Preparing for a new permanent resident in your life can be difficult, but doing nothing to prepare is even more difficult. While there’s no way to guarantee you won’t be surprised during your first few months as a mother, there are ways to set yourself up for more tremendous success, satisfaction, and sanity before your wiggly little one arrives.
To kick off your preparations, complete the following to-dos before The Day:
Give your house a “safety exam.”
It may appear like having a newborn who can crawl into the kitchen, and open cabinets full of deadly chemicals is a lifetime away. Nonetheless, any parent will tell you that it is not true. Babies become mobile nearly immediately, and it’s easier to prepare now rather than later when you’re tired. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cleaning supplies (including laundry and dishwasher pods) and medication should always be kept out of sight and reach of children.
Create Your Baby Zones.
Babies have a sneaky way of taking over every square inch of your house if you don’t designate specific areas wholly devoted to your noisy cherub. For example, set up a changing zone in one room of your house (or two if your home is spread out) and an always stocked and organized diaper bag you can grab for on-the-go changes (like blowouts so messy it’s best to bring the supplies to the baby.) In addition, consider setting up play zones, feeding zones, sleep zones, dressing zones, and any other zones you think your baby will need.
Set up and stock up your nursery
The most important advice we can give is to have everything set up and ready to go at least six weeks before your due date. Babies have a habit of surprising us when we least expect it, so don’t wait until the last minute or rely on your family/friends to do it for you while you’re in the hospital!
Make sure you have a crib with a mattress, changing station, baby monitor, and black-out curtains. You should also stock your nursery with the following necessities: diapers and wipes, onesies, swaddle blankets, sleep sacks, nursing supplies, and put away clothes.
Get tips from experienced parents.
Those who have been there having the best tips on living with a baby, whether your own parents, friends with children, or supportive parents in our community. There is no such thing as a silly question when it comes to pregnancy and parenting. So take advantage of every opportunity to learn from the experiences of others.
Attend Parenting classes
Many new parents have never had to care for a baby before. Baby care classes are sometimes offered by hospitals, community education centers, and places of worship. These classes cover the fundamentals of newborn care, such as diapering, feeding, and bathing. These vital skills will be taught to you in the hospital before discharge.
Parenting classes are available in some communities. Children aren’t born with instruction manuals. As a result, some parents value learning about the various stages of child development and practical skills for dealing with everyday issues like discipline or power struggles between parents and children. This type of class is frequently taught by counselors and social workers. If you’re looking for parenting classes, ask your child’s doctor for assistance in finding one in your area.
Having a newborn can be daunting, especially if it’s your first one. Some parents may not feel the need to have these guides as they have the support group they need, like family or helpers. But worry not; everything will work out fine with this guide and your instincts!