An Essential Checklist of Preparation for the Arrival of a New Baby
Pregnancy elicits a wide range of emotions. From joyful and ecstatic to tingling anticipations, a mother's body is filled with an enchanting thrill. However, once the initial excitement wears off, most mums experience the overwhelming sensation of being a fish out of water. Questions such as, ‘What kind of lifestyle changes do I need to make?’ Or thoughts of ‘what the new baby will need after being born’ or ‘how will my body change?’ etc., starts rattling around the brain.
These thoughts will persist throughout the pregnancy, but proper planning, organisation, and a detailed to-do list can help temper them. A little forethought will help you manage the situation, resulting in a more enjoyable pregnancy and postpartum journey.
Your Essential Checklist Should Include the Following Points :
1. Coming Up With Your Birth Plan
Sit down and plan out your ideal birthing experience, such as whether you want to use pain medication or not, whether you prefer natural birth or caesarean delivery, and so on. Making a birth plan is an excellent way to simplify the birthing process and aftercare for both you and the people who will assist you during the birth, such as the doctor, nurse, etc. Know that listing down all your desires and preferences is empowering and comforting.
As important as a birth plan is, it is even more important to understand and accept now that whatever you ‘plan’ will likely not come to fruition. There are so many variables on the day, and if you become hung up on your birth playing out ‘exactly’ as you have pictured it, you run the risk of putting a damper on the day when things don’t go to plan.
By all means write down your preferences and have them ready for your medical team– but accepting now that nothing quite goes to plan will save you endless stress on the day your baby arrives.
2. Talk to Your Partner About Expectations
When you’ve been up all night breastfeeding and want to shower before your partner leaves for work, do you expect them to offer to hold the baby? When the weekend comes and you’re both looking for down time, do you expect them to go out with friends, or have a movie night with you when bubs goes to sleep?Does your partner go to the gym after work or participate in sport? Do you expect their sporting schedule to change so you have an extra pair of hands in the evenings?
As exciting as a new baby is, it does change your household forever. Some expectations may seem ‘obvious’ to you, however they may not be to your partner. Make sure you set aside a dinner or afternoon to lovingly talk about the nitty-gritty of what life will look like when bubs is here, and what expectations you have of each other.
It’s easier (less stressful!) to work it out before the baby is in your arms.
3. Stocking Up on Baby Essentials
In this day and age where everything gets delivered to your doorstep with a click of a button, you may question the need to stock up on items. However, waiting to do will add unforeseen stress. Between the constant feeding, exhaustion, and crying, you'll barely have time to click-and-collect diapers, let alone go to the store. So stock up on baby essentials like baby clothes, diapers, milk bottles, and skin care items such as a baby massage oil that promotes healthy growth well ahead of time.
4. Buying Postpartum Must-Haves
Postpartum must-haves are just as important as baby essentials. You must make time to care for yourself while caring for your baby. Products that help relieve pain and discomfort after childbirth will only make the ‘new mum’ journey more seamless and help with faster recovery. So click and drag items like Himalayan salt soak, breastfeeding nipple cream and nursing pads into the cart and buy them without a second thought.
5. Preparing Your Body and Mind for the Birthing Process
It is critical that your mind and body are in sync and full of positive energy. Eat healthily, get enough sleep, take a pregnancy class if possible, and definitely indulge in relaxing baths with a Himalayan salt soak to relieve yourself of mental and physical anxieties. You can even soothe your pregnant body with a prenatal massage. It will unwind the stiff muscle and prepare your body for birth and labour.
6. Packing Your Hospital Bag
When the due date approaches or the labour begins, you don't want to waste time wondering if you packed the toothbrush and slippers. It's better to get all that sorted a few weeks before. A change of clothes, newborn essentials, basic toiletries, and items that will make your stay more comfortable should all be included in the hospital bag. Keep everything packed and ready to go in case the baby arrives early.
7. Baby Proofing the House
From nursery to kitchen, start baby proofing every nook and cranny of the house way before birth. It may seem illogical since newborns aren't mobile and can't really get into any cabinets, but this will help you get used to the new surroundings. Believe us! When you're raising a child, time will seem to fly by — the little squirt will soon be crawling all over the place.
8. Conversing With Your Bump in a Loving Tone
You can always bond with your bub later on by giving massages with a fragrant baby massage oil, but it's better to start forming that connection now. Did you know that babies can hear voices and respond to them even when they are inside the womb? They can hear, learn, remember and feel things to some degree. So, start bonding with bub by hugging your bump and either singing or talking in a loving, soothing tone. Aside from bonding, it will also help the baby prepare for the birthing process.
9. Prepping a Week or Two Meals in Advance
When you're busy caring for a newborn, it's easy to develop unhealthy eating habits or become reliant on takeouts, especially in the first month when you are just trying to figure out your new routine. And neither is good for your or your child's health.
It would be ideal if you could have someone cook fresh meals for you every day, but since that is unattainable for most, the best alternative is to freeze extra food and have one to two weeks of meals ready to go when the baby arrives.
10. Taking Pictures That Encapsulate the Beauty of Your Pregnancy
Taking pictures of your growing bump and your preparation process can be a lovely way to document the journey and share it with your baby later on. It's not absolutely necessary to do, which is why this point is at the bottom of the list, but these photos will be a wonderful memento for you to look back on and reminisce about your powerful, beautiful, and magical journey.
When Should I Start the Preparation Process?
Don’t procrastinate, but don’t feel like you have to rush to prepare as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test in hand. Begin by conducting research, then gradually, by the third month, begin preparing things on a priority basis.
It goes without saying that preparing for a baby can be very stressful if not done in an organised fashion. Even if your due date is months away, start preparing in advance by stocking up on essentials such as Himalayan salt soak, outlining your birth plan, packing the hospital bag, etc. This way, later on, you'll be able to put your legs up, relax, and wait for bub to come and brighten your life.
– The Hermosa Co.