As you already know, I recently became a mother to a beautiful baby girl named Emily. She is now 4 months old, but she was once (what it seems to me as yesterday) 4 hours old, and this moment is what I would like to talk to you about today. It is the easiest thing to welcome a baby in your heart – she had mine even before she was born, but how do you prepare yourself to welcome your child in this world and into your home.
Preparation is everything, and I don’t just mean buying diapers and pacifiers. I read in a magazine that the only way to survive the newborn days is if you are extremely well-prepared mentally, too. The stress could be huge, and for this reason you shouldn’t just buy baby stuff, instead you should buy also things that soothe you and make you feel better. So about the preparation. Here are the guidelines on what to do around your house before you take the baby home.
1. Nursery vs. your bedroom. When you are expecting a baby, you need to make room for it. That might be your own bedroom, or a separate nursery. This is an important decision, because it might affect the way you organize everything else. Not only that, but certain cultures believe that it is better for the baby, if it sleeps with you. In our society it gets increasingly popular to put babies in separate rooms in order to make them more independent. I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both in more detail later, because the research I made is more extensive than that, and is really really interesting.
2. Furnish, decorate and set up the nursery/baby area. One of the most exciting moments is the preparation of the nursery, you can’t stop thinking and imagining what would it be like when the baby is born. Try to get used to the thought, that your nursery may not look like those shown on Hollywood movies. That is perfectly normal. Don’t try to fake that look by stuffing the room with toys and other decorative elements you absolutely don’t need. You should always consider convenience and safety first. Arrange everything so that it is comfortable for you and keep it green and healthy. Be careful of what paints you use and other materials, cleaning solutions, etc. When you hang things on the walls, make sure to keep them far from the crib. In addition, when you assemble the crib, make sure it is safe and check all the screws occasionally. More on how to assemble a crib coming soon. (stick around, I have so much to tell you!)
3. Pick all the tiny clothes and supplies (pacifiers, cloths, toys,). If you know what the gender of the baby is, you can buy clothes accordingly, however if you don’t want to know (I couldn’t resist the temptation and found out), just buy clothes that will work in the beginning.
4. Get breast and bottle feeding essentials and buy the right formula (in my case). All this is important, because as soon as the baby’s is born, it needs to be fed.
5. Diapers – cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers. Buy them in advance, you will need them a lot. You can buy too much clothing, many pacifiers, but you cannot buy too many diapers. It is up to you to pick whether you want cloth ones, or disposable. I myself chose cloth ones after thorough research. All details about the advantages and disadvantages find here.
6. Screen Door. It is a very useful addition to a nursery, because it allows you to monitor the baby without actually having to go in and out of the room every time. This is all useful in the first days, because friends, relatives, parents, in-laws, everyone will want to see the baby. You need to make sure not everyone can get too close. Keeping the baby away from outside people, means it is away from infections, flu, viruses and other nasty things. Here are some more nursery safety tips.
7. Freeze Food. If you are a single parent like me, you will have absolutely no time to cook. For this reason cook and freeze meals way before the baby is born. Save some money for delivery or take-away food and spend more time relaxing with your precious one. At least during the first week or two, until you get used to it.
Don’t forget to clean the house thoroughly a day or two before the baby arrives. I can prepare some guidelines on how to do this yourself, however I was so busy, that I needed to ask professional cleaners to help me. Don’t panic if you can’t clean thoroughly – professionals can do this for you. Just be open to that option.
Do you feel prepared now? No? Perfect! I wouldn’t believe it if you have said “Yes” anyway. It is normal to still feel clueless, all the tips and domestic guidelines, and advise will come back to you just when you need it the most – the first time you hold your baby in your arms.
Also remember to enjoy every minute of the newborn days, while everything is new and everyday is wonderful, despite how tired you are.
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