Preparing for a Healthy Baby

It’s always been said that baby’s run on their own time, so for an expectant mother eagerly awaiting their newborn’s arrival, the excitement of waiting and guessing for labor needs an outlet. The best an expectant mother can do is to keep her home and body prepared so that when the baby finally makes his/her debut, mom can go into the delivery room relaxed and ready.

When it comes to making preparations, it’s a good idea to start with the basics. Everyone needs food, clothing and a warm bed in which to sleep; a newborn is no different. Fortunately, these needs are all things that a mother can have ready ahead of time.

The cost of clothing for a baby varies widely and can be purchased anywhere from high-end stores to second-hand stores. Most new parents overbuy and are left with many adorable newborn outfits that were barely or never worn. There are, however, clothing items that can almost never be overstocked: pajamas with feet, one-piece baby shirts, and socks. Mothers should keep in mind that babies grow quickly, and newborn clothing will be worn for a very short time so be careful when you’re stocking the nursery to not over-purchase.

Where to put a baby to sleep is a subject of great debate. This is a largely personal choice, although one thing is clear. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports on the “Back to Sleep” campaign, which advocates having your baby sleep on their back with nothing in the crib, has reduced the number of SIDS cases by 50%. Other than that, mothers may choose to purchase a crib for their baby or use a co-sleeping arrangement. Mothers who breastfeed often find it easier to sleep with the baby nearby so they can nurse in bed; however, this can be a difficult habit to break as the child gets older.

A baby is usually ready to eat soon after delivery. A mother’s options are breastfeeding and formula feeding. Both options will provide the baby with the necessary nutrients so it comes down to your personal preference. Since baby formula is shelf-stable for up to a year, mothers can stock up ahead of time. However, it is not a good idea to buy a lot unless it can be exchanged easily since a baby can be placed on a special formula due to allergies or lactose intolerance. Bottles can be purchased ahead of time as well.

While it is best to prepare for all of the necessary physical items ahead of time, it’s also smart to analyze your choices available to you regarding the health of your baby. If you’re having a boy, there is the option of circumcision. Speak to your doctor to learn more about the benefits and how the procedure is performed there. Another optional choice no matter what the sex of your newborn is cord blood banking. Cord blood banking involves collecting cord blood following delivery and having it stored as a potential medical resource for your family. The stem cells found in cord blood can be used in the treatment of a number of diseases.

No matter when a baby decides that the delivery day will be, his mother can be prepared for his basic needs by considering these tips.