Preparing for your first baby brings a lot of excitement, interlaced with anticipation and sprinkled with little bits of panic to spice things up. As you’re getting ready to welcome your little bundle of joy into this world, things can get a bit hectic at times. Do you have enough onesies, clothes and nappies? Did you buy everything you need for your hospital stay? Do you have a well-stocked hospital bag for mom and baby?
Juggling all these things in your mind can be overwhelming and you might even forget getting some much necessary items. This guide will help you to stay more organized and make the whole journey more enjoyable.
Setting up the Room
Shopping for baby stuff is extremely fun, but it’s easy to get carried away in the dreamy world of cute clothes, cosy linen and fluffy plushies. Setting up the nursery comes at the top of the list because soon enough, this is where you and your baby will spend most of your time. It’s important to think ahead and carefully plan all the baby essentials because once the baby arrives; you’ll have plenty of other things to worry about.
The crib will be the focal point of the nursery, so you’ll surely want to get the sweetest one. However, safety and comfort come first and style is less important in this case. Choose a crib that’s made from high-quality, child-friendly materials. There shouldn’t be any decorative cut-outs on the inner sides and the mattress should fit like a glove. Avoid getting a crib with drop rails because they don’t provide adequate support and safety.
Invest in top of the line changing table that will significantly ease the changing process. Choose a changing table that will double as a storage unit to keep the most necessary things like clean diapers and ointments within arm’s reach.
Place an armchair or a rocking chair in a corner or beside the crib because you’ll need a comfy place to sit while you’re feeding or soothing your little one.
Having an extra pair of eyes and ears around the house is also very convenient, so you won’t regret buying a baby monitor. This will give you some peace of mind while you tend other things or you ‘steal’ a moment or two for yourself.
Don’t forget to properly illuminate the baby’s room. Avoid high luminance sources and use several nursery lights that provide a soft glow that’s safe for baby’s eyes.
Preparing for Hospital
As you enter the third trimester of your pregnancy, it’s good to start preparing for the hospital. With the excitement growing each passing day, things can get a bit hectic and you might forget to take some necessary items with you. Staying organized will put your mind at ease and it’ll make you feel calmer and more relaxed so you can start thinking only about welcoming your dearest into this world and nothing else. Having a hospital bag checklist is a lifesaver if you’re wondering what to pack in a hospital bag.
To ensure that everything can be easily found and accessed, it’s best to pack three separate hospital bags, one for labour and birth, one for the hospital stay and one for the baby. In the hospital bag for birth, pack paperwork and documentation, clothing and accessories for the big day and things for your support team. In the hospital bag for mom, pack everything you need for a pleasant hospital stay and an extra plastic bag for your dirty clothes. When packing a hospital bag for baby, include all the essential items for your little one such as nappies, onesies and ointments.
A hospital bag checklist will make packing easy and hassle-free and you might actually remember something you’ll need while crossing out items.
Breastfeeding vs. Bottle
It’s a shame that something as natural as feeding your child is surrounded by stigma, judgement, and embarrassment. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding is the subject of a never-ending debate. However, you should always remember that whatever your choice is, you shouldn’t feel the need to explain it to anyone or feel guilty about it.
Breast milk offers undeniable benefits for your baby’s health. It’s the perfect baby food because it’s free, it contains all the essential nutrients and it’s almost always available. While many women are physically able to breastfeed their babies, some of them face different barriers such as lactation problems, large breasts or nipples.
When it comes to breastfeeding, things like insufficient glandular tissue, hormonal problems and stress can cause low milk supply. In the case you experience such a scenario, it’s best to consult a lactation specialist who will help you to find the root of the problem and overcome it. If you’re worried about how to produce more milk, you shouldn’t stress too much because there are plenty of boosters, supplements and techniques that will increase milk supply.
If you have larger breasts or large nipples breastfeeding can sometimes be more difficult. You may experience neck and shoulder pain due to inadequate posture or your baby’s mouth may be too small to successfully latch on your breast. Wearing a good, supportive nursing bra can make things easier, but it’s also important to educate yourself about different techniques and tips for large breasts breastfeeding that will make the nursing process a pleasant experience for you and your baby.
Some mothers choose to bottle feed their babies and that’s perfectly fine. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you choose to use a baby formula to feed your little one because nowadays, they are packed with all the necessary nutrients that match the ingredients of human milk. If you have low milk supply, you should also consider adding baby formula to ensure your baby is getting the proper nutrition for healthy development.
Educate yourself as much as you can before the baby arrives and don’t hesitate to ask for help from other parents. There are plenty of books, guides and articles you can read, but you should never underestimate real-life experience.
Also, having a baby is the most beautiful thing in the world, but as soon as your little bundle of joy is home, be prepared for a lot of sleepless nights and tons of responsibilities. This is why you shouldn’t forget to treat yourself before the baby arrives. Spend some quality “me time”, hang around with friends, enjoy delicious food and most importantly, get enough sleep.