Preparing for Your Baby's Arrival




One of the most fun yet daunting parts about being pregnant is the process of preparing for your baby's arrival, which can be overwhelming if you're unsure where to start. Some of the things you should look into are mentioned below, but you can always get more pointers by talking to your doctor, experienced older relatives and friends, or going online for more information.
 


Prenatal Classes


One of the first steps that you will probably want to take is to enroll in a couple of prenatal classes to give you a better idea of what to expect during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and life after the baby is born. Examples of these classes are childbirth education classes and parenting classes, both of which might be offered by your doctor's office, a local clinic or a private childbirth educator. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information on where you can enroll for such classes.
 

Your Baby's Space


Your baby will need a safe and quiet sleeping place, so think about which part of your home you can designate for this purpose. You should also set aside a closet or drawer where you can store the baby's clothes and supplies. During the first few months after your baby's birth, you might want to keep your child close to you and sleeping in your room so you can watch over it while it sleeps. Once you've determined where your baby will be sleeping you can decide on the nursery equipment you need to buy. This will include the crib or cradle, bottles and their cleaning brushes, diaper bag, and a changing table if you have space for one. Make sure that your crib is of good quality and meets basic safety standards.    
 


Breastfeeding


First-time mothers will probably need some breastfeeding advice and training. You can get the information you need on how to breastfeed your child by asking a nurse or nutritionist, or talking to an experienced friend or family member. You can even attend breastfeeding support classes if any are available in your area.


 Baby Car Seat


Buying and learning how to use a baby car seat is probably a good idea. Finding the right car seat that offers proper protection for you child and meets current safety standards is something you should look into, as you will be using it quite often once your baby is born.
 

Other Suggestions


As soon as you enter your ninth month of pregnancy, you should prepare your bags for the hospital as you never know when you'll go into labor.

Since your water could break at any time during the last month of pregnancy, it might be a good idea to cover your mattress with a plastic sheet. You can also leave some towels and sanitary pads in your car just in case.

Choose your hospital and take a tour of it before the big day. You should also keep your car's gas tank full and learn the route to the hospital well. If you don't have a car, arrange for alternative transportation ahead of time.

Tell your friends that you'd like to see them after you return from the hospital after you've given birth in order to reserve your hospital time for proper recovery and getting acquainted with your newborn.

See if you can arrange for household help to enable you to recover from your delivery and enjoy your time with your baby. If you can't hire help, see if any of your direct relatives or close friends can pass by to help out with the cleaning and laundry.