Parenthood is amazing. It is a myriad of emotions ranging from love, apprehension , fatigue, care, the urge to cater to every need of your precious child putting all else behind you. It’s like having a bucket of emotions poured over you and you are left wondering how a tiny life can have such a huge impact on your lifestyle. Especially for first time parents having a baby can be overwhelming since they do not have the first hand experience in terms of emotional changes and how to manage home, relationship with partner and baby at the same time. But after the first one you will be more prepared for the second baby, including managing sibling rivalry! Visit this link for tips.
Each one of us as a parent has been through the first time parenthood experience. This website is dedicated to aid parents deal with their emotions, relationship and manage their baby as well as home after the birth of their first born.
Preparing for the Baby
Couples should understand a baby is the product of their love and commitment to each other, therefore preparing the house before birth and looking after the baby and house after birth is also going to be a joint effort to strengthen their relationship and help them settle down with the baby. An important aspect parents-to-be are not prepared for are the emotional changes in the mother in addition to the physical changes.
Every woman has different feelings during pregnancy; some feel more in peace with the world and calmer, while others have their hormones running haywire. These factors do impact relationships, but what both partners need to understand is that having a baby is a huge event and can be stressful for both. Good communication, having a sound financial plan which takes care of the expenses related with birth, and getting home ready for the baby are essential to minimise arguments and negative feelings during pregnancy. Remember, stress does have a negative effect on your baby.
Then there is the practical side, ensure as much as possible, prior to the babies arrival, all your affairs are in order and that a comfortable and clean home environment has been created. For those who are living in a small place you may want to talk to your local real estate agent here, to explore upgrading to a larger home. It is incredible how what once seemed easy without a baby becomes very difficult when you have someone completely dependent on you.
While shopping for the basic accessories and preparing the nursery for your new born, do keep your budget in view. While it feels good to decorate your baby’s nursery try to purchase accessories which are essential such as a baby crib, a cupboard for his/her clothes, diaper changing table, etc. Avoid overstuffing it with toys to entertain the baby and put him/her to sleep as they seldom work in my experience. More than these mechanical toys your baby needs the security of your arms and the soothness of your voice to calm down.
Bringing the Baby Home
Labour in itself can be quite traumatizing. For the mother who is going through the pains and the father who is assisting in giving birth; it can be exhausting for both. At the same time bringing baby home and getting used to a new sleep pattern, learning how to breast feed and burp the baby are also major feats. And if you happen to have a colicky baby you are in for months of sleepless nights! If your little one has difficulty settling we suggest you seek professional help from a baby sleep consultant.
Pre plan how you will manage cleaning and cooking once the baby is there. Instead of leaving a good part of cleaning after your baby is born do it before the birth and if possible hire help to keep your home clean for a few days. Prepare meals, label and freeze them to get the cooking out of the way for some time as you will have your hands full looking after your baby and you need some time to relax. Fathers do help with the household chores and the baby but they also need a break like mommy. Hence, both should chalk out a plan to make the first month after the baby’s arrival easy when it comes to cooking and cleaning.
Good communication is essential to strengthen relationship, especially since sleepless nights, breastfeeding, and understanding the needs of a new born can be taxing for both partners. Taking turns calming down an unsettled infant, helping each other take time to relax and accepting help from friends and family is a good way to make parenthood easier.
Watch a movie together whenever your little one is taking a nap; let the laundry and cleaning wait for some time. Try to enjoy your baby’s first few weeks as he/she will soon outgrow the newborn days and all you will have left behind is memories to cherish. It is up to both of you to make these memories worth remembering or regret the moments lost.
A word of advice is to avoid renovations, changing home or purchasing a new home immediately after the baby’s birth. This will put a further strain on you. If your house is on sale and you are planning on purchasing a bigger home talk to your property agent and try to schedule a sale or purchase before the baby is born or after he/she has settled down.
A Guide to Dress Your Bundle of Joy
Baby clothes are adorable and it is difficult to fight off the temptation of filling your baby’s wardrobe with all sorts of pretty dresses. But to be realistic for the first few weeks you won’t need too much for your baby since most babies rapidly outgrow the outfits for 0-3 months old. However, there are a few important aspects to keep in mind while buying clothes for your newborn.
- Baby clothes should be soft and comfortable. Avoid purchasing material which feels rough to the skin and is made of synthetic material. Baby’s skin is extremely sensitive; with synthetic material which does not absorb body moisture and is not breathable material newborns have ahigher chance of catching skin problems and allergies. It is best to use organic 100% cotton material for the first few weeks, especially during summer.
- Opt for easy to put on clothes since you will find yourself changing your baby’s clothes frequently in the beginning. Shirts or onesies with snaps/ties at the sides or near the neck and bottom are easier to take off and put on as compared to clothes you have to pull over the head.
- Buy separate dresses for night time such as stretch suits since these one piece suits cover the feet and keep baby warm doing away with the need of extra quilts and blankets.
What to Buy for the First Month
Before you go on a shopping spree check your baby shower gifts as they might actually have enough clothes and blankets for your newborn. Nevertheless, here is a list of onesies, undershirts, caps and a number of other clothing items you will need during the first month.
Undershirts (3-4): It is wise to use undershirts instead of onesies for the first week till your baby’s umbilical cord drops off. With undershirts which are open from the front or have snaps at the sides it is easy to manage dressing your newborn.
Onesies (5-6): These are very popular among parents as they are extremely comfortable, come in a variety of designs and you can use then as undershirts or outer dresses. They are one piece bodysuits which are easy to put on baby thanks to the snaps going along the legs, at the bottom or the shoulder. Keeping baby snug and comfortable these are a must have in your baby’s wardrobe.
Stretch suits (2-3): Also known as sleepers they come in handy during night time. Especially during winter investing in a couple of warm baby sleepers which look more like snow suits and also cover the feet keep your baby cozy and warm. The best part is you don’t have to worry about your baby removing the blanket from him/her since with these suits you don’t need cumbersome blankets. Besides winter sleepers are also available for summer.
Caps/Bonnets (2-3): Stretchable organic caps which fit your baby’s head and keep the chill away are important for winter babies. Try to refrain from using woolen and synthetic caps since baby’s delicate skin does not tolerate such material. Similarly use organic bonnets to protect the baby from sun when outdoor.
Feeding bibs (4-5): You will need these while breast feeding and burping your baby. They keep the clothes from getting soiled and wet and instead of changing your baby’s clothes all you have to do is change the bib after feeding, or if they throw milk while you try to burp them.
Hooded towel (1-2): A cozy towel with a hood is essential to keep the baby warm after a bath, don’t forget to put on the hood to protect your little one from catching a chill. In addition to a hooded towel you will also need a few wash clothes to give your baby a bath.
Blankets/Wearable Blankets (1-2): instead of using conventional blankets, it is better to purchase wearable blankets which reduce the risk of suffocation and SIDS in babies. However, this depends on the weather your baby is born in, if it’s not too cold you can use lighter blankets to keep baby comfortable.
Baby clothes come in lots of textures, styles and varieties, choose clothes according to the season, their comfort level and of course their cute designs. As your baby grows and develops a personality it will be easier for you to dress him/her accordingly.