Getting ready to have a sweet bundle of joy means you have a lot of things to do in preparation for a baby! Having a baby is a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it does require some thought and planning. This list has a few things to remember to check off as you are prepping your home for those tiny feet that will soon be running through your halls. Keep on reading for 8 of the top things to do in preparation for a baby!
1. Knowledge is Power
One of the things to do in preparation for a baby is to educate yourself on becoming a mother! There are scores of books available on pregnancy, birth, child rearing, nutrition, behavioral and sleep patterns and tons of other topics that surround having a baby. If you aren’t much for reading, consider videos, audio CDs, or maybe even classes. Take advantage of the time you are pregnant to learn about life after baby arrives! Don’t forget to find out what classes your doctor's office, local gym, community center, or church may offer. Breastfeeding and mothering support groups can also be found through these resources.
There are some things you will certainly need to care for baby right after birth. Don’t buy every single gadget on the market, because you really only need a few things. Diapers, clothes, a baby bed, bottles (if you choose to bottle feed), a car seat, and blankets are a few of the essential items to remember. You may want or need a few other items depending on your preferences. If you have a baby shower prior to baby’s arrival, you may need to buy little or nothing to prepare. But do make sure that you have these essentials on hand before you have the baby, because it will make things much easier for you.
3. Baby Proof
Making sure your home is a safe environment should be a number one priority for you and your spouse! A few key things to check are electrical outlets, cleaning supplies, personal grooming products or medications in a low cabinet or drawer, dog food within easy reach, knives or weapons in the open, candy that can present a choking hazard, tables with sharp corners, stairs, or electrical cords that can be chewed on or present strangling hazards. There is a wide array of equipment available on the market to lessen or prevent these hazards.
4. Freezer Meals
Stocking your freezer with meals that you have made ahead of time and wrapped will probably save you more time and energy than you can imagine right now! The first few weeks with baby can be hectic and difficult to adjust to, so it’s nice having a ready-made meal to pop in the oven when you are hungry. Make a wide selection of foods to freeze, including things like casseroles, muffins, breads, soups, etc.
5. Stock up
For the first few weeks or months after you have your sweet bundle of joy, you may not have the time or energy to go shopping, so this tip may be a lifesaver for you! Stock up on essential items before the baby arrives to make sure you don’t run out. Paper products, personal hygiene products, non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, and other random things you use in everyday life, like batteries or trash bags, will come in handy when you’ve been sleep deprived and feel too weary to make a quick grocery run.
6. Be Ready
When you bring baby home, it’s a good idea to be ready for any emergency that could pop up, whether it’s a serious one or just something that causes motherly concern. Be sure and keep all your important phone numbers together in one handy location. Include your pediatrician, your own doctor or OB, a lactation consultant if you breastfeed, emergency contacts, your husband's work number if you don’t have it memorized, and a good friend that you can rely on to babysit or offer advice.
7. Your Relationships
Now that you have a baby, you will need to put more effort into your relationship with your spouse! Don’t let it fall to the wayside; your spouse will be your number one supporter and friend throughout the journey of parenthood. Make sure to plan regular date nights, and to make time for each other. Try to get dressed in real clothes and wear makeup occasionally. Put out an effort to keep the spark alive!
8. Go with the Flow
Perhaps the most important tip I can give you for becoming a new parent is to remember to go with the flow. Parenting is like anything else in life, you learn as you go. You will make mistakes, and figure things out by trial and error. Give yourself a break if you feel like you need one, and most importantly, cherish this time! Your baby will grow faster than you realize and you will only get this time once, so don’t rush it!
These ideas are just a few of the things you will need to do in preparation for a new baby. Having a baby will be a major life change, but completely worth it, especially if you have been anticipating parenthood for a while! Please comment below if you have some tips of your own to share on becoming a new parent and what you did to prepare yourself and your home for that new life phase!