Whether you’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of your first baby or you’re growing your family, we are here to support you every step of the way. Preparing for any baby to arrive is a significant moment that brings so much excitement and care. Preparation for the arrival of your baby can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable transition to parenthood.
Throughout this blog, you’ll learn valuable insights, tips and advice to help you navigate this exciting and transformative time in your life. You will be empowered with knowledge and equipped with the tools you need to head into parenthood with confidence and joy.
So, let's get ready to explore a wealth of information, gain practical wisdom, and discover the joys of preparing for your baby's arrival. We're here to guide you, inspire you, and celebrate this incredible chapter of your life.
Let's dive in!
what to prepare before baby's arrival: A comprehensive guide to organising, preparing and educating
how to organise and set up the nursery:
creating a functional nursery
Creating a functional nursery is one of the most exciting parts of preparing for your baby’s arrival. There are a few things to consider, to make your nursery special but also safe and practical for your little one.
Look for furniture that is going to be both versatile and easy to clean. Babies tend to spit up frequently after feeds, so having furniture which is easy to wipe or clean will make your life much easier. You want to look for a cot and a bassinet that adhere to the SIDS Guidelines for Safe Sleep and ones that will fit in both your room for the first 6-12 months and then into the nursery after that.
Many families are now using a chest of drawers with a changing pad on top. This satisfies the want for a change table, but also doubles as spacious storage for all your baby’s essential items and clothes. Choosing furniture for your nursery may seem overwhelming but remember less is more and the more useable one item is the better.
Organisational strategies are essential in maximising the space and your efficiency. Try to utilise vertical storage solutions like wall shelves or hanging organisers to help make the most out of the available space.
When it comes to organising your baby’s chest of drawers, make sure that all of your most used items (nappies, wipes and b.box body products such as hydrate and protect) are in arms reach, especially when you’re in the middle of a nappy change. Often placing these items in a caddie on top of your change table or in the top drawer of your chest of drawers means that you’re able to grab them out one handed when you need them. For baby’s clothes, you can use drawer inserts to help organise baby’s clothes so they’re easy to find.
A major priority for your nursery is that it is safe for your baby. This means following all the SIDS Guidelines for Safe Sleep, ensuring that the bedding and surrounding area is safe for your baby. Next, you want to make sure that there aren’t any small items that could accidentally be swallowed by your baby in the room.
Additionally make sure that all furniture is properly secured to the wall, especially drawers and shelving units. Cover all power point outlets with specific covers, remove any cords or blind cords and place soft bumpers on any corners. Following these simple safety tips will ensure that you are able to create a stylish, functional and safe nursery for your baby.
essential items for the nursery
Here is a comprehensive list of must-have baby items to help you prepare to welcome your little one into the world:
preparing emotionally and physically for the arrival of your baby
addressing common fears and anxieties about becoming a new parent
All parents will have some degree of fear or anxiety when it comes to bringing a new baby into the world. These concerns may range from worrying about baby’s health and well-being to worries about how you will be as a parent. Understanding that it is normal to have fears and worries will help encourage you to take steps to address these fears, which can be vital to your emotional well-being.
The first step to addressing your fears around birth and parenting is to educate yourself. Attending parenting classes and talking with your healthcare professionals is the best way to help you understand pregnancy, birth and parenting. This will therefore give you the confidence and tools you need to reduce your fears.
The next step is communicating openly with your partner, a friend or a family member about your concerns. This can help to provide fresh perspectives as well as help reduce your fears and/or concerns. If you don’t want to talk to your partner, a friend or a family member, you can talk to a psychologist who can help you talk through your concerns as well as offer practical coping advice.
techniques for managing stress and promoting self-care
Managing stress and prioritising self-care during pregnancy is essential in not only your well-being but also the well-being of your baby. Some good ways to manage your stress effectively and prioritise self-care are:
building a support network and seeking help when needed
As parents to be building a support network where you can connect with other new parents, prioritising time together as a couple and knowing where to go if you need professional help are significant factors in nurturing your emotional well-being.
Connecting with new parents can be daunting but remember every new parent has felt that exact way before. Join parenting groups either in person or online with parents that have similar journeys to you. Sharing experiences, advice and support can provide immense comfort and reassurance.
Prioritising time together as a couple is another way for you to build a foundation of solid support between the two of you, as you navigate the challenges of pregnancy and parenthood together.
Furthermore, knowing when you feel overwhelmed by your emotions is an important step in knowing when to reach out for professional guidance. The Gidget Foundation is a wonderful resource for all new and expecting parents who are struggling with anxiety or depression.
taking care of physical health
By focusing on three key areas - maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, understanding bodily changes and managing discomfort and embracing prenatal care - you can lay a strong foundation for the well-being of both you and your baby.
diet and exercise
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine during pregnancy is essential in maintaining your own health but also in the optimal development of your baby. Make sure that your diet contains a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Pregnancy isn’t the time to go on any restrictive diets, however it is important to prioritise a healthy diet to give you and your baby added nutrients and vitamins. Try to limit the amount of sugary and processed foods, these have very limited nutritional value for you or your baby.
Additionally, exercise is an important part of maintaining your cardiovascular health as well as your mental health. Daily exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga can help improve your blood circulation, cardiovascular health, reduce some of the discomforts or pregnancy and help you maintain muscle strength.
changes in body
Understanding the changes in the body and managing discomfort can help you implement strategies early that will help you manage these discomforts.
discussing prenatal care and the importance of regular check-ups.
Regular prenatal care is critical in monitoring the health and growth of you and your baby. This means that any potential concerns or complications can be detected early and therefore more easily managed. These regular check-ups with your midwife or Obstetrician can provide prompt and thorough detection and treatment of any concerns, thus having long lasting positive impacts for both you and your baby.
Furthermore, regular check-ups provide you the opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions that you may have with your pregnancy. This means that you’re able to have effective emotional support, feel more confident in your body and ability of your body to give birth, as well as ensuring you’re taking the necessary supplements and dietary adjustments to support the healthy development of your baby.
Finally, regular check-ups mean that your baby’s growth and development is thoroughly monitored using tests and ultrasounds and any interventions can be implemented in a timely manner.
practical preparations for mum and baby
packing your hospital bag
When packing your hospital bag, consider these essential items for your labour and birth:
tips for organizing and packing the bag in advance
Before packing your hospital bag, make a checklist of everything you will need – or better yet, download this free b.box body hospital bag checklist! Consider starting to pack your hospital bag around the 32nd-34th week of pregnancy. This means that you will have ample time to gather all the items that you need without feeling stressed, it also means that if you did go into labour prematurely that you are prepared.
Next, you may want to have a separate bag that contains everything you need for your labour and then a bag that contains everything you need for the postpartum period and for your baby. This means that when you’re in labour you only need to bring one bag in with you, rather than carting in all your bags. It also helps reduce any confusion.
Packing cubes that are labelled can also be a great way to help you feel organised in items that you will need in your hospital bag. This also makes getting your items out for your first shower after birth, much easier to find for your partner or midwife.
Moreover, it is important to consider the length of stay you’ll be having at the hospital to make sure that you’ve packed enough clothes and supplies to last the duration of the stay. It is always better to have more, than to run out. However, if you live close by the hospital your partner or a family member can always drop your clothes if you need more or items that you may have forgotten.
suggested items to make the hospital stay more comfortable
To make your hospital stay more comfortable make sure to pack comfortable clothes that are soft and loose fitting for yourself. This may include trackies, pyjamas, robes and slippers, maternity bras and maternity underwear.
After birth, most women continue wearing their maternity clothes as they’re more comfortable and supportive. Consider wearing postpartum specific compression tights as these can help you feel supported and maximise your healing afterbirth.
Another way to help you feel more comfortable in the hospital is to bring your own pillow and/or a favourite blanket. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a warm, soft blanket from home and your own comfy pillow!
Finally, travel size toiletries such as the b.box bath + skincare minis, are the perfect way to have good quality products that make you feel refreshed and more at home. Using the b.box body minis means that you know you are using products that are all natural, Australian made and smell delicious. Thus, giving you that little taste of luxury while still in the hospital.
setting up the baby care station
When it comes to changing your baby, having your supplies at arm’s reach makes a world of difference, and can even prevent you getting wee’d on!! Keeping your supplies in a caddie on top of the change table or in the top drawer of your change table can help to keep your supplies organised. You can also keep each item labelled so that it is easy to find and restock, especially in the middle of the night.
Here are some must haves for your changing table:
recommendations for bath time necessities and baby grooming
Bath time is one of the most special moments that you can have with your baby. Turning your bath time together into a bonding opportunity can really help you both enjoy this time together.
When your baby is a newborn, it is recommended to hold them in the bath or shower rather than using bath aids, because they don’t have neck control at this age. As your baby gets older if you prefer you can get bath seats or bath aids to help you however, your baby always needs to be in direct supervision when they are in or around water.
When using bath products use b.box body cleanse in your baby’s bath leaves your baby’s skin silky smooth without using any harsh chemicals. cleanse contains all natural ingredients such as aloe vera, green tea and Kakadu plum to seal in the moisture in baby’s skin. If baby’s skin is appearing dry you can add in the b.box body nourish which is a bath and body oil free of nasties (meaning it can be used from birth) and perfect for helping with dry or irritated skin.
After the bath, use b.box body hydrate to give baby a relaxing, yet moisturising massage. This natural moisturiser, will leave your baby’s skin soft and replenished all while you enjoy a beautiful massage together.
creating a feeding area and stocking up on feeding essentials.
Creating a feeding area within your nursery can help make feeding times more convenient and efficient. Here are some steps to help you set up a feeding area:
learning and educating
attending childbirth and parenting classes
Birth education has been shown to help empower new parents with confidence in their options for labour, birth and their parenting journey.
Through education, new parents gain the confidence they need in their body and their parenting ability, thus helping them to be active in their birthing experience which has been shown to improve birth outcomes for families. Therefore, making the transition to parenthood a smooth and enjoyable one while you create a supportive network of other parents-to-be.
Most parenting classes will cover what to expect during the stages of labour, what your options for pain relief are, medical interventions, postnatal care, breastfeeding and how to care for your newborn.
It can be daunting trying to find birth classes you can trust. Independent birth classes will often give you more of the available options and may be more up to date with current research than hospital-based classes which may be bound by policies. When looking for birth classes in your area, look for birth classes run by registered midwives or registered health professionals (like physios), these are often up to date with the highest level of evidence and build in lived experiences as well.
The One Mama Midwife Antenatal Classes are a reputable birth classes run by an Endorsed Midwife and Mum of 4 in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney. These classes cover everything you need about how to cope through each stage of labour, all of your available pain relief options, what happens when things don’t go to plan, how to advocate for yourself, how to maximise your healing during the postpartum period, breastfeeding, bottle feeding as well as in depth information about baby sleep and caring for your baby.
When looking at birth and parenting information online, always make sure the information is coming from a proper source such as a government website and recognised organisational body. That way, you know that the information is up to date, and you can trust it. The same goes for any books that you are choosing to read about pregnancy, labour, birth and parenting. Always look for books that are written by qualified health professionals in that area.
When looking at online support groups, blogs and forums always look at the person who has written the information and consider how accurate that information might be. Often support groups has a lot of bias information and not a lot of evidence-based information, therefore it may not be an accurate source of information for you.
Evidence-based information means any information that is accurate and reliable because it has been formed from scientific studies, clinical trials and expert consensus. This information is free from opinion and bias. Relying on information that is backed by the best available evidence can help you make informed decisions about your care and parenting, positively impact the health and the well-being of you and your baby and ensure that the safety of you and your baby is paramount.
In conclusion, preparing for the arrival of your baby is an exciting and transformative time in your life. Throughout this blog, we have discussed key points to help you navigate this journey with confidence and joy.
Firstly, we highlighted the importance of organising and setting up the nursery. Creating a functional and safe space for your baby is crucial. Choosing versatile and easy-to-clean furniture, utilizing vertical storage solutions, and following safety guidelines ensure a practical and secure environment.
Next, we emphasised the essential items for the nursery, including a bassinet, cot, change table, chest of drawers, and more. These items, along with proper bedding and a calming atmosphere, contribute to a comfortable and soothing space for your little one.
We also discussed the significance of emotional and physical preparation for a positive postpartum experience. Addressing common fears and anxieties, managing stress, building a support network, and seeking professional help when needed are essential for nurturing your emotional well-being. Taking care of your physical health through a healthy diet, exercise routine, and regular prenatal care is vital for both you and your baby.
Lastly, we provided tips for packing your hospital bag and setting up the baby care station. By organising and labelling your supplies, packing comfortable and necessary items for your hospital stay, and creating a well-equipped changing table, you can ensure a smoother transition into parenthood.
Finally, as you embark on this incredible chapter of your life, remember to take your time, be patient, and seek support. Preparation and self-care play a crucial role in ensuring a positive postpartum experience. Embrace the knowledge and tools shared in this blog and enjoy the journey of preparing for your baby's arrival.
Written By Lauren Brenton
Endorsed Midwife and Founder of One Mama Midwife Pty Ltd
I’m Loz and I’m an Endorsed Midwife who runs Antenatal Classes in the Sutherland Shire. I have completed a Bachelor of Midwifery and a Master of Midwifery. My favourite area is in the labour ward, this is where you can find me most days. One Mama Midwife came about in the height of Covid in 2020, when so many women were missing out on the chance to have antenatal education. Aimed at empowering you with the tools you require to have the pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey that you want to have, with advice and recommendations you can trust.