Eight Ways to Prepare for your First-Born Child

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Congratulations, you just found out you are pregnant! A lot of things are running through your mind. You have so much to do, yet so little time. Anxiety strikes many new parents, both mothers and fathers. So, although it is not on the list, the first thing you must do to prepare for your first child is take a deep breath, and relax! Everything will be fine and will happen as it should.
Many rookie parents do not even know where to begin. It might seem basic, but the first question that runs through their minds may be, “I don’t know anything about kids! How in the world am I going to do this parenting thing?” Indeed, becoming a parent comes with a lot of responsibility. It also comes with a great deal of blessings and love.

There are many more things to do to prepare for your first baby, but these are seven that are “must-do” things that should be very high on your priority list. The rest of your seemingly endless list of things to do can be done as you think of them, so try not to become overwhelmed. Just take one day at a time.

Start with these 8 actionable things to prepare for your first child:

  • 1. Give up Bad Habits:
    First and foremost, now that you are bringing another human being into this world, that tiny little baby is depending on you for everything, even its good health! Quit smoking! Quit Drinking! Or, if you have any other bad habits or recreational vices, please, for the sake of your baby, get help to overcome the habit as urgently as possible. This is a matter of life and death for your unborn child. It could save you a lot of sadness and regrets if you choose to give up something that is unhealthy for the sake of your child’s health.
  • 2. Start Eating Healthier:
    Ramping up the vitamin intake should become part of your daily regimen. If you never had a good enough reason to start eating healthier, having a baby is the best reason. It is vital to your health and your baby’s, as well as decreasing the potential for adverse side effects or developmental disorders from vitamin deficiencies, such as iron or folic acid.
  • 3. Find a Trustworthy Pediatrician:
    You may already have a Gynecologist, but have you thought about a pediatrician for your child? Many new moms think that during the pregnancy is too soon to look, however this is not the case. It might take time to find the best pediatrician, and the hospital will ask you after the birth of your child so that the pediatrician can come and check on your new arrival. It is best to do this around the seventh or eighth month of your pregnancy.
  • 4. Prepare Your Car:
    Preparing your home and auto for a baby does require some thought. The car is obvious, as you will need a car seat to bring your infant home. Hospitals will not allow you to leave until they see that you have one, and it must be properly installed. Check with the specifications on the car seat you purchase. Most infant seats must be installed “rear-facing” in the backseat.
  • 5. Prepare Your Home:
    As far as your home, the preparation is different for every family, depending on the kind of home you live in. For example, you may have a small space and choose a bassinette in your bedroom to keep your baby close by, or a crib if you have an extra room for a nursery. If you have tile or hardwood floors, you may get some rugs for the baby to crawl on, so the baby will not bump his little head. Some parents also install outlet covers or child safety latches to prevent babies and toddlers from getting into the cupboards. It would be wise to put any breakable items or knick-knacks in higher places, as these can get broken easily. You could also invest in sofa covers or chair covers to protect your furniture from spills and messes.
  • 6. Learn about the Birthing Process, Baby Care and Your Body:
    Learn the signs your body may give you when you are going into labor, as well as preparing yourself mentally for motherhood. This is a big deal! Aside from eating healthy, you can prepare yourself by taking a prenatal class or birthing class to learn breathing techniques.
  • 7. Research Names:
    For some parents, this is easy. They may have a “junior” in mind, or a family name they want to use. For others, this job is difficult. It means looking up baby names on the computer, doing research about their meaning, or asking friends and family, or a number of other ways to choose a name. Whichever one you choose, remember your child will be stuck with it for life! So, make it “spelling” friendly, not too over-the-top in difficulty and most of all, something you love!
  • 8. Communicate with Partner, Parents, and Friends:
    This is important. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about important topics. Some examples include, whether you want to go to church together or not, or rules about letting other people take care of your child, or things you should (or should not) say in front of the baby, how much TV time you will allow, and many other things. Talking about these things prior to the baby’s birth can save some troubles later, and good communication should happen not just with each other, but with the grandparents and other relatives who will be spending a lot of time with your little one.
Of course, there are many more things you will need to do to prepare for your first child, but you can cross those bridges when you get to them. Most of all, try to enjoy your pregnancy as much as possible, because before you know it, the baby will be here! It will be very busy and hectic, but also one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life.

 

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