If you’re pregnant, or looking into adoption, it’s important that you know ways to mentally prepare for a baby! Babies are a sweet little miracle and we all feel the joy and gladness they bring when one enters our life, however it’s still a big lifestyle change and one you should mentally prepare for just as you physically prepare for it! I’ve put together this list with ways to mentally prepare for a baby and I can honestly tell you that I put these tips into practice myself. No need to run out and buy every book on mental preparation (although one or two never hurts), just keep on reading for some useful information!
1. Getting Ready for a Lifestyle Change
One of the ways to mentally prepare for a baby is to start accepting the lifestyle change you will experience. If you are a very active or social person, you may need to put some activities on hold for a while. And even if you are able to continue doing the things you normally do, having a baby around will change even the way your day plays out. You will need to allow more time for getting ready, and little things like that.
2. Prepping for Labor and Delivery
Most women say that prepping for delivery didn’t really prepare them for the amazing experience they actually had, but you can still try! It doesn’t hurt to be knowledgeable on procedures, birth techniques and methods, and to have a birth plan. Something else to mentally prepare for is the change your body will go through during and after pregnancy. No need to feel negative about it, just focus on getting back to your old self! Pregnancy is a powerful thing and will affect you for sure.
3. Knowing Your Baby Will Be a Priority
I know some women who have their children and then expect to carry life on as normal. It doesn’t go that way. When you have a child depending on you for everything, you have to make that baby a priority! You need to mentally prepare to sometimes put your needs and wants on the back burner. However, being a mom doesn’t mean you need to neglect your family, friends, or yourself! Finding the right balance is crucial.
4. Handling Pressure from Others
If you are already pregnant, you may be dealing with this even now. When you announce that you are going to be a mother, or when people meet you and see your children, they automatically feel the need to let you know any and every thing you are doing wrong, or make sure you know their every opinion on each product or child rearing method you choose. You can smile politely and listen, but my advice is to do your own research and know what works for YOU and your child.
5. Dealing with the Baby Industry
Choosing to have a baby can be overwhelming when you start shopping around. The baby industry has done a suburb job in making new parents feel as if every accessory or product is necessary to raise your child. This leads to impulsive purchases that are unnecessary, as well as feelings of being overwhelmed when trying to choose what your baby needs. Reality: babies need very little. Talk with experienced mothers that you trust, and do research online. It helps to talk with moms who have more than one baby if you want to know the absolute basics. They can often recommend products that even a mom with just one baby can’t recommend since they have been in the loop a bit longer.
6. Making Decisions about How to Raise Baby
One of the hardest areas to mentally prepare for a baby is choosing how to raise baby. You will need to discuss this with your partner of course, but there are many different child-rearing techniques and ideas out there. Some women get confused when trying to decide whether to bottle-feed or breast-feed, to use cloth-diapers or disposable-diapers, and similar questions. My advice is to look into each different method and find what works for you and your baby, then stick with it!
7. Preparing to Return to Work or Stay at Home
Something every mom must mentally prepare for concerns her career. Are you going to go back to work or stay at home? Either way will be a change (unless you are already a stay at home mom or wife) and change always requires preparation. It’s your decision, so go with your gut. If you’re a single mom, and have no choice, then start mentally preparing to return to work right away so you will be ready when the time comes.
8. Realizing the Responsibility
Probably the scariest, yet most amazing thing to mentally prepare for with a new baby is the responsibility you now face. Everything you do will affect your child, and your baby will depend on you for everything they need. It’s a scary thought, but also amazing. You have the opportunity to watch a person grow up before your eyes, help shape their personality and beliefs, and receive all their love and adoration! What a humbling thought.
Mental preparation is only part of getting ready for a new baby, and of course you can never be FULLY ready, but with a little prepping on your part you can at least know what to expect. Each child is different, so you can’t rely on what your friends or family tell you, you must be prepared for anything! Do as much research and read as much as you can, that’s always helpful for any topic. Do you have any ways to mentally prepare for a baby?