Having a baby is an amazing experience and one that should be planned for as much as possible. There are many things you need to know about pregnant life and having a child before bringing your little one home.
While there are probably at least a hundred things you already thought of, there are some important things people often forget to mention when talking about expecting as well as bringing a baby home from the hospital, that you need to know about.
1. Air Quality
Babies are sensitive to air quality, even more so during their first month where they are still building up their immunity. This means that it is important to make sure your home always has clean air by throwing out anything you don’t need – garbage, old paint cans, and cleaning supplies that haven’t been used in a while.
You should also think about looking into air purifiers designed for a nursery in order to make sure there aren’t any particles or allergens in the air that might bother the baby.
The three most important things to look for are the noise level – you want something extra quiet for the baby’s room, the filter you’re using, and the amount of airflow it has. You don’t want anything that will keep pumping out ozone because that’s just as bad for your baby as the particles in the air.
Also, remember to think about how close you put it to their bed – you wouldn’t want it too close just in case something goes wrong with the machine.
2. Comfort Is Key
One of the most important furniture pieces you can have while as a new parent is a comfortable chair where you can feed and swaddle the baby. A baby glider is a popular choice, and you can find them in a variety of price ranges.
Make sure to get one with a soft fabric that you can easily clean because accidents will happen. It’s always better to try out any chair you might be interested in buying, since you’ll be spending a lot of time in it, and it’s important that you can sit comfortably and have enough freedom of movement to rock your baby back and forth.
Besides that, a nice rug or carpet is a very good idea for their room, and think about getting a nice mattress pad that will be just as easy to clean in case of an accident. The idea is to have something soft and warm for the baby to crawl on and something that won’t be a pain to clean up if they make a mess.
3. Emotional Rollercoaster
Being pregnant and having a baby is amazing, there’s no doubt about it. That said, that doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It’s perfectly normal to experience a range of emotions, from happiness and excitement to fear and anxiety. Accepting that these feelings are perfectly natural will help you get through them.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, whether it’s from friends or family or a professional. There is no shame in admitting that you’re not feeling your best and could use some extra support.
Also, don’t be afraid to get a little selfish from time to time. You’ve got a lot on your plate right now and you need some time for yourself every once in a while so that you can recharge and do what needs to be done.
That’s as true for when you are pregnant as well as for when the baby actually arrives. No matter how you’re feeling, it’s important that you’re able to recognize those emotions and vocalize them to someone.
There’s never a reason to feel bad or ashamed for whatever you’re going through – if anything it’s normal – a lot of parents go through the same thing, and they’re still great parents!
4. Eating for Two
The age-old myth – eating for two. While there is some truth to it, you don’t actually need twice as many calories while pregnant and nursing as the saying will let you believe. In reality, you might need some extra protein and a few more vitamins and minerals, but you don’t need to start eating like a linebacker.
Focus on eating healthy foods that will give both you and your baby the nutrients you need. That means plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well as lean protein sources and healthy fats. Also, make sure to drink plenty of fluids – especially water. You’ll be breastfeeding for the next several months, which means it’s extra important that you stay hydrated.
Make sure to keep an eye on how much weight you’re gaining – you want one pound for each week of pregnancy (and it should be in line with your height and body type) but no more than that.
Of course, some oscillations are completely normal, and you don’t have to obsess over your weight ever, especially not when pregnant. It can simply be useful to have a general idea of what to expect so that you can keep track of your health more easily.
5. Everyone’s an Expert
There’s something about seeing a pregnant woman that awakens the need in others to tell you exactly what you should or shouldn’t be doing. It’s not unusual for complete strangers to question you on your coffee choice – is it decaf or not, let alone friends and family members.
People mean well, that’s true, but it can also be annoying to constantly have to listen to unsolicited opinions. Thinking of a way to politely get out of this situation can be helpful. Just try not to let it get you down or make you stress too much.
A simple thank you, I already talked to my doctor about it can be a good way to end the conversation without offending anyone.
6. Reaching Milestones
Just like with weight gain, there are some general milestones you can expect to hit while pregnant, and babies are likely to reach at a certain point in time. Most women will start feeling the baby move around 18 to 20 weeks, for example. A baby is supposed to start crawling at around 9 months and walking around the first birthday.
However, keep in mind that these are only guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules – every baby is different, and will reach milestones at its own pace.
If you’re worried about your pregnancy or the baby’s development, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor and have a pregnancy scan. They will be more than happy to help ease any fears or concerns you may have.
So, those are some of the things you should know about before having a baby. It can be a lot to take in, but it’s important information that will help you prepare for the big change that’s coming. Parenthood is an amazing adventure, and with a little bit of knowledge and preparation, it can be a smooth one too.