Preparing for a new baby is one of the most exciting yet daunting times of your life. As parents we want everything to be perfect to give our little ones the best start, and one of the ways you can go about this is to get sorted early on. Use your pregnancy to plan and research different things, from products to parenting techniques, and you’ll be best prepared for your new arrival. Here are just a few of the areas you will want to get right.
Buying Clothes and Fabrics
The fabrics you put on your baby’s skin is something to take seriously after all, babies skin is more porous than adults which means any toxins on materials are easily absorbed. On top of this, they have a weak immune system, the last thing you want to be doing is causing your little one harm from making the wrong choices. Babies skin is incredibly delicate, it’s why conditions like cradle cap, eczema and other skin rashes are so common.
You will need very soft fabrics to avoid rubbing, chafing and general discomfort. Chemically produced man-made fibers such as polyester, acrylic, nylon, and rayon should be avoided plus they’re not breathable so your baby could easily overheat. A good rule of thumb is that if an item of clothing directly touches your baby’s skin (such as sleepsuits, rompers, tops and bottoms), it should be the softest and best quality you can find.
Organic cotton is an excellent choice as it’s soft and breathable, and there will be no traces of harmful toxins and chemicals left on the fabric. This is because unlike non-organic cotton there are no pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals used in the growing process.
For things like coats and jackets which don’t directly touch your baby’s skin, you could get away with other materials if you need to. Fleece and wool are good options as they’re warm and cozy while still being breathable. If you have a family member that loves to knit, woolen outerwear works perfectly. Just make sure any buttons or extra things they sew on are very firmly attached.
When you’ve been driving for a while, you can forget how dangerous being on the roads actually is. When you have a baby, you remember that danger all over again. Having a car is one of the best things you can do for your growing family since it gives you independence and means you’re not waiting around for unreliable public transport.
However, you will need to take steps to ensure your baby is as safe as possible. A good car seat is of course essentials it should be properly installed and be suitable for the newborns. If you do end up having a crash, bump or other incident, a car seat gives your child the very best chance of survival. The car seat for your newborn should be rear facing and remain that way until they are two years old. Front facing car seats shouldn’t be used until your child is the correct height and weight, rushing onto this stage could put their safety at risk.
Another thing you will need to consider is your car itself. Some seats might not fit well in small cars, and if you have other children who use car seats/ booster seats, you need to make sure the new one will fit. Many families need to upgrade their vehicle as their family grows, something like an MPV or SUV can be a good choice. You get plenty of seats, plenty of room in the back for things like pushchairs and groceries which can come in handy too. Work out if your current car is up to the job, and if not how you’ll go about finding a different model. When you’re choosing, something with good safety features is going to be a worthy choice. The newer the vehicle is the more safety features, it’s likely to have. However you can still make an older car as safe as possible by adding various aftermarket safety features.
Reworking Your Finances
Having a baby doesn’t come cheap, not only do you need money to buy things in the here and now but in the future too. When you know you’re expecting it can be a good idea to work out your incoming and outgoing expenditures and rework things so that they make sense. For example, you could cut back on more luxurious purchases and things you don’t need and put this money elsewhere instead. Perhaps starting an online business using an Amazon marketing agency to get you going in the right direction.
Setting up a child savings account and putting money into this on a regular basis is a smart move too. When your child is older, this could be help towards a car and driving lessons, education, a deposit for a house or anything else that will set them up in life. It’s a good idea to see if there’s any financial help available out there for you too. If you’re on a low-income, you could be entitled to benefits/ welfare or certain schemes and grants to help you out.
Getting Your Home In Order
One thing some new parents can struggle with after bringing their newborn home is keeping the home clean and tidy. When you have a very sensitive newborn, cleanliness is more important than ever for avoiding infections and illnesses. But when you have so much to tackle already just keeping your baby fed, clean and happy it can be the last thing you want to do.
Sleep deprivation, a screaming baby and cleaning up aren’t the most pleasant mix! If you’ve found later in your pregnancy that you’ve developed a ‘nesting’ instinct, use this motivation to your advantage. Clean and tidy everywhere, go through every room in the home cleaning and decluttering as you go and make sure everything is organised and in its place. This will mean you’re on top of things from the start, and it will be easier to keep everywhere tidy as you go.
If you’re really struggling, why not consider hiring a maid or cleaner? They could come in, give your home a tidy and clean down the bathroom and kitchen so that everywhere is sterile and in order. You could hire a laundry helper to wash, dry and iron clothes something that’s very time-consuming when you have a baby as you’re constantly changing them. If your family and friends offer help, don’t be too proud to accept take them up on it! Your loved ones are sure to want to make this time as easy as possible for you, so lean on them if you need to and get through those first few stressful weeks.
Setting Up the Nursery
Your baby’s nursery is another crucial thing to get right, and something you will need to consider before your little one arrives. Purchase some good quality furniture for them and a comfy chair for you where you can sit and feed them in the night too. They might not be up and moving around for quite a while, but it’s important to think of future safety too. Make sure windows can be locked with a key for example, and avoid blinds which operate using a string closing mechanism since they can be a choking hazard.
Taking Care of Yourself
Once you have a baby, life is no longer just about you anymore. However that doesn’t mean you should just give up on yourself, in fact now that you have a little person relying on you, you need to be on top form. Pregnancy is hard on the body, and can present all kinds of challenges to your health. When your baby has arrived, and you have fully healed, you could begin looking into postpartum exercise regimes. With a new baby, fitting in workouts can be a struggle, but they’re so worth doing if you can. You will feel more confident and energized, quickly return to your pre-pregnancy body more easily and generally be fitter and healthier.
After you’ve had your baby, you will need to promote healing and eat foods which give you energy. Fill up on plenty of healthy produce which will allow you to repair and thrive; stick to a healthy lifestyle plan, now definitely isn’t the time to be trying crash diets or faddy plans. One thing you can do to get ahead is before your little one arrives, spend some time batch cooking meals. Split them up into individual Tupperware containers and then freeze that way you have healthy home-cooked meals on hand and only need to put them in the microwave. Far healthier and cheaper than buying premade convenience food or takeout all the time. If you’re breastfeeding, you will need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated too. Drink enough to quench your thirst, plus some extra as well.
What kinds of things have you been planning for and researching during your pregnancy? Moms- what elements of parenthood would you suggest pregnant women look into before their little one arrives?