Preparing for Mommyhood
Being pregnant is such a fun and exciting time- but it can be pretty scary, too. If you are the kind of person who likes to plan ahead, you are in luck. Those skills will definitely come in handy while preparing for the arrival of your little one, and those same skills will be even more vital once your sweet baby arrives and takes over. If you are not a planner, get ready to become one! Knowing what to expect after your baby's grand arrival, and being prepared for going out with your new tag-along, will allow you to better enjoy this wonderful time.
There are several ways to ensure you are prepared for your new mommy responsibilities- not the least of which is to begin nesting and creating a safe and functional space for your little one. When you are diligently working to create a beautiful nursery, it is easy to forget some other equally important preparations. While it isn't often thought about, it is extraordinarily helpful to pack not one, but two diaper bags. It is essential to have one bag for everyday use. That one will go wherever the baby goes. This bag should have diapers (one for every hour you will be out, plus one more for emergencies), wipes, formula or breast milk, and any other items you use with your child. Be sure to have hand sanitizer available as well. You will be glad you do! The second diaper bag, however, is just as important and is an often overlooked necessity. The second bag is an emergency bag that stays in the family vehicle. The properly packed emergency bag will save you time, money, and sanity. Be sure to include a change of clothes, a few diapers, a pacifier (if your baby uses one), wipes, and diaper cream. For the older baby, you should also include a non-perishable snack. Also include any other items your baby regularly needs, and be sure to update the items periodically to keep the right sizes and products for your baby as they grow.
Carry Medical Records
Another way to stay prepared is to organize and keep a hard copy of your baby's medical information readily available. This is of utmost importance in case of an emergency. Be sure to include basic information such as your child's doctor and the doctor's phone number, and any allergies. Also keep the records updated with new procedures, medications, and immunizations. Have copies available at home and for anyone watching your child. This may sound like it is too far away to concern the mama-to-be, however, your child's medical records start the minute they are born! Knowing exactly what to do with the oodles of paperwork the hospital gives you will be one less thing to stress about when you bring home your new addition.
Handling Emotional Stresses
Perhaps the most important part of being a prepared mommy is to be ready for the emotional stresses being a parent can bring. While having a baby is a beautiful, positive thing, it comes with new struggles that can quickly become overwhelming to the over-tired new parent. Postpartum depression is a very real risk, and that risk grows if you do not set yourself up for success ahead of time. Moms who have a good support system are much less likely to suffer from PPD, so that should be one of the first things you work on. Making sure you have help available for those first few months will allow you to focus on the most important thing- getting to know the beautiful little person that you brought home. Setting aside time for your spouse is just as important. Your partner will likely be the person most readily available to help, and they should share equally in the joys and stresses of parenthood. Work together to make sure you both get enough sleep, and set aside time to enjoy each other, as well.
While pregnancy is an exciting time filled with all sorts of new thoughts and challenges, parenthood is that multiplied by a thousand. Taking time now to prepare yourself, your spouse, and your home is vital to your ease of transitioning from mother-to-be to prepared mama!