Preparing for the baby’s birth is crucial to make sure that excess stress is out of the way and that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Even though more experienced parents know the basics of how to handle grand situations like this, people who are having their first child together might not know how to properly prepare. Having the most important things planned out and being ready to go is extremely important, especially when labor kicks in. So, without further ado, here are the 5 top things that every parent needs to take care of before a baby arrives home from the hospital.
1. Take parenting classes
Taking parenting classes is vital, especially for inexperienced first-time parents. Above all, it is obvious that babies do not come with a set of instructions and a ready-to-go manual. Also, the new parents have limited time to learn the basics of child care before the bundle of joy enters their lives. A good time to start off looking up prenatal and parenting classes and deciding which one to take is around the third trimester, or in other words, the seventh month of pregnancy. Some places also offer breastfeeding classes, which are an excellent choice for mothers who want to educate themselves on the basics of milk production and effective pumping. Also, it is recommended to search up classes that teach the basics of infant CPR and how to handle choking. Remember, prenatal classes will not only empower you to make better, more educated decisions, but they may also save your child’s life.
2. Install a baby’s car seat
Every soon-to-be parent needs to install a baby seat correctly before the baby is able to leave the hospital and travel home. Even though it is not a difficult task, it is important to make sure that the car seat is installed properly and that it is baby safe. New parents who might need some extra help can consult with a Child Passenger Safety Technician, who will check the baby’s car seat to make sure that there are no faults. But not all baby car seats are the same, some like Maxi Cosi car seats not only have a proven safety record but are also very comfortable and fashionable. Baby car seats are not only essential when you want to grab something from the store and take the baby with you, but it will also be a way to show your love to them by keeping them protected all the time. Most car seats come with a security system that is ideal to protect them in case of a serious side impact.
3.Pack your bags
Since you never know when the baby is about to come out of the womb, it is important to have your bags and must-have essentials on hand as soon as labor kicks in. Packing your bags for the trip to the hospital is crucial to ensure that unnecessary stress is avoided. So, make sure to pack your stuff as soon as possible and do not wait for the last couple of minutes. First of all, you need to keep in mind that you want to pack a bag for yourself and for the baby. It is a good idea to have all of the stuff packed and ready a couple of weeks before the actual due date, and have them sitting by the front door in case anything happens. Remember to pack smart and fairly light. One of the most important things that a new mother needs to have with her in the hospital is a small bag of travel-sized toiletries, such as toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant. Also, to boost confidence levels, do not forget to pack up your makeup. Even though you do not need to care about the way you look, it is always good to have some makeup on hand in case photos are taken. Secondly, make sure to pack some clean and comfy clothes that you can switch to when you are ready to leave the hospital and go home. Even though hospital gowns may be comfortable, they are certainly not the outfit of choice when checking out. Opt for some leggings or sweatpants, a big tee and cotton undies. Make sure to bring more than one pair of underwear with you, because bleeding is quite common for a couple of weeks postpartum. If you are planning to document the whole childbirth, do not forget your camera and charger at home!
4.Purchase a nursing bra and a breast pump
Nursing bras are literal life-savers for moms who plan to breastfeed their newborn babies. These special bras come in different shapes and designs, but it is recommended to go for ones that do not have any underwire. Bras that have built-in underwire are not recommended for new moms, because the underwire might put extra pressure on the milk ducts, potentially causing blockage of the milk flow. Nursing bras or breastfeeding bras are great for mothers because they have soft cups and they also provide extra support. Thankfully, nursing bras come in all kinds of attractive designs, so any new mom can feel feminine and sexy in one of them. On the topic of breast pumps, it is vital to make sure to check whether your insurance has all of it covered or not. A lot of the times, you might get billed if you decide to use one without any insurance. Breast pumps are essential because they give the mother freedom and relief from breastfeeding.
5. Do a test run to the hospital
Finally, making sure to take a test run to the hospital is a must, especially for first-time parents or in the case of delivering at a hospital that you are unfamiliar with. Take notes as to how long it takes from your home to the birthing facility and back. Also, check available parking areas. The bottom line is, no one wants to waste any precious time when there is a soon-to-be mother already in labor sitting in the back seat.
All in all, it is extremely important to prepare for a child’s birth. Not only will you be more confident when the time of the birth comes, but you will also be able to enjoy cuddling the newborn without having to think of a million other things that you need to get done. Stay safe!