Preparing for Baby: 3 Things to Do for your Baby before Giving Birth

Newborns are magnificent and amazing beings.  When your baby arrives you may find yourself staring at her for hours, fascinated by the miracle of human life.  Your baby, on the other hand, will be busy with her own agenda which primarily includes breastfeeding, soiling diapers and sleeping.  Therefore, preparing for baby should include making sure you have everything you’ll need to take care of your baby’s basic needs.  Here are 3 things to do for your baby before giving birth:

Preparing for Breastfeeding

Your baby will probably be eager to try breastfeeding as soon as she is born so be ready to rock and roll right away.  Fortunately, you don’t need much to breastfeed your baby!  If you’ve already made the decision to breastfeed, you’ve probably done some research.  You know it is the single best nutrition for your newborn and has many benefits for you as well.  Hopefully you’ve taken a breastfeeding class to teach you the mechanics of proper latch and breastfeeding positions and to explain hunger cues and other details you’ll want to know to adequately and lovingly feed your baby.

preparing for breastfeedingBeyond being armed with knowledge, you’ll want to purchase a few supplies.  Nursing bras are essential for successful breastfeeding.  You should buy a few nursing bras in your third trimester or whenever your regular bras are feeling too tight.  Nursing bras make excellent maternity bras!  Be sure to start with nursing bras that are made from breathable, flexible material that will allow for fluctuations as your milk comes in.  A sleep/leisure nursing bra is helpful for nighttime nursing because it features a front-closure for easy breastfeeding access and no uncomfortable back closures during sleep. Nursing tanks are also great for nursing day or night.

As for other breastfeeding supplies, many new moms find breastfeeding easier with a nursing pillow.  You may also need lanolin cream in case you have sore nipples in your early nursing days.  Washable nursing pads are great to have too.  They offer modesty and prevent embarrassing leakage.

Preparing for Diapering

Get ready for 8 to 15 diaper changes a day when your baby arrives.  You will need diapers (of course), as well as wipes or a wet washcloth and a diaper barrier cream.  Ask your pediatrician for a recommendation of a diaper rash cream so you can have it on hand in case your baby needs it.  Most parents set up a diaper changing station in their baby’s room and some have another one on a different level of their home too.  The changing station should be a comfortable height for both parents to change diapers.  You’ll want a soft diaper changing cushion and a few covers for it.  Consider having hand sanitizer nearby for quick cleaning.  Some parents also opt for a wipes warmer and overhead mobile to distract the baby during diaper changes.

Preparing for Sleeping

Your baby will need a safe place to sleep as soon as you get home from the hospital. Experts recommend that babies sleep in the same room with their mothers for the first few months of life, but not in the same bed.  Having a basinet next to your bed is a great choice.  Eventually your baby will move to her own crib so it’s wise to have it assembled before your baby arrives and have the appropriate size mattress as well.  Check consumer reports for crib safety features and individual crib ratings.  Remember, nothing should be in your baby’s crib.  Use only a bottom fitted sheet beneath your baby.  You may want to put a waterproof pad beneath the fitted sheet to avoid leakage onto the mattress.

Your baby doesn’t need much at the beginning of life.  Preparing for baby by collecting the knowledge and supplies you need for breastfeeding, diapering and sleeping takes care of most of your baby’s basic needs.  Add a lot of love and your baby will be lucky to have you as her mom!