The new year brings in new goals, hopes, and dreams for you and your family. If you plan on adding to your family this year, there are a few things you can do to prepare, making the transition for your family as smooth as possible, and allowing for moments of rest and celebration during what can often be a hectic time.
1. Know you have support
It is important that you have a support system in place during pregnancy and after your child is born. Reach out to friends and family when you need them. It can be helpful to try and anticipate what your needs will be before the child is born so that you can ask for help if you need it. Some things you may want to plan ahead for are:
- Meals: set up a way for friends and family to bring prepared meals for the first few days after the baby is born.
- A babysitter for other children: If you have other children, know ahead of time who they can stay with when it is time for the baby to be born.
- A clean house: Bringing your baby home to a clean house will help you enter into this new phase of life in a safe and stress-free environment.
- Necessities like diapers and clothes (they will outgrow clothes fast): Make sure you have everything you need when you bring your baby home.
2. Take a Childbirth Class
Taking a childbirth class can help significantly in preparing you for pregnancy, giving birth, and in the days afterword. The class will be led by someone who is an expert in childbirth, and often classes are done in groups, so you will have the opportunity to learn alongside, encourage, and be encouraged by other new parents.
3. Learn about Safety Regulations for:
Cribs: Cribs should have slats that are less than 2 and 3/8 inches apart. Your baby’s crib shouldn’t have any loose bedding or blankets.
Car seats: Always put infants in a rear-facing car seat, and be sure that the car seat is installed properly.
Home: Check your home for any fire or choking hazards, or anything else that may be dangerous for your baby.
Toys: Make sure that any toys you give your baby do not contain harmful or toxic chemicals. Also do not give your child anything to play with that could be a choking hazard.
4. Get to know your child’s pediatrician
Knowing your child’s doctor well will give you peace of mind. If any health concerns should arise, you will know you can trust your child’s doctor to provide the best care.
5. Take care of yourself
You will likely be spending so much of your time preparing for the baby, getting the nursery ready, and gathering baby clothes and other necessities, that it can be easy to forget to make your own needs a priority. Make sure you get enough rest leading up to when it is time to give birth. Many new parents don’t get much sleep once the baby is born. Additionally, make time to spend with your spouse and your other children. Having some fun, relaxing times as a whole family is important as you welcome a new member.