The arrival of a new baby is a special time. Preparing yourself and your home for a new arrival is hard work and you’ve probably got a list as long as your arm. However, every mother to be will worry about forgetting something important. So, if you’re looking for reassurance, here are some essential things to do before baby gets here.

Go on a Date Night

When baby arrives, you may not have as much time for your partner. You’ll be sky high in bottles, dirty nappies and nursery rhymes to spend any quality time together. You may even find that baby ends up in the same bed as you. Take this time to go on a few date nights and make the most of the baby free time. When baby is here, you won’t be able to go out without arranging a babysitter or taking baby with you.

Make a Birth Plan

If you’re a first-time mother, the thought of giving birth can be a terrifying one. When you don’t know what to expect, it can be difficult to prepare yourself properly. There are so many things that can happen during birth, so it’s important to keep an open mind. Many midwives don’t ask women to create a birth plan because things very rarely go to plan. However, it is important to read about labor and delivery and attend antenatal classes if you’re able to.

Choose a Name

Despite what many people may tell you, you may not know your baby’s name the second you see him/her. So, before your due date set some time aside with your partner and discuss a few names that each of you like. It can be easier if you already know the sex of the baby. There are some beautiful old English girl names and some popular strong American boy names. You have until you register your baby to decide on a definite name but knowing in advance will take one thing off your to-do list.

Sort Out Baby’s Clothes

There’ll be no time for organising your baby’s clothes once he’s here and that’s not a job you want to give yourself when you’ve got a newborn relying on you. The more organised your baby’s clothing is, the easier it will be for you to put your hands on what you need when you need it. It can be a fun activity for an expectant mother to put her baby’s clothes away and go through the gifts that have been bought. Having a wardrobe ready will help you to divide baby’s clothes into sizes so you don’t have to sift through things when you have little time.

Pack Your Hospital Bag

Midwives suggest that you have your hospital bag packed by the time you hit 33 weeks. That’s because from that point onwards, anything can happen. You’ll be happy to know that babies are often safe to enter the world from 24 weeks, with hospital technology advancing in recent years. However, delivering as close to your due date as possible is often the safest for your baby and you. Take a look at hospital bag checklists to make sure you have everything you need for yourself and your baby. Over packing your bag is better than under packing, especially if you have a longer stay than planned.

Don’t Forget After Birth

Most women will prepare well for birth and taking care of the baby after birth, but they may forget to prepare for taking care of themselves. Recovering after birth can take some time and you may find you’re not as mobile as you’d hoped. Depending on the type of birth you have, you may need to take it easy for a few weeks after your little one is born. You may even need more support than you’d planned for. So, if family and friends offer to cook, clean or watch baby for a while, take them up on it.

Research Breastfeeding

Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding isn’t as easy or as natural as one might assume. If you haven’t got good support and the know-how to persist, breastfeeding can be very difficult. You’ll need to know how to latch your baby properly to avoid injury and that many newborns will cluster feed until your milk comes in a few days after leaving hospital. This means that your baby will likely be clung to you for at least the first week, making it difficult to accept visitors or leave your home. The more support and knowledge you’ve got, the easier it will be to breastfeed your baby. However, if you’re unable to breastfeed for any reason, never take this as a failure.



Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.

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