Preparing your home and family for a new baby is an exciting time, but often stressful to organize. The last week before your labor starts is when you may find yourself organizing the home or fretting over the color you chose for the nursery. Later you may laugh about your anxiety over things that turned out to not be as important as you had thought, and the things you forgot. Here are four critical things you should handle before the baby comes.
Get Your Prenatal Check Ups
Prenatal care is important to both your own health and that of your baby. You should set up an appointment with your obstetrician as soon as you think you may be pregnant. Your doctor will advise you on lifestyle changes, may adjust medications you are on, and will probably recommend prenatal vitamins. Throughout your pregnancy your doctor will monitor your baby’s growth and development as well as any difficult symptoms you may be dealing with, most of which are preventable or manageable. They may also send you for tests to further monitor the baby’s well-being. Prenatal checkups happen on a schedule that begins monthly until the 28th week, then every other week through week 36 and weekly thereafter. If your pregnancy is considered a “high-risk” pregnancy then seeing a maternal fetal specialist like Dr Gilbert Webb would be the right route to go. You should bring any questions or concerns you have to appointments.
Stock Your Pantry
You are not going to want to go out if you don’t have to after the birth so make a plan to have the necessities on hand ahead of time. Stock up on your comfort foods and your family’s favorites. Make sure to have easy options that take little effort and healthy snacks as well, especially if you plan to breastfeed or have other young children. Take some of your nesting time prior to birth to cook dinners and freeze them so they will be easy to pull out and heat up for dinner. Don’t forget to put on your list other household basics like toilet paper, shampoo, and laundry detergent. Systematically and steadily picking up some of these things over the last few months of your pregnancy will make it easier than trying to rush to buy them at the last minute and organize everything.
Make Arrangements For Help
If you have the means to arrange for a postpartum doula, you should seriously consider it. If not, make plans in advance to harness willing friends and family. It can be difficult to ask for help and you may be tempted to think you can manage without, but you may regret it if you try. Bringing home a new baby is the rare occasion in your life when everyone wants to cater to you and it brings loved ones together. Do not miss out on the blessings of having helpful family around. Make a list of the duties it takes to keep your home running smoothly and then make specific arrangements with those who say they will help so you know the tasks will get done.
Prepare Older Children For Change
Older siblings may have a confusion of feelings about a new baby. They will be excited one moment and fearful of the impending changes the very next. Spend quality time with them letting them know how to handle the baby safely, ways they can be important helpers and let them ask any questions they may have. Because gifts tend to come in abundance for new babies, you might arrange a special gift or outing as a surprise for your older child so they feel as loved as the new addition.
Every new baby brings change to a family and it can take time to settle in to new routines. A little planning ahead can reduce unnecessary stress and maintain some of the structure that puts everyone at ease and lets you enjoy your new baby.