Bringing Baby Home: How to Get Ready

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After months and months of waiting, your bundle of joy is finally here! You're excited at the thought of bringing baby home but wait, are you ready? Are you prepared to take on caring for a newborn whose cries you can't quite decipher yet? Are you familiar with all the baby gear and equipment that you received during your shower? Okay, you may never get yourself 100 percent ready for motherhood, but here are some helpful reminders to make sure you, your hubby, and your home are ready for baby's arrival.

#1 Baby care basics

You'll never really know how to take care of baby until you have one in your arms. However, reading up on the basics such as bathing and diapering would definitely help. If you have the opportunity to take class or two, then go ahead. Get firsthand information from your mom and your mommy-girlfriends as well. If it's possible, ask to hang out with your friend and her baby for a few hours. You'll see for yourself how she takes care of baby. Ask if you can help put on her baby's nappies. Knowledge and practice will boost your confidence when it's your turn to care for your baby.

# 2 Baby gear and gadget know-how

In the weeks or days before baby's arrival, take the time to totally familiarize yourself with all of baby's thingamajigs. Learn how to operate a breast pump. Know how to put on a diaper. Find out how to use the aspirator. Test the baby carrier. You and your husband need to learn how to use all these gadgets beforehand. You don't want to be reading the manual while your baby's bawling.

#3 Stock up

You and your husband have probably been baby shopping for the past few weeks, forgetting about yourselves in the process. When you start getting into labor, your mind won't be thinking of whether there's still rice in the cupboard or shampoo in the shower. Make sure that your pantry's fully stocked and that you have toiletries for two months or so before bringing baby home. You can ask a friend to do the shopping while you and your husband are still at the hospital. Because when you finally get home with baby, the last thing you'd want to do is make a run to the grocery.

#4 Schedule help

You don't need visitors in the first few days or weeks of your arrival at home. You need help. Plan out visits of your family and friends, stretching them out to weeks instead of just days. Ask if they can pitch in while they're visiting. It would be nice if you can take a nap while someone else takes care of baby for an hour or two. Your mommy friends can totally relate, and of course, the grandparents would be thrilled.

#5 Schedule daddy-baby time

Today's daddies are more involved than ever before in taking care of baby. Schedule specific times of the day and week when daddy's totally in charge of baby. Daddy-baby time will give him the opportunity to bond with baby. Plus, it will also give him an idea of how your days are like, strengthening your bond as a couple even further.

# 6 Don't forget you!

The first few weeks of baby's arrival is going to be challenging. While your body's still recovering from childbirth, you'll be breastfeeding, taking care of baby, and managing your home. When baby starts crying and won't stop, you might feel totally inadequate and a bit foolish even. Stop! Don't judge yourself so harshly. You're juggling all sorts of things at once, so it's okay to feel overwhelmed. Give yourself a big pat on the back for doing your best.

Now ask Daddy to take care of baby for a little bit, so that you can take a sweet nap.