The nervousness, anxiety and oh those cramps! Pregnancy is hard work. With so many articles and videos about baby birth flooding the internet, it becomes even more nerve wrecking for the expecting mothers thinking about the countdown to the D-day! Firstly it is a long wait before the baby arrives and it is natural to feel anxiety about your delivery and how to look after your newborn.
But I say instead of getting pre jitters and worrying incessantly, here is 7 to do list for baby, you really should be doing:
Plan Your Space: Make some room for your baby. If you have a separate room meant to be used as a nursery later, then design it in a way that you and your baby can co-sleep together. Have enough cupboards and drawers for your baby’s clothes, toiletries, nappies and a million other belongings. In case you do not have an option of another room, then make changes in your own room to accommodate the new arrival. Involve your partner in the decision whether you would like the baby to share the bed or have her/him sleep in their own cot placed next to your bed!
Buy Baby Essentials: To uncomplicate huge shopping lists, these are the things you will immediately need post baby arrival. The list is pretty basic and it includes :
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- Baby’s toiletries (baby oil, shampoo, body wash, powder, body cream, diaper cream).
- 4-5 cotton sheets, 2-3 soft blankets, changing mat, pillow/bolster, bath towel, 10-12 washcloths, 4-5 muslin cloths, bibs, socks, mittens.
- 5-6 onesies, rompers and top bottom separate (please make sure all clothes are washed 2-3 times before making the baby wear them).
- Formula milk (in case you plan to introduce), 2-3 feeding bottles, Baby laundry detergent, bottle wash, bottle brush, bottle sterilizer.
- Diapers, cloth nappies.
3. Hire a Nanny: Once you enter your third trimester, and some well-meaning relative hasn’t already set you up with a jaapa, then I suggest you start looking for one. Decide if you would like the help for the initial few months or a longer duration. Consult with your partner as this can be an expensive affair. Look for an experienced and trusted person to help you with the baby chores and do explain their work beforehand. Once you have the baby, you will realize how important it is to have a back up for all the endless chores to be done daily.
4. Clean and Declutter House: With a new baby coming home, simplifying your life is essential. Out with the old and in with the new. Rearrange and clean your closet so that you wouldn’t have to worry about it later. Organize things you would be needing later and stock up on items such as your toiletries and other household essentials. Sort through your pantry and think about the healthy snacks which you will like to load up on for later. Also, it is important to make sure you have plenty of clean bed linens for later use. Wash the tiny clothes thoroughly which you plan to take to the hospital and also keep a separate clean stack of clothes at home for the baby.
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5. Shop for Yourself: This is another important activity I am sure everyone will enjoy doing. Prep up your wardrobe and buy few relaxed home wear which are easy to get into and breastfeeding friendly. Also, while you are at it, you might want to pick up few outfits to wear outside which are 1 size bigger than your pre-pregnancy clothes. If you are going to be breastfeeding, nursing bras and breast pads are a must have and so is the need to have a breastfeeding pillow for extra comfort. A visit to the medicine store is also important and stocking up on pads, wipes etc will also save you time later
6. Read up on Baby Care: I personally swear by this and read Gina Fords Contented little baby book during my pregnancy. It offers you an insight on how to set a routine for your little one and how important it is for the baby and mother. It also has lists of things which will come in handy later and help you understand feeding and napping schedules and how to comfort a cranky child among other things.Obviously, as you spend more and more time with your baby, you will be a pro at understanding all baby cues but reading up on baby care books is sure to save you from panicking later. Another tip is to have a pre-knowledge about breastfeeding as you are going to be spending ample time initially doing just this. Talk to fellow mothers and ask for advice on how this works and what helps in increasing the supply.
7. Relax! : And last but definitely not the least, relax, sleep and sleep. I stress on sleep as this will seem like a luxury once the baby is there. Spend time doing things which make you happy. Go the salon, read a book, spend time alone and together as a couple. Take a prenatal massage. Go out with your friends or better yet, take a vacation. Also, do not forget to take a picture of the bump so that you can remember this time. It will be over before you know it.