Pregnant woman smiling at the baby daddy.

15 Ways to Feel Better Prepared for Your Baby's Arrival

At the beginning of your pregnancy, you’ll be filled with excitement, anticipation, and, most importantly, time. While you may think that you have nine whole months to get ready for your baby’s arrival, the days will go by fast. Make the most out of your pregnancy by doing everything you can to get ready for your big day. To start, here are 15 ways to feel better prepared for when your baby arrives.

1. Talk to Other Moms

One of the best ways to get prepared for giving birth is to talk to other moms and get some insight on what to expect. Reading about experiences online is a great option, but if you have a friend or family member that can sit down with you and go over any questions or concerns you have about parenthood, you’ll be able to get a more personalized Q&A. Regardless of what other moms say, however, you are going to have a unique experience. Take their words lightly and try to use them as a resource rather than an outlet for horror stories.

While it’s beneficial to talk about some taboo subjects that aren’t spoken about as often, if you get uncomfortable just switch back to discussions about diaper brands, baby products, breastfeeding, and what to expect during those first few weeks.

2. Be Smart About Your Research

The Internet can be a terrifying place for new and expecting mothers. Try to take your research slow and be smart about what you read. There is a lot of information about what could go wrong during your pregnancy or during those first few weeks of your newborn’s life, but many of these conditions or occurrences are rare. If you have any concerns during your research, talk to your doctor. There are plenty of tests available to give you peace of mind and reduce your anxiety.

Try to focus on positive research instead, such as tips on breastfeeding, how to prepare for labor, and more.

3. Set up the Nursery

When you’re ready to have a little fun, set up the nursery. Not only will this help you feel better prepared for the baby's birth, but it will also allow you to begin putting things in place and picturing your life as a new mom. Make sure that you set up the crib or bassinet according to safety standards by the manufacturer and start the journey to keeping things stocked.

4. Make Arrangements for Delivery Day

If you have other children or pets, take the time to set up babysitting arrangements for delivery day well before your due date. Try to find someone with a flexible schedule, as you never know when you’re going to go into labor. To make sure you feel secure, create an emergency backup plan as well.

5. Find a Pediatrician

During those first few weeks of your newborn’s life, you’re probably going to be calling your pediatrician quite often. This is completely normal, especially for first-time parents. To make sure that you’re able to call someone you trust, work on finding a pediatrician before you give birth. This will help you feel more prepared for your baby’s arrival and more comfortable when you leave the hospital to head home. Once you find your pediatrician, contact your health insurance provider to add your baby to you or your partner’s plan and understand everything that’s covered.

6. Pack Your Hospital Bag

Take the time to pack your bag well before your due date. This will allow you to feel better prepared for your baby’s arrival, especially if they end up coming early. Make a list of everything you’ll need for your stay at the hospital and include both practical things and things that will simply aid in your overall comfort. This includes everything from your birth plan and your baby’s outfit to comfy slippers and your favorite pillow.

7. Discuss Maternity Leave

Working moms should discuss maternity leave with their employer ahead of time. You’ll want to make sure that you’re ready to pass your work on to a colleague when the time comes and that you have everything you need completed so that you can focus on your newborn. When it’s time to head back to the office, have the right breast pump in hand to continue nourishing your baby.

8. Install the Car Seat

Before you take your baby home from the hospital, you will need to show staff that you have a properly installed car seat. Do this before your due date so that you can get it inspected and increase your peace of mind. Luckily, getting it checked is easy. All you need to do is take it to your local fire station or police station and asked them to look it over. 

9. Write Your Birth Plan

If you’re a first-time mom, you should spend some time learning about the birthing process and creating your birth plan. While it can be intimidating to watch birthing videos or read stories online, it’s always better to know what to expect. Be smart about how you approach this and avoid falling down any traumatizing rabbit holes by joining a birthing class and talking to your doctor.

When you feel prepared, begin writing your birth plan with your partner and the help of a trusted physician. Include details on exactly how you want the day to go and what to do if things don’t go as planned. This should include everything from pain relief, details on cord clamping, skin-to-skin contact, bathing, who you want in the room with you, which hospital you’re going to deliver at, to how you’ll have a successful hospital stay after birth.

10. Prepare Older Siblings and Pets

Bringing home your second baby can be hard for siblings, but when you take the time to prepare them, they’ll welcome a brother or sister with open arms. Spend some time scheduling one-on-one play dates and bonding time with your current child and let them help in the process of preparing for your new bundle of joy. There are plenty of things you can do to get them excited and reduce resentful feelings after delivery. Pretty soon, you’ll be focused on managing a toddler and a new baby, so do what you can now to make sure your oldest feels special and included.

For families with dogs or cats, make sure that you understand how to introduce your newborns to your pet ahead of time.

11. Arrange for Help

There’s an unwarranted stigma about asking for help, especially for new parents. However, friends and family will be lining up to help in any way that they can—accept the help. Help can come in many forms and will give you time to bond with your baby without feeling stressed about getting everything done at once. Allow someone to come over to clean your house, cook you a meal, or take your dog for a walk. The little things add up and can make a world of a difference. Try to arrange for help ahead of time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed when the baby arrives.

12. Prepare Your Home

There are many things you can do to make sure that your home is prepared for your baby’s arrival. First and foremost, try to make time to clean your home and get baby gear organized. When your baby comes, you’re not going to have as much free time and starting off with a messy house can be stressful. During this process, consider starting the babyproofing process. While your newborn won’t be mobile right away, it happens faster than you think. For more ways tp make sure your house is in order and prepare for a baby, click here.

13. Understand the Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression affects roughly 10 – 20% of new moms and taking the time to research symptoms ahead of time is important. Do this with your partner, so that you both know what to look for and can seek help if needed. If you experience postpartum depression, it does not mean that something’s wrong with you. It’s a common occurrence and is not a reflection of your ability to parent or love your child.

14. Stock Up on Essentials

Newborns use a lot of diapers—sometimes several are needed for a single change. Make sure that you have plenty of diapers and other essentials on hand so that you don’t have to run out to the store too much during that first month. When you’re shopping, get diapers in various sizes, wipes, clothing, nursing bras, breastfeeding supplies, and more. You don’t have to have every product on the market but making sure that you’re prepared with the essentials is a great start.

15. Find the Perfect Breast Pump

Finally, take the time to do some research on breast pumps and order one before delivery day. Breast pumping will allow you to supplement nursing without sacrificing the essential nutrients and vitamins present in breast milk.

Byram Healthcare is here to help you along your pregnancy journey and into motherhood. In addition to our resources, Byram makes it easy to order an insurance covered breast pump at no cost to you. Get started with our simple, three-step ordering process today, or reach out to a representative using the live chat option on our website.