Singing *Somebody’s on the way oh, bigi bigi bouncing baby*. If you’re reading this post on a list of baby things or baby items, chances are high you’re expecting your very own bundle of joy, I’d like to say a big congratulations to you, may you deliver safe and sound!
Shopping for a new baby is an exciting time and by the time you’re done, you’d end up wondering how one little human being needs so many baby things. Try not to go too crazy with the shopping though, some of the baby items you’ll end up buying might never get touched. I’ll share a list of baby things as far as things go in Nigeria, you can look through and make adjustments per your needs. Not every family needs to buy everything as you’ll receive some as gifts or not even need some.
You can purchase some of these items from markets close to you, Lagos Island has a lot of options and wholesalers. You can also buy from online stores like Jumia, Konga, Kiddies Treasures and BabyBliss. I especially like BabyBliss and Kiddies Treasures because they cater exclusively to babies and deliver all over Nigeria. They have a wide range of baby items in stock and Babybliss also has physical stores you can walk into if you live in Lagos.
Giving birth in Nigeria is not generally like the experience abroad where the hospital provides most things required during the hospital stay with plenty of freebies for mom and baby. As a foreigner, the finances that go into birthing abroad is not a joke so their bill kind of covers all those freebies anyway. In Nigeria, you’ll most likely be given a list of baby things to pack in your baby bag and I’d share the most common ones below.
- Cotton Wool. The Dele brand is usually recommended
- Methylated Spirit
- Coconut or Olive Oil
- Receiving Blanket
- Soft towels
- Washcloth or burp cloth
- Baby Cap
- Mittens. Babies can have very sharp nails and scratch their faces sometimes. You can also buy those bodysuits or onesies with mitten cuff.
- Baby socks
- Baby wipes
- Pack of Baby Bodysuits
- Baby Onesies
- Surgical gloves, examination gloves and elbow gloves
- Pack of underlay
- Baby cup and spoon
- Soft Sponge
- Small baby bed with
net. This might not be on the list but to prevent mosquitoes perching on your newborn, please consider it.
It isn’t just your precious baby that needs to be considered when packing your hospital bag, do not neglect your own things as well. You won’t find most of these on the hospital list but they are vital for your stay before and after delivery.
- Lady Sept Sanitary Towels
- Pack of disposable pants
- Breast nursing pads. I forgot to pack this and my milk came in the next day, I was leaking all over the place until I got my pads
- Nipple ointment like the Lansinoh brand. Why it is necessary has been discussed here
- Clothes you want to wear back home. This should be loose and free. Your stomach won’t go back to the normal size immediately
- Nice slippers for going home. You might have swollen feet so make sure you pick something loose and comfortable
- Comfortable dunlop or rubber slippers during your hospital stay
- Socks to keep your feet warm
- Pillow. If you have a cesarean section, this might not be allowed the first day
- Nightgown and wrapper
- Nursing bra
- Toiletries like: bath soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet roll, deodorant, body cream, lip balm
- Your phone charger
- A book or magazine
- Snacks like plantain chips, apple
List of Baby Things or Baby Items for When You’re Back Home
- Baby Clothes. Don’t go wild with this. A newborn’s need when it comes to clothes is really simple. What you need is simple bodysuits (8 or more. You can buy the bodysuits that have integrated mittens, this way they don’t get lost and you also save money), onesies: sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve (8 or more), socks, booties, caps and mittens, sweater. They go through several clothes in a day. Plain white or neutral colours are good for the newborn stage so you can reuse them for your next baby (if you’re having more kids).
- Dedication/christening outfit. If you’re going to dedicate baby in church, you can buy dedication outfit. This can also be used for the naming ceremony
- Shoes. Honestly, babies just need good socks and booties because those shoes sometimes end up getting lost. Shoes can wait until they’re much older, say from 6 months.
- Blankets, shawl and flannel for covering or wrapping your baby
- Nursing pillow. If you intend to breastfeed, this will save your back from pain. This is one indispensable item in my experience, it made breastfeeding really pleasant for me
- Diapers. If you’re buying in bulk, you can start from size one or 2. Babies outgrow the newborn size very quickly, some babies are even born too big for newborn diapers and you don’t want to get stuck with diapers you can’t use
- Wipes. You can also buy this in bulk, fragrance-free wipes are preferable for babies sensitive skin
- Changing pad or changing table. If you purchased
macintoshfor your hospital stay, you can just cut this up and use as changing pad.
- Body cream, oils, body wash or bath soap. Some people buy powders but you need to be very careful with this because the American Academy of Pediatrics says powder can cause breathing trouble and serious lung damage for babies if they inhale the particles. If you have to use any kind of powder, step out of the room where your child is, rub the powder on your hands and then rub your hands on the part of your baby’s body you want the powder on
Mentholata. A mild brand of mentholatumfor when your child has a cold
- Diaper cream. Good old vaseline would do, you can also get Sudocrem in case of diaper rash. Try to change your child frequently though, this will help prevent diaper rash in the first place
- Grooming and healthcare
set. This usually has items like a
thermometer, nail cutter, files, mucus extractor, comb, hair brush, toothbrush etc
- Infant paracetamol. This is good to have at home BUT please do not just give it to your child without being told to do so. Your paediatrician should be the first person you call when your baby is ill. You also should not use it for more than 3 days without going to the hospital. Paracetamol overdose can be dangerous in babies. Most teething medication like Bonababe and Piccan also contain paracetamol so if you give it at the same time with regular paracetamol, you are putting your baby in danger.
- Baby silicone finger brush. You don’t need to clean a newborn’s mouth but it’s good to get them used to the routine of dental hygiene. I started at about 4 months or so. My 15-month-old does not create any trouble when it’s time to brush his teeth because he’s already used to it. The only trouble is when he runs away with his toothbrush trying to clean his mouth himself.
- Baby bath set. There are sets from about 3,000 Naira to over 40k. In my humble opinion, you don’t need anything too fancy or expensive. This will have a plastic bathtub, buckets etc
- Feeding bottles, milk storage containers, bottle brush and sterilizer. You’ll need these if you intend to bottle feed
- Plates and spoons. For use when starting solids
- Breast pump
- Teething rings
- Newborn toys like rattles
- Playmat. Also good for tummy time
- Rocker, swing, bouncer, activity gym,
playard. This is a secure place where you can keep your baby when you have some chores to sort out. Especially when your child is already mobile and rolling all over the place. The bed is no longer safe to prevent falls at this age and we don’t want our babies falling, do we?
- Flask for hot water
- Car seat. You can just buy the convertible one once and for all, babies can use this from newborn to toddler age. Buying the infant one is just a waste of money, in my opinion.
Sun shadefor car windows
- Cot, bassinet and sheets. This might not be necessary
inthe beginning, if your baby will be sleeping in your bed
- Child monitor
- Treated mosquito net. You might want to air this out for a few days, just spread it outside so the strong smell can go away
- Baby wardrobe. If you have enough wardrobes in your home, you can just clear one for your baby. No need spending too much on this.
- Baby hanger and pegs for drying clothes
- High chair for feeding. This is not an immediate need but it comes in handy when your baby has started solids because it helps keep your child in place
- Stroller. This is not really a thing in Nigeria because the roads aren’t so great. Except you stay in a neighbourhood where you can take a stroll without
okadainterruption, potholes and dust. Not necessary
- Baby carrier or good old wrapper for carrying your baby
- Diaper bag. This is good for when you want to go out. Going out with a baby is not what you’re used to, you need to have so many things at hand like diapers, wipes, change of clothes, water etc
- Cotton bud or Q-tips. Please don’t stick this into your baby’s ears, the ears are self-cleaning and you don’t want to damage your baby’s hearing. The cotton buds are for cleaning the navel, external parts of the ear, outer corner of eyes, between toes etc. For external use only
There you have it. Hope you find this useful, if there are any items you believe should be on this list, please feel free to drop a comment.