Whether you’re preparing for your first child or your fifth, bringing a new baby into the world is fraught with emotions. You may feel blissful one minute and completely overwhelmed the next.
Shortly after giving birth, you may have trouble keeping up with routine tasks due to a lack of energy, time, or both. Preparing in advance is the best way to ensure you have what you and your infant need. With the essentials taken care of, you’ll be more organized and present to enjoy every minute of quality time with your baby.
Here is a checklist of essentials for all new parents preparing to welcome a new baby home.
Prepare the Nursery and Baby Gear
Most parents-to-be consider the nursery the most important room in their homes – and it’s also home to all the baby gear. Before the big day arrives, you should have already purchased and assembled all the most important items.
The two most essential pieces of baby gear you’ll ever own are a baby car seat to keep your little one safe and a pram to make traveling easier. You may want to research the best car seat stroller combo for a convenient multi-purpose solution.
Next on the list of essentials is somewhere for your baby to sleep – such as a sturdy crib or bassinet. You’ll also need a changing table, some drawers, and a baby bath. You might also want to purchase some nice-to-have items that the baby will only use in the future – like a walker or infant swing. You’ll want to ensure all these items and nursery-friendly furniture are assembled in advance while you still have some free time.
Other extras to complete your nursery are baby clothes, some quality baby formula in case of breastfeeding problems, and plenty of diapers and wipes. You’ll need these almost immediately after the birth, so don’t forget a sturdy diaper bag to carry them in.
Make and Freeze Meals Ahead of Time
In the days and weeks leading up to the birth, consider preparing meals and freezing them so your life will be easier when you bring the baby home. While many new moms get lots of help from their family members or friends when it comes to meals, you shouldn’t rely on that.
Making nutritious meals in advance that can be thrown into the microwave will help you avoid unhealthy options when you’re pressed for time. There are thousands of online recipes for meals that can be premade and frozen ahead of time.
Instead of dedicating an entire day to making your meals in advance, consider doubling the amount of the dinner you usually make and freezing the rest for later. Parents often find it easy to forget things like eating healthy meals when all their time is spent caring for their newborns – but it’s crucial for new moms to eat a balanced diet.
Make Plans for Your Furry Family Members
Something many new parents overlook is making provisions for their pets to ensure they are cared for when the due date arrives. Stock up on pet food, toys, treats, and medications (if needed) ahead of time and arrange for someone you trust to pet sit while you are in the hospital. Another option is taking your pets to a reputable boarding kennel to make sure they are looked after properly.
If you worry about your pets not receiving enough attention while everyone is focusing on the baby, asking your family members or friends to come over and take them out for walks and play with them can put your mind at ease and ensure your pets are happy.
If you worry that your pets may develop behavioral problems or won’t adjust to a new baby in the house, you should call an animal behaviorist or trainer to work on a plan for everyone in the house to co-exist.