Although preparing for the arrival of your baby is a time full of excitement, it is accompanied by feelings of stress and anxiety, too! After all, if you are a first time parent, you are preparing for something you have never even done before – quite nerve wracking! The truth is, the preparation steps you take ahead of time will influence your labor process, as well as the days and weeks following your new baby’s arrival into your home. Follow these tips to prepare practically for the arrival of your new child!
Preparation for soon to be moms:
1. Prepare mentally and emotionally: Pregnancy brings on a range of emotions. Be sure you are emotionally prepared for the arrival of your new child – knowledge is power! And by knowledge, we are referring to EXPERIENCE! Talk with your other mom friends and family members that have been through pregnancy and childbirth before to ease your mind. Although your experience will be unique in its own way, it is certainly beneficial to learn information ahead of time from your friends. The more you know, the more prepared you will be!
2. Prepare your patience! You must remember that hospitals are busy places, especially hospitals that deliver babies! Upon your arrival to the hospital, you will have to wait… And wait. And wait! This waiting is accompanied with loads of paperwork ahead of time, so be sure your mind is working and ready to complete this process before being admitted to the hospital!
3. Get ready to communicate: Your nurses will be your new best friends during the labor process – be sure to communicate effectively to them. There is no such thing as, “waiting til she comes back” during the labor process – if you have something to say, SAY IT!
4. Check out the hospital ahead of time: Sure, we all probably visit the hospital at least once during our pregnancy, but check out their website. Do they have a survival guide or some other piece of literature for you to review before your due date? Such resources can be extremely helpful!
5. Moms need “stuff,” too! Lets face it – after you have your baby, you will probably not go anywhere in public for quite some time. Stock up on items such as:
Lip balm or petroleum jelly—for dry lips
Help for backache – Ice pack, hot water bottle
Elastic bands – you won’t be doing your hair much!
Comfortable underwear – you may want to have several sizes available
Comfortable pants / shorts
Shirts for nursing
Cold water – it is important you keep hydrated!
Your favorite snacks
Preparation for babies!
Baby preparation can be super fun, but it can also be super overwhelming! It is essential to remember that you are preparing to bring a tiny life onto this earth, and sometimes, LESS IS MORE! When preparing for baby and putting together your registry list, be sure you select items that you really need, are good quality, and will last you for years to come (if you are planning on having more children).
Strollers: It’s not uncommon for parents to register for more than one stroller. You don’t have to, but some parents find that different strollers work for different situations. An everyday stroller like the Britax B-Ready has the ability to instantly transform into a travel system with either the Britax B-Safe infant car seat or Britax Chaperone infant car seat (not included) due to the built-in Click and Go adapter. And with an additional adapter, the B-Ready can accommodate most other infant car seats. This stroller can grow with your child from birth (with the car seat adapter) all the way to 50 pounds and has many practical and comfortable features to keep both baby and parents happy.
An umbrella stroller like accommodates babies six months and up. The lightweight design and compact fold make it a favorite for traveling, quick errands or to keep at grandma’s house.
An all-terrain stroller is ideal for active parents, avid joggers or if you live in an area surrounded by walking trails and rougher terrain.
Car seats: It is important that parents register for both an infant car seat and a convertible car seat. You never know when your child will outgrow the infant car seat (or when it will get too heavy for you to carry around) and you’ll need a convertible car seat eventually anyway, so you might as well have it on hand and ready to go!
When it comes to brands of car seats, really do your research! Check to be sure you are not registering for a brand of carseats that has constant recalls, etc. Which seat has been the safest? Has the highest safety ratings? Spend the extra time to know your stuff!
Baby carriers: There are many baby carriers available. The use of baby carriers is really a personal preference – some people hate them, some people love them! That goes for babies, too. Some babies and parents prefer one carrier to another, but you won’t know for sure until your baby is actually here.
Bouncy seat lounger: You will want to register for a sturdy bouncy seat, or some other type of seat for your infant. Remember – the cutest seat is not always necessarily the best. Consider the size of your home, and where you wish to keep your seat when making this decision, as well has how many pounds the seat can hold up to. Is your selection realistic for you and your baby?
Swing or motion seat: There are a ton of swings and motions seats on the market! Again, think of the amount of space you have for your motion seat. You may want to consider a seat with a variety of music options, and one that has motions similar to the in utero experience!
Tummy time and play time: Activity gyms provide a clean, safe place for babies to begin gross motor development as well as tummy time. Look for products that have a wide variety of accessories to remove/add in order to keep your baby’s interest over time.
Diaper bag: The Skip Hop Duo is a practical (and stylish) diaper bag loved by a lot of parents. The adaptability, storage space and slim design make it easy to use on a daily basis. Some parents prefer to carry a diaper bag that looks less like an actual diaper bag. Whatever your choice, be sure it fits your lifestyle and is durable!
Diapers: Register for a wide variety of diapers on your baby registry (sizes). You will ALWAYS need diapers!
Some families find high chairs to be necessary and useful, while others prefer seats that attach to your regular dining room table… So, go with what you have room for in your home!
For bottle feeding, good bottles like the Born Free Classic bottle has interchangeable nipples with different flow options and an ActiveFlow venting technology to help reduce colic and gas.
And for both bottle and breastfeeding, a good sterilizer, like the Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer, is the way to go. With a quick, one push of a button cycle and large capacity to hold both bottles and breast pump parts, you can safely, quickly and easily sterilize your feeding essentials. Or, you can eliminate this item and sterilize your baby gear the old fashioned way!
The three main tips for sleep include:
1. Comfort: The Summer Infant Mommies Melodies Bear plays heartbeat and lullabies to soothe and calm baby and the Summer Infant SwaddlePod, SwaddleMe and SwaddleSack give baby that warm and snug feel – just like the womb. The new Nested Bean Zen Swaddlemimics the power of touch, which a baby depends on to soothe and grow. The innovative weighted materials at the baby’s abdomen and sides, safely simulates touch to trigger a self-soothing response for baby.
2. Sleep space: It is important to consider how much use you get out of a crib mattress (typically 2-4 years) and how much time your baby spends directly on one. Invest in a crib mattress that is practical, safe, and comfortable for your infant.
Also, when it comes to sleep, establish safe sleep habits for your baby right from the beginning! Children must learn to sleep in their cribs!
3. Monitoring: Once you discover the world of video baby monitors, you will never go back! The brand new Summer Infant Peek Plus offers not only a secure video monitoring system with a stationary nursery camera and handheld parent unit, it can be easily set-up with a home wireless router to provide a secure connection to any computer or through the free app for smartphones. Baby can be viewed from any location with internet by up to three people at a time – but all viewers must have their own secure username and password!
When it comes to bathing, it’s just as important to register for items that are practical for parents, too. The Skip Hop bath accessories – like the kneeler, spout cover and one-handed foaming dispenser – make it easy, safe and comfortable to bathe baby. Register for items such as bathing creams, mild soaps, hooded towels, wash cloths, etc.
Heather is the Director of The Children's Workshop in Lincoln, RI. She first started her journey with the TCW family in 2007 in our Smithfield location as a Kindergarten teacher. She then entered the company's Management in Training Program, working in several of our locations while also training staff in various areas of early childhood education. She holds a BA from Providence College in Elementary and Special Education as well as a Master's Degree from Rhode Island College in Early Childhood Education. Her true passion is not only working with children, but sharing knowledge with families and teachers in order to provide the best early learning experience for all young learners. She is also a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Rhode Island Childcare Director’s Association, as well as the Rhode Island College Early Childhood Advisory Board.