When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t really been around babies much in years and felt completely overwhelmed about how to prepare.So now that I’ve had three babies, I can look back with a little more insight about what went right and what went wrong.
Here is the best advice I can give a new parent:
5 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR A NEW BABY
1. Be Prepared Early – The last month (or two) of pregnancy can be extremely exhausting and uncomfortable. Instead of thinking that you still have a couple of months to prepare, I’d try to get everything ready by month 7 if possible. Consider what you’ll want for the baby in the nursery and throughout the house. I made sure we had diaper changing and nap-time areas set up on both floors of the house, baby-proofed the house, and even changed out bright lamps and strong scents for more baby-appropriate versions.*
2. Don’t Sweat the Little Things – I can’t even guess how many hours I spent looking at strollers, baby carriers, diaper bags, bottles and other baby gear. What if I didn’t get the one-handed steer? What if it didn’t have the latest bell or whistle on the market? In the end, I wish I’d just picked the middle-of-the-road everything and saved the receipts in case they didn’t work out.
3. Divide the Responsibilities – It was tough to let others help with my precious new baby, so it took me a while to accept help. But day after day of very little sleep took its toll and I finally had to let others take some of the baby care tasks. I finally got much needed rest, the baby was well cared for and loved, and life was a lot easier.
4. Be Flexible – Whether it’s your birth plan, how you want to feed your baby, or another parenting decision you’ve made, be flexible. Things don’t always happen the way we think they will and it’s important to remember what’s important – thatbaby is healthy and well-taken care of. My baby’s birth was a trainwreck of problems with many complications needing several different teams of specialists. But my daughter and I survived with no serious long-term problems, which was all that truly mattered.
5. Be Honest – Remember to take care of yourself and your baby first. If you don’t want the in-laws staying at your house right after the birth, say so. If you aren’t comfortable with others holding your new baby at first, be honest. Your most important job is to take care of your baby, not stress about what the mother-in-law wants. Just be firm and kind and set the boundaries that you need for your new baby.
* There are so many things to consider when preparing for a new baby, but sometimes we overlook the very simple things. Babies’ worlds are all about the senses in the first few months. They aren’t able to express what they like, so it’s our responsibility to keep them comfortable. Change out bright bulbs in lamps for dimmer ones, consider how soft and warm the baby’s clothes and bedding/swing/bouncer/blankets are, change strongly scented candles and air fresheners for some with scents that are more appropriate for sensitive noses.
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This post is part of a sponsored campaign. All opinions are my own.