Getting Ready for Babyby Adam Riches
In the build-up to your baby arriving, the list for preparation seems endless, especially if it’s your first. Deciding what is good and bad advice can sometimes be difficult, especially in a world where shops, social media and family all seem to know best. The thing to remember is that all your baby really needs is you - you don’t need to panic about preparation. There are however a few things that you can do to make life that little bit easier for you all when the little one does arrive.
Something that you want to have ready for the baby is somewhere for them to sleep. By that, I mean a Moses basket or some kind of baby cot. Remember they won’t be in their own room for a while, so don’t stress yourself getting a nursery ready and complete. It can be nice, but it’s not necessary for the second the little one arrives...and the likeness is (if you’re anything like me and my wife) you will have different ideas for when they actually go in there.
We were caught slightly off guard by the arrival of our second little boy. He was early and absolutely tiny - everything we had got didn’t fit him (and still doesn’t!!) That’s the polar opposite to out first, he was so big none of the clothes we bought fitted him when he arrived. When it comes to clothes, you might want to keep it minimal until the bairn is actually here. On the topic of clothes, make sure you give them a wash in preparation for the baby arriving, not only is it better for their skin, it’s also really cute.
Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you’re going to need some gear. You don’t have to spend a fortune on pumps and bottles, quite often the cheapest ones are the best. However you choose to feed your little one, you’ll most likely need to get some bits in preparation. My advice if you are breastfeeding (from a dad’s perspective) is to prepare yourself by reading up on how to spot signs of things not going right so you can quickly intervene to avoid mastitis as well as other issues.
Parents can be pretty shell shocked after birth and it’s important to know your limits. When you are preparing for birth, bear in mind that you might not want to do what you thought you wanted to once the baby has arrived. Take time to recover and settle into your new life as parents. Don’t be fooled by social media - it can be an absolute shitshow at times. I mean on our first, we were Googling, “why is my baby crying” because we were so clueless but there were still people piling through the door to visit. Put yourselves first.
It may not seem it, but to ensure that you are keeping yourselves in good shape, you could consider doing some meal prep so that when you get back with the little one, your time is focused on them. I mean it’s so much less Instagramable cooking spag bol than painting a nursery #duckeggblue but when you’ve got a baby who won’t be put down, having some decent food will be more of an investment than the Farrow and Ball.
Not many people are frank when it comes to birth and I think it’s important to note that you need to be prepared for things to not go to plan. There is a culture of perfection around having a baby and as amazing as the whole thing is, you have a lot less power than you think. The baby dictates what happens and sometimes they have different ideas to you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to empower yourself through planning the birthing process, but from bitter experience, understanding that choice and necessity are two separate things is really important if you are to prepare yourself for birth.
Ignore the lists that are shoved at you in shops or the long “top baby product” blogs that are sponsored. When you’re preparing for the arrival of the little one, keep it simple, think about the basics and most importantly don’t forget yourselves!