Expecting a child signifies a number of preparations are in order to welcome your new little one into the world. You have nine months to prepare for your baby’s arrival, meaning decisions must be made concerning where the baby’s room or area will be, what type of educational classes you will take and medical decisions. It’s best to break up these tasks over the course of your pregnancy, so you can feel confident when you head to the hospital in labor that you have completed all you could before your baby’s arrival.
Find a Class
A childbirth education and preparation class is a way for you and your partner to learn about the process of birth from medical experts. These classes are typically offered at the hospital where you will give birth, a local community center or at your obstetrician’s office. In addition to a basic class, consider instruction on breastfeeding or newborn care, according to Sutter Health. These types of health classes can help to put you at ease for the birthing process and when taking your baby home–particularly if you are a first-time parent.
Prepare a Nursery
Getting your baby’s nursery together is one way to generate excitement while you wait for your little one. From selecting a color or theme to purchasing supplies, preparing a full-stocked nursery will make things smoother once your baby is home. Initial items you will need include: a crib, bassinet or cradle; diaper bag or tote; bottles with feeding nipples; changing table; garbage can and bags; nursing bras; changes of clothes and a brush for cleaning bottles; diapers and alcohol-free wipes. This is a good time to tap into your resources of fellow friends or family who have young children and may be willing to share clothing or items no longer in use. However, exercise caution when this involves a crib because some cribs may be out of date for current crib safety regulations, such as the slats of the crib should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, according to Sutter Health.
Other lesser-known nursery items to stock up include laundry detergent, laxative, rubber gloves, gauze pads and a comfortable pillow, according to Parents magazine. These items can save you or a loved one a trip to the drugstore following your baby’s birth.
Make Medical Decisions
New parents must make several medical decisions following birth that can be considered prior to your baby’s arrival. These include whether or not to circumcise and the types and kinds of immunizations given, according to Pregnancy Today. Ask your physician if other considerations can be made or decided on prior to birth in efforts to reduce your overall stress.
Purchase and Install a Car Seat
Purchase a federally approved car seat that meets the latest in safety standards, according to Sutter Health. When your baby is a newborn, her car seat should be rear-facing and placed in the middle of the rear seat–considered the safest location for your baby. Have your seat installed by a professional installer, which typically is offered by your delivery hospital or other community organization, according to Parents.com. Check with your local fire or police departments to see if they offer a car seat check or installation.