Planning ahead

Parenthood is a life-changing event and it brings with it some big changes. There are lots of things to think about and prepare for – not just stocking up on nappies. The good news is that the most important thing your baby will need is you.

‘It is amazing, though, how much of the natural parenting instincts take over – I coped by trusting these instincts, and a lot of trial and error’

Gary, Scotland

Equipment you will need

Very young babies don’t need very much at all – most equipment isn’t needed until they’re a few months old or have reached a certain size.

The basics to begin with are:

  • clothes
  • nappies
  • somewhere warm and clean to sleep
  • something to ride or be carried in like a pram or pushchair with a ‘lie-back’ position, or a sling
  • bedding
  • bottles and sterilising equipment for formula-fed babies
  • car safety seat

You may also choose to have some of the following, but these
aren’t essential:

  • a baby bath – not essential as your baby can use the big bath or even a clean washing-up bowl at first
  • a crib or Moses basket – easier to move around than the ‘big’ cot but soon out-grown
  • a changing mat or table.

Balancing saving money with safety

Buying or borrowing second-hand equipment is a good idea only when you know its full history. When buying a second-hand cot or Moses basket make sure you buy a new mattress that fits properly. Second-hand clothing or shared/borrowed clothing is a good way to save money.

Preparing for parenthood and your emotions

You’ve probably just become used to some of the new emotions of being pregnant and expecting a baby. Now you may start to focus on what it will be like after she arrives and you become a fully-fledged mum. You may be excited or nervous, or both.

What you may be worried about

If you already have a child or children you may wonder how the new baby will fit into your family and how her brothers or sisters will react. If this is your first baby you may wonder how you’ll cope with the responsibility and change. Both you and your partner may worry about how it will affect your work and social life and whether you will do a good job.

It’s perfectly natural to have fears and anxieties about parenthood. Your partner probably has them too. Talking about it can help and your midwife and antenatal classes should be able to reassure you.

Last Updated: 05 January 2015
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