Deciding to have a baby is one of the most amazing things you’ll ever do and for most of us, it’s not a decision that’s made lightly. There are a lot of things to consider before having a baby, like can you afford it, are you in the right place in your life to support one and so on. But working out if you’re ready to have a baby is actually the easy part!
No one ever said that parenting is easy and if you asked any parent to a newborn baby out there if the experience is a walk in the park like the nappy adverts with happy, giggling babies suggest, you’d certainly have them agree.
Having a baby is also one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have and after all of the initial sleepless nights and numerous daily meltdowns, you may even find that you’re raring to do it all again sooner rather than later.
To make the process of parenting a whole lot smoother, all that needs to be done is some forward thinking and advance planning. Preparation is key for many things in life and if there is a situation where you can get by the skin of your teeth, parenting is not it.
So if you have a baby on the way and you’ve got past the initial shock and excitement, start thinking about the important stuff now so that you can cherish the sleep you do manage to get once your bundle of joy has arrived.
1. Peace and quiet
There’s no point trying to lie about it – you won’t be getting much peace and quiet in the first few months after your baby’s arrival, but you need to make sure your home environment is peaceful if you want your baby to relax and sleep properly. Make their sleeping area as dark as possible by buying blackout blinds or curtains as light can disturb sleep. Also,
2. Consider co-sleeping
One of the hardest things about becoming a parent is sleep deprivation. You think getting up early for work is a killer until you have kids, then you realise you took something as special as a good night’s sleep for granted for your entire life.
There’s no way around it. You’re going to be tired, exhausted in fact for the first few months, but there are things you can do to catch a little extra shuteye. Rather than getting up to go to another room to feed your baby, get yourself a co-sleeper instead. It attaches to the side of your bed so that you can sleep next to your baby safely. You’ll be able to wake in the night, do what you need to do and settle both of you down again in no time.
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Preparing your baby’s sleeping area is a task all parents should take seriously. Whilst you might want to give your little angel every soft toy in the world to cuddle, that’s actually the worst thing you can do. Having too much in their cot is dangerous, so don’t use pillows, bumpers or toys. To keep your baby warm, ditch the loose blankets and instead keep them snug with a sleep sack.
3. Stock up the freezer
When a newborn baby arrives, there certainly isn’t time for dinners at fancy restaurants and regularly cooking up a treat for the entire family becomes a huge struggle that many new moms just don’t want to tackle. In the weeks before the baby is due, cook up large batches of your favourite meals and package them. Put them all in the freezer and that way you and your partner will still be eating all the things you were before, except all it will entail is bunging a frozen meal into the microwave.
4. Make getting out the house as easy as possible
When you have a baby, a simple task like leaving the house suddenly becomes a full blown mission and it seems impossible to get out at the drop of a hat. Having young children means planning is required most of the time, but that doesn’t mean that a simple trip to the shop has to include a full itinerary. Taking your baby for regular walks is a great way to calm them down and bond with them, plus it will give you some much needed fresh air. Britax B-Agile 3/B-Safe 35 travel system reviews will tell you all you need to know about getting the right stroller for your adventures.
5. Get a good quality breast pump
Long gone are the days where only mothers and wet nurses were allowed to feed the children. These days men are just as happy to get stuck in which is great as it gives any new moms a well needed break. If you’re bottle feeding then it won’t matter either way as both you and dad can prepare bottles at silly o’clock, but for the couples who opt for breastfeeding, investing in a good quality breast pump is one of the best things you’ll do. Your nipples will certainly thank you, that’s for sure!
6. Baby proof your home
To begin with, you won’t need to immediately have everything dangerous out of reach as your baby will be in sight at all times and unable to crawl into every nook and cranny in your house. But it’s best to prepare beforehand so that when your little monkey does finally manage to crawl or bum shuffle their way around the house, there won’t be a mad rush by you and your partner to make it as child friendly as possible.
When baby proofing your home, get onto your hands and knees so that you’re on their level. Scrutinise every room in this position so that you can see what they see and reach what they can reach. Remove anything that’s made of glass and metal, cover sharp edges and store away anything that is particularly delicate or valuable.
Cover all electric sockets and switches as these things seem to attract the attention of our little ones. Tie up loose ends before the baby arrives too – so any loose wires and dangling cords should be addressed as things can end tragically if not. You probably don’t think of your blinds as a dangerous object, but where babies are involved you have to be extra safe.