1. The Car
Planning to bring baby home in your car? You’ll need a good, rear-facing car seat. You might also want to consider a newborn insert that makes the car seat more snug for your new baby’s tiny frame. If you’re worried about installing it, you can always drive to your local police or fire station, as they often have people on hand who are trained in car seat installation.
Don’t own a car? You might be able to arrange pickup with a cab company if you can’t find a ride otherwise. Think about asking for a wheelchair-accessible cab; it will likely have more room, be cleaner, and come with a driver who can help get your newborn settled.
2. The clothes
Your new baby will need some clean clothes appropriate for the weather. Think about packing a onesie in your hospital bag, and possibly add a blanket and a hat if it’s cold out. You’ll also want a good rotation of cute outfits at home.
It’s a good idea to give all of your baby’s clothes, sheets, towels, and anything else that will come in contact with baby a pre-wash before use. This will help make sure the fabrics are gentle enough for your newborn’s delicate skin.
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3. The home
Getting your home ready for your new baby is actually less about the baby and more about you. You’ll want to make sure your crib meets safety regulations and doesn’t have any blankets or pillows, but the major babyproofing overhaul can wait until your baby is closer to being mobile.
To make sure that you’re comfortable once the baby arrives, consider having some pre-cooked meals on hand and giving the house a thorough cleaning. You’ll want to spend most of your time relaxing, recuperating, and hanging out with your baby. Think of any chores you get done now like a gift you’re giving to your future self.
4. The nursery
Hopefully your nursery is done, but don’t sweat it if it isn’t perfect by the time your baby arrives. In those early days, decorations are more for parents than for babies anyway. You’ll need a place for baby to sleep and a place to change them. Other than that, don’t sweat the details! Your due date isn’t a deadline.
Whether this is your first child or you’ve done this before, get ready to experience something completely new. How does it feel to hold your new baby? What’s it like to have a new member of the family in your home, or to introduce your baby to their sibling, uncle or grandmother? You’ll find out soon enough.
In preparing yourself, be ready to take it easy. Enjoy it. Don’t be self-conscious if you can’t stop nibbling toes or are worried that your baby looks more like you than your partner. There will be waves of powerful emotions, and you’ve just got to ride them. You’ll be great, and who knows? You might like it so much you decide to have another!
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