So you are expecting your brand new little bundle of joy, congratulations! Here is our list of 10 things you must do before baby comes!
1. Attend an Antenatal Class
Even if you know your stuff and have read all the books, it is still a good idea to take an Antenatal Class. You meet other new parents in the area and share a communal bond with them. Plus if you get on with them your children could end up with some little buddies to play with as they grow up. It is also a fantastic forum to ask questions and get firsthand information from an honest source.
2. Save money
This is a big one and takes some foreplanning! I would recommend that you start putting some money away into a savings account every week as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. Or if you are super organised and know that you are trying to get pregnant then start a savings plan too. Save as much as you can as you will no longer have the disposable income that you are used to once baby comes. Most new families will see a drop in income as one parent will reduce work hours to care for baby. Coupled with a reduced income there will be all sorts of things that will demand your money, cots, prams, carseats, baby clothes, maternity bras, toys and blankies, the list is endless!
3. Buy Baby Supplies
It’s best to try and buy as many items as you can before your income reduces. Try to buy them in advance so that you are all set up with the basics in case baby decides to come early. I would also recommend that even if you are going to exclusively breastfeed to buy a breast pump and some bottles. That way Dad or other family members can take a turn with the feeding. This allows them a chance to be part of the beautiful bonding time that feeding is and it gives you a chance to grab some much needed rest!
4. Spend Time With Your Partner and Have Time For You
Once baby arrives things are never going to be the same again, your focus will be on this helpless new little bundle. So before your lives are turned upside down, spend quality time with your partner. Do the things you love to do, sit and talk, enjoy the peace and tranquility of your surroundings.
Also take time for you. Have that long bath, spend a Sunday afternoon reading a book in the sunshine, pamper yourself now because when baby comes you will probably struggle to find the time to have a shower and brush your hair. So get a hair cut, have a manicure if you want to (that way you have the added bonus of looking amazing in all those photos of when Baby is born!)
5. Make a Birth Plan
Now I am not saying that everything will run to plan when the time comes, but it is really great to decide on 3 main points that you want to focus on. It might be that you don’t want any pain relief, it might be that you want all the pain relief. Maybe you don’t want a cesarean birth, maybe you do want a cesarean birth. Water birth, tranquil music, hospital, home birth. Of those 3 points, pick the most important one that you are unwilling to compromise on (unless medically necessary) and tell your partner or your mother or your friend, whoever you trust and is going to be there will be at the birth with you. They can keep you strong on your resolve and help tell the midwife or doctors if you become frazzled!
6. Pack your Hospital Bag
Make sure you have your bag packed with your nightie, your change of clothes, baby’s first outfit, maternity pads, underwear you don’t plan to keep and whatever else you think you might need. The last thing you want to be doing is hunting for the right nightie or your iPad while you are in the middle of contractions! See our Ultimate Guide for what to pack in your hospital bag here.
7. Fit the Carseat and Set Up The Cot
Picture this, it’s 11pm, the bulb in the outside sensor light is blown, tetchy hubby is in the backseat with the capsule and base attachment, Mummy is standing with a torch calling out the installation instructions to fit the carseat in between contractions. Yep, that was me. Take heed of my advice and fit the capsule into your car well in advance. They are not the easiest thing to work out at the best of times, let alone in the pressure situation of labour! This goes for setting up the cot or bassinet too!
8. Prepare Freezer Meals
There is no way that you are going to have the time or energy to cook in the first couple of weeks of baby’s life. Make sure you have easy freezer meals that you can defrost and reheat. Or if all else fails, have some takeaway menus at the ready!
9. Wash Everything
Take all those beautiful little items out of their packets and wash them all. Your washing line will look like a little pastel dream with all those onesies and sheets. Then once it is washed, fold it and put it away in cupboards and drawers so it is all ready to be used. Make the bed that baby will sleep in. Clean the house from top to bottom (or pay someone to do it for you) as housework will be the last thing on your mind when Baby arrives!
10. Learn How to Work Everything!
This is a very vital step! It will soon become second nature to buckle the carseat and assemble the pram. But those first few times will be like piloting an alien space craft! Completely foreign. You want to be confident that baby is securely buckled into their seat when you leave the hospital and that the pram is not going to fold itself up with baby inside! So read all the instruction manuals and practice!
Do you gave any tips to add to this list? Let us knowing the comments below or on our Facebook page.