Some things to think about as you start preparing for baby’s arrival.
1. Get your baby’s car seat ready
Choose the right child car seat for your baby and car and ensure you know how to fit it correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Child car seats are divided into different categories, according to weight. Any child under 36kg and 150cm should be restrained in an appropriate child restraint. It is important to ensure that you have a properly fitted child restraint in your vehicle to suit your child’s weight and height. This prevents the child from being thrown about inside or ejected from the vehicle during an accident. It also absorbs some of the impact force. According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) an appropriate child restraint is one which: ° Bears an E mark (meaning that it meets United Nations Standard ECE Regulation 44 03 or 44 04); ° Is suitable for the child’s weight and height; ° Is suitable for the type of car; ° Is fitted correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
It is safer to fit the seat in the back seat of your car, but if necessary they can be fitted in the front. But, NEVER fit a rearward-facing baby seat in the front if there is an active airbag on the passenger side of the car. Go to www.rsa.ie/childsafetyincars
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone you know wants to help in some way or another so don’t be afraid to ask for help. My grandmother kindly made me a pot of stew. It was great we had dinner and lunches sorted for two days!”
2. Prepare your home
Ensure the house will be warm and clean when you get home. If you didn’t get a chance to dust and vacuum before you went into hospital, get your partner, a friend or family member to give the house a once-over, especially the areas you and your baby will be inhabiting. You will feel a lot better returning to a clean house and it will leave you time to spend with your baby and rest where possible.
3. Stock up on food supplies
If you get a burst of energy before you go into hospital, it is a great idea to make up some tasty nutritious dishes for the freezer. Casseroles, quiches, pasta sauces and soups are just some of the nutritious dishes that are great to have made up in advance.
4. Get all baby’s clothing, nappies, and equipment ready
Be sure and wash all baby clothes, bedding, towels and washcloths in non-biological liquid detergent before using. If you are unsure what to buy in advance, stick to a list of what you really need. Babies’ requirements are very simple, despite the sometimes dizzying array of ‘must-haves’ in the shops.
5. Home support
If you are a single parent or your partner is not able to be at home, try to arrange for family members or friends to come and help you out with practical chores such as shopping, cleaning and cooking. Online grocery shopping will help avoid tiring trips to busy supermarkets. Try to organise things so that your visitors don’t all arrive at once – ask them to call in advance and to make their own tea or coffee – and accept all offers of help. If you have had a C-section, you are likely to need a little extra assistance so that you can look after your baby.
And finally – don’t forget about YOU. Put those feet up and get as much rest as possible!