The good news of discovering that you will soon be a parent is often clouded by the excitement of having parental responsibility for a child that sometimes a future parent unintentionally does not prepare for the baby’s arrival until it is fairly late.
Preparation, as we know, is key for any type of arrival let alone a bundle of joy that will be staying in a home permanently.
Preparing in advance is necessary even if it means just thinking about a variety of topics, making mental and physical notes.
Some points for consideration
- Safety in the home – a great consideration should be given to this. Although your bundle of joy will still be tiny when he or she arrives home, it is still important that the environment is conducive and safe for all that live there. You do not want to be tripping on loose wires for instance whilst carrying the baby. You want to make sure the house is free from hazards.
- A welcoming home – this requires ensuring that the home is warm, clean and clutter free. After all we are told that home is where the heart is. You want a home where you will be happy and relaxed to raise a child.
- Childcare – this is an important issue that cannot be forgotten. It must be addressed. In fact it should be at the forefront of new parents particularly those that work. Decisions will need to be made about maternity and paternity leave. When the leave will be taken and how long for? Whether one of the couple will remain at home and not return to work until the child reaches a particular age. Whether one of the couples will reduce their hours? Similar questions and decisions around these issues will need to be made.
- Who do you want to look after your child? Who is available and willing to look after your child? Do you have family members that can assist? If so what is their availability? What are your preferences? A live-in nanny, a nanny that comes daily and leaves afterwards, a childminder or a nursery? These are decisions that you will need to make in preparation of the baby’s arrival. You will also have to factor in the costs of these services and flexibility when deciding which to choose. It is important to plan ahead because some of these providers have long waiting lists. In some cases, you may have to add your name to a waiting list before the baby’s arrival.
- Choosing the names of the baby. This will need to be agreed by the couple.
- It is advisable to make joint decisions as a couple in regards to the new arrival. This will ensure that both parties are clear about all issues and roles they may be required to play.
- Money saving tips are worthy of consideration as raising children cost money. Examples include stocking up early on essentials before the baby’s arrivals particularly when there are sales in the shops. Items like nappies, wipes, cream, formula milk, car seat, clothes, prams, beddings and so on.
Here are some further noteworthy points that require little or no preparation. The first is working on your relationship as a couple. It goes without saying that whilst expecting a new born can be overwhelming but yet a positive experience, it is helpful that the couple do not neglect their relationship as they prepare for the baby.
Secondly, the focus should equally be on your relationship, spending as much time as possible, dealing with difficult situations together, when the pregnant mother is lethargic, the father to be will assist in ‘refuelling’ the mother’s energy levels and helping her to recuperate and smile again. Attending antenatal classes together whenever possible, reading literature and watching films relating to parenting, childbirth etc and discussing the information.
Couples should also be pillars of support from each other. You are in the journey together so make it a smooth and enjoyable ride. The focus is often on the pregnant mother and very little attention is given to the father to be. This is wrong. Fathers to be equally have emotions, they also become ragged, worn out, overwhelmed and anxious. They also need tender loving care.
Finally, be prepared for the unexpected associated with child rearing. There is no perfect child, no perfect parent or perfect family. Parenting is a lifelong journey and commitment. Do your best, if you are unsure of anything seek help. Please ensure that you enjoy the experience and take advantage of all opportunities to create beautiful memories with your family once the baby arrives.
Good luck, it is worthwhile; beautiful and blessed experience so enjoy it!