A new baby in your home means a change of lifestyle for everyone. It’s an exciting time but it can also be a little stressful. After all, you’re suddenly in charge of a tiny, vulnerable being who needs your help almost all hours of the day. We have some tips to better prepare you to face this parental rite of passage.
Here are some tips on how to get ready for your new addition:
Babyproof your space
So, you’ve taken the maternity photos, put art on the wall of the nursery, and gotten your dream team together to take you through the first couple of weeks of parenthood—now, what? Your next step should be babyproofing.
Modern furniture made from glass and metal may be aesthetically pleasing, but those aren’t the most baby-friendly materials. Make sure that all dangerous furniture with sharp edges are removed from shared spaces. At a minimum, you should be covering all hard edges and corners with protective bubble wrap or foam.
Get a car seat
After you leave the hospital with your new baby, you’re going to need to get a car seat to transport them home. By law, you must have a car seat that meets today’s safety standards in order to take your little one home.
Figure out the sleeping situation
Sleeping is essential for everybody but for newborns— it is especially critical. You’ll have to decide if you are going to try co-sleeping with a baby or if your son or daughter will sleep independently.
Find a pediatrician you love
A good pediatrician is priceless. Depending on your personal preferences, you can specify whether you want a male or female doctor. While this isn’t true for all children, some may prefer to speak to a doctor of the same sex when they get older.
Take a childbirth-education class
You’ll want to know exactly what to expect when you’re going to give birth. Nothing can quite compare to what the real birth will be like but childbirth-education classes will give you a much broader understanding of the process.
Have a birth plan
Lay out a plan for who’s driving you to the hospital, who will be in the room with you during labor, and who will be staying with you besides your partner after the baby comes home. In addition, make sure you have “go bag” for the exciting day when your baby arrives in the world equipped with all the essentials.
Know when to call the doctor
In addition to taking a childbirth class, it’s also a good idea to take a baby first aid class. This will help you familiarize yourself with warning signs to look out for with your baby should anything go wrong.
Your parental instincts will kick in when you have a new baby. If anything feels “off”, your best bet is going straight to the doctor so your fears can be put to rest.
Make sure your laundry room is ready
Your nursery is probably one of the first projects you tackle when you find out you’re expecting, but don’t forget about the laundry room!. Your baby’s skin is incredibly soft and delicate so invest in detergent that won’t irritate it. Stick to mild, organic detergents and look for a “hypoallergenic” label.
Prepare your other children
Sometimes, a new addition to the family can be a bit of a shock for your other children. Make sure you give them a little extra love and attention in the weeks leading up to the birth.
Freeze some meals for the future
When you’re trying to get your newborn son or daughter to stick to a consistent schedule, the last thing you’ll want to be worrying about is how to get food on the table for everyone. To avoid having to be a newborn expert in addition to a Michelin-star chef, make some meals ahead of time to freeze.
If you have a particularly busy day at work or if caring for your precious little bundle means you can’t try out that new recipe quite yet, you’ll always have back up meals in the freezer waiting for you.
Contact relatives and friend who have offered to help
Some parents welcome a new baby into their lives on their own. But it’s common to have parents, siblings or close friends living with new parents to help out as they adjust to their new life. Are you going to have your mom or mother-in-law at your home to help you through the first weeks of having a baby? Make sure they know the plan!
Final thoughts on readying your home and self for a baby
As much as we’d all like to pretend that buying the right crib or blanket or taking classes will prepare you for a new baby, the truth is, nobody is quite prepared for the reality. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try. With these tips, you’ll be a few steps closer to being ready for all the joy a newborn brings to your life.