Hooray, a baby is on the way! Congratulations on this incredible news!
As a mom of two, I totally remember the whirlwind of emotions that come with this incredible journey – the thrill, a hint of jitters, and a massive checklist of to-dos before the little one arrives. Trust me, I get it – there’s so many things to get done and to consider!
So, to help you navigate this exciting yet slightly overwhelming time (because, trust me, “pregnancy brain” is real!), let’s dive into the top four crucial decisions I believe you should consider before the big day.
(Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored and may contain affiliate links.)
1. What’s included in my birth plan?
One of the most important things to consider before your baby arrives is a birth plan. This is a plan that details the things you would like to happen when you are in labor, including details like pain relief options, your favorite music to set the vibe, who will be in the room with you, those precious moments of skin-to-skin contact, and let’s not forget—your post-labor meal request (because that first meal matters, right?). Depending on where you’ll be giving birth, you might want to explore additional preferences, such as using a yoga ball (this one has great reviews) or even aiming for a water birth.
It’s important to remember that while a birth plan captures your ideal scenario, unforeseen circumstances might require you to adjust. The primary focus is always on ensuring the safety and well-being of both you and your baby.
I’ve shared both of my labor stories in this blog post—feel free to take a look!
2. What will his or her name be?
Choosing a name for your baby is a such special and personal part of getting ready for their arrival. There are many different ways to help you find the perfect name for your little one. Whether it’s using a baby name generator, flipping through baby name books, or simply letting your creativity flow.
Remember, their name will stick with them for the rest of their lives. So no pressure! When I was choosing names, I knew I wanted something unique yet meaningful. For my daughter, I chose the name Autumn because she was born in my favorite season, and it felt like the perfect fit for her. I also wanted her name to start with an “A,” like mine.
As for my son, I aimed for a name that reflected strength and resilience. While searching, I stumbled upon the name Roman. Its meaning, “strong and powerful,” resonated deeply with me, and it felt like the ideal name for my little boy.
Sometimes, the name you pick before your baby’s arrival might not quite match their spirit when you finally meet them. And that’s absolutely okay! I considered Audree for my daughter, but when she arrived, I instantly knew she was meant to be an Autumn. There’s always room to reconsider and find the name that perfectly embodies the essence of your precious new addition.
3. Where will my baby sleep?
Determining where your baby will sleep is a significant decision, especially for newborns and young infants. Some parents immediately opt for the crib, while others prefer alternatives like a Moses Basket or a mobile crib.
Another choice some parents consider is co-sleeping, but it’s crucial to research the risks involved and take necessary safety measures, such as using a co-sleeping bassinet that securely attaches to the adult bed. This one has amazing reviews and was voted best bedside bassinet overall by Forbes in October 2023.
In my own parenting journey, I have experienced different sleep arrangements with my children. With my firstborn, my daughter, we co-slept until she turned 3. It was a beautiful bonding experience, but eventually, I longed for my own space and privacy. With my son, I wanted to approach things differently. He slept in a bassinet in my room for the first few months. As he grew a bit older, I transitioned him into his crib in his own room.
Regardless of the choice you make, remember that you can always adapt and change if it doesn’t fit your family’s needs. However, I can attest that transitioning from co-sleeping to independent sleeping can be a challenge, perhaps even more so for the parent than the child lol! Having a plan in mind is a good idea, but being open to adjustments as you go is equally important.
4. Will I breast or bottle-feed?
I completely understand the pressure that surrounds the “breast is best” concept. However, I firmly believe what’s best for the baby is what’s best for the mom. If that means opting for bottle-feeding, then that’s absolutely okay. Both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding have their merits. I personally had a tough time making this decision with my son. I was set on breastfeeding him, but I faced significant challenges with my milk production, which I’ve shared in detail in this blog post.
Having a plan in place regarding your feeding choice is beneficial. It allows you to gather all the necessary supplies for either breastfeeding or bottle-feeding and communicate your preferences to the hospital staff in advance. However, as I mentioned earlier, it’s vital to be flexible and not be too hard on yourself if circumstances lead you to change your initial plans. Parenthood is a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns, and what matters most is the well-being of both you and your baby.
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