Hi guys! I’m excited to be back on the blog after my 2 month Mat-Leave. These two months have been a hell of a ride. The best part of it all has been this bundle of joy with us now. More on that later. In this article, I would be sharing how we planned for our baby.
The Baby Plan
I created an excel file with the following sheets:
I will be discussing the following here:
- Baby Names
- Final Shopping list
- Hospital bag
- Diaper bag
- Baby room
- Baby announcement bags
In around my 5th month of pregnancy, I started my hunt for a baby name. I searched on the internet for names with good meanings and their origins. Name search wasn’t very easy as we had to find a name with:
- A good meaning
- Aligned with our culture
- Aligned with our religion
- Liked by him, me and our families
- Easy to pronounce in Canada
- Easy to read in Canada
Moreover, I like names which are:
- Simple to read
- Unique (uncommon)
Following is a great resource for Muslim girl names by Islamic Relief:
Following is the list which I created with all my shortlisted and finalist names. I was honestly very apprehensive about sharing this list as its close to my heart and I may need it in the future. But still, I am sharing it below with my followers:
Shopping was a huge huge MARHALA (process) which required a lot of research and discussions. This has probably been one of the hardest parts of planning a baby. There are endless options and products for babies these days and this whole process can be overwhelming when you’re a minimalist and also trying to spend less.
We got all our stuff from the following stores:
What we bought
While searching for baby stuff, I wanted to only buy things which are absolutely needed and that are the most reasonable options available. I’m becoming minimalistic and have never believed in wastage. So in order to achieve both my objectives, I did detailed research with the help of my sister.
Highly recommended products
Following are the products which I absolutely recommend.
Evenflo car seat & stroller : Its basically a jogger. So you can run and take baby on trails on this. Easy to maneuver.
Video monitor – This product made our life so much easier. Got her used to sleeping in her bed alone because of this. You can see the baby even in the dark, hear the baby and talk to the baby. Makes it very easy to train the baby to sleep alone so you can carry on with your life.
Bedside mini-fridge: Before I bought this, I had to run to the kitchen so many times each night so her formula milk doesn’t go bad. Now it’s so easy to feed her as this cute little fridge is right next to my bed.
Bubos Bottle warmer : It comes with a baby food warming insert. Does its job well. Very conveniently placed next to the mini-fridge.
7th Gen Baby wipes: Paraben & scent-free.
Pampers Baby Dry: Tried many different types but this is the only one that doesn’t leak. LIFESAVER
Baby formula 3+ months: We switched to this powdered formula in her 3rd month after a lot of recommendations. It’s only available at Costco. Life became so much easier. She started having less throw/spit-ups and far less poop explosions and she loves it.
Avent Sterilizer: Very easy to sterilize babys bottles, pacifiers, spoons etc
Diaper Genie – Doesn’t make your room stink. It’s a must-have.
Baby tub: From newborn to toddler.
Baby Bottles: These anti-colic & leak protection bottles give you so much relief. You don’t have to worry about burping your baby much as these are designed to reduce all gas issues in babies. I wish we bought these earlier. All other bottles leaked like crazy.
Jolly jumper for car seat (cold weather): This is a necessary item for babies in cold areas. This covering protects the baby from wind, rain and the cold. It’s good from age 0 – 4 months approx.
Jolly Jumper weathershield (covers stroller in cold weather): With this product, babies don’t feel cold when they’re on a walk outside. Protects from snow, wind and rain.
Baby spoons: These are a great buy for introducing solids to baby. Works 3+ months. Its soft ends are comfortable for baby gums.
Baby teether: Great for baby gums. I started using it at 5 months.
Baby clothes washing powder: I keep a small container with this in the bathroom. After her bath, I add a bit of this powder in her bathtub (reuse the baby tub water) and soak all her dirty clothes in there. After 15 mins (or whenever I have time), I wash them wearing my rubber gloves, with minimum effort as it cleans really well.
Baby stain remover spray: This is great for cleaning up baby spit-ups from sofas etc.
Hairbands for baby girls: Absolutely love these hairbands from Amazon. She looks like a little dolly with these.
Digital Indoor Thermometer: I learned from experience that a room thermometer is vital for babys room. This is because a baby doesn’t sleep properly if the room is too hot or too cold for them. This will tell you temperature along with humidity meters so you know if its too dry or too wet.
Suction Bowls for self feeders:
After Nyra threw her food off her high chair many times, I had to buy these as they’re harder to throw off.
Noise machine: This is a must-have if you still want a life after your baby is asleep. So so useful and great for your party time in the house once baby is asleep.
Playmat foam: Once your baby starts to stand up and make their way around, they fall a lot. So these are really helpful as they don’t hurt themselves when they fall on this mat. Babies also love to play on its puzzle & chew on them.
Other products we bought
- Mattress protector for crib
- Mattress for crib
- Fitted sheets for crib
- Baby wipes: If you can’t find the above wipes, these are good too.
- Baby carrier
- Diaper bag
- Nursing pillow
- 10 Burp/wash cloths (gifts)
- Swaddle blanket (gifts)
- Nursing cover (wrap)
- Nursing bras (2) & nursing pads (10)
- Pacifiers x 3
- Hooded towels (2-3)
- Crib musical mobile
- Crib/car seat mirror
- Rattles (wrist rattles also)
- Humidifier with night light
- Gripe water
- Diaper rash cream
- Nail clippers with file
- Lansinoh cream for sore nipples
- Disposable panties for delivery time
- Always pads for after delivery
- Nasal saline spray
- Nasal aspirator (from the hospital)
- Breast pump – A friend gave me hers which she hardly used. But after 2 months it stopped working. Then I purchased this one from Amazon. It gave less supply than the previous one so I had to stop eventually.
- Bio-oil skincare
- Baby lotion
- Baby wash
- Baby formula milk: Used this from birth to 3 months.
- Baby books (all were gifts)
- Baby toys
- Sippy cup bottle (we ordered at 15 months)
- Baby proofing kit
We hardly had to buy any clothes/shoes for her as we were gifted almost all of them. Some were brand new clothes gifted, others were hand-me-downs from our family, friends, cousins or neighbors. We’re so lucky to be sent so many pre-loved clothes and shoes.
Following is a post I did on her clothes:
View this post on Instagram
RECYCLING BABY CLOTHES👚:⠀ ⠀ We hardly bought any clothes for Nyra. We literally just bought 3 sets and 3 random singles. And we picked up 4-5 cute premies from the thrift store. But her closet is overflowing with so much love. It’s all Allah’s blessing. Thanks to the baby shower that our Canadian friends surprised us with, all the gifts our Pakistani/other friends gave her…⠀ ⠀ ⠀ …. and sooo many hand-me-downs from both our sisters, our Arab neighbors, my cousin in Australia and a Canadian lady (stranger from FB Marketplace) who literally drove to our place and dropped a huge bag full of baby clothes for free. They all were so so sweet to think of Nyra. They could’ve given them to anyone. We feel so blessed Mashallah! It really doesn’t matter whether the clothes she wears are brand new or used. She looks like a princess in no matter what she wears Mashallah.👘 #motherslove⠀ ⠀ ⠀ There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing used (and washed) clothes esp for babies. They’re better for the planet #recycle and better for our pockets. Why invest so much into something they will outgrow and hardly wear? Let’s change this culture of looking down upon those who are not brand conscious. Let us focus more on what really matters in life than the brands we wear. 💁⠀ ⠀ #Recycleclothes #savetheplanet #brandconsciousness #brandsdontmatter
We bought the following stuff from Facebook Marketplace as I believe in recycling products. :
- Crib (we got a used one in good condition for $50)
- Sterilizer (we got a used one in good condition for $20)
- Humidifier (we got a used one in good condition for $15)
- Diaper genie (we got a brand new one for $5 which actually costs $34)
- Changing pad with cover (I got an almost new one for $15)
- Nursing pillow (I got a new one for $15)
We ordered all small stuff from there for 1/10th of the price) like:
- Infant books
- Burp cloths
- Baby shoes
- Baby socks
I was new to this concept here. All major baby stores in North America have an option for baby registry where expecting parents can register to get free samples, shopping coupons and extended return/exchange period. It’s definitely helpful to register. We got ours at BabiesRUs.
Family gift calculations
We are very lucky to have an extremely generous family. When they heard the news of my pregnancy, they stepped up and offered to either buy certain main baby products or they gave us a budget to get baby stuff from them. This has been a major help for us. We have hardly had to spend from our own pocket as gifts from family accumulated to so much. Since all our family is scattered across the globe, I wrote our exact hisab kitab (calculations) in the excel sheet too.
Some exceptional gifts were:
- Sleeping bags (newborn & infant): Great for cold areas. Baby sleeps comfortably. Its also safer so the blanket doesn’t cover face
- Fleece and cotton blankets: Blankets are really handy
- Square fleecy blanket: for covering newborn in car seat
- Clothes, accessories, shoes: Addition in wardrobe is always handy
- Washcloths: 2 fancy ones are for outings. The rest for home. Extremely useful and important.
I did some research on this part and read some articles. Found a good resource below:
After getting guidance from books, articles and family, I created my own hospital list in this sheet which I’m sharing below:
Things to do before the baby
The arrival of a baby in a family/home is such a huge milestone that I think its very important to have a To-Do list so you know all that you need to complete before it.
It is said that when a woman is nearing her delivery time, her call to Allah is very powerful. This is a time when most of her prayers are answered. Due to this, a lot of people ask you to say dua for you when your time is near. So I decided to create this sheet so I could list down names of people whom I wanted to pray for and the reasons also.
I also wrote a list of Surrahs that I wanted to complete before my delivery time:
- Surah Mariam – 19
- Surah Yusuf – 12
- Surah Inshiqaq – 84
- Surah Luqman – 31
- Surah Inshirah – 94
- Diapers x 3
- Baby wipes travel pack
- Plastic bags x 3
- Diaper rash ointment (travel sized)
- Wash cloths x 2
- Hand sanitizer
- Change of clothes for baby
- Hat for sunny/ cold weather
- Baby blanket
- Formula milk x 3 bottles
- Bottle nipples & covers
- Nursing wrap/cover
- Lotion (travel sized)
Lullabies & Loris
After having Nyra, I soon realized that she feels better when I sing loris and lullabies to her. I started singing them to her every night. Soon I realized it would be so much easier if I could record them and play to her whenever I wanted.
Soon my niece Anya flew here and I saw her singing to Nyra and that would soothe her instantly. I asked Anya if she could record some songs for me. We recorded the following songs and Nyra absolutely loves them. Sharing them here as I got many requests from my followers for them.
It was funny how I sneezed twice while recording Speechless and Anya laughs while singing.
I also play the following lori’s if she’s really not sleeping.
Setting up Baby Room
Since our guest room wasn’t free, throughout pregnancy, when we purchased baby stuff, we just put it all in the store. We unboxed all the stuff in my 9th month at the very end. I had a really fun time setting up baby’s room.
Baby photo corner
Babies grow up very fast. We’re too overwhelmed at the start of their life but we really need to document these precious moments. I suggest creating a photo corner even before they arrive. The best way is to find a corner where you get really good natural light. Then put some pretty looking extra blankets which will serve the purpose of a backdrop. You may also add some cute toys and month/week banners.
- Baby Center: I subscribed to their email list and received weekly updates throughout pregnancy and baby development. These emails are really accurate and help tremendously. It is also an amazing resource for any sort of questions/issues you have both in pregnancy and in different stages of your child.
- Glow Nurture: This app gave me free updates throughout pregnancy so I knew what to expect and how to treat different symptoms. It was pretty helpful throughout.
- The Wonder Weeks: I don’t have first-hand experience with this app but many of my followers suggested this app to track the progress of your baby and to know why they are acting the way they are. It shows times for growth spurts and sleep-regression so you can be prepared.
Baby Announcement bags
In our desi culture, distributing mithai (sweets) after a baby is born is the norm. But we honestly don’t enjoy mithai much so we decided to do something different yet simple. So we decided on chocolates.
I really wanted to prepare baby announcement bags in my 9th month of pregnancy as I knew we would have guests over to see the baby. I kept these bags really simple and to-the-point. I bought some gift bags, cards and Lindtt chocolates. I printed Nyras birth details (after she was born) and stuck them in each card. These were kept next to the door so I could simply hand one over to every family who came over to visit Nyra. I did a quick research on my favorite source for inspiration Pinterest before finalizing the words. I’m sharing these with you so you can get inspired to make your bags.
Surprise baby shower
Following is all about it in case you’re interested:
Overall it was a pleasure planning for the baby. I believe in enjoying the journey towards the destination too. I would love to hear how you planned for your baby and what steps you took.
A huge thank you to my mom who helped me with every step of looking after the baby. She taught me everything about babies and how to look after them. From bathing to dressing them up, and protecting them in every way.
Haaris and I were completely clueless about shopping. Nothing would have been possible without the help and support of my sister Nataliya at every step of the process. She’s the one who helped me with each and every product for baby shopping. Other than her, my best friend Asma, my local friend Yusra and some followers have also helped narrow down products.
Did this help?
I would be more than happy if you can take a minute to comment below if this article was helpful. Have a lovely day!