5 Ways to Prepare for Your Baby's Arrival

5 Ways to Prepare for Your Baby's Arrival

Being pregnant and welcoming a new life into the world is one of the most amazing, life changing things a person can do. But it can also be a very daunting time. It doesn’t help that the world and his dog has advice on what you should and shouldn’t be doing throughout your pregnancy and the first few weeks of your baby’s life. However there are several practical things you can do to make life a little easier for you, your partner and your bundle of joy:

  • Prepare some meals – Once your baby arrives your world will be turned upside down. You won’t have time to sleep or go to the toilet, let alone time to cook! Of course there are ready meals and takeaways but they tend to be packed full of salt and trans-fats. It’s important to eat well while you’re looking after a newborn, especially if you’ve chosen to breastfeed. Make the most of your freezer and pack it full of home cooked meals like casseroles, stews and soups that you can defrost, heat up and tuck into.
  • Arrange some help – If you’ve got willing and able friends and family then make the most of them! Giving birth puts a huge amount of stress on a woman’s body, whether it’s a natural birth or a caesarean section. It’s important to give yourself time to relax and recover after the birth. If you’ve had a caesarean you’ll need to avoid heavy lifting for a few weeks too. If your mum offers to come and stay for a week or so, take her up on the offer because you’ll definitely need her! Any help you can get in those first few weeks will be invaluable.
  • Get organised for the birth – Pack a few bags around 36 weeks, even if you’re planning a home birth you may need to go into hospital so it’s best to have a bag packed in case. Pack a bag of things you’ll need before and during labour, and a bag of things that your baby will need. You’ll need things like a dressing gown, old t-shirt or nightie to wear during the birth, socks, slippers, snacks and drinks full of glucose to keep you going, and a book/magazine/tablet computer to pass the time while you’re waiting for baby to arrive. Don’t forget to pack a going home outfit, clean underwear and sanitary pads, and some toiletries to freshen up. Baby will need a few babygros, vests, a pack of nappies, suitable clothes for travelling home in, and some muslin squares. It’s also highly advisable to fit the baby’s car seat into your car beforehand to avoid panic when you get discharged from hospital!
  • Have a baby gift list – People do it when they get married, so why not when you’ve had a baby? Your friends and relatives will want to get you and the baby a gift of some kind, so why not save them the trouble of knowing what to buy and allocating things to people. Left to their own devices, you’re likely to receive 18 cute outfits in newborn size that your baby won’t get round to wearing! There’s no harm in asking for nappies, baby wipes, sterilisers, breast pumps and basic babygros in graduating sizes as these are all much more useful than newborn size Converse sneakers!
  • What to buy before baby arrives – A lot of new parents can, understandably, get carried away and go overboard with the spending. Research has found that many parents spend up to 20% more than they can actually afford to during pregnancy. It’s not healthy for you or the baby if you get stressed due to financial difficulties caused by overspending on unnecessary items. It’s a good idea to spread the cost of the basics throughout pregnancy rather than buying everything in one go. These are a few of the essentials you’ll need:
    • Baby clothing – It’s easy to get carried away with all the cute outfits available but don’t forget your baby will grow out of them quickly! Baby clothing essentials include a minimum of 6 babygros and vests, a couple of cardigans, a few pairs of mittens, a few pairs of socks, a little hat, and tops that fasten with poppers for a quick change!
    • Nappies/diapers – Your newborn baby is likely to need changing in excess of 10 times a day! That’s a lot of nappies! Pick up a pack each time you do your grocery shopping and stash them in the nursery, that way the cost won’t hit you all in one go. It’s a good idea to buy a couple of different sizes too in case you have a big baby that doesn’t stay in newborn size for long.
    • Feeding – If you’ve chosen to breast feed you’ll need to invest in some nursing bras and front-opening tops for easy access. You’ll also need some breast pads to combat leaking, and a breast pump and bottles so that you can express milk. If you’re bottle feeding, stock up on formula, bottles, and a steriliser.
    • Washing – There are plenty of baby baths on the market, or a washing up bowl will suffice while your baby is tiny! It’s important to use products specially designed for washing your baby as they’ll be much kinder to her delicate skin.
    • Sleeping – For the first few months of his life, baby will be in a Moses basket or carrycot, so don’t rush into buying a cot straight away. However it’s essential to buy baby bedding or a gro-bag, a baby monitor, and a thermometer.
    • Pram – It’s worth checking out eBay or asking around friends and family before going ahead and spending a small fortune on a pram. It’s important to get a pram that enables baby to lay flat so as not to put pressure on her spine, but if you can get a second-hand or discounted one then go for it. A cheap pram doesn’t mean it doesn’t meet the required safety standards.
    • Car seat – This is one thing you should always buy new! Try to invest in one that can be adapted from birth to 4 years old and don’t scrimp on this one. It’s always safest to fit the baby’s car seat in the back of the car as the air bags in the front pose a threat to baby if they are deployed.

When baby arrives there’s bound to be something that didn’t cross your mind, and several things that you planned and prepared for that didn’t end up happening. The most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy the process! Forgetting to pack mittens in your baby’s hospital bag will not have a detrimental effect on his life, and he certainly won’t remember it, so chill out and enjoy being a new parent because they really do grow up very fast!

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