Three essential things to do before your baby arrives

Expecting a baby is one of the most exciting times of your life. It’s also one of the scariest, if it’s your first child!

Before you bring your precious new baby home, it’s important to be prepared. And many parents-to-be have lists of things they want to get ready – from ensuring they have the right equipment and clothing and ensuring their home is safe, to reading up on how best to care for a newborn.

To help ensure you’re fully prepared for the big day when you return home with your new child, here are some of the important things you should do first.

1) Choose your baby’s name

For many parents-to-be, finding out their baby’s gender is important. Yes, they’ll discover soon enough when they make their appearance into the world, but those weeks and months of waiting can feel like an eternity.

Some parents also like to plan for their chid, and would like to know the gender so they can decorate their baby’s nursery in the colours they think most appropriate, or make other gender-related plans.

You can discover your baby’s gender as early as eight weeks, if you wish. And once you know, you can start on that other BIG decision: choosing a name for your child.

There are many resources to help you pick a name, from baby name books to websites with lists of names from all over the world. You can go traditional, exotic or even choose something original.

For example, if you want a unique name for a baby girl, boy or unisex names could be an original idea. Names like Ronnie, Joey, Alex, Sam, and Tony are just some of the names that can be given to both a boy and a girl.

For example, if you want something unique for a baby girl, boy names or unisex names could be an original idea. Names like Ronnie, Joey, Alex, Sam and Tony are just some of the names that can be given to both a boy and a girl. For a baby boy, one common naming convention is following the father’s name and then adding a trendy middle name.

Naming a baby can be quite challenging as both parents need to agree, which isn’t always easy. Sometimes one of you will have negative association for a name the other loves. And it’s important to get right – after all, it’s what your baby will be known by for life!

2) Prepare their nursery

Setting up a nursery can be fun, creative and exciting for new parents. Usually, the room is painted with a colour suitable for a baby – either picked for their gender or neutral. And often walls are decorated with bright pictures or murals (wall stickers are very popular) to give your baby something interesting to look at.

To avoid having to make unexpected changes when your baby moves in, make the room full-proof and fail-proof before they’re born. Here’s some of the furniture, equipment and items you might consider including:

  1. A mobile crib or bassinet with mattresses and sheets.
  2. A chair for breastfeeding.
  3. A nightlight, so it won’t be too dark for your baby during the night.
  4. For storing their clothes buy the best nursery dresser that matches their crib and other furniture.
  5. A table for diaper changing – this should be covered and not too hard as your baby will be lying down.
  6. A covered trash bin for soiled diapers.
  7. Shelves and bins for your baby’s books and toys.
  8. Musical toys and a baby monitor.
  9. A playmat (or you can have the whole floor area carpeted).

You can add more to these, but these are just some recommendations for you to prep and style your nursery before your baby arrives.

3) Shop for baby care essentials

It’s not enough simply to stock up on your baby’s biggest basic needs, such as clothes and a crib, before they arrive. You also need the every day baby care essentials ready, so you’re not dashing out the stores once you’re home with your newborn.

Your baby will be needing a stock of diapers, baby wash, baby wipes, cleaning buds, baby lotion, baby oil, and anti-rash creams or ointments. Also, to care and clean for their things, you’ll need mild and hypoallergenic laundry detergent too.

By ensuring you have all these things in advance you can just hunker down with your new arrival, and focus on building your bond with them – and enjoy those precious early days as a new family.