If you are going to have a baby soon, especially if it is your first one, there are probably a million different things going on in your mind: some good, some not so good. When you think about all the things you have to do and how to prepare for your new baby, it can be extremely overwhelming. Many pregnant women worry about a whole range of things, from the health of their unborn child to if they will be a good parent.
The good news is, the anxiety shows you care and that you have probably been incredibly careful up to this point anyway. Having a baby will change your life. There is no double about it. But it is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world. This post is to give you a few pieces of advice that I wish someone had told me.
Disclaimer: This is a contributed post.
Be Kind to Yourself
Being a parent is hard. The day you become a parent is Day 1 for you. If it’s your first child you’ll have no experiences whatsoever, and if it’s your second or third, or even fourth, even with all the experience, every single tiny human is different and every experience is different. It’s all a giant learning curve.
The important thing to remember is that no one is perfect, and every parent will make mistakes. Don’t dwell on them. If you have made a few mistakes while being pregnant, especially before you were pregnant, try not to worry. Instead, just do everything to the best of your ability now.
Try and focus on being a loving and patient parent who is there for their child and attentive to their needs. You are going to learn so much being a parent, almost as much as your newborn will learn as they develop and grow. No ever has it all figured out and all babies really need is that unconditional love. So just be good to yourself, don’t beat yourself up over every error, and love your baby.
Start Stocking Up
One of the things most parents stress about is will they have enough supplies of stuff. Babies need a lot of stuff, but it’s not about toys or special clothes. When you think about how to prepare for your new baby, consider stocking up on practical things like baby wipes, nappies, bottles, muslin clothes, blankets and other useful items.
It is always a good idea to start buying some of the baby things before the baby actually arrives. Stock up on baby wipes and nappies, for starters. It is a good idea to start buying some of the larger items as soon as you can too. So the cot, the car seat, pram, baby carrier, take a look at Foryourlittleone to get some ideas on things that you will need.
The more you can get before, the more prepared you will be for when the baby actually comes. You’ll never have it all, there will always be something you forget, but at least some of the stress will be reduced.
On Choosing Baby Names
This can be one of the major fun parts, but you never realise how difficult it is to choose a baby name before you start looking for one for your new baby. Remember, they have to have this name for life. So, a very cutesy one may seem great now, but will it be suitable when they are teenagers and older. If you are having real issues, it may help you to find out the gender. If you were on the fence about this, having one sex to worry about will help you focus.
Another great way to make sure you make the right choice of baby names is to tell that one friend who is always honest – they will sometimes consider things about a name you love and their opinion can help you decide if it’s right or wrong. No one wants their child to have a name that will lead to bullying or teasing, because, let’s face it, kids can be mean sometimes.
Have A Support Network
You are going to need help when the baby arrives, so it is best you start building up those bridges (if you indeed to) now. No matter how annoying a family member may be, if their heart is in the right place, they will be there to help when the time comes. How to prepare for a new baby is going to require support. Be it your own parents, your siblings, or even your friends. You’ll be surprised to discover who steps up when you really need the support.
When it comes to accepting advice from well-meaning relatives, friends and strangers, sometimes you don’t want to hear what they have to say, but remember, every woman who has been through the journey of motherhood, has their own experience. And they simply want to share their experience, and lessons learnt with you. My honest advice for a new mum to be is to just listen, take on board what feels right to you and ignore what doesn’t. And above all, always trust your gut!