The to-do list is long when you are expecting a baby, so start chipping away at it as soon as possible. Here are the essential things you definitely don't want to forget.
Pushing a baby out of your body is an intense experience, so you might as well do it in a place where you feel comfortable. If you want to be somewhere intimate and aren’t afraid of giving birth without an epidural, a birthing centre with a midwife might be perfect for you. Feel reassured by the presence of stethoscopes and white gowns? The hospital is probably the solution. Above all, remember that there’s no shame in making changes to your initial plan if the health care professionals you've selected turn out to not be on the same wavelength as you.
During pregnancy and after the birth, you might sometimes feel less than your best. It doesn’t hurt to have a few nice pieces of comfortable, practical clothing that will make you feel attractive.
Some people say that giving birth is like running a marathon. Bullshit! Scaling Everest would be a better comparison. Just remember that the fitter you are the easier the birth, and the recovery, will be.
You have a choice between 9 or 12 months. The shorter option gives you the right to 75% of your salary. In the year-long option, the first half is paid at 70% and the last half at 55%. Whatever you decide, do the math to make sure it works for you financially.
The more relaxing you can make the room, the better. The baby will appreciate it and so will you... Seeing as you'll be spending a lot of time in there over the coming months.
If you nurse, this object will be your best and most reliable friend. Ask as many questions as possible when picking it out and try all the available models. The goal is to be able to feed the baby without actually having to hold it.
If you want a spot in a CPE or any other subsidized daycare before your child is five years old, register them the split second after finding out that you're becoming a parent. No joke. It only takes five minutes on the website Place 0-5, which is the official and exclusive waiting list for daycare spots.
Arrange the furniture, hang the pictures and think about the best layout for the room. For example, the best place to put the rocking chair so that you won’t trip and break your toe on it while attempting to rid junior of a night-time diaper surprise.
There’s a lot going on in your partner's body right now, and reading up on it will help you better understand what she is going through. Plus, the developmental stages of a baby are fascinating to follow.
After nine months of carrying the baby in her womb, your partner is ready for a break. It's your turn. A baby carrier will save your arm muscles and also allow the baby to spend time snuggled in as close to you as possible.
Make sure that you can push the stroller comfortably, even with one hand, and that it folds up easily. And check to make sure that it fits in your car... Without taking up every last square inch of available trunk space!
In an ideal world, you would have a car seat that is compatible with your stroller. This will make the first few months a lot easier. Always install your car seat a couple weeks before the expected due date, just in case.
Send a Facebook message to your close friends who have kids. They will likely be more than happy to lend you some of the clothes, furniture and useful knickknacks that are still kicking around in their garage/attic/closets.
Thermometer, nail-clippers, acetaminophen, bum cream, seawater nasal spray and baby wipes are all essentials. What is a nose aspirator? You will find out, sooner or later.
*Yup, that's right, this list is longer than the one for the parent giving birth. She’s got enough on her shoulders what with growing a baby inside her, don’t you think?
Spend as much quality one-on-one time together as possible. You probably won’t have another chance for a long time.
Babies are expensive. You don't make as much money during parental leave. Think about it and discuss it.
Decide on names for both boys and girls, even if you already know the predicted sex. You never know....
Don't procrastinate too much. Once the baby has arrived, there won't be any more time for all the aforementioned tasks. Especially sleeping.
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