The arrival of a newborn is a fun and exciting time for the whole family but it does put extra pressure on new mothers who are still mentally preparing to become a mother. Even if it is not your first child, it never hurts to plan properly and anticipate the changes that lay ahead of you. By proper planning and anticipating, you can not only save yourself from added anxiety and stress, but you can also actually be more confident in your role as a mother and focus on things that are important.
The first few weeks after the baby arrives are usually chaotic and parents are going through so much that some things are bound to fall through the cracks and oversights can happen.
This list is to ensure that you are equipped and mentally prepared for the changes ahead of you and minimize the stress and mental pressure amidst the chaos.
- Have a Discussion with your partner
This is most often overlooked and parents tend to forget discussing the main details within themselves. It is not wise to assume that your partner understands their role after the childbirth and it is vital to discuss it with him to be on the same page.
The new life after the baby will add responsibility to both partners and it is essential that both the partners understand this. Having a healthy discussion will bring you both closer to being prepared and being aligned.
- Write a Birth Plan
Take some notes on the preferences after discussing with your husband and share them with your midwife. What is your preferred method of pain-relief, would you like immediate skin-to-skin contact with your child and whether or not you’d want delayed cord clamping are the things you should mention in these notes. Of course, it is not set in stone, but it gives a general idea and avoids last minute confusions.
- Talk to Experienced Mums
It doesn’t matter if it is your own mother, a friend’s, or a neighbor. Experienced mothers have a wealth of knowledge (and some horror stories) to share with you that you can learn from. Take the opportunity and time to learn from other mothers and avoid the mistakes that they have made. This is not to say that you won’t make any mistakes yourself, but to avoid the really obvious ones. You don’t want to undergo any added pain and frustration for things you could have easily avoided by simply learning from senior mums.
- Talk to your Older Children
Some children experience anxieties upon the arrival of their new sibling as the attention gets diverted or divided from them. Parents who worry that their other children will feel left out should take the time to talk to them and prepare them mentally for the arrival of the newest member of the family. Remind your older children that they are loved and equally as important and that because of the fact that the newborn is well… newborn, they require extra care and attention. Bring them on-board as a team member who will also play a part in the upbringing of their child and remind them that this will not impact your love and care for the older ones.
- Baby Clothes and Bedding
The skin of a new baby is extremely delicate so it’s a great idea to prepare your bedding and wash her clothes accordingly. Make sure you do not use detergents that can be irritable to the baby’s skin and use gentle clothing for extra comfort. Avoid any toxins and chemicals and only purchase baby-friendly materials.
- Stock up on Food
Whether you want to cook and stock up the freezer or you want to fill your shelves with healthy snacks, now is the time to do so. After the baby’s arrival, you’ll need easy access to food and healthy snacks to keep you going throughout the day.
- Set up a station
If you haven’t already, it is a good idea to set up a dedicated station for baby’s diaper changes, etc. Here you’ll stock up on nappies and baby supplies and medicines for easy access and organization. This place will also come in handy to dump all baby-things quickly in case you have to clean the place upon arrival of guests.
- Get a Car Seat
Not only do you have to get a car seat, but it is also a wise idea to practice installing the car seat and then taking it out. You don’t want to be confused and absolutely new to this when the baby comes, so the more prepared you are, the better.
- Schedule a Photo-shoot
Decide on the styling of your newborn photo-shoot and schedule a professional photographer for the session. You don’t want to rely on your DSLR or mobile phones for a proper photo session. Check out experts like Laura Jane Newborn Photography who are well versed and specialized in the field of newborn photography to provide you with timeless pictures of your little angel.
- Get lots of Loose T-Shirts
Your maternity clothes are not going to fit you immediately after birth and you’re not going to fit in your old clothes either. So while it may be the last recommendation, it is definitely not the least. Stock up on loose T-shirts for easy nursing and comfort wearing around the house.
There is nothing that will make you feel completely prepared for the new human about to enter your life but there is no reason that you should overlook obvious things and add more confusion and chaos to your life by not preparing right.
If you proactively take care of a lot of things beforehand, this will not only lessen the confusion and stress, it will also increase your confidence in being able to handle and welcome this change in your life. Don’t forget to discuss with your partner and get help from older and experienced couples in the family.