Having a new baby brings many changes. There’s no getting around it. Whether this is your first baby, or your fifth, your life will be changed forever with the arrival of your new son or daughter. Some of the changes will be wonderful, the kinds of things you take pictures of and store in scrapbooks forever. Others will be less pleasant, keeping you up for nights on end. While there’s no avoiding the fact that a new baby will bring changes, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself for the arrival of a newborn. Being properly prepared for baby’s arrival can help make the transition as smooth and pleasant as possible.
Realize ahead of time that when your baby arrives, you will find yourself rooted to her schedule, not your own. Babies need to eat every two to four hours for the first couple months of their lives, and there’s no getting around the fact that this means that at least one of you is going to have interrupted sleep. Plan your day around the fact that you are going to need to take a nap or two when baby is sleeping. This is especially important for breast feeding mothers, as breast milk digests more quickly than formula (causing most breastfed babies to range closer to two hours between feedings than four).
You will also find that all of the other aspects of your life require a great deal more pre-planning than they did before. Even a simple trip to the store, if baby is coming with you, requires that a diaper bag be packed with all of baby’s necessities. As a newborn, that will generally consist of diapers, wipes, burp cloths, a blanket, and a change of clothes (just in case). If you bottle feed your baby, you will also want to make sure to have a couple of bottles and some formula with you whenever you go.
Many of the changes that having a baby in the house require, such as installing electrical socket protectors and cabinet locks, can wait until baby is a little bit older. On the other hand, why not go ahead and get the house ready now, so baby doesn’t catch you unaware with a new milestone.