How to prepare for your first child
Nowadays women, couples or anyone who is expecting are very lucky. Everything you can possibly think of to help care for your baby is available either in-store or online. The question is how would you like to prepare for it.
3 years ago I was chosen to be a surrogate mother to a very professional and highly educated couple. (I emphasize that they are professionals because I would like to prove a point.) So when I was finally pregnant with their child I thought since it was their first child, they should try to learn a few stuff to ensure the safety and well being of the baby.
I didn't ask what their plans are but everytime they talk in front of me when we are together it seemed like there was no indication that they were even asking about how to make baby formula. Instinctively this is the first decision a mother should consider. Whether you will breastfeed or formula feed. So when finally our doctor asked them if they have enrolled in any classes, they said they haven't. The doctor immediately suggested that they should since no one else would care for the baby but them.
The labor and delivery is the easiest part. I know some first time mothers out there would like the experience to be the most exciting thing in their lives. They would either want to have it naturally or underwater; I even met a couple who wanted to deliver their own baby because the woman was a midwife. Hmmm, I said to myself. Having a child is already a wonderful and exciting experience don't make it more complicated than it should be. Remember risking your own life is one thing but risking your baby's life is another.
Start by making sure you have the basic stuff your baby would need. I know you might not know what it is but here's a tip. Read the book "What to expect when you are expecting." . Here are some stuff also you might consider having handy.
1. You should have take home clothes ready. Don't buy fancy clothes. Your baby's first outfit should be soft, comfortable and warm. I suggest you get the baby short sleeves Onesies and double it with long sleeved overall body suit. Get the one's with the booties already so you don't have to put socks.
2. The hospital usually provides you with a blanket but make sure to get one too. Get a soft and long kind so you can really wrap your baby tight in it. Babies like to be bundled up. Imagine they've been cramped up in your tummy for so long so they are not used to having their arms hanging loose. They will loosen up eventually so don't rush them.
3. Have a bunch of newborn diapers available at home. Unless you are expecting a 10lb baby don't get big sizes right away. Otherwise poop will be getting out of the sides of the diapers. Remember you always have to change the baby. I know it means buying a lot of diapers but hey thank God their disposable. I'm not saying cloth diapers or organic made cloth diapers are useless. I am just saying when it's your first time and you're still bleeding and aching in every part of your body, It is less worry that you will not run out of diapers or worry about washing the diapers. Don't forget the wipes too.
4. Cotton balls are needed in the first few weeks even before wipes. I like this better since it will definitely not harm the baby's bottom when you are cleaning her/him up.
5. The nurse in the hospital will ask if you're going to breastfeed. And if you are they will room in your baby with you and teach you how to breastfeed your baby. Don't get frustrated. The first few times you do it will hurt really bad, but once you start producing milk and your baby learns how to suck, it will be a little easier.
6. Have a Baby First Aid kit. This should include a thermometer, pump (for the baby's mouth or nose) and a medicine dropper.
7. The hospital is not going to let you out without that baby's carrier/carseat. They will even inspect how you put the baby's seatbelts on. So make sure you buy one. As a reminder don't buy those fancy big ones that already weighs a ton. Remember your baby will be in this thing for more than 6 months and I don't think you even be able to lift it when it is over 50 pounds.
I can go on and on about things you might need but you'll never really know each and everyone of them until you have your baby with you.
All I can suggest is don't buy too much small onesies, or booties and hats. They will outgrow them in a week. Just make sure you have enough that will last you for 3 days at a time. Then just shop again when your baby starts growing. Otherwise you'd be stuck with small baby clothes. Also don't buy them expensive toys or too much of it right away. They won't even notice them until they'e 3 months old. A cute and cuddly black bear should get their attention and a black and red or white musical mobile should do it.
I'd like to end this by saying eat healthy during the pregnancy, drink lots of fluids but not juices (to avoid gestational diabetes) and walk as much as you can. This helps during labor. Savor the moments of being alone by yourself or with your partner/husband; cause once the baby is there, there's no turning back. Hope this helps.