The moment you find out you’re going to be a mom, chances are you start thinking of names for your baby if it’s going to be a boy or a girl. For some moms-to-be, the prospect of giving birth is so overwhelming that they become tempted to put it out of their minds until the last minute. While it’s easy to buy diapers and other baby essentials, there are just some things you have to prepare for ahead of time so that you’ll have everything ready when your little one comes. Here are some of the bits and pieces you may overlook while you’re preparing for your baby.
Learn about what happens during birth
Obstetrician Glade Curtis shares that in his experience, women who learn about the birth process ahead of time become active participants in their own birth process. This makes giving birth more meaningful and lets you know about what to expect when the labor pains start. Prepare yourself and take a birth class so that you can learn about the different stages of labor, breathing techniques, and options for managing pain. You can also do some research about the various methods of delivery, such as c-section, water birth, natural birth, and more. By knowing what goes into the birth process, you will be able to decide how you want yours to go.
You can also sign up for a newborn care class, especially if this is your first time giving birth. A breastfeeding class is also helpful if you decide to nurse your baby.
Assign a place in your home for your baby’s needs.
You may be bent on designing your nursery, but what about the things that go in it? There are thousands of baby clothes, supplies, and equipment available in the market, but which ones are really necessary? Here are some items that your baby must absolutely have:
- Crib or cradle and beddings
- Feeding bottles and nipples
- Federally-approved car seat
- Washcloths or baby wipes
- Basic clothes
- Plastic-lined bin for disposable diapers
- Brush for cleaning bottles
Make sure that the clothes, beddings, and washcloths are washed in hypoallergenic or baby detergent before using them. For your nursery, you can also get a soft nightlight that won’t hurt your baby’s sensitive eyes. For yourself, invest in at least two pairs of comfortable nursing bras.
Arrange for household help
You need to focus on your baby, not the household chores or cooking dinner, during the first few months after giving birth. Arranging for outside help such as a cleaning or laundry service lets you have more time with your child. You can prepare meals the week before you give birth. Put these in microwavable or oven-friendly containers, label the contents, and write directions for heating. You can also make a list of restaurants that offer delivery services. Put the restaurant flyers or brochures with their menu in a folder near the kitchen. A night or day nanny can also help you take care of your baby, and a babysitter can be a godsend if you have older children. It’s important for new moms to have plenty of rest, so prepare and arrange for help beforehand.