As your due date approaches, expectant mums and dads-to-be are likely to experience a whole range of emotions. It’s one of the biggest and most brilliant things you’ll do in your life, so that’s perfectly understandable. This section will give you a rundown of what you might expect on the big day, and provide you with a few handy hints for getting ready at home.
Planning, planning and more planning.
Ok, so you’ve heard people say that you can never be completely prepared, and there’s truth in that. Having a newborn baby in your home is an experience like no other, but getting as organized as possible will definitely make it easier to settle into your new routine. Here are a few things to think about before your baby arrives.
Your tiny fashion icon – in the early days singlets and sleep suits/all in ones are the easiest for your baby to wear. Make sure you’ve washed any new clothes to remove traces of chemicals that can be left over from the manufacturing process - your baby’s skin will be very delicate!
Going places – now’s the time to work out how to get the capsule and buggy in and out of the car. Figuring this out can be a test for the very best of us, and it’s not something you’ll want to struggle with some time when you’re really exhausted.
A spot for baby – figure out where to set up your baby’s bassinet or cot in your house. Many parents choose to have the baby in their room for the first few weeks.
Stock up on storage - now’s a good time to invest in a few baskets or containers and fill them with nappies, wipes and spare outfits. You can keep a couple around the house, maybe one upstairs and one downstairs if you have a two-storey home. These are handy for on-the-spot nappy changes as there are likely to be times when you’re too tired to hunt down the various things you need separately.
Cook up a storm - it is a good idea to devote a whole day or more to cooking before the baby comes. It is really important to keep eating well after you’ve given birth – your body has been through a lot. If you’re breastfeeding you also need to be getting the right nutrients to properly care for your baby.
You can make meals to keep in the freezer and save for when you don’t have time to spend in the kitchen, or buy yourself some ready-made meals from the supermarket. We’ve got great recipes for the freezer from Food in a Minute.
Shampoo and snip – it might pay to grab a low maintenance hair cut now, as it’ll be hard to find time when you have a newborn around. Haircuts are the kind of thing that sneak up you.
The right bra for the job – yes, you’ll need maternity bras! If you get measured after 37 weeks it’ll ensure they fit properly after the birth.
It’s all about the people you know – think about a list of essential phone numbers (like your doctor's surgery and Plunketline) so you can get help easily with any postnatal concerns. You can also swap phone numbers and email addresses with your antenatal group, and make a date for meeting up after the birth. It’s good to have other mums around, as they’ll really be able to empathise.
Grocery shopping from your couch – tackling a trip around the supermarket may be the last thing you feel like doing when you have a newborn at home. Think about setting up an online grocery shopping account so you can have everything you need delivered right to your door.
Resting up – now’s the time to make the most of any long lie-ins you have. And, if you’re not too tired, find some time for you and your partner to go out together for dinner or a movie. It could be the last movie you see in a while!