Baby Stuff Recommendations by Taruna (mama) & Shubham (papa):
Below you will find a list of recommendations for items that were very helpful in taking care of our baby girl, Aina. Some of these are tried and tested recommendations that other moms’ passed down and some are brand new things that we discovered as we learned to take care of our baby. These worked for us and might or might not work for you. For reference – I had a vaginal birth (c-section care might require additional/ other things) and was having – and thus shopping – for a baby girl.
We wish you the best in your adventure! Babies are the best!
- This stretch mark cream really helped when the skin started to stretch and was itchy.
Hospital Bag and Hospital Stuff for while in labor:
In my opinion, in your hospital bag you don’t need much – because the hospital provides everything for your initial and some of your postpartum care. A few things to take:
- Take an outfit for yourself to go home in. I would recommend a long dress for comfort.
- Take an outfit for the baby to go home in. Also take a baby blanket – to put around the baby once they are settled in the car seat.
- Take an outfit for your husband/ partner to go home in. It’s possible they might want to change their clothes multiple times so multiple outfits are also okay.
- Hospital stays can range from 2 to 4 or more days – so multiple outfits are okay to have.
- Take your toothbrushes, comb, face lotion – whatever you need to feel fresh.
- Take a long cell phone charger cable. Hospital beds are notoriously far away from walls so the extra length is helpful.
- Take slippers for both you and your partner so you are comfortable while in the hospital. The hospital can and will provide you with socks. Just ask.
- Take snacks for your partner. They can eat other things than the hospital food that the hospital will provide for both of you – you cannot!
Also, some helpful hints for while in hospital and once you start contractions in the hospital and waiting to be fully dilated to 10cm and to be able to push.
- Ask for a bouncer ball because that really helps extend the pelvis.
- Walk around the hospital room – if able to. That also helps!
At the end of your stay, the hospital will give you things if you ask for them.
- Ask for extra diapers and butt cream to take home with you for the baby.
- The hospital will give you disposable underwear – you can ask for more.
- The hospital will give you a pain relief spray for your pelvic area – ask for an extra one to take home. The hospital will also give you a Peri bottle to wash your pelvic area – so no need to buy.
Extra: You can even bring home the hat they put on the baby and the blanket they wrap the baby in at the hospital for memory. You might have to sneak it into your bag!
Also – this little bit was passed down to me by a few moms so putting it down here. Right after you deliver – especially if done vaginally – ask for apple juice and cold ice water. This helps because you want to pee as soon as possible after delivery. The hospital will make sure you can pee and will make you pee at least twice before they give you the all clear. So ask for fluids right away…they really help!
Postpartum Care for Yourself:
Most hospitals will give you everything you need to take care of yourself based on your delivery. The following two items I bought were also very helpful.
- Always Discreet Underwear. These are disposable underwears lined with pads – that you can throw away after each use. Super soft and useful for days right after delivery because you will be bleeding for a few days/ weeks and the bleeding is much heavier than regular periods. Buy a small pack because you will/should only need them for maybe 10 days to 2 weeks.
- Nipple Butter – this is to soothe the nipples after feeding for when they feel dry or chapped. I used this every day – at night and in the morning. It is feeding friendly and does not need to be wiped off before feeding.
For the Car:
I would recommend the following two products in addition to the car seat. We also got an extra car seat base that way we could drive either car and just move the car seat – why we got x2.
Baby on board sticker for your cars (just pick whatever you like on amazon).
Diaper Changing Station essentials:
I have this setup right next to our bed on my nightstand that has been a lifesaver for me during the nights and I move it as needed during the day. Basically I have a diaper caddy which I bought on Amazon which contains everything that is needed to change diapers and also to give the baby an oil massage and a sponge bath everyday – excluding water ofcourse. It is super super helpful!
On the floor, right next to my bedside – I have a Diaper Pail (to dispose of the diapers and wipes during the night) – you don’t need special bags for them. I just got the trash bags from Costco (linked below) and the Pail seals all the odors so it is really great. Right next to it is a basic changing pad and a towel – that I use to lay the baby on when changing diapers. You can lay a towel on the bed and do it – but the changing pad is better and less chances of leaks on your bed (less washing you have to do). I would keep or get a couple of towels specifically for the baby use. That way you can use and throw in the wash as they get dirty. I use a towel (especially big ones) for two days because if a corner gets dirty I simply use another corner or fold over – again to not have to do too much laundry all the time. I am linking everything below from this section of my setup.
- Wipes Dispenser – this thing is awesome. It allows for easy wipes use. I got a mega wipes pack from Costco (linked below) and used this to put them in and use throughout the day.
- Diapers – from Costco (I like this set from Costco because it has a fix of Newborn and Size 1 diapers. You don’t know what size your baby will be when they are born – so this mix works very well and you have both sizes ready to go. The hospital gives you and puts on Size 1 diapers for most regular size babies – but I’ve been using the newborn size so far so the set works really well in that way.) Otherwise amazon is great for diapers as well. Here is the amazon link.
- Wipes – from Costco. But also wipes from amazon if that is preferred. Here is the amazon link.
- Baby Oil – I really like this one. Smells great on her and comes highly recommended from my mom friends! (I bought a few different oils – including regular Johnson and Johnson Baby Oil. But this one is my favorite so far.)
- Diaper Cream – The hospital will give you some, like some packets. But this is the one I bought and have been using it. Works great! and easy to use for every diaper change.
- Also keep a general hand sanitizer bottle in your kit. That way you can clean your hands before or after or both – when changing them.
- Keep a baby lotion bottle as well – for moisturizing them during diaper changes if skin looks dry. I have different types of lotions. Right now I am using Cetaphil Baby lotion.
- Baby comb! Love this one.
- Burp cloths! These are the best and super soft. I also wet one every day and use it to give the baby a sponge bath!
- Diaper Pail
- Trash liners for the diaper pail – from costco (we use these for our regular trash cans too!)
- Changing Pad & Changing Pad covers.
Other things for You & Baby:
- This baby pillow for supporting their head (and making sure their head doesn’t flatten) – is great as well.
- Instead of buying a diaper bag – I bought this Insert that goes into any big bag. So far super helpful and useful and keeps things seperate.
- Clothes – she lives in these pack and play types of outfits all day and night. I bought a whole bunch and they are easy to put on, easy for diaper changes and just easy to use. You can find them at multiple places and they come in many different brands. They are the best. I use and reuse and wash!!!
- Nursing Bras. I bought these 2 pack-sets from Target and they have been awesome. Super easy to pull aside and nurse. I just wear these underneath V cut tops that are easy to pull down for nursing – since I didn’t want to spend an unnecessary amount of money on nursing clothes.
- Nursing Tanks. I bought different types of these from Old Navy. Super easy to work with. You don’t need to wear a bra underneath them and they have little hooks that you just unhook and feed. Again super easy to use.
- Camera – super helpful. We put our baby to sleep in our room or the nursery and can step away to do our work without waking her up.
- Bath Tub – great for those first baths and more.
- This nursing pillow is great. It keeps your hands free while nursing.
- Have started using the bottles that came with my pump but also these bottles to feed with pumped milk. This drying rack is great for bottle parts. And use this bottle warmer when milk is not already at room temp. These brushes are great for cleaning the bottles. This formula mixer is great for making formula bottles in batch.
- These shirts have been great for night time. Easy for diaper changes and I just wrap her in a swaddle or a blanket.
- Make sure to get a pacifier of your choice. You will need it. Our daughter loves these.
For when they start teething:
A few notes below from our personal experience:
I would also recommend getting and prepping your breast pump (I got a Medela Max Flow) – to not have to constantly breastfeed. Even if you don’t think you will pump I would have one on hand – because you never know if you will need it. Your milk does not come in for 3-4 days after delivery so for the first few days you produce colostrum which the baby drinks. Thick yellowish fluid – high in fat and nutrients for them. That is why the poop is black in the beginning! and then as your milk comes in – it turns yellow!
If you need help with lactation and nursing, the hospital will set up a lactation consultant appointment for you and baby to see how the baby is latching…which can be helpful – because women often blame themselves when the baby does not properly nurse. So these consultants can really help. Babies tend to fall asleep a lot in the beginning when you are nursing. Lots of appointments with the baby and you for the first 2 weeks – especially if they have an elevated Jaundice level (all babies are born with Jaundice so don’t worry) – just be prepared to go visit the doctors office. If your husband/ partner is planning to take time off – the first 2 weeks – to have them at home with you for support is essential. You will need it. Could be more if it is a c-section.
As for Jaundice – if your baby does have an elevated level – like ours did – you go for follow up appointments until it comes down. The more you nurse and they poop – the more it helps with bringing this level down. And we also wrapped our baby and put her by the window where the sun comes in – because that also helps – for indirect sunlight.
Also your OBGYN should ask you if you have selected a Pediatrician – so I would research one in your area and at your hospital that you like and want to work with. Or they will assign one for you. You will need to see them within the first 2-3 days post delivery for the 1st baby appointment. And then again at 2 weeks, 1 month & 2 month for follow-ups and shots!
I also use a long pillow to support the baby’s head and body while nursing. You don’t want to hunch your back or bend down to nurse. You want to keep your back straight. So use a pillow if you can. I posted a picture of myself on Instagram today – to give you a reference of what I mean. It’s a red pillow.
At the hospital you will fill out the paperwork for the baby’s Social Security card – which comes in the mail within 2 weeks-ish.
At home, you will need to add them to one of your insurance policies within 30 days post delivery. And you might have to let your HR know that you have delivered and give them an updated delivery date – if different than anticipated.
You will need to do additional paperwork later to get the baby’s birth certificate and/ or passport.
Last thing – Maternity Leave!
Lots of paperwork goes with maternity leave, which can be daunting! But it is not that complicated.
Your employers should give you all the paperwork that you need to fill out! Based on what I had to do – the info is below. You might have different maternity benefits with your employers but wanted to share what I know below.
The first day that you actually start your maternity leave (which tends to be 4 weeks before your due date – that is the earliest that you can start) – you will fill out the paperwork for State Disability. You can’t fill it out before – it has to be on the first day of your leave or after. Your employer should guide you on how to do so…but if they do not.
The link to EDD is here.
You will Select SDI Online to file a claim for Disability Insurance (DI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits or to create or access your SDI Online account.
Once you register – they should give you a Bank of America Debit Card – where your payments will come every 2 weeks. The pay is based on your last taxable years’ salary calculations and you get paid by the day – including Saturday and Sunday. So when you get paid for 2 weeks – it is actually 14 days. And then you can transfer the money to any of your personal accounts. This money is not taxable by the State of CA but you will be federally taxed on it.
Also – while getting paid by the State for Short Term Disability – you can also ask your employer to ‘Integrate’ your pay. Basically what that means is that the State Pays you like 50-60% of your weekly salary (pre tax)…but if you want to make your entire regular pay – you can ask your employer to use your accrued Sick and Vacation time in addition to make sure you go home with 100%. That is called ‘Integrate’ my pay.
Time off is usually like this:
Upto 4 weeks max pre delivery. You use it or you lose it. After delivery – you get 6 weeks (vaginal delivery) or 8 weeks (c section) of Short Term Disability leave. And then you get 12 weeks of CSFR – which is additional Paid family leave by the state where they cannot take your job away. So basically 18 to 20 weeks after delivery of paid leave by the State (4.5 to 5 months) based on type of delivery. During which you get paid by the state and you can also choose to integrate your pay. After that time – if you want to take additional time off – you have to ask your employer for a ‘Leave of Absence’. Again during this time – if you still have any sick or vacation leftover – you can ask them to use it to pay you. But if you don’t have any left – then you can go unpaid during the leave of absence – as long as it is approved. Sometimes during the leave of absence – especially if it is unpaid – your employer does not pay for your health insurance premium (the part that they pay) – so you might have to pay their part in addition to what you usually pay for insurance through them. Your benefits can go into COBRA at this point. Something to discuss with your employer.