When you are welcoming a newborn into your life, many areas in life need to be updated for your incoming bundle of joy. From stocking up on baby products to anticipating a shift in your daily routines and priorities, there’s plenty to be done. That said, here are three specific ways that you can begin to prepare for a newborn.
Find Your Diapers
There’s a lot of purchasing that happens as you prepare for a newborn, but keep in mind that your baby will quickly grow out of most things. This makes it all the more important to consider sustainability when purchasing the products you’ll use most.
For example, you and your baby are going to need a lot of diapers. Some parents make the mistake (in their understandable eagerness to be prepared) of stocking up a little too much. Still, your newborn will grow quickly and require increasingly larger sizes of diapers in the next few months. A better way to prepare is to identify a brand you like and can rely on to align with your values. There are so many varieties now, from brightly designed disposable diapers to cloth washable diapers. Bamboo diapers also exist somewhere in the middle of that spectrum and have been an easy choice for many new parents. They provide the easy cleanup that can only exist with a disposable diaper and are sustainable.
Consider all the Feeding Options
Something that we don’t talk about enough as a culture is formula feeding. Breastfeeding has long been considered the gold standard, and there is a list of benefits for both baby and nursing mother. But we don’t often address the reality that breastfeeding is just not an option for many women. Not to mention the variety of situations, like adoption, when breastfeeding is not possible. And while sometimes breastfeeding is an option, it may not be preferred. There are working moms who plan to return to the workforce and don’t want to take multiple breaks during the day to pump.
As such, it’s essential to be aware of all feeding options during the process of preparing for your newborn. Learning about different baby formulas that medical providers recommend can be a beneficial thing to do before you give birth to your newborn. This way, you are prepared if you end up needing or wanting to use formula. Moreover, learning about lactation support resources, from hiring a lactation coach to utilizing herbal supplements. Knowledge is power when it comes to feeding options.
Identify your Support
With a newborn, especially your firstborn, you are going to experience a significant shift in your reality, which makes it super important to take stock of your support systems. That may be considering which family members will be available for a late-night call to dispel worry and provide wisdom from their experience raising kids or exploring ways that you and your partner will balance the role of caring for your infant. It might even be identifying the friends that you can rely on to come by and check in with you from time to time.
It is also an opportunity to consider your options for mental health support. Initially, you may think that this wouldn’t show up on a list of preparing for a newborn. However, postpartum depression and anxiety are genuine and very significant. We are living in a time when everyone should consider mental health counseling. However, it is critical for new parents to know the signs of mental health decline and what resources they can access for support. It is easier than ever, with increased social awareness about counseling and online therapy options.
Getting ready for a newborn is a significant task, thrilling and stressful all at once. If you start early and consider the suggestions above, you’ll reduce the stress and enjoy the thrill a bit more!