Ask a mother about the best moment of her pregnancy and she would likely say “the moment I held my baby”. And why not? Nine months of pregnancy where you’ve gone through a gamut of life-altering emotions and experiences result in a new life that will be cherished and loved.
These nine months are dedicated to a variety of actions and decisions related to health and wealth. From planning the maternity leave to preparing the hospital bag, you’ve done it all. But what about when the new-born comes home?
It’s a well-known fact that the arrival of a new-born signals the beginning of a new life where all those involved will be busy adjusting to a new routine. Wouldn’t’ it be a good idea then, to use the last two months of your pregnancy to make preparations that would smoothen the transition from being pregnant to being a parent.
Inner Sense brings some suggestions...
- Discuss the hospital plan
Technically, this isn’t exactly a post-baby plan but we recommend this as a safety net. Detailed conversations with your partner are essential to ensure both are on the same page about
- Hospital plan - Inner Sense recommends writing down a (flexible) hospital plan which would ideally include details like the kind of birth you would prefer, type of pain relief, who should be allowed in the delivery room, etc.
- Hospital route - You’ll call an ambulance, yes. But just to be on the safer side, decide on the route(s) that you would take should you need to drive to the hospital for delivery.
- Contacts - Stress and excitement can make us forgetful, we’ve all been there. Tally contact numbers on your mobile phone and get a written list of the contact numbers of doctor, hospital and family members.
- Explore paediatricians/Childcare options
In the initial few days or even months, it’s recommended that infants are under the care of the doctors that delivered them. But doctors aren’t always available at hospitals. It would be prudent to locate and decide on a paediatrician before the baby arrives. For working parents who want to return to office sooner than later, finalise childcare options that could range from asking family members to care for the baby to employing childcare services. Getting this done in advance makes it one less thing to worry about later.
- Arrange for extra help
Keeping childcare in mind and the various offers for help you are likely to be inundated with, we suggest you map out a plan. Decide on matters you are most likely to need help with and hand these tasks over to well-wishers. Be it meals or help with house cleaning, talk it out with your partner and then ask the person who has offered to help. If finance permits you to hire help, get them working with you before the baby arrives. This way, you will have understood each other making dereliction of works easier once the new-born is home.
- Stock up on food
With the new baby – and older children – you’ll have your hands full once home. Take meals off your hand by planning dishes that can be cooked and frozen well ahead of time. This way, you have backup meals and don’t have to fret over ‘what to cook for lunch’.
- Speak with experienced mothers
Reach out to mothers in your friend circle for some morale-boosting and advice. Be it maternity bags or baby proofing your home, these women are a treasure trove of information and will be more than glad to share their thoughts. Speak to them to brush away your fears about labour, get suggestions about childcare and doctors or ask for their list of ‘things to do before baby comes home’.
- Clean your home
House help or not, you will be stretched for time once you’ve brought the new-born home. Wash, clean, vacuum, dust, clean the house top to bottom before you head to the hospital. Organise the nursery, wash the baby’s clothes to soften and sanitise them, pile up the baby supplies and then catch up on some much-needed sleep.
- Spend time with older children
If you have older children, spend some one-on-one time with them. Take the opportunity to strengthen your bond and give assurance to the child so that they don’t feel neglected after the new baby’s arrival. Talk to your child(ren) about things they can do for their younger sibling and involve them in decisions like choosing a colour for the nursery or toys for the infant. Make sure you don’t pressurise the child into behaving or force them to accept the baby immediately.
- Couple time
Before your world goes topsy-turvy and you start planning days and weeks around the baby, spend some time with your partner. Go on a babymoon if time and money permit, plan couple meals or simply spend quality time together. Your bond as a couple is crucial and should not be neglected.