From creating your birth plan to setting up your baby’s nursery, preparing for a new baby is a joyous and sometimes stressful experience. Naturally, many new parents try to read every baby book they can, and fret about making sure they have everything they need for their new bundle of joy.
While parents-to-be may already know the basic things they’ll need to prepare for a new addition to the family, such as buying diapers and baby clothes, below are 5 things you wouldn’t know to prepare for your new baby.
#1. Research and Choose a Pediatrician
Finding the right pediatrician for your baby is one of the most important things to prepare before birth. Your baby’s pediatrician will be a valuable resource for any questions you may have about your baby’s development and will be the first person you go to if your baby is sick. Baby’s first immunizations happen 1-2 months after birth, and you’ll have some much-needed peace of mind if you like and trust the doctor.
First, make sure that your pediatrician is in your insurance network to narrow down a list of available doctors. You can narrow your search by location to make commuting to appointments easier. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of choices, start researching. There are many online databases that will list a doctor’s education, board certifications, and even patient reviews. Find a pediatrician you love, and your baby might see them until they’re teenagers!
#2. Consider Getting an Air Purifier
Air pollution is a growing global concern, and children are the most vulnerable to its effects. Because their bodies and brains are still developing, toxic pollutants can stunt neurodevelopment and lead to asthma or other respiratory ills. According to the World Health Organization, more than 90% of the world’s children are breathing toxic air every day.
Wondering if the air in your home is clean enough will be the last thing you want to worry about when you bring your new baby home for the first time. Air purifiers are an efficient way to clean indoor air pollutants. Investing in a high-quality HEPA air purifier will decrease the amount of toxins in your family’s home, and they’re safe for baby. Not only will an air purifier give you cleaner air, it’ll also help reduce diaper odors and other unpleasant smells, as well as provide allergy relief for allergy sufferers. Some air purifiers even come with a specially tuned pink noise frequency that can enhance sleep — a huge bonus that any new parent suffering from sleep deprivation will attest to!
#3. Deep Clean Your Carpets
Having clean air is a great step toward a baby-ready home, but what about your heavily trafficked carpet? Outdoor allergens and dirt are tracked onto our carpets every day, and air purifiers cannot clean the pollutants trapped in carpet fibers. Although your baby won’t be crawling right away, it’s still a great idea to have your carpets professionally deep cleaned before your baby arrives. Once there’s a newborn at home, you likely won’t have time to clean very thoroughly.
You can research carpet cleaning companies that work with non-toxic cleaning supplies. These are typically the safest for children and pets. If such an option doesn’t exist near you, have your carpets cleaned well before your due date and stay elsewhere as the air in your home circulates and the chemicals dissipate. You might choose to clean your carpets yourself. If you go the DIY rental route, be sure to research cleaning products to find non-toxic options.
#4. Do Laundry and Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies
Newborn babies require all of our time and attention. It will be really difficult once your little one arrives to take time for yourself, let alone take time to keep up with mundane but necessary tasks such as laundry and cleaning. In the midst of sleep-deprivation and the stress of caring for a newborn baby, not having to worry about a big cleaning project or laundry will save you a lot of grief.
In the weeks leading up to your due date, be sure to clean and organize your home. Don’t forget to stock up on household items such as soap of all kinds (dish/dishwasher soap, hand soap, body wash), convenient cleaning wipes for quick disinfecting, and free and gentle laundry detergent. A baby’s skin is very sensitive, and your newborn might have a reaction to regular laundry detergents. Wash all your laundry as well as any laundry or blankets your baby will come into contact with before they wear it. Once your new baby arrives, laundry and cleaning will be last on your to-do list, so give yourself the time and energy to focus on caring for your new little one.
#5. Talk to Experienced Parents for Tips
Parenting styles vary greatly and figuring out what kind of parent you want to be is a deeply personal journey rooted in your own history and values. New parents in particular, however, might want to remain open to seeking out advice from those who have already experienced parenthood.
If you are giving birth, finding a community of others who have done the same will provide you with support and invaluable knowledge about what to expect before and after your child’s birth.
Knowing experienced parents can be a valuable resource for tips and advice about caring for your new little one. From questions about how your body will feel postpartum, to advice on techniques for getting your baby to sleep, having an experienced parent to turn to can make a huge difference. You can find communities online (think mommy blogs), or within your family and friend groups!