Preparing for your New Baby

The last few months of a pregnancy drag by slowly. You have trouble tying your shoes and getting the laundry out of the dryer. Sleeping is nearly impossible thanks to your baby choosing to be awake when you lie down and kicking your bladder at inopportune times.

But as hard as it may be to sleep now — you’ll want to get as much rest as you can before the big day. Once you bring your baby home there won’t be much sleep for a while.

If you can’t sleep in bed, try sitting up in a recliner and at least resting with your feet up.

There are a few things you need to do to get ready for the new addition to the family.

Pack your bag for the hospital. You want to have it ready to go in case baby decides to show up a little early.

If you’re unsure of your parenting skills, take a class or read a few books. You may still feel unsure at first but at least you’ll know you’re on the right track.

Line up the people you’ll want to help you when you get home. Your mother and your mother-in-law and your Aunt Judy may all want to come and stay with you. One person is enough and might be too much, depending on how well you get along.

Try to get other volunteers to help by bringing meals or by coming over to help you do laundry or to sit with baby while you nap. Don’t feel pressured into letting anyone take care of your baby if you prefer to do it yourself. The first few weeks are a special bonding time. On the other hand, don’t feel guilty for needing a break to take a long bath or a short nap.

Decide on a pediatrician. Your obstetrician will probably have recommendations.

Here are the items you need to purchase before the baby is born:

Rear facing car seat. It’s best to buy this new so you’ll know it’s in perfect working order. Read the directions so you’ll know how to correctly install it in your car and how to fasten your baby in properly.

Diapers. You don’t want to have to shop for these after the baby is born. Buy some newborn and a few a little larger. If you have a large baby they won’t use the new born size for long. You’ll need baby wipes, too.

If you’re going to bottle feed you’ll want to have bottles, formula and a bottle warmer ready. Don’t microwave bottles. A microwave doesn’t heat consistently. The formula may seem warm on your arm when you test but have hot spots that can burn the baby’s mouth.

Bed. You may want your baby to sleep close to you in the same room for the first few months. So you may want t a small bassinet close by.

Don’t use an old crib that has a drop down side. These are a safety hazard and have been taken off the market. It’s illegal to sell a used one.

Remember to not use soft bedding. The baby should be laid on a flat surface on their back. Lying on a cushy blanket on their stomach can cause suffocation.

No toys should be left in the crib with the baby. Do not use bumper pads.

Stock up on a few quick food items as well as cleaning supplies so you don’t have to worry about sending anyone to shop right away.

Prepare other family members.

You should talk to your older children on their level and help them understand that a new baby is on the way. Explain that the baby won’t be able to play with them at first and will need extra care. Think of ways they’ll be able to help such as bringing you diapers or taking dirty clothes to the laundry room. Many hospitals offer classes for older siblings that can help your child understand what is about to happen.

Find a safe place for your pet and get them adjusted to sleeping there instead of in your bed. You want to do this before the baby’s arrival. If you fear your pet won’t accept your baby there are trainers that can help you with this situation.

Make sure you and your spouse or partner have a plan for getting to the hospital and who is going to be allowed in the delivery room. Some hospitals limit visitors so find this out in advance. Ask if your other children will be able to visit once you’re in your own room.

Having a baby is an exciting, life changing experience. By preparing ahead you’ll save yourself some unnecessary stress.