Use the last few weeks of your pregnancy to start getting things organised before your due date. Being well organised now will make things easier for you and your family when your baby arrives.
Here are some top tips to get prepared for the newest member of the family.
Prepare a birth plan
It is a good idea to have a birth plan in place when planning for the big day! This way your midwife can help you prepare, go through any question you may have and give you a bit of guidance as to what is and isn’t possible. Your plan should be flexible in case circumstances change on the day, it will also be a useful guide for your partner and the hospital when the time comes.
Get advice from others
First-time parents find a lot of comfort in chatting things over with other parents who have already gone through childbirth themselves. It’s helpful to discuss different tips and hints or recommendations for ideas that you might not have thought of. All of this can help with the hospital experience. There is no such thing as a stupid question so take the opportunity to learn from others.
Spend time with older children
If you already have a child, use your time before the birth to spend some one-on-one time with them before your newborn arrives. Sometimes older siblings can feel displaced or left out when a new baby arrives so use this time to reassure them and include them in as much as possible in decision-making such as picking the outfit for the baby to come home in.
Arrange for some extra help
The first days at home with a new baby can be overwhelming so make sure you have some help in place from friends and relatives. Plan for when your partner returns to work as that is the time where you can feel slightly lonely after having the support there 24/7 so extra help will be beneficial.
Have a plan in place if you have an older child for them to be looked after whilst you are in hospital.
Wash new clothes and bedding
Your baby’s skin is extremely delicate, so it is a good idea to wash the clothes you have purchased for them and the bedding which you plan to use, in advance. A good idea would be to play it safe and use non-biological detergent.
Stock up on essentials and food
Stock up on those items that you use the most at home to avoid having to rush to the shops constantly… frozen food, toiletries, medicine, toilet paper, shampoo – even extra pairs of underwear – often come in very handy when you bring your newborn home.
When your new baby arrives, you will be both busy and tired, it can be difficult to fit in cooking meals. Prepare food ahead of time, cook and freeze lots of meals now. This can be a lifesaver in the first week or so after the birth. Also, add a label to show what the item is and on what date it was frozen.
Clean your house
If the nesting instinct hasn’t already kicked in, try to get some bits and pieces done before the baby arrives because you’ll have your hands full when the time comes. If you feel overwhelmed because there’s so much to do, just concentrate on having all the baby essentials ready, the rest can wait!
Stock up on nappies
You will be shocked at the number of nappies newborn babies go through; it can be anywhere from 10-12 in one day if you are using disposable ones. Make sure you have enough stockpiled and dotted around the house for handiness.
Pack your hospital bag
There is no telling when your baby will arrive – babies tend to arrive when it suits them so get organised in plenty of time. Pack all the essentials you will need for labour and for after the birth. You must have your hospital bag and pregnancy notes with you when you go out and about from 36 weeks, just in case you need to go straight to the hospital unexpectedly.
Remember to pack snacks for both you and your partner to keep your energy up during labour.
Check your car
If you plan to give birth at hospital, make sure your car is in full working order, that you always have plenty of fuel in the tank, and if you must pay for hospital parking, make sure you have change ready. You will have to bring your baby home in a car seat so make sure you can confidently install it into your car.
Charge your phone
Make sure that your phone is fully charged and keep your charger with you when you are in hospital. This way, you will be ready to update your family and friends with the happy news and take that all-important first family photo!