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13 Tips To Help Prepare For Baby's Arrival

July 15, 2019

13 Tips To Help Prepare For Baby's Arrival

Expecting a new baby can be a very exciting time. But if you think caring for a newborn is a easy job you might be surprised once you have to care for one yourself. Babies can be very demanding and wear you out quickly. Some new parents mistakenly think they are somehow not cut out for parenting or that they are a bad parent. This is just not the case at all. Here’s a few tips to help you get ready and make the most of the newborn stage.

 

  1. Prepare as much as you can before your baby’s arrival. When that little bundle of joy arrives you will be busier than you imagined. Make and freeze some meals that you can just pop in the oven for the first week or so. In fast, during that nesting stage when you are getting things ready, take that opportunity to go overboard and stock up as much as your freezer will hold. This will make dinner time much easier once your baby is home. Stock your cabinets and refrigerator with easy to prepare food. You probably will not feel like running to the store with a newborn and it will be a while before you have two hours to spend preparing a large meal.

  2. Babies have very small stomachs and need to eat every few hours. Prepare yourself for this and have things ready when possible for those night feedings. You are most likely going to be up and down all night, for feedings.

  3. Babies need to be burped to reduce the gas that is trapped in the gastrointestinal system. Try to burp your baby after 10-15 minutes of feeding. There are several positions that you can use to burp your baby. Hold your baby with their head resting on your shoulder and gently pat or rub your babies back. Sit your baby upright on your lap with your fingers supporting their chest and chin. Or try laying your baby tummy-down across your lap. You will find the best position for you and your baby quickly.

  4. Spit up happens and is actually normal. Some babies may spit up a lot. There are some things you can do if you are concerned. The most important is probably to keep mealtime calm and don’t overfeed the baby. Naturally, you don’t want to be bouncing the baby on your knee during feedings. If you're breastfeeding, be careful with your diet. If your baby fails to gain weight or is projectile vomiting instead of just spitting up, that warrants a discussion with your doctor.

  5. What goes in must come out. Your baby can have up to 10 wet nappies a day and up to 5 dirty ones. Don’t let anyone tell you that your choice for nappies is wrong - cloth or disposable - just do what you feel is best. Always have a clean nappy, wipes and anything else you may need for the nappy change within reach. Keep a nappy bag packed and ready to go at all times (see number 7). Do not ever leave your baby on a changing table alone, not even for a split second.

  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all alone. You should not feel that asking for help makes you a bad mother or father. Everyone needs a helping hand every now and then. Your baby will appreciate a more rested and calm parent.

  7. Once you feel like going out, be sure you have everything you need in a nappy bag. You will want to include extra clothes, nappies, wipes, bottles and formula if you bottle feed and a extra blanket. As your baby gets older be sure to add a couple of toys, a bib, and a snack. Rule of thumb: take more than you think you will need. When the baby explodes twice during one outing you will wish you brought more than one change of clothes.

  8. Be sure to get your rest. Try to sleep when the baby sleeps. This is an old fashioned tip but it’s still true today. You will feel much better. Your baby picks up on your mood and will react accordingly. If you are stressed, your baby can tell and will be more fussy. Nothing calms an infant more than feeling safe and secure in the arms of a relaxed, easy going parent. Sometimes this can be a fake it until you make it kind of thing.

  9. Babies cry. A lot. They may cry because they are hungry, wet or just bored. You might try feeding them, changing them, swaddling them, singing to them, talking to them or even just holding them calmly and rocking a bit. If at any time you become overwhelmed by the babies crying, it is better to put the baby down gently in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes. Never leave the baby alone but it is okay to take a break. Tell yourself, “My baby reacts to my mood, I need to remain calm.” If things get real bad, refer to number six and enlist some help.

  10. Some parents get nervous when it comes to bathing such a small infant. You only need to bath your baby a few times a week at first and until the umbilical cord falls off you should only give a sponge bath. This only requires a wash rag or even your hand and some baby soap with just a little warm water (37° or less) . Just wipe the baby down. Be sure you are holding your baby securely and talk to your baby during this time. Never let go of your baby even for a second around even the smallest amount of water. After the umbilical cord falls off you can use a baby bathtub if you desire.

  11. Don’t break the bank to take care of your baby. It is not necessary. Be sure any baby furniture you do use is safe. If you don’t have the money for the cutesy stuff, trust me your baby will never even know. They will know if you go into debt and spend your time worrying. Give your baby a happy, healthy parent with time to just enjoy each other rather than one that has to work extra to pay for every gadget ever made. Try not to buy anything that your child will use for less than six months. There is usually an alternative that will last longer. The exception of course is clothes, nappies and possibly a breast pump.

  12. Baby clothes are one of the biggest expenses besides nappies and formula. They can only wear so many outfits and will outgrow them quickly. Stick to a few cute outfits and buy basic comfortable clothes, like sleepers and onsies. The sleep sacks that they can wear for nine months can be a good buy if you are in a colder climate. Think easy to remove for changing a diaper when purchasing clothes.

  13. The best tips I can give is to stop stressing. You can do this. As long as you keep your baby safe, changed, fed and clothed everything will be just fine. Grab your camera and document everything. This time will pass and you will no longer be so sleep deprived. Besides, you need to conserve your energy, this is a piece of cake compared to when your child hits the terrible two’s!

A newborn requires so much of your time but you expected that before they were born. This precious little baby counts on your for everything. They do not know if you don’t do everything perfectly. Safe, fed, changed, clothed and most importantly loved – you’ve got this! Stay calm and enjoy your newborn.

 




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