Baby's arrival is a very exciting time in the lives of the parents and family. Part of the excitement is to prepare for your baby’s arrival. We have compiled a list that can assist in preparing for your new baby's arrival.
10 steps to prepare for Baby's Arrival:
The birth process
The idea of giving birth might be daunting. Familiarising yourself with the process will assist in mentally preparing yourself. Just think about the first moment you get to hold your precious new baby in your arms. Before baby's arrival consider taking a birth class to learn about the stages of labour, pain management and breathing techniques. Some suggest watching birthing videos, but before baby's arrival this may make the process seem even more terrifying.
Find a doctor for your baby
Finding a family doctor or paediatrician is vital before baby's arrival. Friends and family are a good source for referrals that will lead to finding the right doctor for you and your baby. Try and find a doctor midway through your pregnancy so that you can time to research whether your medical aid will cover the doctor.
Get on the same page with your partner
Create and encourage an open communication channel between you and your partner. Discuss how he can assist you during pregnancy, delivery and after the baby is born. When both parents are in agreement on what and how things will get done, it will eliminate unnecessary conflict and stress during this period.
Consider taking a Babymoon with your partner so that you have some time alone together before baby's arrival.
Talk to other moms about birth and how to take care of your baby
Talking to other mothers about birth and baby care can assist and put your mind at ease about certain aspects that you might be concerned about. There are many mommy and me groups so that you can make friends with other moms. Join a playgroup so that you get support from other moms.
Prepare older kids
If you have an older child who is a toddler or in preschool, you need to make them aware of the new addition to the family. This will also prepare the other child that he or she will have a brother or sister. This can be done by means of pretend play with a doll and can be turned into a game for more fun. Involve your kids in the process and let them help you make small decisions. Explain what is happening and what will be happening in the future.
Arrange help for after the birth
In the first few weeks after your new baby’s birth, help is essential. Asking friends and family to help with running errands and cooking meals can take the pressure off you to perform daily tasks, and gives you more time to spend with baby.
Know what to do when labour starts
Be sure to know what to do when those first contractions start. A few good questions to ask are where do you go? How do you get there? What do you take with you? Who is going to help you?
Settle on who will attend the birth
Each woman is different. Some may prefer a room full of people during birth, and others might choose to do it alone. Regardless of your preference, it might be a good idea to arrange for your partner, family member or close friend to be with you at the hospital during birth.
Pack your bag
Your new baby can arrive at any time, day or night. Make sure that you have your hospital bag packed and ready to just grab and go. Apart from the essentials you can also pack a few items that will make your stay in the hospital more comfortable. Read our article on what to pack in your bag.
Stock up on the essentials
When coming home with baby, there are a number of items that you will need, including a car seat, diapers, bottles, wipes and clothing (just a name a few). Prepare for this a few months in advance to financially prepare for the new addition to your family.
Start thinking of baby names
When it comes to choosing a name it can be an overwhelming time. Read our post on baby names for some inspiration.