Whether you’re expecting your very first baby or another new addition to your growing family, there’s no doubt the next few months (and years) and going to be busy.
You may be pregnant for nine months, but that time will fly by. Once you’ve found out that you’re expecting, had all the necessary check-ups and told your loved ones the good news, it’s time to start planning. There’s plenty to do and numerous things to consider when expecting a baby – especially if this if your first child.
In this blog, we’re going to outline five things that should be considered and discussed before your little bundle of joy arrives.
Your Birth Plan
Most expectant parents are advised to create a birth plan. A birth plan allows you to outline the type of labour and birth you’d like to have. It gives the midwives and doctors a useful guideline to refer to during the birth.
When writing your birth plan, there are various factors to consider, including your personal preferences, your medical history, where the birth may take place, pain relief and types of delivery.
By creating a birth plan, you can work out whether there’s anything you feel strongly about. For example, you may decide that you’d like to avoid a specific type of pain relief, such as an epidural.
You should thoroughly discuss your birth plan with your partner and any other birth partners that may be present during the labour (another relative or friend for example). Keep a copy of the birth plan with you when you go into labour and be sure to discuss it with the midwives and nurses caring for you.
It’s essential to prepare yourselves for changes that may be made to your birth plan. Labour is unpredictable and the midwives and doctors may make changes based on the safety of you and your baby.
Sleeping Arrangements For Your Baby
What type of crib will your baby sleep in? How soon will your baby be moved into their own room? Do you need to decorate the nursery before the baby is born? Where will your baby sleep during the day?
These are questions parents are faced with when expecting a baby. According to health professionals, during the first few months, your baby should sleep in a crib or Moses basket in your room. Your baby should not sleep in the bed with you.
When buying a crib or Moses basket, ensure it has a firm mattress that fits the cot snugly. You’ll also need sheets to cover the mattress and light blankets or a baby sleeping bag for warmth.
When you choose to move your little one into their own room is completely up to you. However, it is advised that your baby share your bedroom until they are around 6 months old.
During the day, your baby can sleep in their crib or Moses basket, stroller (if it lays flat) or your arms.
The Essential Baby Equipment
Many expectant parents tend to go overboard with baby equipment and later find their home filled with expensive gadgets that take up too much room and aren’t needed or used.
It’s important to equip yourself with the essential equipment but try not to over do it. There are plenty of in-depth check lists available online, which may come in handy when preparing for the birth of your newborn.
The essentials might include:
- Car seat
- Changing mat
- Bottles & accessories (breast-pump, formula etc.)
- Bottle steriliser
- Baby bath
- Sleepsuits, vests, baby grows
- Coat, hats, socks and mittens
- Nappies, wipes or re-usable cloths and ointment
- Muslin squares and burp cloths
- Changing bag
The Type Of Stroller
Choosing a stroller is a big decision. If you want a stroller that’s perfect for your family, there’s a lot to consider.
How often will you use your stroller? Where will you store it when you’re not using it? And more importantly, do you want a stroller that will adapt as your little one grows into a curious toddler? Plus, do you need a stroller that’s compatible with your car seat?
Before deciding on a stroller, it could be a good idea to chat to other parents to get an idea of what you’d really like and what you’d like to avoid.
Maternity And Paternity Leave
Another thing to consider when you’re expecting a baby is maternity and paternity leave, as well as your finances. Once you have told your employer that you’re expecting, it may be a good idea to have a look at the company’s policies for maternity leave and pay. The same goes for paternity.
You and your partner should then discuss how long you’d like to take off work following the birth of your baby. If dad would like to stay at home longer than his paternity leave permits, perhaps they can use some of their annual leave.
When expecting a baby, you should think about your finances for the near-future, especially when one parent will be out of work for a substantial amount of time.