Congrats! You’re having a baby! We’ve got the best tips, tricks, and ways to prepare for parenthood from our Peanut community of real moms.
This incredible milestone is full of every emotion under the sun, from elation to worry to calm to frantic preparation!
Take a deep breath, mama-to-be.
You’ve got this.
And to help ease your whirring mind, we asked our Peanut community of moms what their top tips were for how to prepare for parenthood and the best advice about motherhood.
In this article: 📝
- How do I prepare for my first baby?
- What should a couple do before baby arrives?
- How long does it take to adjust to parenthood?
- What first-time moms should know?
How do I prepare for my first baby?
If you’re a first-time mom, you’re venturing into pretty new territory.
It’s exciting, nerve-wracking, and maybe just a bit scary.
So what can you do to get yourself ready for baby’s arrival and this next stage of your life?
First and foremost, the best advice about parenthood from our Peanut mamas focuses on your mental wellbeing.
How do I prepare myself mentally for parenthood?
1. Take care of your body
Your body is going through amazing changes right now, and you can expect even more once baby’s here.
Be sure to pamper yourself throughout the pregnancy.
Cocoa butter is your best friend for the skin.
Apply this lotion around your belly and other areas that seem to swell with that pregnancy glow.
It nourishes the skin and calms potential stretch marks as the baby grows.
Listen to your instincts when it comes to food too.
If a certain food doesn’t sound tasty, try something else.
Your body will crave certain foods, so consume them in moderation.
Looking after your body can be amazing as self-care, which can improve your mental wellbeing.
2. Ask your doctor any of your pregnancy or baby-related questions
You’ll be seeing your doctor more than ever before during these 40 weeks.
Take advantage of the time by asking as many questions as possible.
Ask about appropriate exercise, false labor, and other issues on your mind.
Share your findings with the moms here at Peanut.
Spreading the latest facts about parenthood will only help everyone in their quest for a comfortable and rewarding pregnancy.
Your doctor is there to answer these questions, and no question is too gross, too personal, or too “silly”.
3. Treat yourself
Simple outings will be a luxury after the baby arrives, so treat yourself to a few diversions before birth.
Go to the beauty salon for a haircut, enjoy a walk around the local museum, or sip a meet-up with a friend at a restaurant (here are some ideas for pregnancy-safe types of food you can order).
Although you can certainly have these experiences after your little one is in your arms, you’ll be balancing baby as well, at that point.
How about a massage designed especially for pregnant people?
4. Prepare for an emotional ride
Your body is creating a human being.
The hormones involved with this process are numerous in volume.
It’s okay to be emotional!
In fact, it’s to be expected.
Allow yourself to feel those emotions that are pouring out.
Crying, laughing, and worrying are just parts of being pregnant.
A good cry is healthy for anyone.
But if you feel like you’re dealing with too many emotions, speak to your doctor about it.
There is help available.
5. Lean on your loved ones
Here at Peanut, we’re a community of women who support each other during parenthood.
At every point during your pregnancy and afterward, it’s important to have a trusted circle of family and friends.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
The smallest tasks might be difficult for you, from painting your toenails to getting the groceries near the end of the third trimester.
Allowing everyone to pitch in means that you can concentrate on supporting the baby and bringing him or her to full term.
6. Prioritize sleep
Sleep is a big part of mental health ‒ bigger than you think.
While it’s not a miracle cure for sadness, getting your 7-8 hours per day can still work wonders.
But sleep will be elusive with a newborn, in the traditional sense.
But some of our Peanut mamas have a secret: sleep when the baby sleeps.
While it may not work for everyone, this simple guideline could save you from chronic fatigue.
It’s tempting to clean or perform other tasks while the baby is sleeping, but those tasks can wait.
By resting when the baby dozes off, you can be alert for bonding, breastfeeding, and other experiences that will be short-lived.
7. Breastfeeding is a skill
As soon as your baby arrives, breastfeeding is the next task to take on as a new mom.
But be patient with yourself.
Breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
That’s why there are lactation specialists who help most mothers with latching on and other details, improving your milk supply, pumping, and so much more.
It may take a few tries for the baby to accept the breast.
Don’t take any of these challenges as a personal affront.
The skill is new to the baby too.
8. Trust your creative mind
Do you know what to do with a crying baby at two in the morning?
There must be dozens of articles written on the subject, but your child doesn’t respond to any of the suggestions.
Let your creative mind flow when you face a parenthood challenge.
Every baby is different, which means that calming and nurturing your child will be unique.
If you think it’s a good idea to rock the baby to sleep while driving the car around the block, do it.
Every creative way to get your child to sleep, eat and smile is the right way to handle the situation.
9. Set up several birth plans
Many women come up with elaborate birth plans that they’re committed to from day one.
In a perfect world, you’ll be able to follow these plans without any issues.
Babies don’t follow the rules, however.
Which is why we call them birth preferences.
Premature birth, preeclampsia and many other conditions can complicate any birth plan.
Consider several plans for various possibilities.
Birth at home, in a hospital, or via c-section should all be discussed with your family and doctor.
By preparing for several scenarios, you’ll be calmer and more focused to bring the baby into the world.
What should a couple do before baby arrives?
If you’re preparing for parenthood with your partner, it’s important to remember that you are a team.
You can lean on each other for the support you need.
But the key things a couple should do before baby arrives are the same as a single parent should do before baby arrives.
What are 5 most important things a person should do to prepare for parenthood?
Here are the top 5 ways to prepare for parenthood, according to our Peanut mamas:
10. Embrace flexibility as much as you can
Declaring that you’ll only feed your newborn homemade baby food with no screen time until age 3 are examples of common mistakes by soon-to-be moms.
The best-laid plans might not work out for your baby.
Be flexible with your daily schedule once you’re home with the little one.
There are healthy options, from food to activities, that are more convenient than others.
Save your energy by opting for practical choices, such as canned baby food, while savoring those beautiful moments just holding the infant.
11. Install your baby car seat
Get familiar with the locks and straps, including the fasteners that work with your car.
Practice taking the baby car seat on and off, too.
All of these tasks will be worth it when the baby arrives.
Struggling with a new seat and a newborn in tow is a recipe for incredible stress.
12. Pack more than you think you’ll need
Whether you’re headed to the hospital for the delivery or taking a picnic out with the newborn, always pack more items than you think you need.
Extra diapers, onesies, burp cloths, and bottle accessories are great items to have in bulk.
Peanut moms know that babies will surprise you with an outfit change at the very moment that you forgot that extra onesie.
The diaper bag might be incredibly full, but every key item will be used at some point.
13. Prepare frozen meals
One of our Peanut mamas’ favorite tips on how to prepare for parenthood is to create your own meals before baby arrives.
It’s tough to find free time to cook a nutritious meal when baby makes their appearance, particularly in the first few months.
Be sure to balance any frozen meal with protein, grains, and vegetables.
You’ll feel invigorated by the nutrients as you care for your little one.
14. Clean and organize your living space
Preparing for the first year of parenthood means that you’re aware of your priority: the new baby!
Tidying up the house and filling the kitchen with groceries will be challenging after the delivery, so prioritize them right now.
Be sure to ask loved ones to help so that you don’t wear yourself out.
A clean home will be a luxury when you step inside with the new baby.
As you do this, it’s also worth thinking about the “arms-reach” rule.
You’ll be balancing a baby on your arm and hip for most of the day during your first year of parenting, so arrange your home with the arms-reach rule.
Key items, including bottles and nipples, should be easily accessed in the kitchen, ideally at chest height so you don’t have to bend down.
Think about other items you grab regularly, such as granola bars or water bottles.
By keeping these items close at hand, you can move more comfortably around the household.
You’ll feel like a parenthood pro when you can comfort the baby with one arm while enjoying a snack with the other hand.
15. What do you need before baby comes?
As we all know, babies require a lot of stuff.
But what’s essential, and what’s a nice-to-have?
These are must-haves that our Peanut moms recommend getting before baby’s arrival.
You can even add them to your baby registry for your baby shower!
- Crib or bassinet (with a new baby mattress, waterproof mattress covers, and fitted crib sheets)
- Changing table or mat
- Baby monitor
- Baby play mat
- Baby clothes
- Burp cloths
- Breast pump
- Nail scissors or a baby-friendly nail file
- Baby thermometer
- Baby carrier
- Car seat
- Blankets or a sleep sack for swaddling
- Diaper bag
- Diapers (lots)
- High chair (when baby’s old enough for weaning)
- Bottle sterilizer
- Diaper pail
- Baby jumper
- Bath thermometer
- Baby hairbrush
- Bulb syringe for clearing baby’s blocked nose
- Baby bath
How long does it take to adjust to parenthood?
Well… how long is a piece of string?
We wish we had a clear answer here, but every mom is unique, every baby is unique, and every journey they lead together is unique.
Baby brand Munchkin surveyed new moms, which suggested that they felt they adjusted to parenthood by about 4 months and 23 days of baby’s arrival.
But this is an average, and their study also showed that 57% of new moms said the first few months passed by “in a bit of a blur”.
The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone.
Motherhood is hard.
It’s amazing, but it’s hard.
And if you want to connect with other moms who feel the same way, you’ll find your people on Peanut.
What first-time moms should know?
From the moment you hold your baby for the first time, it’s a whole new world for you and baby.
Our Peanut mamas shared the advice they wish they’d heard as first-time moms, and it’s a doozy.
Ask for help if you want it or need it.
You don’t have to justify asking for help from anyone ‒ friends, family, coworkers.
People are generally willing to help, and if not, there will be someone else who can help.
You don’t have to wait till you’re at breaking point.
After all, it takes a village to raise a child.
What makes a successful parent?
Well, that definition is up to you, mama.
Some of our Peanut moms think raising a child who is kind is being a good parent.
Others think a child who grows up to be successful is the goal.
And others find that being a successful parent is simply taking one day at a time.
As we always say, every journey of motherhood is different.
So there you have it ‒ the best advice about motherhood and tips on preparing for parenthood by our community of real moms.
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