Preparing for Motherhood: What You Need to Know

Preparing for Motherhood

Whether you are becoming a mother for the very first time or this is your second or third time around, there are plenty of ways to make the process just a little bit easier for you and your little one(s). It can be a challenge to know what to bring to the hospital or what to have ready when you arrive at home with your little bundle of joy. Let’s take a look at the baby essentials that are sure to make motherhood just a little bit sweeter!

Hospital Necessities

It can be difficult to know what to pack for the hospital, especially as a new mom. Here are a few essentials that you will want to include in your hospital bag.


Though the hospital gown you are provided with is great, many moms opt for their own clothes that are both comfortable and easy for nursing. Great clothing options for the hospital could include a robe, sweatpants/yoga pants, nightgown, dress, etc. Having the option to wear your own clothes will help provide you the comfort and relief you need post birth.

Nursing Bras/Pads 

When packing your bag for the hospital, especially as a new mom, one thing that may not cross your mind right away are nursing bras and tank tops. These will be handy to have if you plan to breastfeed. In addition to breastfeeding, packing breast pads will be helpful with any leaking.

Baby lotion


Personal comfort is crucial while in the hospital. Therefore, bringing your own toothbrush/toothpaste, shower gel, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, hair ties and other favorites from home can make all the difference.

Baby outfit

Outfit for the Baby

Another great addition to your hospital bag is an outfit for your newborn. The hospital will most likely provide an undershirt, however, many moms enjoy bringing an outfit of their own to take their new bundle of joy home in.

Baby pacifier


The hospital may provide you with one, but it doesn’t hurt to bring your own pacifier for your little while in the hospital as well as for the journey home.

Newborn Kitchen Essentials

Bringing your baby home for the first time can seem overwhelming, especially when it comes to having all the kitchen essentials ready. Have no fear, here is a baby checklist of what you will need.

Breast Pumps 

One item many new moms may overlook when preparing for their newborn is a breast pump. This item will make a world of difference when it comes to feeding your baby so picking one up before coming home from the hospital will be helpful.

Baby bottle

Newborn Bottles

When it comes to newborn bottles, having the right type and nipple can be crucial. Every baby is different, therefore, when finding the right combo for your baby, try out a few different variations before purchasing a large amount.

Baby Formula

Whether you are planning to breastfeed or not, having baby formula available will save you a lot of trouble. And to make it even easier, you can now purchase formula dispensers for those 2 a.m. feeding sessions.

Bottle Warmer

Attention all new moms, a bottle warmer will change your life and should be put on your baby checklist! Though you don’t necessarily need one, it could be extremely helpful for those late nights or when you’re in a hurry. Something to keep in mind for those planning to breastfeed: not all bottle warmers are approved for breast milk, so it is important to read the fine print before purchasing.

Burp Rags

Becoming a mom is an amazing experience, but there will be moments that won’t be so pretty. For example, when your little one spits up. Be prepared for these moments with burp rags since it will be happening regularly.

Baby swing

Baby Swing

Finding time for yourself after having a baby can be difficult. However, there are ways to make it a little easier, especially when you need to eat. Before bringing your little one home, consider a baby swing or something similar that will not only be comfortable for your newborn but entertaining as well.

Newborn Bedroom Checklist

The one area of the home most new parents get the most excited about is the baby’s bedroom, and with good reason. This will be their special space, so making sure it is ready for them is important. Here are a few items to include in our baby checklist.

Baby crib

Baby Crib/Bassinet

One of the first pieces of the room parents purchase is typically the crib. Before buying your baby’s crib, do your research and decide what will be best for you and your newborn. Another option to consider is a bassinet for the first few months. Since your newborn will most likely be waking up throughout the night, it may be easier to have them next to your bed.

Changing Table

Researching a good changing table is equally as important as a crib. It can be helpful to have a changing table with plenty of storage below for diapers, wipes, clothing and other necessities you may need while changing your little one.

Rocking Chair

A rocking chair is a necessity for you and your newborn. They’re helpful for soothing baby late at night and calming down before bedtime. Take the time to go out and test out a few before making a purchase.

Diaper trash can

Diaper Trash Can 

Though a regular trash can will work, many new parents opt for trash cans like the Diaper Genie. These types of trash cans prevent odors from escaping. However, they are small and will need to be changed more often.

Baby monitors

Baby Monitors

Ensure the health and safety of your newborn by picking up a few baby monitors before having your baby. There are various options available from video monitors to audio to motion-activated that will make both of your lives easier, and safer.

Newborn Bathroom Needs

Preparing for your little one around the home is important, however, getting their things organized and prepared in the bathroom beforehand will be helpful for all. Baby necessities to have ready include:

Bath Products

You never know when your baby will have a blowout or need to be bathed quickly; having these products available and within reach when entering the bathroom will be helpful. Do your research on baby products such as shampoo and body wash to ensure it is right for your little one.

Baby bath tub

Baby Bath Tub

Especially when your little one is a newborn, having a baby bath tub available will ensure everyone stays safe while getting clean.


Another great item to pick up before bringing your newborn home is baby washcloths. Ensure they are soft and smooth for your baby’s tender skin.

Baby Towels and Bathrobes

Keep your baby warm after a bath with baby towels and bathrobes. As a first-time mom, it may seem funny to think about a bathrobe for your little one, but once they are out of that warm bath water, they will want to be bundled up quickly.

Newborn Must Haves for the Car

Car safety is a top priority when having a baby. Do your research beforehand on regulations and how-to videos on installation, the right way to put them in their car seat, how to buckle them in, etc. Here are a few additional things to consider.

Baby Car Seat

Your baby’s first car seat will be one that is designed for newborns. Before purchasing, ensure that the car seat is for infants from birth until they are approximately 35 pounds and 32 inches tall. Additionally, a great way to ensure your baby’s car seat is safe is to have it checked by child passenger safety (CPS) technicians within your community. These technicians will verify that the car seat is installed correctly while also providing insight on car seat safety.

Baby Mirror

Something new parents may not know about is baby car mirrors. These mirrors tend to latch to the head rest facing your baby to enable you to see how they are doing without having to turn around while driving.

Diaper bag

Diaper Bag

Though you will have your go-to diaper bag, it could be helpful to have one always in your car for when you are on the go. Items to keep in your car diaper bag:

  • Change of clothes
  • Changing pad
  • Extra ointments
  • Diapers
  • Burp rag
  • Pre-measured formulas 
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Disposable diaper sacks

Miscellaneous Items to Make Your Life Easier

There are many newborn necessities that will make life just a little easier for you and your newborn. A few of these items may include:

  • Stroller clips
  • Clip-on cup holders for the car
  • Portable hand sanitizer
  • On-the-go first aid kit
  • Tylenol, Motrin, gas drops, teething tablets, etc. 
  • Pacifier clips 
  • Baby fingernail clippers

Have Realistic Expectations as a New Mom!

Be careful about reading too many “mommy blogs” or at least the ones that make you feel bad or that have outlandish claims. Lastly, don’t worry about “getting stuff done” early on during maternity leave; the most important thing for you to do is enjoy time with your newest family member!

Ensure You’re Prepared With UnityPoint Health

Whether you are planning to become pregnant in the near future or just became pregnant, researching potential providers and finding the right one for you and your newborn is important. Find your family’s perfect match at UnityPoint Health!

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