For all you young parents out there, you’ll be happy to hear that all of this anxiety you might be feeling upon entering this daunting new phase in your life is 100% normal. Parenthood is scary! But like all things, planning out your first steps into this uncharted territory can make the road ahead seem much, much clearer. Here’s a neat, little checklist you can follow to ensure you and your family are baby-ready.
Have a baby shower
There are some baby basics that you’ll need to source well before the baby arrives. From car seats, and a lightweight pram for your baby’s first experiences with the outside world, to clothes, books, toys, bottles and other kitchenware, the costs of all of these baby essentials can really add up! And whilst it’s economical to ask your friends and family for any hand-me-down baby clothes, the same cannot be said for bigger items like cots and prams. As your baby will rely on these items to keep them safe and secure, it’s best to get them brand new and, if possible, a few weeks before your due date, just so you can get acquainted with them ahead of time.
Naturally, the benefits of throwing a baby shower include the fact that you’ll be provided with a ton of extra support when it comes to procuring some of your pricier essentials. Surrounding yourself with the wisdom and experiential knowledge of your girlfriends can also make a world of difference, and chances are you’ll spend your entire shower sharing, growing, and feeling very ready to step into your new role.
Start baby proofing
It’s never too early to start baby proofing your home, simply because baby proofing is no easy feat! Not only will you need to make sure that all hard corners are covered with padding and that staircases are blocked off with safety gates, but you’ll also need to ensure that all your home’s electrical cords and power outlets are hidden away and that all curtains and draperies are kept away from your baby’s reach too. Baby proofing is actually a rather taxing affair that can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on the size of your property.
Even features like wall-mounted TVs and media accessories, as well as tall furnishings like lamps and stools, should be examined and altered. And considering that you’ll need to be very thorough with your baby proofing, it’s definitely worth getting some extra hands to scour any unnoticed potential danger zones. Remember, it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
Get your hospital bag ready
Finally, it’s always nice to take a step back from thinking big picture if you’re ever feeling more overwhelmed than excited. I found that during the last few anticipatory weeks of pregnancy, with the house all baby proofed and ready to go, with all the baby books read two times over, it was definitely easier for me to focus more on getting together a comforting little hospital bag for my due date. Contrary to popular belief, your hospital bag doesn’t just need to be filled with nappies, maternity pads, hair-ties, and oversized clothing.
It’s recommended that you pack it full of useful resources like your favorite snacks and other treats for your support team, puzzle books and other light entertainment, eye masks and earplugs for comfort, and even comfort items like candles and deodorants/fragrances. Remember that most new mums will find themselves in the hospital for around three to five days. You don’t want to feel like you’re lacking in anything during your stay, so feel free to be indulgent with your packing.
Hopefully, after following this list, you’ll be feeling a touch more confident about being a new parent. Just keep your friends and family close, and don’t hesitate to ask for their support at any time. After all, it takes a village!