The fact that you are going to become a parent shortly makes you very happy and evokes a lot of positive emotions. Apart from joy and happiness, it also brings on a lot of responsibilities. Your transition to the parenthood will become much easier and smooth if you prepare well to receive your baby. Here is what to do and how to get ready before your bundle of joy arrives.
If you are a first-time mother-to-be, you may have lots of questions and some worries, which may include:
- How will I know I’m in labor? Will it hurt?
- Will my baby know how to breastfeed?
- How do I care for a newborn?
You may want to attend classes to get answers to questions and educate yourself about childbirth, breastfeeding, infant care, and parenting. It is a great way to lessen anxiety and build confidence.
Generally, some local hospitals and birthing centers offer birthing classes. Some classes offer specific type of birthing and some other classes review labor techniques from a variety of methods. Reading beforehand about the different methods of birthing will help you choose one of the classes. Choose and sign up for a class several months before your due date. Your prenatal doctor will help you find a right birthing class in your area.
During class, the instructor will go over the signs of labor and review the stages of labor. She will discuss about positioning for labor and birth, and different ways to deal with pain. She also will give you strategies to work through labor pains and to help you stay relaxed and in control. You will practice many of these strategies in class, so you are ready when the big day arrives. Many classes also provide a tour of the birthing facility.
Breastfeeding requires some knowledge, skill, and practice to be successful. Pregnant women who learn about how to breastfeed are more likely to be successful than those who do not. Breastfeeding classes offer pregnant women and their partners the chance to prepare and ask questions before the baby’s arrival. Classes may be offered through hospitals, breastfeeding support programs, or local lactation consultants. Your prenatal doctor will help you find a breastfeeding class in your area.
Make Your Home Safe For The Baby
As your baby is on the way, you might have arranged clothing and baby furniture your baby. Apart from clothing and furniture, you will need to make your home is safe before you bring your baby home.
The following tips can help you make your home safe:
- Ensure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working. Place at least one smoke detector on each level of your home and in halls outside of bedrooms. Have an escape plan in case of fire.
- Have at least one land line connected phone in your home. Cordless phones do not work when the power is out, and cellphone batteries can run out of charge. Put emergency numbers, including poison control, near each phone.
- Make sure your home or apartment number is easily visible from outside so that fire or rescue can locate you quickly in an emergency.
- Make sure handrails are installed and secure in stairways. Always hold the handrail when using stairs, especially when holding your baby.
- Don’t place pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals in the crib, as they may lead to suffocation of your baby.
Safety Measures Before Your Baby Starts Crawling
Your baby will be crawling before you know it. Most babies start crawling around six to nine months. Crawling will enable the baby to move around the house. This may sometimes bring unexpected dangers to your baby. You need to think ahead and make certain changes in your home to ensure safety of your baby.
Take the following safety measures before your baby crawls:
- Use protective padding to cover sharp edges and corners, such as from a coffee table or fireplace hearth.
- Install safety gates at the bottom and top of stairwells or to block entry to unsafe rooms.
- Use safety latches on cabinets and doors.
- Remove rubber tips from doorstops or replace with one-piece doorstops.
- Keep cords out of baby’s reach. Tack up cords to vertical blinds and move furniture, lamps, or electronics to hide cords.
- Secure furniture and electronics, such as bookcases and TVs, so they cannot be pulled down on top of your baby.
- Store all medicines, cleaning products, and other poisons out of baby’s reach.
- Look for and remove all small objects. Objects that easily can pass through the center of a toilet paper roll might cause choking.
- Keep houseplants out of baby’s reach. Some plants can poison or make your baby sick.
- Set your water heater temperature to no higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that is hotter can cause bad burns.
- Cover all unused electrical sockets with outlet plugs.
Make sure to closely supervise your baby around a family pet. Pets take some time to adjust to a new baby.