Getting ready for a new family member often comes with a roller coaster of emotions. The joy of expecting mothers is met with the overwhelming responsibilities that must be carried out before the baby’s arrival. Moreover, babies are expensive, and it’s a basic duty to be ready for them. Statistics indicate that most parents spend 27% of their income on these tiny bundles of joy. Apart from the obvious things to buy, you will find these preparatory tips helpful.
Start early with baby-proofing
Baby-proofing the home in your final trimester can get too tedious. And this is mainly due to your new pregnancy weight and the aches that come with being in this state. Ideally, babyproofing must begin in the second trimester when your energy levels may still be up and in abundance. According to US data, many households fail to babyproof the home until the baby begins to crawl. Unfortunately, there is a risk to this. Experts say the chances of overlooking a spot are higher when you rush through the process. However, doing it earlier allows you to think through all the places that require proper safeguarding.
The best trick when baby-proofing is to get down to a crawling baby’s level. By taking on the crawling position, you can see what your mobile baby comes into direct contact with. While at it, you may want to get secure covers for your electrical outlets. Additionally, loose cables lying around and in plain sight may have to be packed away or encased in a protective system known as trunking. If you have more than one floor in your house, you may want to create a barricade at the foot and top of the staircase. As a precaution, a barricade with bars should have nothing more than an inch between the spaces. This will prevent a mobile baby from squeezing between the bars.
Prepare all the baby gear
If it’s your first time expecting, there may be no cutting out some baby gear. In many cases, you will need to buy everything a little one will need. These baby must-haves can be expensive if you’re relying on known brands. On the other hand, generic baby gear can save you lots of money. If this is your second or more birth, the pressure of buying everything anew greatly reduces. Many parents keep essential newborn clothing and other gear used by their older children. Clothing, shoes, bassinet, crib, baby blankets, and so on can be reused if they are still in good condition. Indeed, some households may purchase a few new things to complement what they already have.
It is worth noting that babies grow quickly. Therefore, buying lots of new clothing may not be advisable. Another tip you can employ is to buy some baby clothing at least one or two sizes up. This will help ensure that the clothing is used for longer. Furthermore, another important factor to be guided by is the material used for common baby items. For example, it is best to choose safe fabrics or hypoallergenic clothing that help reduce the risks of allergies. Regarding plastic baby bottles, it is better to choose those made with polypropylene. Most often, baby bottles marked with #1, #2, #4, and #5 are safe for a baby’s use. Any bottle marked with BPA may not be ideal, especially because it contains chemicals affecting some babies’ nervous and cardiac functions.
Get your hospital bag ready
If you plan to have a hospital birth, it is recommended to pack your bags in advance. Doing this during the second trimester helps you pack essential items you will need for yourself and your baby in those first few days at the medical facility. Rushed packing increases the risk of forgetting something crucial. Unfortunately, reports indicate that many first-time expecting mothers struggle to pack essential items for the hospital. There is always some confusion about how many items are enough for a few days of hospital stay.
However, experienced mothers say that following a guideline is the best approach. For example, your newborn will need two or three of each item of clothing. For example, you can have about three long-sleeved onesies and side-snap bodysuits. Any other loose baby clothing can be not more than three. It would be helpful to also pack two swaddle blankets for your little ones. With diapers, you can be more liberal because there will be several changes during the day. Meanwhile, as expecting mothers, you will need loose clothing to stay comfortable during your hospital stay. Sometimes, you may be in a ward gown throughout your stay. Many hospitals provide basic essentials to make your short stay comfortable. If you have to pack baby bottles, it is advisable to sterilize and keep them in clean receptacles.
Follow up on preventive care
Apart from regular antenatal checks, did you know there are other health-related details to be aware of as a pregnant woman? Oral care, a balanced diet, necessary vaccinations, and so on are a few of your preventive measures. Especially regarding oral care, antenatal reports indicate that pregnant women are more at risk of developing the periodontal disease before the final trimester. Due to the high incident rates, keeping regular dental appointments throughout the pregnancy is the best thing to do. Another less-discussed topic in pregnancy preventive care is depression. According to a 2022 Mayo Clinic report, 7% of pregnant women experience various stages of depression in the second and last trimesters. Although the report pinned it on excess hormones during this time, it advises pregnant women to be cautious of the early signs.
This is because research has proven that women who experience severe mood swings during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing postpartum depression. Therefore, the earlier it is detected, the higher the chances of enjoying stable emotions and mental health after birth. Finally, making and freezing meals that can be eaten in the first week of birth is recommended as part of the preparations. Having ready food at home takes some pressure off you as you focus on your newborn.