From carrying a child in the womb for several months to the eventual time of delivery there is one universal question that runs in the minds of moms and dads and that is how to prepare for a baby. Before and even during the period of pregnancy, mothers most times have their minds racing with issues like how to prepare for a baby financially, newborn baby checklist, things to do before baby arrives checklist, and getting the house ready for baby.
I am a mother of one and I am currently pregnant, so I can relate with all the aforementioned issues that parents have to deal with from time to time. The truth of the matter is there is how to prepare for a baby and how not to. The ideas I have on how to prepare for a baby are not far-fetched but as follows:
Getting Ready For Pregnancy
I remember telling myself that I needed a break from delivery after the birth of my first child Owen. I said this because of the stress I encountered during childbirth and even after delivery. But guess what! About a year after his birth, I started desiring to have another child. However, unlike the first time when I took in easily, I had to wait for another year before conceiving again and ooh the joy I felt when I realized I was pregnant again was enormous.
I found myself looking forward to seeing another face different from that of my first child. What I learned from my one year of trying to conceive is that getting pregnant is not always a passive process, sometimes one has to actively prepare to have a baby and to prepare in this manner, several things should be done. They are:
1. Stop Birth Control
To conceive, you have to stop all forms of birth control you are using.
2. Understand Your Cycle
A good knowledge of your cycle will help you to discover your fertile window which will eventually lead to your getting pregnant early. You can start by taking note of when your period starts and ends to determine the length of your cycle and know if it changes from month to month. Some apps can help you in tracking this.
3. Make Love
Make Love often. Let it be spontaneous, passionate and fun. If you don’t have good knowledge of fertility issues, don’t bother about pre-determining the time for lovemaking, rather do not use contraceptives throughout your cycle.
4. Start Taking Prenatal Multivitamin
Starting to take prenatal multivitamin earls will help you prevent nutritional deficiencies during early pregnancy.
5. Take Folic Acid
Along with the prenatal vitamin, you might need folic acid or folate supplement to avoid neural tube defects in early pregnancy.
6. Avoid taking alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
Taking alcohol, tobacco and drugs can harm an unborn baby.
7. Schedule A Meeting With Your Obstetrician
During this meeting ask any questions bothering you about reproduction and other related issues.
8. Keep Up With Yearly Physicals
This will help you discover health problems early enough before they get severe.
9. Have Your Partner Checked Out
It is best to have your partner checked out since having a baby is as a result of the joint effort of a man and woman. It is, therefore, a good idea for your man to do the following:
- Eat well
- Stop smoking and taking drugs
- Limit alcohol
- Schedule a physical.
How To Prepare For A Baby Financially
There are practical ways to prepare for a baby, so it’s arrival doesn’t throw one off balance financially.
1. Try To Be Debt-free
If before baby arrives, you are already financially indebted, the probability of being indebted after the baby arrives is high because, there will be more needs to meet owing to the addition of an extra person to your family and in this situation, it is more difficult to focus on family and share in the joy of welcoming a newborn.
It is, therefore, advisable for one to try as much as possible to be debt-free except for a mortgage before the arrival of the baby.
2. Know Your Financial Status
This means you have to be familiar with your financial capacity, that is how much of your finances you are spending and how much you can save each month.
3. Create An Account For Your Unborn Child
It is best to start preparing early enough for baby and all the expenses that follow its arrival. A very good way to cushion the financial strain of the arrival of a child is to start saving money early on. This money will be useful for the general welfare of your child. To achieve this you can create an account for your child and save a certain percentage of your monthly income.
4. Have An Emergency Fund
It is usually best to build an emergency fund from expenses like housing costs, transportation, groceries and other bills except for taxes. This emergency fund is to serve as a backup when you run out of finances owing to the financial requirement of having a baby.
5. Plan For Your Unborn Child’s Education
Discuss with your spouse to know the best place to send your child to school, also discuss the financial implication of the possible choices you will both arrive at and how to best accomplish your goal as a couple.
6. Gain Ideas From Other Moms
Seek ideas from your friends and family members that are moms to gain insight on how to best prepare to have a baby. You can also join groups online that are created solely for mothers, so you can learn from their experiences as mothers and ask questions that are bothering you about the whole preparation process.
New Born Baby Needs Checklist
To properly prepare for baby’s birth, there is a list of things you will require to meet the needs of your child, it is:
a. For Breastfeeding
- Bibs – This is usually tied to the neck of your newborn lightly. The purpose of this is to prevent milk from spilling to your new born’s dress.
- Nursing pillow- This is required to gain a comfortable position while breastfeeding
- Nursing bras- Nursing bras are very comfortable for breastfeeding moms because of their fabric and they make the breastfeeding process a lot easier.
- Breast pads or nipple shields- The essence of breast pads is to prevent possible spillover milk from staining your clothes.
- Nipple cream- Nipple creams help to keep the breast nipples well moisturized and prevent them from cracking and being susceptible to sores.
b. For Expressing Breast Milk
Breast pump- This is useful for expressing milk into bottles or cups for babies.
c. If You Are Formula Feeding
- Bibs- This is required to prevent the baby’s food from staining the cloth.
- Thermal bottle carrier- Newborn baby food is best served warm. The best way to achieve this is to use water from thermal bottles that preserve help preserve water temperature.
- Feeding bottles with nipples- For formula feeds, feeding bottles with nipples for babies to latch onto are used.
- Bottle and nipple brush- Baby bottles and nipples have to be kept sterile before and after use and one of the ways to achieve this is to wash bottles and nipples with brush and rinse in boiling water.
- Baby mattress and crib- Newborns should have their comfortable mattress for sleeping and crib that protects them.
- Baby blanket and sheets- It is advisable to get sheets with good and airy fabrics for babies.
- Mosquito net- This is basically to protect babies from mosquito bites.
- Disposable Diapers- It is best to have lots of this before the arrival of the baby as they move bowel frequently.
- Cotton nappies- For babies whose skins are very sensitive, cotton nappies are probably a good option but a lot of them have to be got because of the frequency of usage associated with newborns.
- Diaper rash cream- This is to prevent babies from having rash associated with frequent use of diapers.
- Wet wipes- This is useful in cleaning baby poo when changing soiled diapers.
- Changing mat- To change babies without staining bed sheets, it is best to use Changing mats when removing already soiled diaper and cleaning the baby.
- Dustbin and Garbage bags- These are required for disposing of already used diapers.
- Sleepsuits- It is best to get a good number of this kind of clothing, as they are a good form of protection for newborns. About a dozen should be fine.
- Tops- About 5 sets of tops for babies are also fine.
- Socks- This is required to protect the sensitive skin of a baby.
- Cotton caps- These are needed to protect babies from cold.
- Swaddle clothes- They are essential for protecting children from cold and keeping them warm.
g. Bathing and Cleaning
- Bathtubs- They are needed for bathing babies.
- Bathing towels- They are used to clean babies up after bathing them.
- Baby wash and shampoo- This is essential for cleaning up babies. It is best to get mild products because of the sensitive nature of baby skin.
- Hair oil- Good hair moisturizers are just fine. Natural products like coconut oil and Shea butter are good options.
- Baby cream- Mild baby creams that are good moisturizers are a good option.
h. Leaving the house
- Diaper bag- This is useful for putting diapers and other basic baby essentials when going out.
- Baby stroller or car seat- These are good options for moving babies around.
Things To Do Before Baby Arrives Checklist
The arrival of a newborn usually changes everything, so it is best to enjoy your last moments as a pregnant woman before the baby arrives.
There are things I love to do for myself before baby arrives besides baby shopping, they are:
1. Pamper Myself
I have no other time to spoil myself than during my pregnancy days before the baby finally arrives and changes my life.
2. Snap Good Pictures For Memory Sake
Each pregnancy has it’s own stories and memories that go with it and most times these memories are ones we don’t want to ever lose. To remember these times, it is best to snap loads of pictures during the pregnancy period.
3. Make a video
This is something I enjoy doing especially in my 8th month of pregnancy, so I can be pictured looking pregnant.
4. Make Out With My Husband
If you don’t utilize your pregnancy days well to enjoy yourselves as a couple and bond, it will take a very long time before intimacy could happen after the baby arrives, owing to the attention-craving nature they have, along with their many needs and also because your body will still be healing as a result of the childbirth.
Getting House Ready For Baby
When you are financially prepared to have a baby and the baby essentials have been bought, you can trust that you are almost ready to welcome your little one, you only need to relax, clean up your house, arrange it properly, and pre-inform everyone about the new addition to your family.
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