By Bianca Carter
HAVING a baby is going to change your life in so many beautiful ways. The moment you find out you’re pregnant you enter a totally different world, constantly bombarded with information, physical and emotional changes and a new type of worry.
Pregnancy is a journey like any other, filled with highs and lows, but beautifully amazing nonetheless. With having to decide on lots of things before baby arrives, here are a few things you shouldn’t do before baby.
- Find out your baby’s gender
Coming from a woman that found out both of her children’s gender before they were born, trust me, hindsight is 20/20.
I always poo poo’d the idea of not finding out the gender, because firstly, I’m so impatient and waiting nine months for anything is practically torture for me, and secondly, I’m a little bit of a planning freak.
I don’t really leave too much to chance. I guess I’m kind of a control nut; never allowing myself to be surprised that often. I’m too busy planning the world to appreciate the beauty of just letting things be and happen with elegance and grace. Trust me, you control freaks out there like me, you’re going to want to wait on this one. My brother and his wife decided not to find out the gender of their baby (yes, it was torture for the Auntie). They said life has far too little good surprises so they wanted to wait. So we all waited a long nine months, but on the day my little bitty was born, it was the most exciting and exhilarating event just waiting to hear the doctor say, “It’s a boy”!
- Pick out a name
This is so common for couples to do nowadays, and a lot of the time if it’s a boy the baby is named after the father.
But if you don’t have any long-standing naming traditions, I would suggest you wait. I had a few names picked out for my youngest child. I was convinced that she should have an elegant and regal name, so I was leaning towards Victoria. But when she was born, so small and cute, I just knew I would weigh her down with a name so heavy. She was calm and sweet and I needed to find a name that matched her perfectly. Thank goodness I didn’t seal the deal with Victoria. I still love the name, but it just didn’t match my daughter. Be open to waiting to see and feel out your baby’s personality before you name them.
- Put the nursery and pre-prep off
Thinking you’re going to have time when you are on maternity leave to sort out the baby’s room is very unrealistic. Unless you gave birth to a baby that sleeps on command round the clock (which is impossible by the way), you will be left very frustrated and even more exhausted.
Some people don’t have an entire room to dedicate to baby, but you at least want to be prepared by having the baby crib or cot set up, washed and ready for when the baby arrives. It’s one less thing you have to be concerned about. Trust me, it’s a beautiful thing. Once it’s done, you’re all set.
- Sleep while you can
This tip that seems to get into the heads of all pregnant women just boggles me. The idea that you can “stock up” on sleep to use it, much like a camel uses the water it’s stored up in its hump, is very misleading.
Sure, you are more tired and normal and everyday tasks become challenging and exhausting, which is completely normal seeing that you are carrying a little human on the inside. You do need to rest and take your time when you are pregnant, especially the closer you get to delivery, but you don’t need to sleep for hours and hours any time you can. You’re still going to be exhausted when baby comes; you’re not going to be getting your normal quota of sleep and you will have to get up a lot more often.
Sleeping your way through pregnancy will not give you anymore “rest points” when your baby is here. In fact, many things done and pre-planned before baby arrives will give you extra rest time when baby is here. Cooking and storing for example will allow you to rest more after the baby comes.
- Stockpile tiny little baby clothes
It is so incredibly fun to buy all of the cute little baby onesies you see, but remember that babies grow so fast. A big mistake I made when having my first child was stocking up on tonnes of onesies; there were some he didn’t even wear.
Also, bear in mind that the newborn size may be too small even from birth as many babies are born bigger than six pounds. Buy a few in different sizes, and even if you need a few more, you can always go and get them.
Love and hugs!
• Bianca Carter is a certified lactation counselor, founder of Bun in the Oven, and weekend radio personality on Y98 radio. For more information, e-mail her at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow BITO on Facebook at babybunintheoven, and check out the BITO Blog every Monday and Thursday at http://babybunintheoven.com.