daily, it’s worth having a week’s supply of comfortable, good-quality maternity bras. These are definitely something you’ll want to invest in, both in terms of quantity and quality.

Lastly, while you’re buying munchkin’s onesies, grab yourself a collection of loose singlets or blouses that will allow quick, easy and comfortable access when feeding time arrives.

4. HARDWARE

Many items can be bought on a budget, but prams and car seats or capsules are well worth investing in.

Safety is, of course, absolutely essential for your new arrival, so make sure to choose products that meet Australian safety standards and include a cushioned insert to keep bub’s head secure while their little neck muscles are still developing.

Many capsules now adapt as your baby grows, making them better value for money. Some conveniently convert into a baby carrier, making it far easier to get bub in and out of the car, especially if you don’t want to wake them!

Not only will prams carry your baby, they’ll often carry your shopping, your handbag, maybe even big brother or sister too, so spend some time finding the ideal model for your needs. Larger strollers are incredibly useful but can be bulky. Make sure yours folds up small enough to fit into your car, check it isn’t too heavy for you to lift and that it collapses easily. Lastly, make sure it contains straps to keep bub secure and invest in a soft, padded liner for extra comfort and security.

5. ENOUGH LINEN FOR THE RITZ CARLTON!

Bed sheets, swaddling cloths, and blankets are guaranteed to get messy, so have plenty on hand for a quick change. Some will be able to be used for multiple purposes; a lighter blanket can be used to swaddle or folded in half to pop on your shoulder when burping.

Fitted bed sheets are another lifesaver, making quick changes so much easier. As with clothes, organic fabrics are always best, so try to stick to organic cotton or bamboo where possible. Again though, these can be more expensive, so buy some nice ones, but also stock up on cheap and cheerful linen too.

6. BREAST PUMP

If you intend to leave you little one at any time, having a milk supply on hand is vital.

Breast pumps can take some practice to master. Even if you don’t need to fill bottles for baby, there may be times that you are carrying too much milk, which can be incredibly uncomfortable and potentially unhealthy, so expressing some milk to relieve the pressure can come as a great relief. Buy a breast pump early and have a little practice before your new arrival so, when the time comes, you’re already an expert.

These six handy items will make life with a newborn so much easier for you, and we consider them the essentials, but there are always so many more things to think of!

*You may also wish to also checkout the Twelve Maternity Hospital Bag Essentials by Belly Bands

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