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Get Ready for the New Baby

Get Ready for the New Baby

Before you bring the new baby home, try to cover all the bases. And accept that this isn’t possible!


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Pages and pages have been written about pregnancy and delivery. But what about those first few weeks after the baby is born?

How many times have you heard the mother of a small child say, “Why didn’t anyone tell me what it would be like after I left the hospital?”

It’s critical to know what happens while you’re pregnant. It’s crucial to understand the birthing process. But once you and your little one arrive home, the hard part begins!

Discuss Options
Well before your baby is born, discuss some important issues with your husband or partner. Some of the most obvious are:

  • Should you breastfeed or bottle feed?
  • Should the baby sleep in his own room or in yours?
  • What is your attitude about a crying baby?
  • How will you divide up household chores?
While answering these questions with your husband will help clarify a lot of things, you both will have to remember that even the best-laid plans can (and will) go awry.

You may be determined to breastfeed (which most experts agree is good for your child) but you may not be sure you would be comfortable doing so in public. You’ll have to talk about this.

You may decide the baby should get used to his own room right away but after a few nights find it easier to let him slumber in a small crib nearer to your bed. Don’t berate yourself if you change mid-stream.

You may believe, rightly so, that picking up a crying newborn is not going to spoil her, but find that there are times when this isn’t practical. If this happens, you may have to deal with a little guilt.

Your husband may promise to do “all the shopping” but may find it’s not always possible. Learn to rely at times on a neighbor or friend – or find a market that delivers.

Learn to Say No
When you and the baby get home, relatives, friends, and neighbors will want to visit. Understandably, they want to share the joy a new baby brings.

The trouble is, you may be overwhelmed by your new responsibilities, lack of sleep, and even some depression. Don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.

Tell well wishers exactly when is a good time to visit. As pleasantly as you can, explain that you’d love to see them but would appreciate it they kept their visit short. “I am exhausted; I am sure you understand.”

If you are too tired or if the baby is fussy, tell friends to call later in the week or month. Even if they are disappointed, in the long run, they will not mind.

Accept Help
On the other hand, let your friends help. If there’s one piece of advice new mom’s should heed it’s that you don’t have to do it all!

For instance, make a list of chores that need doing, from the laundry to mowing the lawn to driving an older child to Grandma’s. Hand the list to your friend and let her choose a task.

If neighbors offer to make dinner for your family, say yes! It’s a good idea to clear out the freezer weeks before the baby is born and fill it with casseroles, soups, even pre-formed hamburger patties.

Encourage your husband to bring home pizza and other take-out meals now and again. You may not want your other kids to make a steady diet of these foods, but it won’t be long before you’ll feel up to cooking more healthful meals.

Enjoy Your Baby
There’s no doubt you will be tired. You will have moments of frustrations, afternoons that seem endless, and nights when the baby cries. But overall, this is a time filled with indescribable happiness.

If you accept help, decide to be flexible, and let Grandma take over now and then, no one will feel more joyful than you and your husband.

Enjoy the baby. The cliché is true: They grow up fast!

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