The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Whether you recently found out you were pregnant or you’re a few weeks away from meeting your new baby, you’re likely in preparation mode. There are several tasks you’ll need to complete before your little one arrives, both for yourself and the baby. Many of these tasks will likely continue during your motherhood journey. If you’re as prepared as possible, you may experience less stress once you’re ready to deliver your baby and bring your bundle of joy home.
Here are four tips for planning for your baby.
One of the first things you may want to think about is childcare arrangements. Even if you plan to stay home for the first few months, you may still be working from home or have other children to care for. Designate a nanny or caregiver for your infant or his/her siblings months before your baby arrives. Notify your employer of your plans if necessary, and make the necessary arrangements to keep your career intact as you expand your family and try to achieve a work-life balance.
As you plan for your baby, make sure you brace yourself for the unexpected. Planning is essential when it comes to parenthood, but there are several surprises along the way. Keep in mind that your baby may stay up most of the night for a few months and that you may not be able to sleep during the day. Prep your mind and body by making changes to your diet and sleep schedule before your baby arrives. If possible, put some money aside to take care of incidentals like car or home repairs that may be necessary to keep you and your child safe.
It’s also important to prepare for any unexpected you and your relatives may experience when it comes to the new baby. Talk to your other children about their feelings concerning a new sibling. Have discussions with your child’s other parent about the emotional and financial implications of welcoming a new family member. Be aware of your own mental and emotional health as well. You can speak to a therapist about your feelings or keep a journal to document your emotions and work through them so you can be the best parent possible.
It’s a good idea to have heartfelt conversations with your friends about your life change as well, especially if this is your first child. If you have an active social life and your friends are used to you enjoying parties and get-togethers with them, make sure your loved ones know that you care for them, but your time will be limited for a while. Even if many of your other friends have children, it can be difficult to adjust to a new friendship dynamic while you navigate parenthood. Ensuring that all your loved ones are aware of your feelings can make welcoming your baby less stressful for you.
Finally, plan for your baby by making your health a priority. This means more than just your prenatal appointments. Create a safe workout plan so you can feel and look your best during pregnancy. Make the necessary changes to your diet to ensure the health of your baby and supply your body with nutrients that will give you energy and help you manage your weight. Join a support group for new and expecting moms to learn about some things you can expect and get advice on how to handle certain parenting issues.
You may experience certain changes in your body from being pregnant that you will need to take extra care to try and fix post-pregnancy. For example, you may have diastasis recti, which is the separation of the abdominals from each other because of your uterus expanding. If you aren’t sure how to fix diastasis recti its a good idea to get medical advice from your doctor.
As much as possible, do the things you enjoy while you’re pregnant. This will put you in the mindset of balancing your life as much as you can when you have a newborn. As your little one grows, this can also set an example of self-confidence and balance for your child. Take your baby along on some of your adventures so your child will see a healthy example of parenting and take their cues from you as they grow and gain more independence.
These tips can make one of the biggest changes in your life exciting on the good days, and bearable on the not-so-good days. As you get a feel for your new family dynamic, you’ll know which changes to make to ensure that you and your baby are happy and healthy.