By Ava Adams
Adopting a newborn can be one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking times of your life. There’s so much stress involved, from interviews, to travel, to waiting, and more. Everything can start to feel overwhelming.
One of the best ways to ease your anxiety is to get prepared and organized. It can give you something to do and give you the peace of mind that you will be ready when the time comes. Follow these steps to learn how to properly prepare so you can enjoy life with your little one.
#1 Get Your House Ready
While you have probably already gotten your house in order for the home visit, it’s always a good idea to go back through and make sure your house is actually ready for a newborn. It’s best to have everything prepared because once you bring your baby home, things can get hectic quickly.
Try to have your house clean and organized. If you have any lingering projects, such as cleaning out the guest room to make a playroom, now is the time to do it.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure to get your nursery in order. While you can go all out on the nursery, you only need a few essential items. You will need a crib, crib mattress, and fitted crib sheets. While your baby is perfectly safe sleeping in a crib from day one, you may also opt for a bassinet to use while the baby is small.
You will also want some furniture to keep your baby’s clothes and other small items. Many parents opt for a dresser that has a changing table on the top to save space. You may also need some storage for toys and books.
Baby Care Stations
It’s a great idea to set up baby care stations around your house, especially if you have a two-story home. You do not want to go up and down stairs every time you need to change the baby. You should have a baby care station in your living room and bedroom.
You will want to have a supply of diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, a small changing pad, and a change of clothes for each station. You’ll be grateful to have everything on hand when the baby needs a quick change.
#2 Get Your Life Organized
Your life can get hectic once you have your baby. You may have trouble finding the time to do the things you normally do. There are some simple ways to get organized before the baby comes, so you don’t get so stressed.
Make sure all of your work affairs are in order. Try to get yourself as caught up as possible, and try to stay on top of things. Once the baby comes, you don’t want a pile of projects to handle. If you can, try to get ahead.
You will also want to stock up on groceries and essentials. Make sure you have plenty of nutritious snacks on hand. Make some freezer meals so that you can just pop dinner in the oven instead of having to cook or get fast food.
Finally, accept help. Your friends or family will ask what they can do to help when the new baby arrives, and they really mean it. Schedule time for others to do tasks such as load the dishwasher, walk the dog or hold the baby while you take a much-needed nap.
#3 Make Sure You Have All the Basics
Babies need a lot of stuff. It’s a good idea to make sure you have everything you need on hand. You can wind up spending a lot of money, so you may want to check out coupon apps like Wikibuy to save on online purchases. Their customers saved over $70 million last year.
Clothes—Newborns like to be comfy, so opt for simple onesies, leggings, and sleepers. You’ll be going through a few outfits a day, so stock up on these basics. Socks and hats are also important for keeping warm. Round out the wardrobe with a few cute outfits for going out.
Gear—In the beginning, you’ll need a rear-facing infant car seat and a stroller. You may also opt for a swinger or a bouncer.
Feeding—For the first several months, you will only need bottles and formula. It’s a good idea to have a few different types of bottles on hand. Some newborns are picky and may prefer one type of bottle over the others. Don’t forget the bibs and birth clothes.
Other Supplies—You will need baby bath items like a small tub, shampoo, lotion, towels, and washcloths. You’ll also need grooming items like a comb and infant nail clippers.
Stock up on plenty of diapers and wipes. Get newborn-sized diapers, but also get size one as well. Babies often grow out of newborn diapers quickly. Also, get several swaddling blankets. You will use these for everything.
#4 Be Ready To Go
You never know when you will get the call that it’s time to get your baby. Depending on your situation, you will want to have several things ready to go. Make sure you have a diaper bag packed with all of the essentials. If you need to stay overnight, have a bag packed for yourself as well.
Get the car seat buckled into your car. If you’ve never installed a car seat, it can be challenging at first, so it’s best to get it done when you have time rather than doing it when you’re in a rush.
#5 Prepare Yourself Emotionally
Many new parents are concerned they will do things wrong or that they will not be a good parent. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with worry. You are already a great parent, and babies do not need much. As long as they are fed, dry, and warm, they will be happy. Babies only need love and security.
By preparing yourself for life with a newborn, you can ease some of the anxiety you may be feeling. Prepare as much as possible, but keep in mind that babies can be unpredictable. Once you’ve done everything you can, get ready to take each day as it comes. With the right mindset, you can focus on the joy of having your new baby.
Ava Adams writes for Little Bundle covering parenting, nutrition, and healthcare. She enjoys helping parents create lasting bonds with their children and is a mother to two young boys herself.