Category Archives: Baby Information Website

Baby Information Week by Week

Most parents, especially first-timers, want all the information they can find about their baby’s development inside the womb.  Many of them also want to check each milestone week-by-week after their baby is born. This article will help parents trying to find information about baby’s first 52 weeks after birth.

Week 1 – 3

During the first three weeks, your newborn baby will spend most of the time sleeping, eating and crying. Of course, a few babies will deviate from this. Some newborns are not as loud as others, while others will sleep more or eat more. Do not worry if they lose a little of their birth weight, as this is natural. So is the passing of stools which are black in color.

By their second week, they will focus more on looking at your face, and may even seem to recognize your voice. The portion of the umbilical cord still attached to your baby will start to shrivel. You will need to clean it to prevent infection. By the end of the second week, it may actually fall off.  Most babies will start putting on weight as they adjust to their feeding schedules.

As you approach the first month, some babies will start cooing and best of all, smile. Those first smiles will melt your heart – so have your camera ready.  Colic may rear its ugly head at this time. There is not much that parents can do at this time except to comfort them as much as possible. A wellness check may be in the works as your pediatrician will want to check your baby’s progress.

Week 4- 6

The sense of taste and smell are definitely getting better. The baby also knows your scent quite well as well as that of other caregivers. Researchers have proven that babies can distinguish taste, like sweet and sour, as shown by their facial expressions. As they approach the one-month mark, these expressions become even more pronounced.

At this point, your baby is definitely doing lots more. They can and will hold their heads up for longer periods of time. They will respond to sounds, turning towards a whistle, a slamming door or other noises.  They will cry to show that they need feeding, changing or that they are in distress.

Patterns, especially in black and white will become more intriguing. You will notice the baby focusing more than usual, trying to differentiate where one part starts and the other ends. Continue to stimulate your baby by singing and talking. Most babies like to be tickled, so this is a great way to bond. Many babies will also start using their arms to push themselves up.

At this stage if you were breastfeeding exclusively, you may want to try bottle-feeding. Since your little one is used to mother’s breast, the best results might be achieved with someone else handling bottle feeding initially. Expressed breast milk can be used instead of formula.

Week 7- 9

Babies become more agile and may start rolling over.  Most babies will become very adept at rolling over on one side only, but will soon master rolling over on either side. As sleep patterns develop, you can set bedtime routines. They will find objects and put them into their mouths as their hand to mouth coordination kicks in. Make sure to keep choking hazards out of reach.

Talk to your baby as at this stage as they are learning very fast. Stimulation is good but do not overdo it as when over-stimulated a baby can become very fussy.

Be prepared for peals of laughter, giggles and other sounds of delight from your little one. Keep talking and explaining what you are doing even if it seems silly. Baby’s brain is in full throttle and they are being stimulated in a major way. Make sure to have burp cloths and rags handy as you are now in drooling territory.

Week 10 – 12

Your baby is now the master of rolling over so take care not to leave him alone. Have fun making expressions for your baby to mimic. Stimulating activities are ideal for them at this time – rattles, mobiles with different colors and sounds, toys with different textures will bring them joy.

It is hard to believe that you are approaching the 3-month mark. By now your baby will more than likely turn his head in the direction of your voice. As their muscles get stronger not only can they raise their heads up longer, their heads are now in line with their bodies when sitting.

Your baby is definitely getting big. Some babies will love being held upright on their legs and many will be able to bear their weight while held in this position for a few minutes.

Week 13 – 15

Your baby may start sleeping longer, and some will even sleep through the night; a relief for sleep deprived parents. Some will suffer the discomfort of teething at this stage even if teeth do not show until another 3 months. Teething rings can offer some relief.

Some babies have now learned to use their arms to move around. Most will not start crawling yet, but they are exploring their surroundings.  Keeping them still will become a challenge now, so diaper changes and baths can be quite a handful. Watch as your baby discovers that their actions produce results such as shaking a toy to get a sound.

They have now upped the communication scale by learning to make razzing sounds.  Thumb sucking may be a new habit your baby picks up around this time. You may also start to decipher the code of your baby’s cry, knowing when feeding or a diaper change is needed.

Week 16 – 18

Now your baby is more than willing to express displeasure by screaming or crying. They will also show delight by laughing out loudly. Their personality is showing more each day.

Babies at this age love interacting with everyone and everything around them. Play dates and drives around town will feed their curiosity. While they will start interacting with strangers, they will still mostly reach for familiar faces.

Your baby can be safely propped up with pillows, and some may already be sitting up for short periods unsupported. As they grow their need for food increases. You can start them on solid food, but be guided by your pediatrician. Some parents introduce light cereals and move up from there. Be on the lookout for allergic reactions.

Week 19 -21

Your baby’s sleep pattern may change again with some nighttime interruptions. The most important thing is that they should be averaging around 11 hours per day.  Using a sippy cup is now possible for most babies as their grip is firmer and they certainly know where their mouths are.  It is at this stage that many dads get excited as the word ‘dada’ can be clearly heard.

Not only do babies recognize parents, they recognize themselves as well. Babies will smile and play with their reflections. Personality traits will continue to emerge with some being content to play alone, while others enjoy greater interaction and babble all the time. Their coordination has improved so that they can easily pass objects from hand to hand. They will sometimes play by dropping objects for you to pick them up.

Sounds will increase rapidly and baby’s repertoire may now include, mama, gaga and baba. Some will be so busy exploring their domain they won’t have time for you. They may not have mastered crawling but they sure can move.

Week 22 – 24

If you ever wondered what type of personality your child will have, now is when you can start to see the signs. Around this time, they will either start showing that they love attention, like to play by themselves, or love to be noisy, or quiet.

Crawling starts in earnest now as your baby realizes that going anywhere on all fours is easy. You can also help them develop muscle strength and coordination by helping them to stand. Some babies will enjoy standing and bouncing on your lap.

Some babies may show a tooth or two so use a soft brush and water, as you want to start dental care early. They may point at objects when you call them out, showing that their memory is at work.

Week 25 – 26

Can you believe that 6 months have passed since your baby’s birth? Most babies will start sitting up at this point, although some may still need a little help. Babies will scoot around on their bottoms, holding onto things and leaning forward.

Many babies will start calling either parent correctly. They will reach for or indicate that they want a particular toy. Many will become chatterboxes, entertaining you with nonstop attempts to have conversations. At the halfway mark to becoming one year old many babies are more selective about who can hold them, showing preference for some caregivers.

You will notice your little one throwing or dropping their toys even more often. Some will laugh when you return it to them only to have them repeat this action. This is all about learning about cause and effect. Switching to heavier, chunkier food is common at this stage. Just be careful that the pieces are small enough so as not to cause choking.

Week 28 – 30

Look at me, I can feed myself, well, sort of. Many babies can now handle finger foods. They will also enjoy clapping their hands and using their hands in other ways too. The baby should be practicing standing by holding onto furniture.

Separation anxiety may worsen so prepare for tantrums and crying when you leave them with someone else. They will also start waving at you, and even at strangers but they are not be so open to being held by them.

Watch your baby try sorting blocks by size and even color. They will also have discovered mirrors and will enjoy playing peek-a-boo with themselves. Playing games is even more fun now as they interact with you more easily. Covering their eyes while playing peek-a-boo with you shows baby’s development.

Week 31 – 33

Many babies can stand without support for a few minutes if they were already holding furniture and moving around. This is the next stage before taking that first wobbly step. Childproofing is extremely important at this stage.

Be prepared for tumbles as baby tries to master standing solo for longer periods. Food choices can also change at the 8-month mark. Toast and other foods that require little chewing are worth trying.

Hearing ‘no’ from your baby is normal at this stage. They are testing boundaries and know what they do not want. They also understand what it means when you say no.

Week 34 -36

Many babies will have mastered cruising by now. You will find that some have become fascinated with their private parts. It is nothing to be worried about. Do not forget that they are learning a lot at this stage so keep reading and playing with them.

Week 37 – 39

Your little one has learned how to use thumb and forefinger to pick up things so be careful what you leave lying around. This ability, coupled with baby’s curiosity and ability to move around more, means they will be getting into everything.

Week 40 – 42

Your baby is becoming a mini me trying to copy what you are doing, like combing their hair if they get hold of a comb or brush. You will hear your baby talking and you may actually make out some words, like nana for grandmother. You may not have given it much thought, but have you noticed that your baby will cry when another baby is crying? This is their way of showing empathy.

Most babies will now be able to stand unsupported at this stage. This shows that they are fast growing out of the baby stage. They also love being acknowledged and will generally squeal in joy when you applaud them.

Week 43 – 45

Your baby now wants to show even more independence and may insist on feeding himself. Be prepared for messes, but think of the pictures you will have for later. Test your baby by giving instructions such as come here and see how well they respond. They now understand you quite well. If your baby is not walking by now, it won’t be long.

Week 46 – 48

Interactive play is even better now. Babies might play along with patta-cake and similar games. Many babies will be able to wave bye-bye. They are also quite the busy-bodies, moving around under their own steam by crawling, creeping or even walking.

Week 49 -51

Insecurity and separation anxiety may begin for some babies or return for others, but there is no need for major concern. Many babies pass through this stage as they start socializing more. Anticipation is high as you watch your baby approach that special milestone age of one. If the first steps have not been taken yet as yet, be prepared for this. Many babies start taking tentative steps now. Do not be alarmed if your little one does not. Each baby is different and may reach certain milestones at different ages.

Week 52

The last 52 months would have been one of love and adventure and of course, moments of fear and feeling overwhelmed. This is natural as you watch your baby go through the many stages of development.

When it comes to rearing children, from the day of conception magical things happen. When they are born, you can observe and share even more in the joy of each new discovery, each milestone achieved. What better way to do so than keep a chart of what to expect than by getting baby week-by-week information.

Finding Cool Baby Boy Names

A guide for finding cool baby boy names that are sure to stand out in a crowd.

So you are expecting a boy – Congratulations!  Now its time to find a name that will pass the test of time.  But you don’t want just any ordinary name for your baby boy.  You aren’t just looking for a name that is different from the rest.  No, you’re looking for a name that is cool and even a bit edgy.  But how do you go about finding these “cool” and hip names?  The standard baby books are a bit outdated, time consuming and cumbersome to get through.  What is your best bet for finding that hip name for your baby boy?  Here is a guide for finding the right baby name that includes a list of cool baby boy names.

Serious business

Finding the right name for your baby boy is serious business.  A name can tell you a lot about a person and is very much tied to that person’s identity.  In many cultures, names tell you something about the individual’s personality.  Take the Italian culture for example.  In Italy, a well-known name like Antonella has personal meaning about the individual.  Antonella means, “sensitive girl” in Italian.  Many times the child will take on the traits of the name he or she is given.  This is true for many other cultures as well.  Therefore, much care should be taken in choosing the right “cool” name for your baby boy.

Tap into the Internet

We live in an age where you don’t just have to rely on the 2-inch thick baby book of names to get ideas on naming your baby.  This can be time consuming and cumbersome.  Today, you have a wealth of information right at your fingertips!  Tap into what the Internet has to offer.  You can search for cool names, scan articles on picking a name, even ask experts for advice on picking a cool name that may be right for your child and family.

Why not consider using Facebook as a tool for help in coming up with that special name?  What a great way to find cool baby boy names in a short period of time.  Tap into the network that is already available any time of day and ask your network of family, friends and business associates on Facebook for ideas.  Who knows, someone on the Internet may give you the inspiration for your baby boy’s future name.

Remember, make it cool not outrageous!

When searching for a cool baby boy name you will want to make sure that it stands out as a cool and hip name not a name that leaves everyone saying, “What were they thinking?!”      You want to make sure the name you choose will not make your son an easy target for teasing and name calling.  Also, take care to choose a name that is appropriate.  In some cultures a name can have double meaning.  What might mean something positive in our culture may be offensive in another part of the world.

Cool baby boy names

Here is a list of some very cool baby boy names to get you started on your quest for a cool and edgy name that will leave a lasting impression:

▪        Zayden                   ▪        Uri

▪        Enzo                      ▪        Nevin

▪        Axel                       ▪        Keanu

▪        Ryker                     ▪        Elian

▪        Jett                        ▪        Cyril

▪        Mekhi                     ▪        Hiram

▪        Rocco                    ▪        Thierry

▪        Jace                       ▪        Marlon

▪        Skylar                    ▪        Cillian

▪        Declan                   ▪        Frost

▪        Armando                ▪        Tobias

▪        Julian                     ▪        Jules

▪        Phoenix                  ▪        Anders

▪        Dax                       ▪        Didier

▪        Xavier                    ▪        Illion

▪        Jaxon                     ▪        Brayion

▪        Alijah                     ▪        Uriel

▪        Knox                      ▪        Kellan

▪        Kieran                    ▪        Adric

▪        Talon                     ▪        Noam

▪        Jamari                             ▪        Gage

▪        Ari                         ▪        Kix

▪        Basil                      ▪        Devlin

Remember, your child’s name will stay with him for the rest of his life.  Taking time to thoughtfully consider the right cool baby boy name for your little bundle of joy will bring all of you lasting joy for years to come.

New Baby Advice

Getting home with baby is only the first step in the long road of parenthood and new baby advice will be coming at you from many directions. You may already have a good idea of how you want to mother, but it is important to remain open to advice and consider alternatives. Do whatever feels right to you. You are the mommy now, which means you are in charge.

As a new mother, you will be emotionally and physically exhausted from the birth experience. Stay in the hospital as long as you can. Rest and take advantage of the help and advice the nursing staff offers. This is especially important for first-time mothers who can expect to remain in the hospital for two or three days. The extended stay also gives your dear partner a chance to come to grips with his new responsibilities. His time away from the hospital may be a little hectic, preparing for the last minute needs of you and the new baby. Give him this time to get everything in order for you.

Learning to Breast Feed

The most important piece of new baby advice will come from the nurses who care for you at the hospital. They will show you how to breast feed your new born. Even if you are not certain that you want to breast feed, you should at least give it a try. By breastfeeding your newborn even for a few days, you will give her the same immunity to disease that you carry in your body. Newborns are vulnerable and susceptible to disease. Give her all the protection you can by nursing.

You may be a natural and find breastfeeding comes easily to you. Do not make the mistake of assuming you know everything you need to know. Ask a lactation nurse to observe you while breastfeeding. She can show you specific tips on how to nurse so you are more comfortable. You may not feel that the infant is getting enough sustenance from nursing, but blood tests on newborns show that even the small amount of mother’s milk that flows in the beginning does in fact increase the blood sugar levels in the baby. Trust that Mother Nature has provided you with all your baby needs.

Getting the Little One Home

Enlist the help of your partner whenever you can and take advantage of resources available to you once you are home. Perhaps your mother or mother-in-law can stay the first few days to help. Keep the phone numbers of the hospital and other community support programs handy. Do not hesitate to call and ask the hospital for help, no matter how small your question may be. Hospital staff is always willing to help you with new baby advice and answer your questions; indeed they seem to delight in it. Just the fact that you are a caring parent who wants the best for your baby makes them happy to help.

Settling In

Your new baby will cry. There is no getting around that. At these times, understand and remember that your baby’s loud wailing represents a healthy set of lungs. Crying is the only way your baby can communicate his needs to you. In the beginning, he will either be wet, hungry or tired. It is not too difficult to first try a diaper change, then offer him the breast and finally swaddle him tightly and rock him to see if he simply needs rest. There is no question that the first few days and weeks will be difficult. Keep in mind that it does get easier. You only need to be patient.

Go easy on yourself and rest whenever you can in those first few weeks. Once the baby is six weeks old or so, you can worry about getting a regular routine in place. For now, rejoice in the beautiful new life you created!

Baby Development – Johnny and Jane’s First Year

“Everybody Poops,” but that’s about it. Just as every adult is different and every adult starts out as a baby, every baby develops at a different speed. But for new or soon-to-be-new parents, charting a child’s development can be only a source of disappointment or bragging.

Each child develops at a different rate and many things (in and out of your control) can influence a child’s development. And despite Grandma’s assurances that all her children walked at nine months old, it’s okay for little Bobby to be starting to sit up at eight months old. For our purposes, we will focus on the standard, mastered skills that MOST (not all) children master.

At one month old, Jane should be able to hold her head up while lying on her tummy. She will be staring at faces and responding to sounds. She can still only see rough black and white shapes, but faces are special.

Little Johnny, when he is two months old will be able to follow objects with his eyes when they enter into his field of vision. He has started “talking” by now and he has found his hands—now is the time for a small, light rattle. Johnny is also holding his head up for short periods of time.

When she hits three months old, Jane will be able to recognize immediate family and is able to move her head to follow moving objects.

By the time he is four months old, Johnny will be able to bear weight on his legs. He’ll start smiling and laughing and talking (cooing) when you start the “conversation.”

At five months old, Jane will start noticing colors and have a favorite. She will also have discovered her toes.

When she turns six months old, Jane will start turning toward sounds and voices. She should be able to turn over on both sides.

At seven months old Johnny will be able to sit up without support. He will also have learned to pull on blankets to pull objects toward him (rather than trying to crawl toward them).

By eight months old both Johnny and Jane should be able to pass objects from one hand to another. They will also start saying “Mama” and “Dada.”

When he hits nine months old, your child should be able to stand while holding onto furniture. By nine months, Johnny will be jabbering and combining syllables. He’ll also be able to understand “object permanence”—that even if he can’t see something, he knows it’s still there.

At ten months old Jane will be able to pick things up using her thumb and forefinger, wave goodbye, and by this time, crawling is second nature.

By eleven months old Jane and Johnny knows Mama and Daddy and calls the correct parent the right name. Peek-a-boo and patty-cake become favorite games. By this time he should be able to stand for a few seconds by himself and is able to go furniture cruising.

By their first birthday, the kids are now imitating others’ actions and is—finally and thankfully—able to let you know what they want with gestures.

Many things help and hurt a child’s development. Over some things—such as premature birth, genetics, and family history—you have no control. Over other things—such as breast milk vs. formula, Fetal Alcohol (or Tobacco) Syndrome, and reading to your child—you have complete control.

Despite Grandma’s advice to get them walking as soon as possible, studies suggest that working with your child into walking early (early being eight to ten months) can lead to lower back problems later in life.

The best thing to do if your child is lagging behind is listen to your pediatrician (he or she does know more than Grandma) and to let Jane and Johnny pick their own pace.

Unique Baby Girl Names

Trying to pick out the perfect name for your baby girl should be a source of joy, but too often it becomes one of the biggest problems for the parents to be.  How to pick out a name that everyone will be happy with?  Will the baby girl even like the name as she gets older?  There are so many considerations and things to do at this time, it can be easy to let this issue become a major source of stress.  The following suggestions and tips should help make it easier to find the perfect name for your perfect baby.

First, your daughter will probably go through a time when she hates her name, no matter what you name her.  This can’t really be helped, so don’t worry about it.  Find one that all involved parties think is beautiful and descriptive of the wonder this tiny one is bringing into your lives, and accept that she’ll either like it or not when she gets older.

Female relatives, friends, and familial traditions are often a popular source of baby names, but be careful.  If you pick one relative’s name, others might feel slighted.   It might be better to pick something truly neutral in regards to your family and friends.  Also, while you might find the perfect name handed down through family, do not let yourself be pressured into naming your baby something you hate just because it is tradition.  You will be living with your child for at least eighteen years, and you deserve to have the final say in what you call her.

The other danger with picking out baby names is the possibility of schoolchild cruelty.  Every school has at least one child whose name is easy to mock, and the little one usually hates his or her name forever after.  When choosing a name, either remember back to your own school days and see if you can mutilate the name you’re thinking of, or run the name by a local friendly schoolchild to see if they can come up with a taunt that you don’t want your baby girl to face.

One source of baby names that is often overlooked is mythology.  Cultures from around the world have both original names and variations on common names to choose from.  The common girl’s name Megan originates from Greece, but scattered through Greek and British mythology one can also find Meghann, Maegan,  Morgan, Morgaine, Morwen, and Morgause.  The root name Megan means pearl, and the variations all have connotations of a treasure from the sea.  This is just one example that took about five minutes to research on the Internet, and there are hundreds of others.  When you start cross-referencing name sounds across countries, you’re sure to come up with a perfect name for your perfect newborn.

Flower names have historically been appropriate for girl names, and planting the flower in your garden for your baby girl can be fun as she grows.  Rose, Daisy and Violet may be overdone, but the botanical world is chock-full of baby names.  Alyssa and Calantha are just two of the beautiful and uncommon names available from the flower kingdom.  Look online, in your favorite herb and flower book, or at your local nursery for good options.

Finally, fiction is a wonderful source of names.  If there is a particular fictional character you like who also has a good name, why not use that?  Authors and screenwriters keep books of baby names next to their keyboards for the express reason of finding the perfect name for a character, and it can often pay to take advantage of their research.  Fictional or historical figures can also give meaning to a common name that you love, but fear that it might be too ordinary.

Take advantage of all of these resources, look on the Internet, and have fun discussing your baby girl’s future name with anyone who will listen!  When you find the perfect name, it will be a gift you will be giving to your little one for the rest of her life.

Unique and distinctive names for baby boys

Choosing the name of your son, a lasting decision.

Naming ones child is not something that can be done quickly or easily. The idea that the name you choose for your son will be with him for the rest of his life, and will in fact have a great effect on his life is somewhat frightening.

In libraries, bookstores, and even grocery stores there are “Baby name” books that an expecting parent can purchase, to help in choosing the important first and middle name. With the internet, the choices are even greater, and not so expensive, as there are numerous websites dedicated to baby names, and other information of interest to expecting parents. And most of these sites are free to access.

Our appearance is what causes the first impression we have on people. Our name is the second, and also how most people will remember who we are. In many cases, when someone thinks of us, they will unconsciously attribute the meaning of our name with our personality.

When choosing the forename, and the middle name that your baby boy will carry, family considerations should be taken into account. Is there perhaps a relative that you wish to honor by sharing his name with your son? Or a name within your family history that you wish to use? If not, then you are ready to discover a new and unique name that will set your baby apart from all the other boys, and help shape his character.

It would be good to remember too, that any name you give your little guy, is going to be shortened, altered into a nickname, and someday used on a playground to tease him. No matter what name you decide on, these things will happen because it is just a natural process. Kids on playgrounds can be pretty mean, and creative, so keep that in mind as you consider names.

It is widely believed, that the characteristics we display, are influenced by our names. Many cultures throughout history still follow this belief and practice. For example, if you want your son to grow into a strong and honest man, then you would choose a first and middle name that include those qualities in their meaning.

Nationality and religion are also of great concern during the process of picking the baby’s name. It is important to many parents that the child’s name reflects his heritage, and moral beliefs of his family.

Some examples of unique names for boys to consider are listed here, with their meanings.

v    Arden


v    Blair


v    Cedric


v    Durand


v    Elson


v    Fergus


v    Haldane


v    Ingram


v    Jerel


v    Kemper


If this article were to list even one example from every letter of the alphabet, it would still not come close to giving you a basic overview of all the possibilities that are available.

Instead, the following list is just a small introduction of websites to visit during your search for the name that will describe your son perfectly.

When you perform a search for baby name sites, enter carefully the keywords you choose, to narrow the results to specific sites most relevant to the type of name you want. Such as “Irish baby boy names that mean devoted”  this should decrease your search time dramatically.

Baby is Coming… What Now?

First comes love, then comes marriage (sometimes), then comes the baby in the baby carriage. But the old schoolhouse rhyme leaves out one important step—preparing for the baby. If you are a first-time parent, preparing for Baby can seem daunting—nursery furniture, clothes, baby proofing, registering for baby showers, announcements, and more. But what is not told is not everything has to be done at once and we now have a step-by-step checklist for preparing for your coming bundle of joy. (This checklist can be used if this is your first or fourth child, and if you are having the child or adopting.)

1)      Panic! The first thing that you need to do after the at-home pregnancy test is confirmed by your doctor, first spend some time getting used to the idea. Panicking is a valid response, especially if the baby is not expected. Even if this baby is expected and is not your first, you still need to spend some time wrapping your mind around the idea that you are going to be a parent (or a parent again) and that your life will never be the same. Getting your mind in the right frame is almost more important than furniture or anything else. This first step may take a few months.

2)      Find Furniture for the nursery. You will need:

  1. A crib. The baby has to sleep somewhere when he’s not being held. A bassinette will work for a few months (until the child can pull himself up and is in danger of falling out of the bed), but a crib can be used for years.
  2. A chest of drawers. Your baby will need a place to store her things. The dresser will be used for years, so find something durable.
  3. A changing table. Depending on the dresser you choose, you may be able to consolidate and use the top of the drawers to change the baby. But do what you can to make sure she doesn’t roll off the table when she is old enough to roll over.

3)      Find the right accessories.

  • A car seat. Most, if not all, states require parents to have a car seat in the car before leaving the hospital. You can find car seats that adapt to take your child from birth to age three or even longer.
  • Diaper Bag. Your diaper bag should be able to carry diapers, wipes, extra clothes, a changing pad, a bottle and a pacifier. When your baby is very small, you probably don’t need to bring toys everywhere, but as your child grows, toys will become more and more important.
  • Breast pumps and bottles. Your doctor is probably telling you that breast milk is best. Even if you cannot stay home with your new baby, you can be sure that he or she gets the best. A breast pump will allow you to give at least one bottle of breast milk to your child a day.
  • Clothes and blankets. Babies are people too, and need clothes. Remember to get cotton or polyester—something that can be easily washed. Do not spend your money on dry clean only clothing. Babies somehow know how much you spend on clothes, and the more expensive the clothes, the sooner you will find spit up, food, mud, or the diaper will leak. Baby clothes WILL get stains that will NEVER come out! It’s better that the stained clothing is a white cotton onesie than a silk dress and bloomer combo or an angora sweater. The same goes for blankets.
  • Toys. Your child’s toy needs will change as he gets older, but at first, you will not need many toys. The rattles, stuffed animals, and simple plain toys you will get at the baby shower will be enough for a few months.
  • Baby Proofing. You will not need to do a lot of baby proofing until your child becomes more mobile (usually between eight and ten months, sometimes earlier), but picking up a baby proofing “kit” if you see one on sale is worth it. If you have stairs, be sure to get gates and put everything you do not want your baby to get into up at least five feet.

4)      Shop consignment shops, take gifts from friends, and go to garage sales. Used furniture is usually fine to use. When buying used furniture, be sure to check out the manufacturer’s website to make sure there are no open recalls on the items, and to ensure you assemble the furniture correctly if needed. Buying used will help you save money to pay for the delivery and other things you find you may need after the baby is born.

5)      Sign up for a birthing class. Your doctor will be able to recommend a good birthing class (usually given through the hospital). This class is excellent for first-time mothers and fathers to calm fears (and create a few new ones), and give good advice on breast feeding, when to go to the hospital, and what to expect when you get there.

6)      Pre-register at the hospital. This is not a required step (babies will come when they come), but if the hospital expects you, you may be able to pre-pay and save some money. If money is tight before the baby comes or if you do not have insurance, you may be able to talk to someone in the hospital’s billing department and negotiate a lowered price if you are able to pay at least part ahead of time.

7)      Set up the nursery. Make sure your crib or bassinette is set up. Have diapers laid out and ready to be used. Put your car seat in and take it out a few times so you know how to do that BEFORE the baby arrives in case you need to change vehicles quickly.  If your baby is going to be sharing a room with an older sibling, it is extremely important that the older child gets used to all the new furniture in his or her room before the baby comes home.

8)      Get your bag for the hospital ready. You’ll want a camera, a few changes of (maternity) clothes, some clothes for the baby, a few blankets, and anything you will want in the hospital for at least a 24 hour stay.

9)      Choose beforehand who will be in the birthing room. It is always a good idea—especially if you have a large family who lives nearby—to have a list of people who can and cannot come in the birthing room. Give the list to your nurse when you arrive at the hospital and let them be the “bad guy”, having to keep your Great Aunt Ruth from giving “advice” during the delivery. Choose a birthing coach and make sure they are ready to go at a moment’s notice.

10)   Relax! Take a few deep breaths and enjoy your life for a few days before the baby is born. Take some time to relax, and panic again.

Having a baby will change your life forever. Pregnancy is a time of excited fear. Being properly prepared for the baby will help calm some fears.