All throughout pregnancy, you prepare for welcoming your baby into the world. From childbirth education classes and Google, to chatting with friends and scrolling through the pregnancy social media forums, there are endless ways to prepare for the birth of your newborn.
As the kicks begin to get stronger, and you can feel their feet within your ribcage, you begin to read reviews on the latest baby products such as the DockATot, the Stokke crib, and the 4moms mamaRoo.
Yet, as parents walk out the front doors of the hospital, everything that they believe they prepared for seems wrong and incomplete.
Being a parent to a newborn comes with many different obstacles that requires lots of on the job learning, but there are a few things you can do to prepare your postpartum and infant care plans.
Plan the Food
Planning on Breastfeeding?
Though breastfeeding is considered a natural feeding method, there is nothing natural about it. It can be hard, painful, and emotionally draining. By attending local breastfeeding groups, and meeting with a lactation consultant during pregnancy, you can begin to learn more about feeding positions, and how much milk your baby needs.
You can also join online forums such as The Leaky Boob Community Facebook group, and check out Dr. Jack Newman YouTube videos to learn more.
Pro Tip: Breastfeeding Made Simple is a great book to read, and hiring an infant care support team during the first days home can make the world of a difference.
Planning on Formula Feeding?
One of the first steps is choosing if you will be using a powdered, concentrated, or ready made formula. Once you have chosen which type of formula you would like to use, the next step is choosing a bottle. There are many different bottles on the market, and each has unique characteristics. There is no wrong choice when it comes to the type of bottle you choose, and make sure you have a size 0 nipple. It will have the slowest flow.
Pro Tip: Move up a nipple size when your baby’s cheeks begin to look like they are making a fish face while sucking.
Planning to Eat?
It surprises a lot of first time parents, how little time they have for cooking their favorite meals when there is a newborn in the house. Creating a Postpartum Meal Plan and stocking up on some freezer meals and snacks, or mason jar meals before your baby comes home can be a life saver.
Pro Tip: Buy yourself gift cards to your favorite restaurants so you can have a bunch of guilt free meals to order in when you don’t have time to cook. (This is also a great thing to ask for on your baby registry)
Plan the Sleep
Planning on Co-sleeping?
There are two different types of ways to cosleep. One way is sleeping with the baby in the parent’s bed, this is called bed sharing. The other way is sleeping with the baby in the same room, but on a separate sleep surface. This is called room-sharing.
Room sharing is recommended by Health Canada for the first 6 months.
Pro Tip: Have diapers, wipes, and an extra set of clothes on the nightstand to have less time out of bed during those middle of the night feeds.
Planning on a Nursery?
Walking into a baby boutique brings isles of accessories for decorating a nursery in the latest trends. Have fun and get creative!
Pro Tip: Have a ‘too big’ and ‘too small’ laundry basket to switch out clothes as babies quickly move between sizes.
There are three different products used for safe sleep in Canada.
Choosing a Crib:
Cribs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Choose your favorite and enjoy seeing it every time you lay your baby down.
Pro Tip: Bumper pads come in most crib sets, and they are an extreme suffocation hazard for your baby. Health Canada advises against the use of bumper pads.
Choosing a Bassinet:
Bassinets are used during the first 0-5 months of a baby’s life. They are smaller than a crib, which makes them easier to move around when they are placed next to the parents bed, and can be moved from one room to another.
Choosing a Baby Box:
The Baby Box Company – Canada provides adorable, free boxes that are equipped with a mattress, and approved by CPSC and Health Canada. They are surprisingly bigger than expected, light weight and easy to move upstairs and downstairs. They also make the perfect room storage box for when your newborn outgrows it.
Plan your Sleep
Taking time for self care, and making sure you are getting a good amount of sleep is equally as important as taking care of your newborn. Having a solid support system of friends and family, and/or hiring a postpartum and infant care doula can help to ensure you receive the rest you deserve.
Plan the Transportation
Bringing your baby home is an excitingly terrifying time. Find a car seat clinic or a local car seat technician CSRT to ensure proper installation of your car seat base. Having a professional double check your install and give you valuable pointers is a great way to decrease the risk of unsafe travel.
Pro Tip: Aftermarket items that are placed on the straps or behind your baby compromise your baby’s safety. Learn about how to safely bundle your baby for our cold Alberta winters.
Bringing your baby home can be an exciting yet intimidating time. You will be a great parent, and find empowerment in the little moments of raising your little bundle!
By Terra Landmark
Landmark Doulas is your source of compassionate care during pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Terra and her team provide childbirth education, professional birth services, placenta encapsulation, as well as postpartum and infant care to the families in Edmonton and surrounding areas.