There’s much to keep your eyes on when you’re going through a pregnancy. After all, it’s imperative that you’re doing every within your power to ensure that your little bundle of joy is kept safe and healthy! But as you’ll already know (or will come to know), this is just the beginning of the journey. When your girl or boy arrives, you’ll be moving at a million miles per hour trying to keep everything in order. With that in mind, we’ve put together some useful tips on how you can best ensure that your baby’s first year is one in which they thrive. If you’re missing any of them, now’s the time to add them to your shopping list.
Warm and Safe Home
First thing’s first: make sure you have a safe and warm home for your baby to return to. The biggest task you’ll face in this regard is babyproofing your property so that there’s nothing that can cause accidental injury to your child. You’ll also be well-served by transforming a couple of rooms into bona fide “baby zones,” where you can spend the bulk of your time. These should be warm, cozy, and full of love!
How nice it must be to be a baby. All they do, most of the time at least, is lie there. You can make sure that they’re as comfortable as can be by loading up the baby drawers with soft baby clothes. There’s a big difference in quality, and the better you buy, the more comfortable they’ll be. And of course, this is good news for you, too – if they’re all snug and cozy, then they’re going to wake up less throughout the night. You’re going to be short on sleeping hours as it is, don’t make it more difficult for yourself.
Your child would more or less be happy to stay indoors the whole time, but you’ll go stir-crazy if you don’t all go outside. In any case, going for a walk all as a family is one of the joys of having a young family, and you’re going to have plenty of people who want to see your child, too. But because they’re so small and vulnerable, you need to take extra steps to keep them warm (or cool, depending on the time of the year). Of course, you’ll already know just how important this is, but you might not know that this is a chance to show off their early sense of style. Go big!
From A to B
There’s going to be a lot of running around that requires more than a gentle stroll through the park. Think hospital visits, visiting relatives, and so on. It’s important that you have a safe and secure baby car seat so they’re as safe as can be as you’re driving around. It’s also worth remembering that long car journeys aren’t good for anyone, especially babies, so you might want to load up on some toys and entertainment options, too.
Taking Care of the Basics
It’s easy to get into the mindset that says your house is going to be one big mess of baby products, and it most likely will be, but it’s also true that the items you use again and again won’t be extensive in numbers. So make sure you’re able to take care of the basics! A baby changing table, for instance, will get its fair share of daily use (that’s an understatement…), as will a breast pump and baby bath supplies. As you’ll be getting so much use out of these items, it’s important to research the best options for your needs before purchasing.
Oh, the adventures that you’ll go on when it comes to feeding. They’ll provide some of the standout memories of your baby’s first year! During the first few months, it’ll be all about breastfeeding and bottles. But then they’ll make the transition to real food, so make sure you’re stocking up on all the essential baby feeding products for starting solids. Making mealtimes as painless and straightforward as possible will be a big deal, trust us (though try as you might, there’ll always be mess).
Raising a baby isn’t all hard work, not at all in fact! It’s mightily rewarding, obviously, but also incredibly fun. So make space in the baby budget for things that’ll increase the fun levels. Things like toys, teddies, books, and the like will all make playtime a memorable time. You’ll also want to think about ways that you can commemorate and enjoy the process. A decent camera (which you’ll have anyway if you have a half-decent smartphone) should be a priority, as should finding ways to commemorate your child’s early days through photo displays and the like.
Try as you might, your child is going to get ill and have other health-related concerns. While there’ll be times when you need to visit the hospital to get things checked over, you’ll also want to have the basic medical supplies in stock so you can handle any minor issues yourself. It’ll give peace of mind if nothing else!
All The Love
Finally, the most important ingredient of all: love! Babies are remarkably resilient, and they’ll be able to get by even if everything isn’t absolutely perfect (you won’t be the perfect parent, but you’ll be good enough!). But they can’t get by without bundles of love! Of course, telling a parent to love their child to pieces is a bit ridiculous, so we won’t even say it…
You’re going to go on a wild adventure with your little one, and though it might seem like each day lasts forever, you’ll find that the first year goes by much faster than you thought possible. So while you’ll need to ensure that you’ve got all of the above ready to go, make sure you take a step back and take in everything that’s happening from time to time. It’s a special period in your life!