When Should You Start Preparing For A Baby?
Once you hit your 3rd trimester and well into your 8th month, you are gearing up for the D-day. At this point you should be focused on preparing for baby arrival.
For some, there is anxiety, yet for others, they can’t wait to hit labour and deliver their bundle of joy. The way you go about preparing for baby arrival can make a big difference in your post birth experience.
ON THIS PAGE:
What needs to be done before baby arrives?
Preparing for baby arrival checklist.
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It is true that preparing for baby arrival puts you in control of the happenings around your post birth experience. Yet no matter how good you are in preparing for baby arrival, you’re never gonna be perfect or flawless.
What needs to be done before baby arrives?
Take care of yourself while pregnant.
What you do to yourself while pregnant is your first preparation. You see, your body works overtime during pregnancy. You may experience fatigue and an emotional overload. Therefore, spend some minutes every day to take care of yourself. Take a quick nap, take a walk, do yoga or meditation and enjoy healthy snacks.
Seek knowledge and guidance from experienced mothers
Knowledge can be gotten from varied sources. The internet is a great knowledge base, same goes for books and TV documentaries, etc. Yet, there is something unique about listening to an experienced mum giving you valuable tips on preparing for baby arrival.
Experience like they say, is the best teacher. Getting advice from experienced mums will be very reassuring. When for instance, an experienced mum (who you know is not a super-woman) tells you how she did it, you’ll definitely grow in confidence.
You can make a decision about where to give birth
With the benefit of what you’ve learnt from different sources, you may have preferences as to what kind of place you wanna have your baby. You can choose to have your baby at home, in a birthing centre or in a hospital. Discuss the place of birth with your midwife or doctor as part of preparing for baby arrival. Unless you have complications any of these places are safe.
Have a game plan with a Birth Partner
Aside the medical staff that attend to women in labour, you’ll do well having ba birth partner. You and your birth partner should have a game plan before the D-day. Talk about what things he or she will do for you and make sure you both are on the same page.
If you choose to give birth in a hospital; some hospitals only let one birth partner in the delivery room. If you prefer to have two birth partners, talk to your midwife ahead of time to find out whether they’ll allow more than one partner.
Who is a birth partner?
A birth partner is someone that stays with you when you’re in labour. Typically your spouse/father of the baby or anyone that is there to offer practical and emotional support during labour. Though the dad to be is often the birth partner, this may not be the best option for everyone.
Some husbands/partners may not even be available due to work or distance. It all depends on what you know is practical for you.
Why exactly do I need a birth partner?
There’s evidence that birth partners help you cope better with labor. In fact, good birth partners may help you have a less stressful birth. This is because, midwives and doctors often struggle to care for several women in labor. They are not always with you throughout labor.
The labor room at times may be like a baby factory, with so much happening around the place. You may not be the only woman in labor and you may not get the kind of attention you thought the midwife will give. Therefore, your birth partner’s presence is invaluable and makes baby arrival less difficult.
What a birth partner should be doing during labour
Your birth partner can provide comfort, reassure or encourage you. Merely holding you and watching over you can be hugely comforting. This surely does tamper down your anxiety levels and lessen your pain.
Also, your birth partner could help with stuff like helping you practice breathing exercises that helps during labour. He/she will also solicit for help from the mid wife/doctor for you when you need it especially during intense labour.
Arrange for a postnatal home helper
The first days and few weeks after baby arrival can be intense and crowded with breastfeeding and lots of new responsibilities. Many expectant mums arrange with friends or relatives to help out. In some African societies, they have a tradition where one of the baby’s grannies comes to live with the new mother to help with baby care as well as helping with a few other stuff like preparing meals that give the new mother a pleasant post birth experience.
Where the baby’s dad can get a paternity leave from work, you may not have to bother much with this. But, If you’ll prefer a paid helper, you should organize this in advance.
Pack your hospital bag
Talking about what preparing for baby arrival, from week 36, it’s best to get all your essentials together. Include items like your iPod or a pair of soft slippers, snacks for you and your birth partner, change of clothes and your baby’s outfit. Of course, you’ll need baby nappies. 10 nappies per day will be ideal.
Wash your baby’s wears and bedding
In matters that relate to having babies, hygiene is always a priority. You don’t want to expose yourself and the baby to harmful germs. Use a suitable baby detergent to wash your baby’s clothes and bedding before using them. This reduces the chance of skin irritation for your baby’s tender skin.
Prepare and freeze lots of meals
Especially for those without a steady postnatal home helper, stocking up lots of meals will make the few days after baby arrival less overwhelming. Of course, this may not be necessary in situations where you have loads of people falling over themselves to prepare you fresh meals.
Baby Items to Buy Before Delivery
A check list could be endless as mothers love to shop a lot for baby arrival. But I’ll mention some of the more necessary stuff you should be buying in preparing for baby arrival:
- Pairs of pants
- Newborn hats
- Socks or booties, to wear with nightgowns and outfits
- Cardigans or jackets, especially during winter
- Bunting bag or snowsuit during winter
- Detergents for infants
- large cotton blankets
Mums intending to breastfeed may also want to have
- Burp cloths
- Breast pump
- Milk storage containers
- Nursing pillow
- Nursing bras (one cup size larger than your pregnant bra size)
- Breast pads
- Lotion for sore nipples
If you are going to be feeding the baby with formula:
- Lots of bibs
- Burp cloths
- four-ounce bottles with nipples
- eight-ounce bottles with nipples
- Bottle and nipple brush
- Thermal bottle carrier