Preparing for a New Baby can be easy and straightforward if you start planning on time. From the first month of your pregnancy, you can start taking different steps and measure to ensure that you are well prepared when the baby arrives. Let’s talk about some ways to prepare.
- Take your vitamins. Front the first month you should start by taking your vitamins prescribed by your doctor. As soon as you know you’re pregnant, go to your doctor and have him prescribe prenatal supplements. This reduces various pregnancy risks and gives you the extra nutrients you need.
- Find a great doctor. The next step is to choose a healthcare provider. When doing this, consider factors like accessibility, proximity to your home or work, insurance coverage and which doctor or hospital best fits your needs. Different hospitals and birthing centers have different styles and processes so be sure to know what they are before you choose. Once you make your decision schedule an appointment with them.
- Pull out your calendar. Speaking of scheduling an appointment, be sure to schedule a checkup. In addition to a physical around Week 10, you’ll have an ultrasound to detect the baby’s heartbeat and verify the due date. After this, you’ll go in every four weeks through Week 28, and then every three weeks. After 36 weeks, you’ll go weekly.
- You should also start taking tests. Ask your doctor what tests you need to take and start taking them.
Learn about the birth process: Especially if it is your first time around. Start reading articles and books on what to expect. Like the famous book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. Don’t put your research off because when the baby comes for the first few months you’re not going to have any time. Also learning about the birth process makes you a more active participant in your birth process. Also consider taking a birth class to learn about the stages of labor, options for pain management, breathing techniques, and medical equipment that may be used during your delivery.
- You can also learn about different ways of giving birth by watching videos of actual deliveries, including natural birth, water birth, birth with an epidural, delivery by c-section, and more.
- Once you’ve done your research, you might want to list your preferences in a birth plan. But keep in mind that being well informed and armed with a birth plan doesn’t mean your labor and delivery will go exactly as planned. Like people who plan to give birth at home change their minds last minute and that’s ok. Whatever happened, having a safe delivery is the priority.
- Enroll in a childbirth education class. Many take six to 12 weeks and you’ll want to finish by week 37 in case you go into labor early. Yours should cover the labor and birth process, plus breathing and comfort measures. To find a class, ask your doc or care provider if the hospital provides any classes or check your local public library or community center.
- Share the news with your boss. Before you announce everything to your coworkers and office pals, meet with your supervisor to discuss your maternity leave. Go to the appointment with several proposals for how your work might be handled while you are gone, taking both your needs and the needs of your company into account. Being a working mother is not easy but if you are proactive you can handle it.
- Around the 5th month you should take a look at your baby and see how they are doing in there – this means you should take an ultrasound. Around 20 weeks, you’ll have an ultrasound, so the doctor can assess your baby’s growth and make sure all the organs are developing properly. This is likely when you can find out the sex of your little one as well.
- Set up your nursery. This aspect can be quite fun if you like interior decoration. Furniture delivery can take 12 weeks, so order by Week 20. Get a bassinet, a combination changing table-dresser for clothes, two sets of bed linens, and a baby bathtub. Also, buy infant clothing, bibs, receiving blankets, wipes etc. Do more research to see what you need.
- Arrange for extra help if you can. The first few weeks with a baby can be overwhelming. If you’re lucky enough to have friends or relatives who are willing to help out, it’s worth having a chat about specifics before the birth. For example, will you need them more in the first few weeks, or after your partner’s paternity leave has finished? If you’re considering using paid help, such as a cleaner, or a babysitter for your older child, you could organise this in advance.
- Pet-proof your house if you have a pet. When a new baby arrives it might take some time for the pet to adjust to this new development. There are things you can do to make sure your pets and your baby live together happily. It’s safest if your pets don’t sleep in the same room as your baby. A stair gate is a good way to make rooms out of bounds to dogs. Or you could invest in a cat net to stop your cat climbing into your baby’s cot or pram.
- Wash your baby’s clothes and bedding. It is always a good idea to wash a new baby products you get to get rid of any residual chemicals from production or packaging. Your new baby’s skin will be very delicate. So it’s a good idea to wash her clothes and bedding using a non-biological detergent, before you need to use them. This will be gentler on your baby’s skin, and reduce the chance of irritation.
- Cook lots of food and stuck up on groceries. When your new baby arrives, you will have your hands full! It can be difficult to fit in cooking and preparing food for yourself, so cook and freeze lots of meals now. This will give you and your partner time to focus on the baby without having to worry about going to the store or preparing dinner. This can be a lifesaver in the first week or so after the birth.
- Clean the house. You won’t have much time to do housework when your baby arrives. If you’re lucky, your nesting instinct may have kicked in now. Take advantage of it! Get the house cleaned, dusted and vacuumed. If you’re too tired, try to just do the basics, such as organizing your baby supplies. Every little helps to make life with your newborn a bit easier.