I always enjoy having guests posters here at the Better Half and today is no exception. We all remember packing that bag for the hospital or sitting in an empty nursery with a full belly wondering what the hell did we get ourselves into and what are we supposed to do next. Well today Katie Moore gives us some great information and tips on preparing for baby. Please show her some love and be sure to check out her super cute site for “Moore” from Katie.
Preparing for the Arrival of Your New Baby
While nothing can fully prepare a mother for life with a new baby, some advance preparation may help make things a little smoother before, during, and after the excitement of the baby’s arrival.
Before the Arrival
As early as a few months before the due date, an expecting mother can set up her nursery. Furniture can come from virtually anywhere, from matching sets bought new to hand-me-downs from friends and family. Expectant moms can check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website, before buying for information on whether specific baby gear has been the subject of any recalls. Diapers, wipes, baby powder and lotions are all good things to have in your nursery ahead of time.
If you have other children, involve them in the planning and preparing. Have you other children help pick out a new toy to give to their sibling or the paint color of the room. If children feel like they are part of making the changes, they will be more accepting and excited for your new bundle.
A mom-to-be also can stock up on frozen meals, either prepackaged or prepared ahead at home and popped into the freezer. Once the baby arrives, these meals will require minimal energy to prepare when a busy mom needs a quick meal.
A few weeks before her due date, a mom-to-be should pack a bag with essentials for the hospital or birthing center. Friends, family members, and online sources may have advice on what to pack. The essentials include toiletries for mom and having an outfit for mom and one for baby to wear home. The hospital will have many of the necessary items like diapers and receiving blankets, so it is not as important to pack too many of those items.
Preparing for After the Arrival
Immediately after birth, it can be hard to focus on anything other than the tiny newcomer. Still there are decisions concerning post-delivery care that should be made in advance of the big day, for example how the baby with be fed.
A newborn may be ready to eat very soon after he/she is born; deciding on whether to breastfeed or formula feed should be made ahead of time. If breastfeeding is the preferred choice, it is a great idea to attend a breastfeeding class or speak to a lactation consultant to learn more. If formula is the method of choice be sure to inform but it really comes down to a mother’s personal preference for which to choose. If you find nursing to be difficult when you get home there are support groups like La Leche League that can help you. Otherwise, contact your physician or primary care person to discuss what problems you are facing.
It is important to think about having someone else around when you first bring your baby home for help, like your significant other, family members, trusted friends or a doula. Having an extra set of hands will help tremendously while adjusting to life with a newborn.
Research other optional procedures like circumcision and cord blood banking to be performed post-delivery. Speak to a doctor about how circumcision is performed and the pros/cons of the procedure. Cord blood banking is where the baby’s umbilical cord blood is collected after birth and stored for your family to be potentially used later in life to treat a medical condition, if necessary.
Lastly, if an expectant mother has other children and/or pets at home, be sure to set up care for them in advance for the expected hospital stay. When you are ready to bring the newborn home, make sure you allow your elder child to spend time with the baby- supervised (this does not mean the child should hold the newborn). This is important for a few reasons, so the older child does not feel left out and crave for attention, and so that he/she is comfortable with the idea of having a younger sibling in the house. It is also a good idea to discuss with your older child the role of being a big brother or big sister.
It is also important to introduce your newborn to your pet(s). Like older children, your pet is not going to be used to someone else getting all of the attention. Be sure not to ignore your pet when your baby is brought home. Being able to focus solely on bringing a new baby into the world and not other responsibilities at home will help make delivery more relaxing and joyful.
“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”