Whether getting pregnant happened just like that or you’re one of the many couples out there that struggle with infertility, the news that you’re having a baby can be overwhelming. You’ve got what seems to be a lifetime supply of diapers and some new fangled, high-tech sleep monitor that you’ll likely need the full nine months to figure out. If this is your first baby, however, you’re likely wondering what else you need to know. Having a baby is the best and yet most intimidating task many of us will experience in our lifetime. Don’t worry, though—a lot of preparation, planning, and a healthy fake-it-til-you-make-it attitude will carry you through. Wondering what’s next? Read on for things to consider with a baby on the way.
Is Mom Getting Prenatal Care?
First and foremost, Mom needs to be getting the proper prenatal care. She should be taking special prenatal vitamins, getting mild exercise if possible, and watching her nutrition for the sake of her health as well as for the baby. Some of the foods that used to be avoided have now been shown to be among the healthiest for the expectant mother. Of course, splurging here and there on unhealthy cravings is a sanity-saver and a rite of pregnancy passage. Dads—be at the ready!
Have You Taken Classes?
You’ve all seen the scenes in the rom-coms with the more-than-slightly exaggerated Lamaze breathing classes. While we giggle at these (and the slightly graphic birthing videos shown in some instances), the truth is that birthing and child-rearing classes are extremely valuable. You can often take them at your local hospital, where you’ll learn things like how to change a diaper, when to know if you need to seek doctor/medical assistance, and even breastfeeding techniques. You’ll also want to make sure you take a CPR and Heimlich maneuver class, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The more informed you are, the less your anxiety will be, too.
Books are a great way to while away the many, many months of pregnancy, too. They’re particularly great for Mom during those final months of pregnancy when finding a comfortable way to sleep is all but impossible anyway! There’s the ever-present, widely read What To Expect When You’re Expecting, but there are plenty of other helpful pregnancy books, too. Again, the more informed you are, the better you’ll feel.
Have You Begun Your Nesting Phase?
Nesting is a natural instinct for mothers but getting things like the nursery ready can be a fun bonding task for both parents. Whether you know the gender and have thrown one of those ultra-fancy gender reveal parties or are waiting for the surprise, this is a wonderful way to ease yourself into what is about to be your new reality. If you’re going for the on-the-spot gender revelation, no worries—there are plenty of gorgeous, neutral tones that would work for both wee lads and lasses. Wash all the clothes you buy and get as gifts in chemical and dye-free detergent and put them away in the dresser. Get the crib, mobile, baby monitor, the white noise machine, diaper pail, the rocking chair, and the other nursery essentials. Don’t be surprised if this room magically smells like a baby before the bundle of joy even arrives! Of course, nesting extends to the car, too, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the car seat properly installed for your precious cargo. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website includes a listing for each state of inspection stations.
Another thing to consider when it comes to your home and the baby is a possible upgrade to your living space. Many parents who have needed to sell their houses quickly have used companies like webuyhousesdenver.co. They buy houses in just about any condition, will pay you cash, and can often close within days if you wish—no commissions, no inspections, no hidden fees. You simply have to agree to the offer they make you—it’s that simple. For families who want a stress-free move before baby, this is often the way to go.
Get the Paperwork in Order
Make sure you’ve got the insurance to cover the prenatal care and delivery, as you’ll be paying for this for years to come if you don’t. You also want to make sure you’ve filled out the necessary paternity and maternity leave paperwork if this applies. Your HR department should be able to help you with this. Arrange for your child’s social security number, as you’ll need this for the birth certificate you’re given at the hospital.
Any pregnancy class worth its salt will likely cover a lot of what’s been discussed, but it never hurts to be overly ready for your wee one’s arrival. Peace of mind is the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to having a baby, and that comes with preparation!