Your bags are packed, you’re teeming with excitement, and your surrogate’s due date is right around the corner. Are you ready to bring home your new baby?
You may have most of your preparations made, but here are a few things you may have forgotten. Use this checklist to help tie up loose ends and feel as prepared as possible before your new baby arrives.
Get Advice from Experienced Parents
Each child is unique, but parents from all walks of life and backgrounds can often relate to other parents’ experiences. Find time to talk to people who already have children. Ask them if they have any advice or words of wisdom to help during those first weeks.
Solidify a Childcare Plan
Maternity/paternity leave is lovely, but it doesn’t last. At some point, parents need to return to work—and that means someone will need to care for the baby.
Sometimes grandparents or other stay-at-home family members may offer to watch the baby, but other times, you may need to find a daycare provider or caretaker who can help.
Whatever the dynamics, it is helpful to create a schedule and know who will care for the baby and how to budget childcare costs before the arrival.
Devise a Plan to Keep the Household Going
Once the baby arrives, it may feel like your entire life revolves around them, but you’ll still need to keep your home up and running.
Decide ahead of time who will be primarily responsible for which household chores. Single parents may want to accept offers to help with shopping, cooking or any other household chores.
While all eyes will be on the baby, you still need to eat, sleep, run errands, do laundry, and function.
Set Up the Nursery
This might seem like a no-brainer, but certain details are worth mentioning.
Before the baby arrives, it’s important to have a crib or co-sleeper set. Wash a few back-up sheets and have plenty of washed onesies (preferable those with hand protectors and zippers). Make sure your changing station is ready to use filled with diapers, wipes and ointment.
Install Infant Car Seats
Many baby items can wait until after the baby arrives, but not the car seat. Infant car seats are easy to install, but that doesn’t mean parents should wait until the last minute to do so. Plan to get it installed a week or two before expected arrival. Remember, a nurse at the hospital will show you how to secure your baby into the car seat.
Do Something Special
No matter how long you have waited or how hard the wait has been, once your baby arrives, your life will be forever changed for the best, but some things, like alone time, get lost in the mix.
Plan something special to do before the baby is born. Some parents decide to take one last trip before parenthood becomes official. Others may plan a special dinner date at a favorite restaurant or a trip to the spa for a day of pampering.
Be sure to use this checklist to cover your bases before the arrival of your new baby—and most importantly, get excited!