When you are pregnant, there is never a one-size-fits-all answer for anything. While most parents can’t wait to start preparing for their baby’s arrival, a few may feel more apprehensive about the process. Luckily, these ten items cover the basics of getting ready to bring a baby home.
Set up the crib. Starting around the sixth month it is a good idea to begin to prepare the nursery. Choosing and setting up a crib or bassinet well in advance not only prevents last-minute panic, it can also help you start to realize that this pregnancy really is going to end with a baby in your home.
Prepare for diapering and feeding. Sleep, food, and diapering will cover most of the baby’s needs for the first several weeks. If you have those three areas covered, you can call your nursery complete – or you can go on to create a baby palace, it’s up to you.
St up the car seat. You will not be allowed to bring your baby home without a car seat. Before the baby arrives, make sure that you practice installing the seat properly. Many police and fire departments provide free checks to be sure car seats are installed the right way.
Pack a bag for the hospital. Include the items you will need for labor and delivery, the things your coach will need, items for your hospital stay (hospital time is ideal for finishing birth announcements; bring along announcements, envelopes, and postage), and an outfit and blankets for bringing the baby home.
Prepare to take pictures. It can seem like those first days with the baby will last forever and that you will never forget a moment, but babies change by the hour. Whether or not you want to chronicle labor and delivery, take a camera to the hospital to record the baby’s precious first days. Many hospitals will take pictures for birth announcements, but taking your own will save a lot of money.
Choose your pediatrician and day care if needed. Do this research early so you don’t find yourself scrambling at the last minute.
Prepare birth announcements. Choosing the type of birth announcements you want to use and addressing envelopes early will save time later when it is most precious. Preparing birth announcements is a great job for late in the pregnancy when your energy is low, but your desire to feel prepared is high.
Buy a baby care book. At some point you will be up in the middle of the night wondering if what your baby is doing is normal. Have a reference on hand, but don’t spend much time with it yet. After the baby comes, you will have a better idea of what you need to know and what you don’t.
Inventory and wash baby items. If you are having any showers, wait until they are done to take stock of what you’ve got. Don’t worry if you don’t have absolutely everything. The baby’s needs for the first months are really only to be warm, dry, well-fed, well-rested, and well-loved.
Cook and freeze meals for after the baby comes. Even if you have a good support system close by, these meals will be lifesavers during those first sleep deprived weeks.
Erin Martin is a guest author on behalf of PaperStyle Company, a retailer of greeting cards and invitations.