6 Ways to Prepare for Your Baby’s Arrival as A First Time Mom

Expecting a baby is one of the most exciting feelings that you can have. But with the anticipation comes many questions as you’re concerned about your little one's well-being. You’re not alone, as other pregnant moms spend an estimated 1400 hours worrying about their babies, with 70% of them frequently searching the net for information regarding their pregnancy. Are you having a baby and not sure where to get started in preparing for their arrival? Here are some essential tips to guide you: 

  1. Engage your partner

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A new addition to the family is exciting, but it comes with its challenges. Many things may change and may likely put a strain on your relationship with your partner if you both don’t make a conscious effort to stay united. For example, you might find yourself drifting more towards your baby and preparations for them. This stage also comes with some sleepless nights, which could leave you both feeling exhausted the following day. What’s more, your parenting styles may be different and can clash with each other. 

Fortunately, you can handle this and still enjoy a pleasant relationship. You only need to sit down and discuss the possible changes that are likely to come with your baby's arrival. It’s ideal for you to talk about these before you get pregnant, but it’s never too late to do so if you haven’t already. You can talk about the new expenses and how to manage them, or how the chores will be divided. Express your views on parenting and come to a compromise on how you both want to raise your child. 

  1. Be financially prepared

Research shows that the cost of taking care of your child from birth till age 21 is estimated to be around £231,843, which is quite a lot to handle if you’re not financially prepared. You need to be sure that your bank account can handle the expenses that come with taking care of a baby; this way, you reduce stress and strain on your finances. 

One way to plan towards it is to create a working budget. You must ensure that it’s realistic enough so that you don't end up spending more than necessary. It’ll help if you conduct research for the prices of the items you require and set aside an amount to cater for them daily, weekly, or monthly. Life is full of unexpected twists, and you should be prepared when they come your way. It’s also prudent for you to create emergency savings that’ll cater for any surprising event which may require you to spend more. 

  1. Prepare a birth plan

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Your baby is almost here, and it’ll be ideal if you draft a birth plan. A birth plan is a document that explains to your medical team how you want your labor and delivery to be like, as well as the pain management, newborn procedures and postpartum care that suits you. Regard this as a map to guide your healthcare team on making your baby's arrival all you dreamed of. The preliminary step for you to take when creating your birth plan is to conduct extensive research on the various labour and delivery options to see which one appeals to you. You can then compare them to the options available at your hospital; this helps you to decide if you need to switch to another health care facility that offers your preferred options. 

Now that your research is done, you can now begin with the draft. You should start by introducing yourself if you meet a new doctor, nurse or midwife. You can also include the name of your primary support and the people you want to be present in the delivery room with you. It will be a plus if you also describe how you want your room to be like and the type of labour procedure you fancy. It’ll be best if you also elaborate on how you want your pain relief to be. You should note that things might not go according to plan, but you can rest easy knowing that there’s a guideline to salvage the situation. 

  1. Go for regular check-ups

It’s essential that you go for regular antenatal check-ups to ensure that you and your unborn child are healthy. This helps you discover potential pregnancy issues so that your doctor can immediately address them, reducing the risks of complications. Besides, it keeps you relaxed, knowing that your health and that of your baby is in top shape. Regular check-ups also play a role in guiding you on your diet, the appropriate medications you need etc.

When your baby’s due date gets closer, you should visit your doctor once every week. They’ll evaluate your medical history for every check-up and conduct a full physical examination, urine and blood tests to check for health conditions. Your doctor will also advise on the right meals and the ideal workout regimen for you. 

  1. Shop for your baby gear

This might be the most exhilarating part of your preparations; shopping for the things that your baby needs. It’s ideal for you to get your baby’s items ready before giving birth to prevent the stress of last-minute purchases and make your baby's first day comfortable. You need to purchase things such as baby’s clothing, feeding utensils, diapers, wipes, toys, strollers, a crib, crib mattress, etc. Also, it’d help to be economical when making your purchases to avoid putting a strain on your finances and making life uncomfortable. 

One way to do that is to create your newborn item checklist to determine the things you need and avoid unnecessary costs. It’ll also be ideal for you to conduct your research on the various brands to get your preferred items. Additionally, ensure that these brands are at par with the British Standard Institution's safety standards. Several apps are available to also guide you on the most affordable and quality items to get for your baby, to help make your preparations easier.

 You should reduce costs and save money by buying gender-neutral clothing if you intend to have another baby and buying clothes for all seasons to ensure your baby’s good health. It’ll also help if you avoid buying newborn clothing, as your baby will quickly grow out of them, causing you to purchase new ones. 

  1. Seek advice from experienced moms

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Motherhood comes with many changes and experiences which can become overwhelming, especially if you’re a new mother. For example, you might discover that your sex drive has reduced and, as a result, find it challenging to bond with your partner. Or you could be feeling overwhelmed with juggling motherhood with other duties. Perhaps, you might experience postpartum depression and wonder why you’re not happy now that your baby is here. 

Luckily, you’re not alone, as many other moms have experienced similar situations. It’ll help if you engage them and seek advice before your baby arrives so that you’ll know how to handle whatever comes your way. However, it’ll be best if you don't forget that everyone reacts differently to childbirth, so your experience isn’t likely to be the same as theirs. Nevertheless, you’d feel at peace and know what to do should you experience something similar, without being too hard on yourself. 

Being a first-time mom can be challenging, but you can sail through it. Remember to also take some time off for yourself and speak up when you need help. Following these tips will help make your transition into motherhood a stress-free and thrilling experience. 

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