(1-2 minute read)



So – just a cursory Google and I’ve found more ‘baby essentials’ lists than I can throw a stick at. So if, like me, you like a good check list and love ticking things off – here’s an idea.

Firstly, make sure you need what is suggested. We live in a world with shops open around the clock and next day even same day delivery! So by all means do your research but don’t buy until you know you need to.

Secondly, check out the safety detail/specifications of everything you buy. Especially when it comes to cots, mattresses, baby sleeping bags, car seats, blankets… The Lullaby Trust is a great place to start for advice around sleep safety.

Be warned though – some of the most important ‘essentials’ will not be found on generic lists.

These missing essentials are not ‘must have’ gadgets or cute baby clothes/accessories. Much more than that. And they are likely to have a particularly important impact on your birthing, 4th trimester and early parenting experience.

I’m talking about investing in yourself and your partner to help you navigate your way through this wonderful, often overwhelming but hugely important period of growth and change as you become parents.

So here’s a list of 5 reasons why I feel that self-investment should really be on that list!

  1. Building your birth preferences together may not appear on the typical ‘baby essentials list’ but working through your options and choices with the help of a reputable birth preparation course as a springboard and for added support, can be crucial to your birth experience. If you don’t know your options do you really have any?
  2. Find a way to access quality preparation for birth – informative, non-biased, comprehensive not limiting, non-judgemental, interactive and evidence based are probably the key initial considerations. What matters to you?
    If choosing a course, do you want the human connection and social benefits that come with a face-to-face course?
  3. Do you want to get to know people local to you that can maybe become part of your ‘village’ and head off some of the feelings of new parent isolation that you may experience? People who are also preparing for birth and new parenthood who you can connect with, laugh with and let off steam with?
  4. Do you want to learn from someone who has years of experience working with women in a professional capacity throughout their pregnancy, birth and postnatal experiences? And are you going to have the added benefit of access to continuing support from a reliable, responsive, friendly and familiar face after the course? Is your chosen course able to be tailored/personalised to the people present on the day? Or is it pre-recorded or based on a restrictive franchised itinerary?
  5. So many courses don’t project you forwards to those early baby days and can leave you feeling unprepared for what happens next! I think they’re missing a golden opportunity here. Do you want to learn about the 4th trimester and what to expect in the first few days and weeks with your brand new human? Yes – postnatal planning is a thing! Courses that provide information and realistic insight into newborn behaviours and how to manage your life and relationship expectations as you embark upon your parenting adventure, can help you begin to plan for the start to family life that you deserve.

Jo (Mum, midwife, certified hypnobirthing teacher, experienced antenatal educator and founder of Your Birth Your Baby Complete Antenatal and Hypnobirthing course)