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Your delivery time is close and in a few days, your baby will be soon in your arms. But have you prepared the world for your little one? Babies are delicate and it would be a lapse of judgement to think that they are prepared for the world. One wrong decision on your part could be harmful to them. Therefore, you must be prepared for come what may. As parents, you should prepare yourself for your little one’s arrival.
Checklist for a Baby’s Arrival
Here is what you should be prepared with for your baby’s arrival:
1. Find a Paediatrician
The first few weeks and months after you come back home with your baby will include frequent visits to the paediatrician for check-ups to make sure that the baby is growing up healthily. So, this is a responsibility you do not want to leave hanging. Your family and friends will suggest many doctors whom they trust. You can take their suggestions or if you have any doctor in your mind whom you trust implicitly, you can consult him.
2. Buy a Baby Car Seat
Every now and then you will need to take your baby to a doctor, therefore, buy a baby car seat. Your baby will be safely harnessed and won’t get hurt while moving about in the car. Usually, we substitute the baby-seat with a lap – either the mother’s or the grandparents’ – and the use of baby-seats mandatory.
Baby seats come for children of different age groups – infant (0-1 yrs), toddlers (1-4yrs) and child (4- 12yrs). If you have to settle for just one, there are toddler seats that are suited to children from 4 months of age to 4 years. Another option is to borrow one from family or friends, whose children have outgrown their seats.
3. Keep Your Support System Ready
You will need the phone numbers of:
- The hospital you have chosen, and a back-up.
- Your doctors
- A well-acquainted taxi driver (in case your own car is away or your husband is unable to drive). You can also call your family members and friends.
- Friends, family, or babysitters who will come over and watch your house and your older kids or pets in your absence.
Always save the contact numbers of the people and include them in speed dial. In case an emergency comes up it shall be really useful. It is also wise to print the list out and paste it on your fridge or at any place where it will be handy.
4. Keep Your Car Ready
An emergency rush to the hospital or the doctor can become a nightmare if your car has a flat tyre or if the petrol runs out half-way there. So, be prepared for everything. Keep the car serviced, with plenty of fuel at all times.
5. Keep Your Phone Ready
This follows from the tip above. You do not want your phone to get discharged when it is most required. A smartphone is now a necessity. Whether you have to make an emergency call, look for an important number or to capture those life-defining moments when your baby comes into the world, a smartphone makes everything possible. Indeed, we’d recommend you keep an extra charger tucked away in your “hospital bag”.
6. Hospital Bag
You never know when your labour will start and you may have to rush to the hospital anytime. Before going for labour, you will need to carry a lot of essential things that are required during labour and post-delivery. Hence, here comes a hospital bag in the picture. Keep a bag packed with essential items for your stay – extra underwear, a maternity bra, absorbent pads, lip balm, footwear, necessary documents, dresses, toiletries, and other items that you may find necessary. Maybe a camera and a stress ball and certainly, a phone charger.
7. Baby Clothes
Dressing up your little one is one of the simplest joys that you will experience as a mom. Buying baby clothes and deciding on the clothes that your baby will wear when coming home for the first time are exciting moments. You may also find yourself receiving a lot of clothes as gifts from friends and family. Wash all the clothes you get, even the newly bought ones before you dress your child in it, as we can’t be sure if there might be some irritants present.
8. Clean Your House
The instinct to clean your house in preparation for your baby’s arrival is natural and necessary. A clean environment is important for a child because they do not have high natural immunity. If you are doing any cleaning yourself, stay away from powerful cleaning chemicals that are dangerous for pregnant women and babies.
9. Create Room for your Baby
We do not mean a whole room, but a designated space. Reserving a whole room for your baby may not be practical for everyone, especially for city dwellers. But, finding a place for a baby bed, a new cupboard, or space in your present cupboard exclusively for baby’s clothes, etc. goes a long way in facilitating your readjustment to home life with the new family member.
10. Baby Proofing
Baby proofing your house will reduce the risk of all possible dangers that your baby will face once he starts crawling. These possible dangers include power-outlets, sharp and pointy edges, rickety or easily collapsing vases, lamps, teapots, etc. Hence baby proofing your house is necessary.
11. Plan Your First Month’s Stay
Depending on the traditions your family follow, you may be spending your time after childbirth (sometimes before as well) at your parents’ house or at your in-laws’ house. Plan this out according to your beliefs and convenience. However, with more people moving into cities, it is usually the parents’ who come over to support the new mom.
12. Delegate Your Responsibilities
Make sure your maternity leave is approved and you affix colleagues with your usual responsibilities while you are away. The strategy for this step will change depending on the nature of your job. Sometimes it could involve hiring a part-time replacement.
The errands and chores you did at home will have to be taken over by your husband. This could include paying off bills, ordering a new gas cylinder, cooking, and cleaning (just minimally, to tide over your absence), etc.
13. Prepare Your Elder Child
If you have one or more children, talk to them about the new family member on the way. Talk about how they can help so that they do not feel neglected. If you have pets, pet proof the room your baby will be sleeping in.
14. Choose Baby Names
Prepare a list of names for your child. Everybody does this step differently. Some know what they will name their baby beforehand, while others may want to wait until the last moment considering options. Either way, it is exciting!
15. Keep Your Camera Ready
Those few days of labour are pure magic. Keep a camera at hand for your baby’s smiles, his first crawl, and the first step and everyday moods. They grow up so fast.
Welcoming your new baby is exciting so prepare well in advance. Plan what you will need to save yourself from those last minute rush. Keep all the important things ready and enjoy the most memorable phase of your life.