Expecting a Baby in the New Year? Here Are 8 Tips for How to Prepare

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Dec 27

Allegro Pediatrics

Expecting a Baby in the New Year? Here Are 8 Tips for How to Prepare

by Allegro Pediatrics

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Whether it's your first or your fourth, finding out you're expecting a baby is an exciting time filled with anticipation, questions, and lots of preparation for the new arrival. Make welcoming your new baby easier with these eight tips.

1. Prioritize self-care

Infants need round-the-clock care, and while your efforts will be focused on your new baby, it's crucial not to neglect yourself. Make your own health a priority by keeping up with your doctor appointments, eating healthy, getting necessary vaccines, sleeping as much as possible, and staying active.

2. Set up a support system

A support system can help you avoid burnout and even postpartum depression. Identify who you can rely on, such as trusted family and friends, before the baby arrives and ask for help when you need it. You can also contact the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program at (800) 841-1410 and find more community resources on our Allegro Pediatrics Helpful Links page.

3. Prepare a safe sleeping space

Safe sleep recommendations have changed over the last few decades, so it's important to make sure you communicate with your pediatrician who will provide recommendations for your baby's sleeping space.

  • Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back
  • Crib slats should be less than 2 3/8 inches apart
  • No drop-side cribs
  • No bumper pads
  • No loose bedding or soft objects, like pillows and blankets
  • Use a firm crib mattress
  • Don't let your baby regularly sleep in a car seat or other sitting device
  • Don't cover your baby's head or dress them in layers; this will help to avoid overheating

4. Put baby to sleep nearby but alone

It is recommended that your baby sleep in the same room as you, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing) for at least the first 6 months.

5. Check the car seat

Babies should always be in a rear-facing infant car seat in the back seat of the car. It's best to install the seat in the middle, if possible. Always follow the weight and height recommendations from the car seat manufacturer. It’s very important to install the car seat properly. You can call 1.866.SEAT.CHECK or visit seatcheck.org to get tips on installing your car seat correctly, and some local fire and police stations run free car seat checks, too.

6. Make home safety checks

A hot shower may feel amazing after a long day, but having your hot water heater set too high can be a burn risk for your child. The water heater temperature should be set below 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and always test the water before putting your child in it.

Fire hazards are real, and it's important to take steps to protect your family. Before you bring your baby home, make sure to have working smoke detectors installed on every floor and near every bedroom. It is best to keep a backup supply of batteries handy, so you can change them every 6 months. A carbon monoxide detector is also a good idea near any source of natural gas, like a stove or dryer. Lastly, protect your baby from the dangers of secondhand smoke by not letting anyone smoke or vape near your child or in your home or car.

7. Take a new class — or a refresher

If this is your first child, taking a childbirth or baby care class through your local hospital or La Leche League can help you prepare for what to expect after the baby arrives. Even if you have been through the birth and infant care process before, taking a refresher course or learning infant CPR is a good idea.

8. Build a relationship with your pediatrician

Children have different health care needs than adults, and it's important to find a pediatrician you can trust. At Allegro Pediatrics, we have more than 90 experienced and dedicated pediatricians on staff. We offer complimentary "get-to-know-you" visits, so you can make sure that the doctor is a good fit for your family and is someone you can build a long-term relationship with. Call (425) 827-4600 to find out more or to schedule a visit.