As new moms, we try to prepare for the baby as early as possible. We scour the internet, read reviews, and then register for ALL of the latest and greatest baby items. Sure bottles, diapers, breastfeeding items, and nursery decor are all important. But most of us are forgetting a few extremely important things that will make or break beginning days of motherhood in an extreme parenting circumstance.
These top tips include taking a birthing class and attending the hospital tour, becoming certified in infant CPR and emergency first response care training, registering for baby proofing items and actually installing them, acquiring a house phone (previously known as a landline), and knowing where to find SAFE childcare.
Take a Birthing Class and the Hospital Tour
From hypnobirthing to Lamaze courses, a birthing class is so beneficial for first-time moms or even second births and beyond. Anxiety runs high as a first time mom, which can really stress a woman out leading up to the baby’s birth day. Rather than engaging in the fear of the unknown, empower yourself by taking a class. Some insurance companies even cover the cost of classes!
Speaking of birth day, hospitals offer tours of their birthing centers. I have had two children now, and each child was born at a different hospital in metro Detroit. You can bet your due date that I went to each of the hospital tours. In fact, with my second baby, I toured one hospital and that sealed the deal for me that I was NOT about to have my baby there. Touring the environment really put my mind at ease and settled my anxious husband down both times.
Remember, these classes and tours do not just benefit baby and mom; they help dad, too! My husband’s greatest concern (believe it or not) was where to park the car, which route to take to the hospital, and where he would stand during delivery (both times!). Each birth experience that we had was drastically different and having the logistics ahead of time made baby’s birth day so much more manageable and memorable.
Infant and Child CPR Training
I’m an educator, so I had the training under my belt. But to be honest, I haven’t had updated, hands-on, in-person training in quite some time. I know how to save an adult and an average sized child in an emergency. I can probably do what I need to do if a baby chokes or becomes unconscious.
However, I’m here to tell you, firsthand, that when it is your own child that needs saving, the stakes are high and your nerves are out to take the best of you in that moment. Long story short, you, your spouse, and anyone who plans on taking care of baby should truly take an infant CPR class.
Check out this link to find a class near you!
Register for and INSTALL Baby Proofing Items
Now that you’ve got the lay of the land as far as hospital and what to do during birthing may go, preparing your home for baby’s arrival is the next best step. Life postpartum is a bit wild and includes healing, learning baby, learning your new life, and a decrease in sleep (for most). With this being said, as a second time mom, I strongly encourage you to baby proof your humble abode BEFORE you bring home baby.
It is truly amazing how quickly babies grow and how fast the milestones are met. Before you know it, you will have a roller, a crawler, a walker, a climber, a jumper, and a pyro-technician! I’m truly kidding on that last one, but our first found out how exciting candles were about six months in…
It’s easy to register for the cute and necessary things and then tell yourself, “Oh we won’t need a baby gate or outlet covers for quite some time; we can buy it later!” First of all, baby proofing items rack up your bill quickly and sometimes takes an engineering mind to install, so register and acquire these items now. Putting in safety items is important from day one and beyond.
Bring Back the Landline!
Piggybacking off of the last tip, I’m from the millennial generation where we have ditched cable TV, CDs, DVDs, clutter, and landline phone bills. Recently, my seven-month-old took a fall down our stairs at home, and it was extremely traumatic. I was frantically searching for my cell to call 911. Now before you say “Oh, that would never happen to my baby!,” I’m going to stop you right there because I said the same thing, too, and it absolutely did happen to my baby. Thankfully she was fine, but it could have been way worse.
After this incident, I quickly realized that we WILL be bringing back our landline telephone (well, actually we won’t be bringing it back; we will be implementing it for the first time!). What if my three year old needed to call 911 because I got hurt and he couldn’t figure out the passcode or face recognition on my cell phone? What if my phone battery died (again) and I needed to immediately call 911 myself? What if I lost my phone somewhere around the house like I always do and can’t find it when I really need it? There are too many factors, and time is too precious in an emergency to only rely on the smartphone route.
Figure out Your Childcare Plan
Finally, the last tip that I wish I would have known as a new mom was to make a plan for my childcare while the baby was still growing. State licensing rules regulate how many infants can be in the care of one caregiver at a time. These ratios really impact waitlists for reputable centers and in-home caregivers.
Here in Michigan, there is a database for licensed childcare called LARA- Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. LARA gives you the option to search for childcare options that fit your needs and are also close to where you live or work. You can find previous inspection reports, contact information and websites of the center or home, and any reported infractions that the facility may have had in the past. This is an amazing place to start your search (in Michigan) if you’re unsure or do not have recommendations from friends.
All in all, prepping for baby and life thereafter can be slightly overwhelming. There are always things that will come up along the way that you forgot about or that you now realize you need to address. However, adhering to these five steps will help put your mind, your home, your birth experience, and beyond at ease.