If you’re expecting or planning a child, there are some things you need to do and think about before the baby arrives. Having a child is one of the most significant tipping points in your life, so you want to make sure you’re properly prepared for the youngster. It is clear that your life will never be the same when the baby arrives, so you’ll probably need to make some root changes in your habits and routines. What most people don’t know is that you’ll need to change some things in your life even before the baby is born.
Pregnancy is such a thrilling time. But as your due date is getting closer, you may notice some changes, not only in your body but in your mood as well. One of the many reasons for that may be that there is a huge amount of things you need to do before your baby is born. If that’s the case, why don’t you sit down and take a look at this list? It might give you an insight into what you need do to before your due date and make some things easier for you.
1. Have a plan
Even though everything may seem like a mess at first, having a plan and sticking to it is essential to keep you organised and keep your head clean. Get a notebook or a planner, start your pregnancy journal and write it all down. You don’t have to worry about forgetting that appointment or that work thing you have to do, just jot it down in your journal.
The journal can also be used for monitoring of pregnancy. Write the date of when your baby kicked inside your belly for the first time, think of the possible names, glue the pictures of your body changing through pregnancy, write your to-dos and don’t-forgets like all the questions you have for your doctor, baby’s ultrasound photos… It’s a beautiful process. Besides all that, journaling can be a fun and relaxing activity after a long day. Draw something cute or write about how your day went or how you feel; memories like these should last forever.
2. Talk to somebody
We all know that being pregnant can be hard for mommy to be. Hormones, mood swings, back pain, morning sickness, sore feet and fear of childbirth are all downsides of pregnancy. Even though it’s a beautiful and memorable period in your life, having support means a lot.
Talk to somebody who understands you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a partner. Your mother and grandma went through this as well, so they will probably know how to calm you down and answer some of your questions. Siblings or friends can also be great supporters. They can get your worries off your mind, make you laugh and forget about all your problems. It’s important to have somebody to cheer you up when you’re unwell or sad because your mental health affects your baby too.
In case you think your questions and worries are more complex, you could always talk to your doctor or ob-gyn. They are experts in this area and they can provide professional help. But there are other alternatives too. Apply for a support group in your city or town. Sharing experiences with other pregnant women can be beneficial for both you and them.
Attend baby classes for expectant parents in your local hospital. You can learn a lot of useful tricks like how to give a baby a bath, how to change diapers, breastfeeding tips and tricks, how to swaddle your newborn, etc. In addition to that, teachers are open to additional questions and resolving any doubts you may have. The best part of this is that most hospitals offer these classes for free for you and your partner.
3. Buy all the necessities
It is as clear as day that you will need more than one shopping spree to get all the supplies and necessities for your newborn. Every month devote a day to shopping for baby stuff. Make a list of all the things you need to buy, and update it every time you think of something new.
Babies grow so fast, so make sure you have baby clothes in various sizes just to be sure. You can never have enough toys, diapers, pacifiers, and bottles. You will probably need several onesies or undershirts, sleepers, nightgowns, newborn hats, sock and a pair of scratch mittens. Don’t forget to buy something nice for yourself as well. After all, you deserve it.
Baby equipment is quite expensive, so consider throwing a baby shower party. Invite your family, friends, neighbours, and cousins for freshly squeezed orange juice or lemonade and a healthy meal or snack. It’s a great opportunity to get some stuff for the baby and spend a lovely afternoon surrounded by people who love you.
4. Take care of yourself
While being pregnant, physical and mental health are really important. Do not neglect yourself in any way. Surely, you’re well aware of the risk factors, such as consuming alcohol and cigarettes, so you’ll want to put those “pleasures” aside, and focus on what’s best for your and your baby’s health.
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential, especially during your pregnancy. But it’s most likely you will have food cravings. You’ll want to eat a hamburger or a pizza, or you crave that specific brand of ice cream you once ate a few years ago. And that is all valid, but you need to be moderate in all things including food and eating. To be at your best health, your body needs additional minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. In fact, during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, your daily calorie intake should increase by 350-500 calories. Recommended food that is rich in vitamins and minerals includes dairy products, beans, peas, peanuts, sweet potato, salmon, eggs, broccoli, lean meat, berries, whole grains and so much more.
Contrary to the popular belief, laying down during your whole pregnancy is not good for your health. Regular moderate exercise can improve your health, reduce back pain and excessive weight gain. Activities such as talking a walk, doing yoga or swimming are beneficial for you. Ask your doctor for exercise tips for pregnancy and safety precautions while performing them.
5. Go to a beauty salon
While being pregnant, it’s not uncommon to feel gross and bloated, so you should do something nice for yourself. Visit beauty salon and get pampered a little bit. Getting a new haircut before the baby arrives could help you feel fresh, relaxed and ready for a new start. Another reason why this is a good idea is that God knows when or if you will have time to go to a salon when the baby comes.
Getting your nails done is also something you’d want to do. It feels nice and for those 45 minutes to an hour, you can forget about all your problems and just loosen up a little bit by doing something nice for yourself. You can even match the colour of your nails with baby clothes you’ve bought. Even if you feel like a mess, your hair and hands will look nice.
Some beauty salons have massage options, so consider going for a prenatal massage. Check-in with your doctor beforehand to make sure it’s safe and okay for you to have a massage. Once you’ve got approval, relax and get those sore spots massaged. Don’t forget to ask for a “Pregnancy massage” as it’s different than the regular one.
6. Have some “me time”
Even though spending time with your partner and friends can be fun and exciting, it’s always a good idea to have some time for yourself. When the baby comes, you’ll be attached to it for a while, so your free time disappears.
Once you’ve gone on your maternity leave, you should spoil yourself a bit. Go see that film you’ve wanted to see for a while. Read that book that’s catching dust on your bedroom cupboard, research about parenting, or devote that time for additional education. Nothing is too extreme as long as you’re not putting yourself or the baby at risk.
While a “tiny person” is growing inside you, surprise it with a meal at your favourite restaurant. When the baby comes, you probably won’t have time for meals outside your home because you’ll have to worry about youngster’s schedule.
7. Equip your house
Once you’ve prepared yourself physically and mentally, the next thing in line is preparing your house for the arrival of the youngster. If the baby is on the way, you’ll probably need to babyproof the entire house. In addition to that, you’ll most likely need to renovate the entire room, paint the walls, install a baby monitor cameras and night lights. On top of that, you’ll need to equip the baby’s room with things like a baby crib and diaper changing table, which cost a lot of money. In that case, consider getting a favourable home improvement loan which will make upgrading your house a lot easier.
Once you’ve gotten additional cash, you don’t have to worry about the cost of things. Relax and buy the equipment that is the best for your child. Besides choosing the right crib, you need to buy a baby stroller, a car seat and a baby carrier. Stack the diapers and baby wipes. Consider buying tubs for babies and a glider. These are only some things that will make your life easier when the baby comes.
As for the room, you will need a place for baby clothes and diapers. Don’t forget the toys and children’s books. Decorate your newborn’s room so it feels as comfortable as possible. After all, you will spend most time of your day there.
Putting baby equipment aside, think about your family members as well. Cook some meals beforehand, or ask your significant other to help you. Freezing meals can help you have more time to adapt when the newborn arrives, and for a week or two, you won’t have to think about cooking food. Deeply clean your house and make sure that baby clothes and stuff like pacifiers are washed before they touch the baby’s skin.
8. Devote time to other family members
In case you have older children, do something fun with them. Once the youngster arrives, your attention will be focused on the baby and you won’t have as much time to devote to other family members. Even if it’s not a big deal to you, your older children will feel special and loved, and less likely to be jealous of their little brother or sister. Organise game night with them, take them to the movies or park, or even let them eat ice cream for dinner- it’s all a great bonding experience. In case your labour starts unexpectedly, like in the middle of the night, always have a nanny or a close person on quick dial. That’s how you’ll make sure your children are safe while you’re delivering a baby.
Don’t forget to spend time with your significant other. Go on a date to your favourite place or surprise them with their favourite meal; above all, they were with you through thick and thin. Consider going on a weekend getaway, just the two of you, before the baby arrives. It might help you relax for a while, renew the romance and get ready for a fresh start.
Even though preparing for a baby seems like hard work, anything is possible with the right organisation and support from your loved ones. By following these tips, you will surely be ready for the youngster, and you won’t have to worry too much about the things you might have forgotten to do. Don’t neglect your needs, as your and your baby’s health almost entirely dependent on the way you take care of yourself. Relax and focus on making your pregnancy as enjoyable as possible. Pack your bags, you’re ready for the baby delivery.