The very thought of progressing to the next role in one’s life is not only exciting but quite overwhelming at times. From physical changes to bobbling emotions, get ready for a roller coaster life ahead dear Mommy!
If you are a first-time parent, the experience is all the more fretting because you are alien to most terms related to a baby. But guess what, you have enough time to prepare yourself for your little bundle of joy (thank God pregnancy is a 9-month long process; you really need this much time to prepare well as first-time parents!!). So here’s a guidebook to help you prepare for this beautiful one-way journey. Bon voyage!
1.Keep aside those Fears
- Preparing yourself emotionally for the times to come is most important. Speak to your partner, parents, close friends and be positive. Don’t doubt your abilities to handle a newborn. Remember, while these feelings of nervousness, anxiety or even depression are normal but only you can fight it out.
- If you are fretting much, join a Pre-natal class for understanding the basics. Sign up for a class at your local hospital or healthcare facility.
- Joining a Yoga class during pregnancy would also make you more confident, fit and positive about the experience.
- Check out the maternity benefits
This is really important if you are working.
- Check for maternity insurance with your employer. Keep all relevant documents handy.
- With respect to leaves, identify the policy and do necessary arrangements at work place including keeping your team and seniors duly informed.
- Chalk out Financials
Every parent wants the best for their baby. It’s a life you have created so the responsibility of building a strong foundation is all yours. To ensure a bright and secure future for your baby, it’s imperative to start planning early.
- In today’s times financial goals are not limited to saving for higher education or child’s marriage only. There are several expenditures that crop up in the short run itself. From 1st birthday celebration to dance or music classes to annual family vacations to what not!
- Start saving: Those 9 months would comprise several ultrasounds, tests, doctor visits, preparing for welcoming the little one, organizing baby shower and so many other things. Start accumulating funds for these. But, ensure you don’t go-over-the board for any frills around just to keep up with the social obligations.
- Review your Life Cover: With a new life to take care of, you and your partner play an even more important role here on. In case of any mishap, your baby’s future would be secure to a large extent basis this.
- Getting your home ready for the baby’s homecoming
While you would have sufficient time to prepare for the baby’s essentials, don’t miss out having Â a look at the bigger picture- your home.
- Finish off with any repairs or maintenance work at home. Fixing mesh windows, re-painting the house or getting new cupboards- get done will all the big tasks before the baby arrives.
- Clear up upcoming bills or plan the payment of the same beforehand. You might miss out on these in the initial few months after having the baby at home.
- Make arrangements for extra help. Nanny, cook, deep cleaning services are just a few essentials which you should plan ahead.
- Buy Essentials- Stock up your kitchen & refrigerator with grocery & staples so that you are settled for at least 2 months post delivering the baby.
- Set up a room or space for the baby: While initially, you might not need a separate nursery, but it will be good if a separate corner is created in your home for nursing the baby. A comfortable feeding chair, crib, night lamp, diaper organizer, hand sanitizer and garbage bins are some of the essentials that should be placed for convenience.
- Newborn Basics
Shopping for a baby you are yet to meet can appear as a very daunting and at the same time heartening experience. And with the plethora of options available in the market today, it surely makes one anxious. The best way is to stick to only buying essentials at this stage and that too in limited quantity.Â Some of the items that you should definitely have are:
- Newborn clothes like overalls, socks, mittens, caps.
- Bath & grooming essentials including bath seat, towels, soap, shampoo, cream/lotion, nail clippers.
- Feeding Essentials like a nursing pillow, feeding bottles, sterilizer, breast pump. In case you intend to breastfeed, keeping yourself comfortable is utmost important. Buy enough button-down nursing gowns, nursing bras, nipple butter & nursing pads.
- Diapering essentials – these are going to be your best buddy for next few months. Stock up enough diapers & wipes. A changing mat and nappy bin should also be a part of your list.
- Receiving blanket, cot sheets, and light quilt.
- Baby’s medical kit – this would comprise the basics like diaper rash cream, digital thermometer & cotton roll.
- Play time essentials
This is important not just for the development of the baby but also for you as a parent to connect with the new born in a more engaging way. You can opt for infant toys like playmat, cot mobile, and rattles. It is always a good idea to start reading out loud to the baby. Your voice would soothe the little one and make it familiar with your voice also. Pick up relevant books to adorn the nursery.
- Babyproof your home
Ideally, baby proofing should be a part of your agenda before the baby is born. Trust me, you have much more time and energy to get the job done in that stage. However, since at first your baby won’t be mobile, you will get enough time to finish baby proofing before the baby starts crawling which is generally around 5-6 months. But still, don’t miss out the basics-
- While setting up newborn’s nursery or picking up stuffed toys etc, ensure there are no buttons or any such swallowable thing. Don’t use Crib bumpers.
- Same goes for newborn’s clothes- avoid buttons & drawstrings.
- Make sure each floor of your home has smoke detectors.
- Dont’ miss out on minute but critical details like choking hazards. A simple way to determine if an object is a possible choking hazard is to see if it passes through the hole of a toilet paper roll. Common objects like loose screws, coins, buttons etc can be a big choking hazard if swallowed by your baby.
- Pack your Hospital Bag
In the weeks before your due date put together a bag of what items you may need in the hospital for yourself and your baby. Some things to include are:
- A copy of your birth plan.
- Entertainment or soothing music.
- Comfortable clothing and footwear.
- Personal items such as pillows and bathing articles.
- Clothing for your baby.
- Important documents such as insurance cards and driver’s licenses
- Preparing your Partner for the baby
Having a baby changes the lives of not just the mother but also the couple. By discussing and embracing the inevitable changes about to happen, you can avoid misunderstandings and potential problems in your relationship.
- Involve your partner in all baby-related preparations including shopping for essentials, doctor visits, ultrasound checks etc.
- Talk to your partner about your fears and doubts.
- While you might encounter a change in your physical desires, talk it out with your partner so that he knows what you are going through. This way neither of you would feel frustrated and incomplete.
- Read pregnancy related books together
- Discuss each other’s responsibilities post the arrival of the baby.
- If you have other children at home, make them a part of the journey. Involve them in preparing for the new baby and express how much you need the support of your child for handling the new baby. Take out enough time to cuddle and snug the child to keep up your love and affection.
Long walks with your partner, coffee dates with friends and visit to a nice & relaxing spa- these are some of the things that might seem a luxury after the baby is out. Click enough pictures to remember these moments. From capturing the growing bump to throwing a baby shower to indulging in a beautiful maternity shoot- don’t let go of these times only worrying about the coming time.