It’s the second in our April series around Growing and we’re focussing on new arrival and getting ready for baby…
Bringing a new life into the world is an exciting time. And whilst it has been done a lot (7.5 Billion people globally will have been babies once) it can still seem pretty daunting and stressful if you’re a first time mum or dad. The amount of things you need to think about and stuff you need to get – to prepare your household for the new arrival – is the topic of many guides, NHS meeting groups and social network channels.
But if you’re prepping for a new family member you don’t have the time to trawl through book after book, or website after website – what are the top ten things for Londoners to do getting ready for baby? Well, stop worrying, we patted the back of the internet and here’s some helpful real-world advice that it burped up…
When it comes to Baby care the material world seems to have taken over. There are gizmos and gadgets for just about everything you could possibly think of to do with looking after a newborn. In spite of all the accessories and getting ready for your new arrival is more about thinking ahead and learning the new ropes – as it is about stuff.
Skilling up – through the established Health and Family planning services is a great way to prepare for your first child. More commonly known as Antenatal classes, trained NHS experts and midwives will talk you through what’s coming and help you prepare. You can search here for local NHS Services in Wandsworth, Camden or Southwark by postcode, to find your nearest.
Plan Your Maternity Leave
Some new mums to be like to stick with work right up until a couple of days before due date. But many experts suggest taking three or four weeks to ‘rest’ and ‘nest’ – giving you plenty of time to get everything just right for when the newborn puts in an appearance.
Be ready for the Unexpected
Not all pregnancies go full term. Sometimes baby can decide they’ve had enough of Mum’s Tum and decide to come out early. Don’t panic about it. But be ready for it. Particularly because it will likely mean a longer stay in Hospital as your baby may require a little extra care. If the unexpected does happen, once the Doctors and Nurses have done their stuff, you’ll be able to get to know your baby with unprecedented expert back-up on hand to show you the ropes.
Clothes and Toiletries for you
Some lucky Mums have a fast Labour and are in and out of hospital within 24hours, whilst others have a Labour that can take 36hrs! You can’t be sure how yours is likely to go, so make sure you prepare your bag for a couple of nights in hospital. You’ll need toiletries, a nighty, slippers and a change of clothes for going home.
Clothes and Toiletries for Baby
You will, of course, need a bag for baby too. Most Maternity Wards these days give out a goody boxes (usually sponsored by major Nappy manufacturers) that contain most of the essentials. But you’ll want to be sure to pack some fashionable baby-grows and almost certainly those cute booties that Nanny bought.
Don’t forget Dad
He might not be the one physically giving birth. But he is having a baby, and whilst it might seem he’s bullet proof and there to assist in any way possible, he’s probably as petrified as you are at the new-found responsibility. Little things will help – like making a batch of tasty but healthy meals and freezing them – so that when you arrive home (or he goes home on his own for a night or two if you need to stay in hospital al little longer), it won’t all be unhealthy take-aways.
Dad’s love to feel involved, so you could assign ‘management’ of some of the essential baby hardware – such as the Carry-Cot-Car seat and Pushchair – over to him to prepare. Maybe the buying decision will need to be joint, but Dad can check out all the rules, regulations and appropriateness of a shortlist again your make and model of car. And of course make sure it is all fitted correctly when the moment comes to take your bundle of joy home on his or her first car ride.
However ready you manage to make yourself – we hope it all goes smoothly.