Are you ready for your baby to come home?

mom-with-newborn-in-hospitalIf your due date is around the corner, here is a to-do list to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival.

Child safety seat: Make sure your baby’s car seat is safe and correctly installed  in your car before you go to the hospital.

Crib: Choose a crib with slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Make sure the crib isn’t painted with lead or varnish. Don’t use bumper guards on cribs because they pose a suffocation risk. Read more about how to choose a safe crib for your baby. 

Diapers: Plan on using about 70 diapers (disposable or cloth) a week.

Layette: You won’t need a full wardrobe. Here’s the basics to get you started:

   • 6 to 8 T-shirts or onesies 
   • 6 to 8 sleepers
   • 4 to 6 pairs of booties or socks
   • 4 to 6 receiving blankets
   • Washcloths and towels

Medical supplies: It’s good to have these items on hand, ahead of your baby’s arrival:

   • Rectal digital thermometer (not a mercury thermometer) and lubricant (petroleum jelly). A rectal digital thermometer gives the best temperature reading for newborns.
   • Non-aspirin liquid pain reliever (acetaminophen) for infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend any other type of pain reliever for infants up to 6 months old.
   • Diaper rash ointment
   • Rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs to clean the umbilical cord stump
   • Saline drops to help relieve a stuffy nose
   • Infant nail clippers
   • Suction bulb for nose

Other supplies:

   • A breast pump if you want to express your milk
   • Formula and bottles if you plan to feed your baby formula

Choose a health care provider: It is also helpful to choose a health care provider for your baby, before you give birth. This way you have someone to go to for your baby’s first well check visit or if he is not feeling well.

A pediatrician is a health care provider who takes care of babies and children. To find a pediatrician in your area, go to the Web site of the American Academy of Pediatrics

A family physician is a health care provider who takes care of people of all ages. To find a family physician in your area, go to the Web site of the American Board of Family Medicine.

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