Congrats! You are now set to become a mom. This is truly an exciting moment. Isn’t it? However, deep inside you, I know you are a worried parent to be. Worried about how to prepare your baby and what to expect in the near future? It is usually very normal for expectant parents to be worried day and night and sometimes sink into deep thoughts. However, it is critical to note that preparing for a baby is not just about getting your home in order; it involves preparing for labour and making a list of fun things you can engage in before having your baby, which can support the end of your pregnancy journey.
In this article, we shall break your pregnancy to-do list into several manageable bite-sized chunks so that you can enjoy your pregnancy and stay sane in the process.
1. Prepare and decorate the nursery.
This is one of the initial tasks that you should complete. As an expectant parent, give yourself a deadline of when to assemble the crib, hag decorations, set the changing station, and overly prepare the room for your baby.
Whether you opt for a classic, cosy feel or you’d prefer an on-trend theme for the nursery, with a little planning, you can create a safe, welcoming space for your family’s new addition! You can also check the lighting and if they are okay and not too bright.
2. Stock up on baby supplies.
You need to make sure that there are enough baby supplies in the nursery. Newborns run through diapers and wipes fast. Thus, it is good to be prepared. On average, newborns go through about eight-12 diapers per day. But each infant is different, so you’ll have to learn how to predict how much your newborn will need changing as you go. Other critical supplies include feeding essentials such as bottles, breast pumps, clothing, pacifiers, burp cloths, and baby lotion. Stocking up can save you money in the long run.
3. Make and freeze meals
Preparing for a baby also includes preparing well, especially for the first few weeks as new parents when your list of concerns should be about shopping and cooking. One of the best strategies is to make and freeze some meals for you and your family. You can simply stick several options in the oven or microwave.
4. Prepare siblings
Bringing a newborn home can drastically change everyone’s life at home. Therefore, if you have other children, you must prepare them for this moment. You will realise that introducing them to the new family member is one of the most heart-melting moments in life. As such, to help the children adjust accordingly, conduct some prior preparations such as setting up the baby’s room, moving older kids to other rooms earlier, and letting the children visit their new sibling in the hospital, among other things.
5. Prepare your pets
Preparations should not only end at the siblings, but you also need to prepare the pets since they also form part of the family. Just like you did with sibling preparation, there is also a good way to introduce the furry family members for them to adjust accordingly to the new happenings at home.
Things like putting up gates to keep dogs and cats out of certain rooms and slowly introducing your pets to your new arrival with gentle interactions will help those first weeks at home with a newborn go more smoothly.
6. Pack for your due date
The best moment to pack your hospital time is not a day before delivery or on that day, but much earlier. A few weeks before the due date, task yourself with gathering the essential items and putting them in place. Having this done will help you feel confident that you are ready to go, even if your baby decides to make an early entrance.
7. Get ready for postpartum
Preparing for postpartum includes understanding what may come and being open to the changes ahead. You need to be prepared appropriately and have supplies that will support your healing and some tools for feeding. Extra-large maxi pads, adult diapers, or postpartum absorbent underwear like Thinx, soothing sprays or sitz baths, a peri bottle, and some witch hazel pads can help you feel comforted and covered.
8. Be prepared for the hospital
If you are planning to deliver your baby at the hospital, it is important that you take a hospital tour, either physically or virtually and find out if you will need to pre-register. While at it, you can also inquire about the hospital’s numerous services, visitor policies, health insurance, and other appropriate issues.
9. Develop a birth plan
Although you can’t predict exactly how labour and delivery will go, a birth plan can guide your hopes and preferences. Learn how to create a birth plan to feel more confident during your labour. In your birth plan, it is a good idea to list the people you want to have with you at the birth, what kind of pain relief you would prefer and if you have any special needs. You can also include things you are hoping to avoid. Be open to last-minute changes.
10. Attend prenatal classes
A good time to start the class is in your sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. Most childbirth education classes will give you good information about what you can expect during pregnancy, labour, and delivery. You may also learn what to expect in the hours, days, and weeks after delivery (postpartum period). Whether in person or virtually, prenatal and parenting classes are extremely valuable.
11. Choose a doula or midwife early
If you prefer to have a doula or midwife in your birthing process, begin interviewing individuals as early as the first trimester. Their schedules may fill up fast, denying you a perfect opportunity to get a good doula or midwife.