Having a baby is one of the most life changing experiences that you’ll go through. With all of the excitement of waiting for your newborn, there’s also a lot that needs organizing.
The following tips should help you prepare for those first few weeks with a new baby, and make life less stressful.
Do Your Research
You might have spent lots of time researching pregnancy advice and tips, but now is also a great time to think about life after the birth of your baby! If this is your first baby, make sure you know all of the essentials: how to feed, dress, and put your baby to sleep safely. If you’ve been attending antenatal classes, you’ll probably already be well-versed in the essentials, so why not use this time to look more closely at something specific to you, like locally available childcare.
Use these precious last few weeks to make sure you’re as prepared as possible. You can find lots of parenting and pregnancy advice online – so make good use of it! Just make sure that any advice regarding medication and health is from a reputable source.
Spend Time with Family
Life with a newborn can be hectic, and changes things for everyone in your family. If you have older children, make sure you spend extra time with them now and show them how much you love them! Get them excited about the arrival of their new sibling too!
Also set aside time to spend with your partner in the build-up to your due date. It can be hard to find time for one another once in the first weeks after the baby arrives, so do something you both enjoy together now.
It’s also important to talk openly about your hopes and fears before the baby comes, as well as your expectations for how responsibilities will be divided. Being on the same page and approaching this together will make tackling life with a newborn much easier.
By cooking and freezing some of your favorite meals now, you’ll be able to eat well in those first few weeks without the need to do lots of cooking. Plus, it’s a great way to use up some time while you’re waiting for your new arrival in those last few weeks! Make it fun by inviting some friends over to cook with you, or spend time with your partner in the kitchen.
Prepare Your House
For some mums-to-be, a ‘nesting’ instinct kicks in. Others find the end of pregnancy totally exhausting. Whatever state you find yourself in, try do to as much as possible to organize your home before your baby comes. It could be getting through that pile of laundry, or having the windows professionally cleaned. Whatever you can do now will make life with a newborn much easier is worth it- and enlist help from friends, family, or your partner where you can!
Pack Your Hospital Bag
Your hospital bag should include everything you need for both yourself and your baby during labor and delivery. As your baby could come at any time after 37 weeks, you’ll need to have it ready in advance. Don’t forget to include your maternity notes and birth plan (if you have one), as well as appropriate clothes for during and after labor.
Your baby will need a few sleep suits, a hat, and something warm to go home in. Many mums recommend taking a snack bag, filled with your favorite goodies, as labor can be exhausting and it’s important to keep your energy levels up!
Aim to have your bag packed by the 37th week, and have it ready to grab when it’s time to go to the hospital or brith centre!
At the end of the day, pregnancy is an exciting but overwhelming journey. Do as much as you feel like doing in the build-up to your due date, and make sure you take some time to relax – you deserve it!