Whether you’re pregnant already or trying to conceive, it’s a great idea to mentally prepare for a baby so that you’re ready for this huge change in your life.
Welcoming a baby is a happy and truly life-changing experience, however it can also be extremely tiring, draining and stressful.
For that reason it’s a good idea to go into this overhaul of your life with your eyes wide open.
A baby will have an impact on every part of your life, from work to your relationship and friendships.
But there are many things you can do to mentally prepare for a baby and it’s never too late, or too soon, to get started.
Check out these top tips and let me know if you have any of your own!
Mindfulness is all about living in the moment. It can be a huge help when it comes to dealing with anxiety, stress and big life changes.
Having a baby can be an extremely mentally overwhelming experience. You’ll also be sleep deprived and adjusting to a huge change in your life. There’s a lot of worry that goes hand-in-hand with being a parent too.
So mindfulness is a fantastic way to help you deal with that stress and worry.
If you can start mindfulness before your baby arrives, then you’ll have a great coping mechanism for when things get tough.
The practice encourages you to focus on right now, where you are and what you are doing, which can help you stop worrying about tiny details, or what’s going to happen tonight and tomorrow.
Make the most of this time before baby
Enjoy the spare time that you have before the baby arrives. This includes spending time with your closest friends and your partner.
You may want to draw up a list of things that will be difficult to do once the baby arrives and try to tick them off during your pregnancy or while you are trying to conceive.
This could include things like going to the cinema, a nice holiday, meals out, day trips and simple movie days at home.
Make the most of this time to relax and destress before the baby comes.
Get your finances in order
One of the biggest causes of anxiety and worry after having a baby will be finances. Whatever you plan to do about work after giving birth, it will be a huge help when mentally preparing for a baby if you can get your finances in order.
Take a look at what pay you will receive for maternity leave. Calculate your costs after the baby is born, including the extra expenses for nappies, wipes and big purchases you may need to make such as a buggy.
Figure out what money you will need to cover your time off from work, and talk to your other half about how you will balance everything.
Doing this and making a financial plan before the baby arrives, will help to take pressure off the financial stress and worry ahead of time. Planning ahead also means you can start to save now, so that you have a little rainy day money.
Give yourself a reality check
Yes having a baby is magical and beautiful and so many wonderful things. However it’s also an enormous commitment, and not easy at all.
Being a mother may not come naturally to you. You may sometimes feel completely over your head.
Part of relaxing into your role as a mother is accepting that sometimes you won’t get it right. Accept that you will struggle some days.
If you know ahead of time that this journey will be tough at times, then you will not be quite so surprised, and therefore less stressed out, when you hit those bumps in the road.
Spend time with other parents
Part of mentally preparing for a baby should be spending time around other babies and parents as much as you can.
By doing this you can see what you’re really letting yourself in for.
If you’re someone who tends not to be naturally maternal around other people’s babies, do not let that put you off or worry you. This is no reflection of how you yourself will be as a mother. Dealing with your own baby’s vomit is totally different to dealing with another person’s child and their vomit.
You will love your baby in a way that you cannot imagine before they arrive.
Be open and honest with your partner
Speak to your partner about your worries when it comes to the baby. In order to mentally prepare for your baby, is there any promises or plans you can agree together in order to make the baby’s arrival easier?
Think about who will deal with night feeds and who will handle the house work after the baby arrives. If you can agree now to shoulder certain burdens, then you will hit the ground running once the baby has arrived.
KonMari your entire home
This is a practical and a psychological way of preparing for a baby.
By decluttering and reorganising your home, you will be able to keep rooms in better order, tidy away easier, find things quicker and you will feel happier about the state of your house.
By making practical and visual changes to your home, you will find it easier to mentally cope with the huge changes of having a baby.
Arm yourself with information
Read as much about the practical side of having a baby as you can. This way, you will mentally relax at the prospect of your baby coming.
Think about what issues, both practical and otherwise, that you are worried about when it comes to caring for the baby.
If you’re unsure about what products to use on their skin, read up on baby skincare. If you’re not sure about how to bathe a baby, watch some videos on YouTube, If you want to breastfeed, get a breastfeeding guide book or watch some videos of other mothers latching on their babies.
Research and read up as much as you can.
Be braced for the unexpected
Find a way to mentally accept that no matter how much you organise the nursery, yourself and your life, you may not be able to keep total control over everything.
If you can accept that sometimes the unexpected will happen, then you will feel so much less stressed when it does.
I hope these tips were useful! You may also want to check out my post about preparing every room of your house for baby.