How to Prepare for Your First Baby

Having your first baby is one of the most amazing and terrifying experiences of your life. It’s probably safe to say that most new parents don’t feel prepared to welcome a new little human into the home. But with the right tricks up your sleeve, transitioning into parenthood can go smoother than you might think. Take a look at the advice below on how to both physically and mentally prepare for your upcoming bundle of joy.

Baby-Proof Your Home

Most babies learn to crawl between 6 and 10 months, meaning you need to make sure your home is safe for curious kiddos. Here are some important baby-proof steps you should take before your little one arrives:

* Cover all electrical outlets with safety covers to keep fingers from getting electrocuted

* Place baby gates at the top and bottom of staircases

* Hide electrical cords from TVs, lamps, etc. to prevent baby getting tangled

* Cover sharp corners on furniture with safety bumpers

* Make sure all smoke detectors are working

* Put cleaning products and other chemicals on high shelves that baby can’t reach

* Lock up any weapons in a password-protected safe

* Mount wobbly bookshelves to the wall

* Put non-slip pads under all rugs

Introduce Pets to Baby Products

For many parents, pets are the practice round for having children. While their needs involve a lot less, having that kind of daily responsibility to ensure the health and happiness of another living creature can often be the first step toward parenthood. However, it’s easy to forget that Fido might not like sharing his space with a wiggly new creature. Before baby arrives, make sure to introduce your pets to the sights, smells, and sounds of a newborn child. Get the nursery ready, put out baby toys, open up jars of baby food, and even play sounds of a baby crying. All of these new

stimuli can be disconcerting for an animal, so it’s best to get them used to it before you’re sleep-deprived. When you bring baby home, make sure to slowly introduce them to your four-legged friends. Kids are full of startling sounds and smells, so don’t force your pet to interact with them if they don’t want to.

Take a Look at Your Budget

It’s no secret that kids are expensive. Even before you give birth, the cost of cribs, car seats, toys, and strollers can seem insane. In order to have the most stress-free first couple months as possible, look at your budget and how your spending habits will change once your Mini Me arrives. Estimate how much you’ll need to spend a month on necessary items like wipes, new pacifiers, and diapers. Then look at all the other additional items you might want, like a white-noise machine, special clothing, or baby rocker. Figure out what you can and can’t make work, that way you know exactly what to expect once you return home from the hospital.

If you find that you’re short on cash for some items you’d really like, throw a baby shower and create a gift registry! Friends and family are always ready to pitch in when times are tough. This will ensure that your child has every luxury they deserve without tipping your finances the wrong way. Even though your excitement for a new family member should always come first, your budget should be a close second.

Prepare for the Hospital Visit

As your due date draws closer, make sure to pack a baby hospital bag so you’re prepared to go into labor at any moment. This could include everything from snacks, massage lotion, a change of clothes, and your favorite book. Depending on what kind of birthing plan you have, you can tailor this bag to meet your needs on that special day.

It’s also important to have a close network of emergency contacts in place. If you need to suddenly go to the hospital and your partner is at work, make sure a neighbor, close friend, or relative is nearby to take you. Have a pet sitter ready to go at a moment’s notice if you need your animals to be taken care of while you’re away at the hospital. And if you plan to have a friend or relative stay with you for a little while after the birth, be sure they’re ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice.

While having your first child is an incredible milestone, it can also be scary to prepare for it. But if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be as ready as possible to welcome your bundle of joy into the world

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