A-Z of Things to do When Expecting your First Baby: Part II
Some of the most popular searches on eumom involve things to do when you are expecting, to mark the time or just things that you might not be able to do as much once the baby arrives.
So, with the benefit of hindsight, here is part two of our A-Z of things to do when you are expecting your first baby. Check out part one of this guide here.
N: Nesting and nursery-decorating are a must. Even if you are planning to have the baby in your room for a long while, go ahead and get their room ready now while you have time, energy and lots of enthusiasm for visiting homeware shops. This will change!
O: Organise your hospital bag with plenty of time to spare. Although first-time moms typically go around or after their due date, plenty still go early and you don’t want to be panicking trying to get your stuff together.
P: Periods. There will be none of these for at least nine months so no action is needed here. Hooray!
Q: Quick showers will be the order of the day once the baby arrives. You could use your time now to train for this by dashing in and out as quickly as possible and leaving some shampoo in your hair. Or you could stay in there for ages and really savour it. Personally, I’d go for option B (just don’t go sending me the bill when the water charges kick in).
R: Read, read, read as much as you can about having a baby. Not just having the baby, as in giving birth (although of course read plenty about that too) but having the baby, as in at home, on your own. I devoured everything I could about labour during my pregnancy – and it’s understandable to want to cover all bases – but I genuinely did not have a clue about looking after a baby and thought that my babysitting experiences as a teenager would surely cut the mustard. Eh no. I also had an idea that the hospital would give us a booklet when we were leaving telling us what to do. That didn’t happen either. The child literally came with no instructions. So much of the early days at home was spent downloading ‘how to…’ books and reading them over the baby’s head… My advice? Read at your leisure when you’re pregnant, it’ll be much easier!
S: Shop around for your key baby buys. They all really add up and there is a tendency when it’s your first to want the brightest and best. In reality though, many of the items only get used for a short while so don’t ignore second-hand options and make sure you look online and shop around for the best bargains.
T: Treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Get your nails done, get a blow dry, buy a new nail varnish. Go on, you deserve it.
U: Unwind. Get a massage, light a scented candle at home, get some escapism with a great book, do some pregnancy yoga or pilates… Take it easy Mama, now is not the time for stress!
V: Visit long-lost friends and family around the country. This is a great time to scope out their houses to see if they would make potential holiday destinations after the baby is born. If they have a lot of space and give any indication of a willingness to babysit, nail them down to a date there and then.
W: Wear dungarees and wave a paint brush around, at least once for a photo. Borrow said dungarees if you can – no matter what anyone says, those bad boys are never coming back into shtyle.
X: Xperts (okay, okay we cheated a little) are everywhere when you are pregnant. “God, isn’t your bump very high/low/big/small/sideways-looking…” Don’t buy in to the old wives tales and horror stories and be very wary of googling things you are worried about. If you have any doubts or fears, your doctor and midwife or consultant are the people to ask.
Y: Yoga and pilates are fabulous when you are pregnant, for maintaining suppleness and flexibility and helping oxygen flow around your growing body. Many classes also feature breathing techniques that can be used in labour which a lot of women swear by.
Z: Zebras and other cute animals make excellent decals on the walls of your new baby’s room …. Kidding! It may be a cliché as old as the hills but there’s no getting around it. Z is for zzzzzzs. Get as many as you can and then, just for the heck of it, get a few more. Even if you go on to be blessed with a baby who just loves to snooze (and if you, are please drop me a line and tell me what that’s like), you just won’t sleep as deeply post-baby, keeping a half-ear open to hear them and often waking up to fumble around looking for a baby who is fast asleep in her own cot…
It’s not easy to sleep when you’re pregnant, there’s no denying it, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than sleeping with a baby. And even lying there awake may seem like a luxury some day soon. Promise!