It seems like there’s a clock ticking over your head, counting down the minutes until your baby comes home, but how do you prepare for the big day?
Welcoming a newborn into this world is an experience that comes with countless emotions, things to learn, and aspects to consider.
You can pigeonhole yourself with all the concerns down the line. However, it is best to focus on the things that are important right now, like how to prepare for when your baby comes home.
Those first few months will follow the same pattern for many parents, so there are some basics to know.
When you bring your newborn home, you will likely have a swirl of emotions. One of these feelings could be anxiety as you worry about the health of your newborn and all the things that could go wrong.
Often, these worries are common concerns for many a parent, but there are ways to equip yourself with confidence when caring for your child. That is why every new parent should learn CPR, as it’s an essential skill in many emergencies.
Find Your Car Seat
There is no greater feeling of peace and joy than holding your newborn in your arms. However, the first hurdle soon comes on the drive back home.
The best tip for preparing for when your baby comes home is to find and install your car seat in advance. No matter if the due date is months, weeks, or days away, you want to provide ample time to find the best seat. That way, you can also test out the car seat to ensure it is secure and correctly installed.
Focus on Basics
If you are quickly becoming overwhelmed with the various tasks ahead, it is a great idea to do away with frivolities and focus on the basics.
Of course, decorating the nursery is exciting, but if you are stressing yourself out over color schemes and the like, take a step back. Focus solely on the necessities your baby will require in those first weeks and months. Moreover, take the time to sterilize and clean anything you will use, like bottles, pumps, and pacifiers.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself
Bringing a new baby home can be an overwhelming experience, so one of the best things you can do is make sure you are prepared and ready to go. This means taking care of yourself, emotionally and physically.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or unable to handle the transition, don’t be ashamed to reach out for help. You don’t have to go through this alone, and you don’t have to be Wonder Woman.
Take some time to yourself, get enough sleep, eat healthy, and seek support if you need it.
Have a plan for the first week
Newborns come home with a lot of equipment, and a newborn and first-time parents may find themselves a bit overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. The best thing you can do is have a plan for the first week. This means having a plan for each day, having a schedule in place, and knowing what needs to be done each day so that you can feel less overwhelmed and better prepared. For example, each day you’ll have feedings, diaper changes, naps, and time with your newborn. Be prepared for some sleepless nights as well.
Order essentials (and know where to get them)
Depending on where you live, you may want to consider ordering certain essentials online. Some of these include baby clothes, diapers, and other essentials that you may not be able to find at your local Target or Walmart.
For example, if you are having a baby in the winter, you can order a baby winter hat or booties online so that you don’t have to spend hours searching for them in-store.
And just to be safe, have everything you need ready to go at least two weeks before your due date. This will allow for time to receive your items and time to be prepared before the baby comes.
Get the nursery ready
Having a clean, ready-to-go nursery will help make your transition into home life with a newborn easier. Plus, having everything organized will make clean-up much easier. You’ll want to gather all of your baby’s supplies, plan out where each item will go in the nursery, and ensure that it all gets put away properly. Items you’ll want to gather include:
- Diaper pail
- Changing pad (or change the baby on a piece of cloth on the floor)
- Crib or bassinet
- Swaddle blankets
- Nursing pillow
- Sound machine
- Hangers for baby clothes
- Car seat
- Rocking chair or glider (optional)
- Stroller (optional)
Decide on a baby schedule
Some parents like to stick to a strict baby schedule, while others are more relaxed and fluid with their newborn’s sleep and feeding times. –
If you’d like to have a more structured baby schedule, now is the time to decide what would work best for you and your newborn.
– Some parents like to stick to the same feeding times, while others prefer to feed their newborns when they are hungry. Some parents like to stick to a certain nap schedule, while others will let their baby nap when they need to.
– There’s no right or wrong way to do things. Each family will do things differently, and it’s important to do what works best for you.
Welcome help from family and friends
When you welcome a newborn into your life, you’ll want to start getting help from family and friends as soon as possible.
– You’ll probably have plenty of visitors in the first week or two after the baby is born. Some parents welcome visitors, while others prefer a bit more quiet.
– You may want to ask your partner and/or immediate family members to host a baby shower. This can make receiving gifts easier, and it can be a great way to welcome help from friends and family.
– When it comes to asking for help, make sure to ask people as soon as possible. Some parents like to make a tasks list before they go into labor, while others like to wait until they get home and their baby is there.
Get baby gear ready to go
You’ll want to spend a few days before your due date getting the baby gear ready to go. This includes the car seat, stroller, and other accessories your newborn will be using.
You can also take this time to set up a nursery, organize your house, and try to get some sleep if you can. You may not be able to get much sleep in the first few days after your baby comes home, but you can try to rest as much as possible.
The first few days and weeks after your baby is born will be chaotic, so you can use this time to get things ready, rest up, and prepare for the whirlwind that is about to come your way.
Having a newborn is quite the experience. It can be overwhelming, but you can prepare for it by getting organized and ready as quickly as possible.
Make sure you have a plan for the first week and take care of yourself. You’ll need sleep and proper nutrition to keep up with a newborn. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything at once.
Break things up into smaller chunks, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.