If you’re read our checklist, you would have known the essentials that you need to get done after you find out you’re pregnant. But after the main checklist, there are other nitty gritty you have to consider prior to your baby’s arrival.
1. Talk to your partner about parenting
Although an infant is too young for certain parenting decisions to be made right away, you can start talking to your partner about how much responsibility you expect them to be taking on. And they can also share their thoughts on parenting. There are things you can start talking about: like baby names, whether you’ll be observing certain religious ceremony, how involved you want your in-laws to be, how much you’re each willing to spend on daycare, etc.
Additionally, if there is tension between you and your partner, this is a good time to have a real talk so that you can try to resolve certain issues before they get in the way of your parenting.
2. Start buying baby products but do not be excessive
It is natural to go online and start ordering cute baby clothes on Carter’s. However, veteran moms will tell you a great truth: babies outgrow their clothes very quickly. Since babies are expensive, you should consider inhering hand-me-downs. This is also environmentally friendly. You’ll be throwing out less. Besides that, you need an installed baby car-seat, nursing bras, diapers and wipes. But the actual arrival of your baby will let you know exactly what extras you need beyond your essential. Online shopping makes it easy to get this stuff delivered so do not feel like you have to have a full stock of any item that could possibly be necessary before birth.
3. Think of help after birth
When will your baby start daycare? Will you let family members help out? If you’re going back to work, what is a realistic schedule for you and your partner to split the responsibility between the two of you? Start talking to your family about their schedule if you are lucky enough that they are nearby and can share in the responsibility of taking care of your newborn. It is natural to be overprotective and want to take complete control over your baby’s care but this is a good time to think about the age-old adage: it takes a village to raise a child.
4. Make space in your life
If you are afraid of the havoc that your house will be in with less time for housekeeping and a newborn baby’s needs, start clearing out your closets now. This can also be a good mind-clearing activity. Letting go of what you do not need anymore can simplify your mind and make it ready for the arrival of a child. Besides, you can think of it as a the kind of spring cleaning that you might not have time to perform anymore after Junior is home.
5. Spend time with your older children
Sibling rivalry is a real thing and if this is not your first child, it is likely that your older children might feel neglected in the midst of all the flurry in the preparation for a new baby. Talk to them, make them understand that they are still the loves of your life. Allow them to participate in choosing items for the new nursery or in choosing a baby name so that they feel similarly invested in the process.
6. Plan meals for the first month
It is a good idea to pre-cook and freeze some easy meals for when you first come home with your baby. Consider delivery as well. Because your hands will be full, you might not have time to do the kind of meal planning that you can still do during pregnancy. Stocking up your fridge prior to labor can be a real lifesaver.
7. Update your insurance policy
Talk to other parents about what kind of additional insurance you might need with a baby and update your current plan when the time comes for it to include a new member of the family. Remember in most cases, you only have about 30 days to add a new member to your family plan. Plan for it. Along the same line, some people also choose to update their will and trust.
8. Start researching pain-lessening methods for labor
Besides prenatal yoga, some people look into self-hypnosis, position changes and experimenting with various breathing methods to handle the pain of labor. Some people believe that acupuncture can also help to prepare the body for birth. Honestly reflect on how anti-drugs you are going to remain during your labor. Don’t say no to drugs just because the natural, drug-free birth is becoming popular. The important thing is to do what feels right for you.
9. In your third trimester, start preparing for common newborn problems
Before the arrival of your body, you should start reading up on things like navel infection, dehydration and jaundice so as to prepare for common health problems that can afflict a newborn infant. The more prepared you are, the less you will enter a state of panic should any symptom occur when you bring your baby home. Realize that your baby is in his way as tough as you are and that a lot of newborns suffer little afflictions but they are not likely to be fatal.
10. Considering hiring a doula
Doulas are women who have undergone training in the emotional and physiological aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. Doulas are becoming increasingly popular as they are an expert, a companion and an additional support system during your pregnancy. Although you can get a lot of information from the internet and pregnancy books, sometimes it is good to have one trustworthy source to turn to to help narrow down your options. During labor, doulas can also help to make the experience more pain-free by coaching you to move into more comfortable positions. Many doulas continue to provide postpartum assistance as well so that you do not feel you are all on your own after you get through labor.