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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

During the nine months you spend waiting on your baby to arrive, there’s a lot of planning and daydreaming taking place. You plan your nutrition, the nursery colour scheme and the fastest route to the hospital. You daydream about what your little one is going to look like, and how it will feel to hold her in your arms for the first time.

But sometimes, in the flurry of thoughts around every detail, the first week of baby’s arrival can get overlooked. Since you’ll be short on sleep (and high on love) those initial days home from the hospital, it’s best to prepare what you’ll need in advance when you’re a little more clear-headed.

Here are three must-haves for parents in the first week after you bring your darling home:

Essential Swaddling Blankets

Not only does proper swaddling mimic the comfort of the womb, it also has been shown to help reduce the risk of SIDS when baby is on his back. By giving your newborn the familiar snugness he enjoyed during the time you carried him, you’ll reduce the chance of colic and fussiness, and also help him get a better night’s sleep.

Stock up on affordable, yet top-of-the-line swaddling blankets, such as those from SwaddleDesigns. With a variety of swaddling blankets including a muslin collection, premium American cotton flannel and and certified organic cotton blankets, you’ll find what you’re looking for with this trustworthy brand;all to the benefit of your newborn.

Cushy Baby Swing

One of the most difficult things about the first few weeks of your tiny love’s arrival is that your hands are almost always occupied. While it’s highly recommended you hold your little one as much as possible for bonding purposes (and because this special time will be over before you can blink), sometimes you need a free hand.

A plush, comfortable swing can be a helpful addition, and keep baby in sight. A swing like the Ingenuity Lullaby Lamb Full Size Swing from Babies R Us has everything you could want or need in such an item. With six speeds, eight melodies, three nature sounds, a rotating seat and more features, you’ll be able to get a moment of rest while your infant happily sways. The AAP recommends the lowest reclining position for use with infants under four months of age and be sure you use a new swing that meets all the new safety standards.

If the baby falls asleep in a swing, car seat or bouncy seat, the AAP advises caregivers to move the child to a firm sleep surface as soon as possible.

Comfort for Mum

Those first few weeks are rough on everybody (baby included), but they can take a toll on mums especially. After all, you just gave birth and are dealing with a physical and emotional rollercoaster. In order to make your life a little bit easier after you leave the hospital, be prepared. If you’re breastfeeding and never have before, you may not realize that nursing pads are essential. When your milk lets down on one side, the other side does the same; but there’s no baby there to drink up. If you don’t have reliable nursing pads handy, you’ll find yourself with many soaked shirts and unnecessary frustration.

Give something like the Natribreathe Washable Nursing Breast Pads from Cherub Baby a chance. Not only is the design discreet, but this variety is also environmentally-friendly and highly absorbent. You don’t need to worry about being embarrassed or soiling clothes by leaking if you rely on these pads.

In the midst of your planning and daydreaming about your baby, take some time to outfit yourselves with some essentials that will make all of your lives easier during those first days after he enters the world. Look to SwaddleDesigns swaddling blankets, Ingenuity swings and Natribreathe nursing pads in order to cover your bases. Then you can breathe easy and get back to daydreaming about meeting the newest love of your life.