Nothing comes close to the experience of having your first baby. It's all new to you, no matter how many “how-to books” you read on the subject, or how much advice you get from family and friends. Since everything is new it's all a learning experience for you. Here are some tips for first-time parents on how to prepare for your baby's arrival.
- Expect the Unexpected When You're Expecting
You might think you're ready, you might convince yourself that you can handle anything that comes your way, but there will be things that throw you for a loop no matter how prepared you are. You can't plan for every contingency when you're having your first baby, so don't stress about the minor details.
- It's a Mental Thing
Preparing for your first baby is all in your mind. Ready yourself for the experience and try to live in the moment. Nine months go by faster than you'd think it does. Don't focus on how painful you think it might be, just try to remain calm and enjoy the ride. No matter how many kids you end up having, the first time is always special and you'll remember it forever. Just remember to breathe in, breathe out, take your prenatal vitamins, eat healthy foods, avoid all the bad stuff, and have a good time.
- Watch some video tutorials
Do you actually know how to change diapers? Well, you might want to check different video tutorials on how to do these things.
- Get the baby's room ready
Most parents are excited to arrange the baby room. Of course, you need to make sure that everything here is in order - proper ventilation, safe interiors, no harmful substances and best of all decorated with baby items and toys.
- Take a Class in Childbirth or Parenting
One of the easiest ways to get yourself prepared is to take a childbirth or parenting class. You will meet people who have gone through the process and can offer advises on the matter. Experience, they say is the best teacher so it’s best to learn from those who have been there.
- Visit the hospitals around you
Before you go register with a hospital for antenatal and your baby’s delivery, it is good to visit the hospitals around you. Things to consider include the proximity to your house, the pediatric ward, accommodations for you and baby and so on.
- Pack your hospital gear ahead of time
This is to make sure that you will not forget anything the moment you feel like you are ready to give birth. You should include a camera, some clothes for you and for the baby and other necessary items.
- Learn about the postnatal check-ups and vaccines for the baby
You should learn the schedule of various vaccines to give to your new-born baby to avoid diseases and health problems.
- Take a look at your finances
If you are having a baby, you should be thinking about your finances. For example, you might want to take steps to reduce your credit card debt. You may also want to set aside money for emergencies or to help you pay your bills if you are taking some time off after the birth of your child.
- Find a pediatrician For Your Child
Before your child is born, you will need to find him or her a doctor. Depending upon your insurance plan, you may have a limited amount of options, or you may have quite a few choices. Take the time to review your choices and to find out information on each doctor. Then, choose the doctor that will fit best with your family.
- Purchase the Essentials
Although your family might be holding a baby shower for you before the birth of your baby, you should probably still plan on purchasing some of the items by yourself. Things you will definitely need are a crib, a car seat, clothes, bottles or breastfeeding equipment, and diapers!
- Decide on a Feeding Plan
You should decide how you want to feed your baby before it is born. You may decide to breastfeed your baby, or you may decide to bottle feed your baby. If you are breastfeeding, you might wish to read up on the subject before your baby arrives or take a class in breastfeeding. If you are bottle feeding, you will want to choose a bottle type.