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Getting Ready for Baby

Anticipating the arrival of your baby can be both exciting and a little nerve-wracking. Parents often wonder if they've done enough to prepare and if they've bought everything that they are going to need for the first few weeks of their child's life. At Pottery Barn Kids, we carry a selection of baby products for every stage of an infant's development. We know that some items are important to have on hand before the baby arrives, while others can wait until after. Here's a handy guide for what you need to do to prepare for your baby as well as what doesn't necessarily have to be done right away.

What You Need to Have Before the Baby Arrives

When your baby arrives, there are a few basic necessities you'll want to have ready at home. Among the most important of these is newborn clothing. Try to have at least a few pairs of sleepsuits, short-sleeve and long-sleeve bodysuits, socks, hats, mittens, cardigans, and a jacket. Even if your baby is born during a warmer month, you'll need to have all of the proper clothing to keep them warm at night or on colder days.

In terms of furniture, it is most important to have a safe and comfortable crib where your baby can sleep. The right furniture or products for a changing station is also a must. You may want to use a dedicated changing table or perhaps a dresser with a cushioned and secured changing pad placed on top. Additionally, a baby bathtub will give you the ability to start bathing your infant as soon as you bring them home.

A quality-made car seat is crucial for transporting your baby around inside your vehicle. An infant needs to have a safe and secure seat to keep them from getting jostled around and to protect them in the event of an accident.

A baby carrier is also useful to have when you need to walk around with your infant. While you can always simply carry them, sometimes you'll want to have your hands free. Make sure you also have a diaper bag all set up and ready to go so that you're prepared for anything when out and about with your new baby.

What You Need to Do Before the Baby Arrives

Before your baby comes home, you should take the time to set up your nursery in its final configuration. Build and set up the crib and changing station so everything is ready when your baby arrives. You'll want to pre-wash at least some of your baby's clothes as well. While not all of their clothes need to be ready to go, having a few outfits cleaned, folded and put away means you won't have to worry about doing laundry for the first few days after coming home.

On top of buying a car seat that meets all required safety standards, make sure that you install the car seat and that you install it correctly. Have this task done at least a few days in advance and double check that everything is still positioned and hooked up as it should be once it's time for your baby's first car ride.

What Can Wait Until After the Baby Arrives

While there's nothing wrong with wanting to get as prepared as possible for the arrival of your baby, there are some items that you won't need for a few months after your baby is born. In fact, sometimes it can actually be beneficial to hold off on purchasing certain products. One product that you can certainly wait to get is a high chair. Until your baby can sit upright and starts eating solid foods, you won't get any use out of it. Your baby will also not be using swings and bouncers until they are at least six months old, as this is when they start developing the proper head and torso control to use them safely. A stroller is not an absolute necessity either, especially if you plan on using carriers and slings early on.

Once you've got the essentials covered, you'll be all set to care for your baby's needs when they arrive at home. You don't need to stock up on absolutely everything right away, let yourself enjoy some time with your newborn first.