Preparing for your new arrival can feel incredibly daunting (and expensive!) – especially if it is your first baby. The main thing is to not panic or stress yourself out. To help you prepare for your baby’s arrival, it is worth getting everything in check over the course of 9 months to help ease the transition into ‘Mum mode’, giving you more time at the end of your pregnancy to put your feet up.
These are the essentials to make sure you have everything ready for when your little bundle of joy enters the world:
- Sort out your finances
It is no secret; bringing a baby into the world is not cheap, so it is important to budget. Before you go and buy the pushchair of your dreams, rivalling those of the Kardashian sisters, ask yourself: “Is this really necessary?”
Make a budget to figure out just how much disposable income your family will have each month, bearing in mind your maternity pay and benefits. It is useful to try and save as much money as you can throughout your pregnancy, to make sure you have enough money once your maternity pay comes to an end – this is when most families admit they struggled the most. Review how much money you typically spend on a monthly basis and consider the areas you can cut down on, to ensure your income goes further for your little one’s sake once they make an appearance.
Whether you are self-employed or planning on returning to work once your baby is born, it is wise to read about maternity pay and benefits. Before the day arrives, it is best to find out exactly what you can do, what you are entitled to and what your company’s policy is on the matter, so you can spend as much time with your newborn tot before having to return to the workplace.
- Get the essentials
Arguably the most important part is ensuring you have the basics for when your baby arrives. From a mountain of Huggies nappies and wipes to a car seat and pushchair, a range of bodysuits and sleepsuits to a tatty teddy moses basket. Knowing what to buy for your little one can be overwhelming and confusing – and can cost a fortune! However, to avoid over-buying, try and stick to the essentials first and purchase as you go if there is anything more that you need.
- Figure out your birthing plan
Writing up your birthing plan can be scary as everything will begin to become very real, but it will help significantly and ensure you get the very best experience out of your pregnancy. Consider everything that may happen, to cover every eventuality. For example, what are the best pain relief option for you, the possibility of a C-section, and a number of other factors that may affect your birth?
- Pack your hospital bag
Babies have a habit of not arriving when they’re supposed to. A woman’s estimated date of delivery is first calculated by using the date of her last period and adding 280 days, or 40 weeks. However, data from the Perinatal Institute shows that an estimated date of delivery is rarely accurate – in fact, a baby is born on its predicted due date just 4% of the time. Although, it is very common for twins, and particularly triplets, to arrive before 37 weeks of pregnancy. As a result, you should have your hospital bag ready at least 2 weeks before your due date.
While probably no mum-to-be in the history of the world has ever felt 100% prepared for their baby’s arrival, there are some things you can do to help. Think about talking to new parents to get some tips and advice about what to expect, and possibly even attend pre-birth classes. But remember, being a Mum isn’t easy and getting to grips takes experience – it’s all about learning as you go. Before long you’ll find your own parenting-style and be the best Mum in no time!
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.