We know the arrival of a new member of your family is an exciting – and busy! – time, and that every parent you know and website you’ve visited has probably given you too much information to process. That’s why we’re here with some quick tips to make preparing for motherhood a little bit easier. The name of the game is preparation, because the less you’re stressed about what’s in your control, the more flexible you can be with caring for your baby and the other important things in your life like work and family.
1. Finish researching your breast pump and buy it!
You know you need one, and trust us, you don’t want to feel rushed buying at the last minute. Whether you decide on a manual or electric pump, you never know if baby will decide to come a couple of weeks early and change your timeline!
2. Make a plan for your own health.
The most successful moms we know are ones who make sure that they’re caring for themselves, too! In the immediate days after pregnancy this can look like scheduling visits from friends and family, to make sure you are able to sleep when baby does. Some moms want to re-focus on nutrition to make sure they have all of the energy they need! And don’t forget your emotional and mental health – whether it’s knowing who you’ll turn to when you want help, joining a group for new moms, or setting aside time for yourself, it’s important to make sure that you listen to your own needs, set reasonable expectations, and care for yourself.
3. Get babyproofing done before it matters.
Your new baby obviously won’t be moving around independently at first, but before you know it you will have a baby who wants to crawl and pull on things on your hands! Considering you’re going to be busy taking care of your new baby, we recommend storing cords, anchoring furniture that can be pulled over, and buying gates ahead of time, so you don’t feel like you’re rushing at the last minute.
4. Read up on baby’s milestones.
Everyone worries about their baby’s health and development, it’s a natural part of being a parent. So while you’re obviously paying attention to your pregnancy and learning to prepare for childbirth, you should also consider learning more about developmental milestones for babies. It sounds obvious, but knowing when to expect different behaviors and physical abilities in advance is a way for many parents, even those who don’t think they will worry too much, to maintain peace-of-mind.
5. Find your pediatrician.
We know your OB has likely encouraged this by now (and may have even provided a list of recommendations), but the headache of finding a new doctor and setting up appointments is not something you should have to deal with at the last minute. Finding a doctor you trust and communicate well with is important, and it isn’t too early to start the search!
6. Make your decision about cord blood banking.
Obviously we would love for you to choose to bank your newborn’s cord blood stem cells with Americord, but every family comes to their decision differently. Your child’s health is always what will matter the most to you, and cord blood banking can play a role! But whatever you choose to do, we encourage you to do your research and ask questions!
7. Pack that hospital bag now!
This sounds like a pregnancy tip, but it’s also a tip for your first days as a mother. We mentioned it earlier, but you really never know when baby will decide to arrive, and making sure you have all of the things you’ll want with you in the hospital, including changes of clothes for you and baby, a nursing bra, and if you choose to bank, your cord blood collection kit, with you when you need it makes it so much easier to focus on what really matters – time with your child.
8. Trust yourself!
Other parents and baby’s grandparents have endless advice on what you should and should not do for your baby. Movies and TV shows have created a trope of overly anxious new parents. You want to be conscientious and make the right decisions. Maybe the thought of asking your pediatrician certain questions embarrasses you because you “should” know the answer already. If you feel like you’re beginning to worry too much or too little, it’s possible you are, but don’t be afraid to trust your instincts! Part of being a successful mom or dad is believing you are one, and you’re going to know your baby better than anyone, so trust yourself.