by maipham

June 16, 2021

what should i do to prepare for a baby?

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Your due date is right around the corner. Soon enough, your little angel will be here. You are about to be a mother! 

But other than excitement, you feel nervous and worried. You have to go through the painful birth-giving, and countless sleepless nights. Are you ready for that?

What should I do to prepare for a baby? You ask yourself. Do I have everything ready physically and mentally to welcome my little baby? 

We are all in the same shoes. We don’t know if we have prepared well enough to take care of our little ones when they are here. 

Below is a suggestion of all the most-essential things you need to do to prepare for a newborn baby.

Ready?

Let’s dive in.

What Should I Do To Prepare For A Baby?

Learn more about labor and delivery

If you are pregnant for the first time, this will be a very memorable experience that you need to prepare well in advance mentally. 

Ideally, you should take part in reputable antenatal classes. This way, you will receive detailed instructions from the midwives about the labor process and the steps to take care of the newborn baby. You can take a look at Giving Birth Naturally.

The labor and delivery process consists of 3 stages:

  • The stage of the cervix with dilation
  • The stage of fetal expulsion
  • The stage of placental abruption

The course of colic in labor lasts an average of 16 hours in first-time moms and 8 hours in second-time moms.

Learn more about these processes, prepare all the necessary items for the birth process, choose a hospital to undergo the birth. The more well-prepared you are, the more favorable the birthing journey will be.

Find a doctor for your baby

The best time to start looking for a pediatrician or family doctor for your baby is mid-pregnancy. It may seem a bit early, but that leaves plenty of time to find a doctor that's best for you.

Talk to your health insurance company to add your child to your policy and determine which doctors are covered in your area. Make sure you also know about your rights during pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

Discuss with your husband

what should i do to prepare for a baby

You should talk to your husband about how he can help you during labor, talk about what you need in the newborn period to avoid disagreements later.

Don't think your husband will understand how the birth of a baby will turn your lives upside down and how much you will need him. 

For example, maybe he's looking forward to hitting the gym regularly or playing poker every night of the week, while you think he'll be sitting on the couch holding your baby in the evenings so you can get some rest.

Talk to your husband to share the work of taking care of your newborn as well as house chores and give him instructions on what he can do. 

You should also think in advance with your husband about naming the baby, whether to circumcise, how to take care of the baby, whether to hold any religious ceremony, etc.

Cherish your baby's first 72 golden hours

The first 72 hours after birth is called the golden period to strengthen the baby's resistance and connect mother and baby. 

Mother's colostrum only lasts until the end of the first 72 hours right after birth, so the amount of colostrum that the baby sucks during this time is likened to gold. 

The colostrum contains a fairly high content of white blood cells. This white blood cell helps the baby fight against some viruses and harmful bacteria. It protects the baby from respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis, some inflammatory diseases, infections, etc.

During the first 72 hours after birth, the baby will also be "skin-to-skin" with the mother. In addition to bonding between mother and child, this brings many benefits to the baby's health. 

At the same time, skin-to-skin contact after birth also helps to stimulate the mother's milk glands. The mother has milk soon, and the baby can suckle soon.

You need the support of your family, doctors, and midwives to take advantage of as much time as possible with your child during these 72 golden hours.

Learn about parenting in advance

During pregnancy, mothers should take advantage of their free time reading books or learning about pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing skills. Do not wait until the baby is born that you start struggling to find out because at this time, many situations need you to react quickly. 

You can also attend prenatal classes to learn more about useful knowledge from doctors and experts. During regular check-ups, pregnant women should also talk to their doctor about the health of the mother and baby to prepare for a safe birth. 

Prepare for older siblings

Newborn babies can mess up the world of older kids. Luckily your family has a few months to get used to this. And here are things you can do to prepare for your baby's big brother or sister.

A lot of parents used dolls to help their kids understand what was going on. Toddlers or preschoolers will enjoy the role play and will feel familiar watching you change diapers or feed your baby.

Some hospitals offer sibling classes where older children can learn about babies: why they cry, how to protect them, why they sleep so much.

As your due date approaches, be sure to arrange for someone to care for the babies during and after you give birth.

And when older babies see you for the first time after you're born, put your baby in the crib and open your arms to greet them like big brothers and sisters. This will help the kids understand that they are as important as ever.

Moreover, the stage of preparing for the birth of a baby should also be for pets. Local trainers can offer classes, or you can look in books, newspapers, or videos for tips on teaching your pet to respect others. 

You can start with expert advice: how to get your pet ready for a new baby. You also need to consider whether you need to arrange for a pet sitter or a dog walker while you are away.

Prepare the room to welcome the baby

Many parents may be embarking on cleaning, shopping, and decorating the room to prepare for the birth of their baby. 

First of all, you should clean the room, remove all old furniture, and throw away garbage. If you intend to repaint the room, you should do it early to avoid dust and paint odors. 

A room with a lot of dust leftover is not ideal for extremely sensitive babies. You can buy more necessary furniture such as a mattress, crib, wardrobe along with a few fun and safe toys for your baby. 

In addition, the baby's room needs to be ventilated, cool and suitable.

Choose a name for your little one

The name will follow the child for the rest of his/her life, so you should give him/her a meaningful name. The couple should exchange names that both of you love right from the time you prepare for the baby's birth. 

You can also refer to good baby names or ask for more advice from grandparents on both sides to get suggestions.

Prepare all necessary items

To avoid missing out on essential supplies when giving birth, you should make a list of what you need to buy early and complete this preparation about 1 month before your due date. 

Towels, diapers and a few clothes, gloves for babies are the most necessary and frequently used items. Parents should choose soft cotton fabric, good absorbency, and few buttons to reduce rubbing for the baby's delicate skin.

Besides, anti-itch cream will be essential. The baby's bottom is very irritated. You should choose diaper rash products that are moisturizing for your baby's sensitive skin, thanks to the types of nutrients that are gentle on the skin. Safety even if swallowed is also a criterion that parents need to pay attention to when choosing diaper rash cream.

Contact people who can help you

There will be family and loved ones by your side when you go through labor, but you may also need the help of someone who has a lot of experience in giving birth. 

When it's time to give birth, it's a good idea to make a list of family and friends who can support you and what kind of work they can do to help you. Don't forget to get in touch with them early to make sure everything can go according to plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do when labor pains begin?

Before your first contraction hits, you'll want to plan who to call, where, and when.

Your doctor or midwife will give you instructions on what to do when you are in pain. For example, when to call and go to the hospital or birthing center, decide who will take you there, and arrange for support if needed. 

Know the route you'll be taking. This may sound silly, but it's one of the many things to think about, including figuring out where to park and how to get in when you're hospitalized.

You can take courses at a hospital or birth center to learn about the basics before giving birth. If possible, pre-register in writing. When the pain hits, you'll be able to skip the slow, bureaucratic admissions process.

What essential items should you prepare for your newborn?

There are few necessary items for babies that parents need to prepare before officially entering the delivery room. 

Please check to see if you have prepared enough of the following items to safely welcome the birth of your baby, avoiding confusion and panic.

Newborn clothes

This is an important item that mothers need to prepare for their baby to wear when they are born. 

If you are born in the summer, you should choose newborn clothes made of cotton, soft, and highly absorbent to bring the most comfort to your baby's tender and sensitive skin. This fabric often shrinks after the first wash, so you should choose a size larger than your baby's actual size.

If born in winter, felt baby clothes are a smart choice because it ensures softness, thickness, and effective warmth.

Socks and mittens for babies

In the list of baby essentials, these items are very important. If you want to ensure the baby's safety with the environment outside the womb, it is very necessary to wear socks. 

In fact, there is a lot of controversy about wearing socks and mittens for babies. You should not be too rigid in deciding this. Depending on the temperature, weather, and the health of your baby, parents should decide whether to use socks and mittens or not.

Like clothes, socks are also carefully selected depending on the summer or winter to choose accordingly. You should choose socks and mittens of the same color for your baby to avoid wearing them in a hurry.

Newborn hats and diapers

These are the most important items, used as soon as the baby is born. Newborns are very small, so it is difficult to put on clothes. Using diapers is the most appropriate. When giving birth in the summer, you should prepare a hat for your baby to help him/her feel more comfortable with the harsh sun.

In addition to preparing supplies for the baby, pregnant mothers should also buy postpartum supplies to ensure good health and care for the baby. They include postpartum long-sleeved clothes, socks, sanitary napkins, cotton wool to put in the ear when traveling.

What supplies should you prepare for breastfeeding?

Milk bottle

The bottles on the market today are made from many different materials such as PP, PE, Tritan, glass, and silicone. Depending on your needs and financial conditions, you should decide which type of milk bottle to buy. It is important to choose materials that are safe for your baby's health.

Milk bottle washing liquid

Mothers should choose to buy baby bottle cleaner extracted from natural ingredients to wash baby bottles. Do not use the same household dishwashing liquid. These washes are not suitable for contact with the sensitive body of babies.

Bottle brush

Mothers should also equip a bottle brush with soft material to clean every corner of the bottle and teat. With this product, you will be completely assured because the entire bottle is always cleaned, ensuring hygiene when feeding your baby with a bottle.

There are many different bottle cleaners on the market today. Mothers should check to see what type of bottle you are using for your baby to choose the right bottle brush.

Bottle steamer

Sterilizing baby bottles is a very important task in the process of taking care of your baby. If the bottle is not used for 24 hours, mothers should carefully sterilize it to prevent bacteria from multiplying. And the bottle steamer is the optimal choice.

Most of today's genuine bottle steamer products have a sterilization efficiency of up to 99% compared to traditional sterilization methods. Furthermore, a steamer can handle multiple bottles at once, saving time and energy costs. Therefore, this is a powerful device that you need to prepare for the birth of your baby.

Breast pump & breast milk storage bags

A breast pump is a specialized device used to suck milk from the mother's breast to the baby, making breastfeeding more convenient and simpler. The breast pump offers many benefits such as:

Take care of your baby in the most convenient way. The breast pump in this period will ensure the most complete and regular milk supply for the baby, thereby helping the baby's body develop more comprehensively.

Store breast milk. It helps store the amount of breast milk outside, ensuring a continuous supply of milk for the baby every day. Besides, it helps to ensure the continuity of lactation.

Final Words

There are many things you need to prepare to welcome your baby after nine months and ten days of waiting. 

I know you are very nervous and waiting for the day to welcome your little angel into the world. And I know you're still asking yourself: What should I do to prepare for a baby?

As a mother like you, I prepared the above to welcome my little one. Those are the most essential things that I think you also need to have. And they are all extremely useful tips to help you have the most convenient and scientific pregnancy, birth, and child-rearing journey.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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