1. Set up a nursery:
A newborn baby needs a safe and comfortable place to sleep, so setting up the nursery is essential. Start by purchasing a crib and mattress, ensuring both meet safety standards. The crib should have adjustable sides, so you can lower it as the baby grows. Include bedding such as sheets, blankets, and a mattress cover, as well as a changing table and diaper storage.
2. Prepare your home:
Before the baby arrives, it's important to make sure your home is safe for a newborn. Ensure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in place and working properly. Babyproofing should also include covering outlets and sharp corners, installing safety gates at the top of stairs, placing covers on door knobs, and locking away hazardous materials such as cleaning products or medications.
3. Gather supplies:
No matter what type of birth you have planned – whether it’s at home or in the hospital – having essential items ready before the baby comes helps ease any stress. Commonly recommended items to gather include diapers, wipes, onesies, swaddles and burp cloths. Don't forget to stock up on newborn care items such as a bulb syringe for nasal suction, infant thermometer, infant nail clippers or scissors, and diaper rash cream.
4. Select caregivers:
When you have a baby in the home it’s important to have trusted people available to lend a helping hand when needed. Depending on your family structure and living situation this might include both parents, grandparents or other relatives, friends or neighbours who can help with tasks such as babysitting or providing food during times of need.
5. Research childcare options:
If you are planning to go back to work after having a baby, it’s important to investigate childcare options. Research different types of daycare, nanny services and in-home care providers to find the best fit for your family.
6. Stock up on food:
Purchasing groceries in bulk before the baby arrives can help save time and money – especially if you plan on breastfeeding or making homemade purees. Consider purchasing frozen fruits, vegetables, meats and other staples that will help make meal preparation easier when baby is born.
7. Create an emergency plan:
Having a plan in place for medical emergencies is essential for any new parent. Talk with your family doctor or pediatrician about their preferred hospital or medical center should something happen to your newborn. Make sure you also have a list of emergency contacts including your partner, family members and caregivers.
8. Attend childbirth classes:
Attending childbirth classes is an important step in preparing for the arrival of your baby. Classes cover topics like what to expect during labor and delivery, breathing techniques for relaxation, positioning for labor and postpartum care.
9. Make sure vaccinations are Up To Date:
Vaccinations are an important part of protecting newborns from illnesses such as measles, rubella, and mumps. Check with your healthcare provider or local health department to make sure any necessary vaccines are up-to-date before the baby arrives.
10. Start planning for finances:
Having a newborn can be expensive, so it’s important to start planning for any necessary expenses early on. Create a budget and consider healthcare costs such as copays and deductibles for doctors visits, hospital stays or medication. Consider setting aside money for baby supplies such as diapers and wipes, formula if you are not breastfeeding, clothing, toys, and other items.