10 things to do to prepare for baby

Chris Gill July 09, 2020
10 Tips to Prepare Baby's Arrival in Serenity

Last updated: 4th February 2019

We all know how exciting it is preparing for a baby to arrive. But of course, it can be exhausting and overwhelming too. If you’ve seen the movie What to Expect When You're Expecting, then you’ll know that everyone copes differently and there is no right or wrong.

But don't worry – we've got you covered on all the top things to do to prepare for baby.

To make your transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible, our newborn checklist has ten simple tips that apply to any expecting mum. From things to do before baby comes to how to prepare your home for when you return, we’re sure you’ll feel more relaxed after ticking this list off.

Things to do before baby arrives

1. Make sure baby’s room is ready

None of us like a disorganised bedroom and the same goes for your baby. Ensure you have enough bedding, sheets and a mattress protector. Do a test run with the baby monitor and safety check all electrical cords and smoke alarms in the room and house. Choose whether you’re going to go with biodegradable nappies or reusable ones and have a disposing system that’s efficient and eco-friendly.

2. Get the wheels moving

Train yourself up to be ready to use a stroller, baby car seat, baby carrier and baby wrap. It might feel silly at first, but will be less stressful when you do those quick trips to get your morning coffee or head to the shops.

3. Stock up on pantry staples

We can't stress enough how important it is to do a big grocery shop. You'll seriously thank yourself for this later. Or, if resting on the couch sounds more tempting, order online from your supermarket or your local grocer and get it delivered. Stock up on pantry staples and nutritional snacks you can easily grab or cook up when you feel hungry.

4. Ensure your baby’s wardrobe is ready

Make sure bub’s clothes are neatly organised and compartmentalised for quick and easy changes. Have plenty of soft and breathable base layers including baby singlets and bodysuits. Onesies are your best option to use as both pyjamas and for everyday wear, especially for the first few months. Our range of eco baby bamboo wear is thermo-regulating and hypoallergenic, so baby feels comfortable.

Wrapping baby will help your bub feel secure and fall asleep.

Swaddling baby in a stretchy wrap will help your bub feel secure and fall asleep faster.

During your stay at the hospital

5. Get loved ones to stock up

Ask Dad for a helpful hand by filling up the fridge and freezer for a week with fresh produce and lots of fruit and vegetables. You’re going to need as much nutritional energy as possible when you’re feeding and running on less sleep.

6. Get the house cleaned

Treat yourself to a cleaner or ask a super-helpful family member to come in and do a thorough house clean. From dusting and vacuuming to mopping and checking the nursery one last time, you'll sleep sounder knowing the house is tidy upon your return.

Things to do once you're home

7. Limit visits

Your phone will more than likely be beeping constantly with messages from family and friends who will want to visit. Send a message before the baby is born to all family and friends asking them to keep in mind the first few weeks will be busy and you will contact them when you’re ready for visits. If you have certain people that are extremely helpful and will want to cook and clean for you so you can spend more time with the baby, they’re the kind of people you will want around more often.

It’s also a good idea to spread out visits, set a timeframe and notify people before they come over. Kindly suggest something like "2 pm would be a great time to pop in before the baby goes to sleep at 3 pm". This way you’re not awkwardly asking people to leave.

8. Ask your friends and family for help

Some family and friends will want to dive straight in and help you – let them. Others will step back and wait for you to ask for their help, so don’t be afraid to speak up.

Anything from laundry, cooking, running to the shops, cleaning, looking after other siblings or simply just being there for you to have a chat. Remember, that’s what family and friends are for.

9. When baby sleeps, parents sleep too

Sleep is just as necessary for you and Dad as it is for the baby. Get the adequate rest you need so your bonding time is more special as a family. This is a handy excuse for when you need visitors to leave as well.

10. Plan a visit from a midwife

Book a visit from a midwife so they can assist you in the comfort and familiarity of your home. This enables you to ask any questions, have both you and bub checked up on for any medical symptoms and practise sleeping and eating techniques.

Bonus tips

When the baby cries, don’t panic. Adopt this quick checklist:

  • Is your baby hungry? 
  • Is your baby’s nappy dirty? 
  • Is your baby having tummy pains or diarrhoea? 
  • Is your baby tired? 
  • Does your baby need a hug? 

Whether it’s your first or fourth time, follow your instincts and remember — you’ve got this. For any last minute super soft and eco-friendly baby clothes, shop our bamboo babywear collection.

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How to swaddle a baby in a muslin wrap


How to swaddle a baby in a muslin wrap

Whether you’re asking yourself ‘what are muslin wraps used for?’, ‘how to swaddle a newborn’ or ‘when to stop swaddling baby’, we’re bringing you a step by step lowdown with pictures. What are muslin wraps used for? If you’re totally new to the muslin wraps game, don’t worry. Many of us have been there. And, while you might already know about swaddling a baby, what you might not realise is there are plenty of other ways to use muslin wraps in your little one’s early days. Feeding If you’re feeding while on the go, a muslin wrap is a great cover to stop bub getting distracted. Tuck the muslin into your bra strap and place the soft fabric across bub’s cheek to keep them safe and comfy. Note: Always ensure there’s an opening to allow fresh air to flow through. Burping Aside from swaddling, burping is one of the most popular uses for the muslin wrap. The soft, thick and absorbent fabric will make sure whatever you’re wearing stays clean when you pat your little bambino gently on the back. Teething Not everyone knows this, but a muslin wrap can even be used as a teether! How does that work, we hear you ask? Simple. Just freeze a small cube of breast milk, or boiled water if your bub is a bit older, wrap it in a muslin, twist the ends to hold in place and let your little teething tot chew away. Swaddling Last but not least, muslin wraps are used to swaddle baby to sleep. Muslin wraps tend to be light and flexible, so bub doesn’t overheat, and firm enough to allow your little one to feel comfy and safe. But how exactly do you swaddle with a muslin wrap? We take a look at how to swaddle with the best swaddling technique. How to swaddle a baby with a muslin wrap Ok, so it’s time to get down to some safe swaddling. First things first, you need to lay the muslin wrap out in a diamond shape. Once you’ve done this, fold the top corner down roughly a quarter. Then, place bub on the turned corner so that the corners of the muslin spread out from bub’s arms. Next, hold your little bambino's right arm down at their side. Pull the muslin over that arm, across the body. If bub is much smaller than the muslin, roll them to the side to smooth the rest of the muslin across the back. The muslin needs to be tight, but baby should still be able to bend their waist. Note: always make sure their hips are free to move. Hold down bub’s left arm before pulling the bottom corner up and tucking it under their left shoulder. Move the right corner over your little treasure's body before finally pulling it firm by placing them on their side and wrapping the excess around the back. The results? You’ll know when bub quickly falls asleep. So, what sort of swaddle products should you be looking for? Well, bamboo is the perfect fabric for swaddling as it’s ultra soft and durable. Our feather-light muslin wraps are crafted in 100% bamboo viscose, a fabric that features an open weave for ultimate breathability. Although delicate, these bamboo swaddles can stand up to all the required laundering, while their superior absorbency makes them an essential for all new parents. Or, as pictured above, you could use our Stretch Jersey Wrap as an alternative to the muslin wrap. Double it over, wrap, pull firm, and tuck the ends in well to trap even the squirmiest of kids. It works a charm for little Houdinis! But when is it time to stop swaddling? When to stop swaddling baby It’s important to note that you can stop swaddling your baby whenever you feel it’s best. While most people use swaddling during the newborn stage, before phasing it out around three or four months, it’s also common for babies to be swaddled when they’re six to nine months old. Most babies will begin to reject swaddling at a certain age, although not all. That said, the average age to stop swaddling bub is roughly three or four months. Newborns are born with the Moro reflex — a startle reflex — and most babies don’t outgrow it until they’re four or five months old. For this reason, be careful when stopping the swaddle too early. If your baby’s Moro reflex is still strong, they may startle themselves awake at night and during nap time. If your baby is able to break free of their swaddle, this doesn’t always mean that it’s time to stop swaddling. But if bub is persistently breaking free of their swaddle each night, it’s either time to stop swaddling or switch to a safer muslin wrap. Warning: Never allow babies to sleep face down. If your baby is rolling over onto their tummy while they sleep, it’s time to stop swaddling. Safety must always be top of mind when it comes to swaddling your baby! Although swaddling for sleep is generally all good, it’s important you don’t swaddle your little one all day long. Babies also need to move freely so they can develop their gross motor skills and become stronger. How to stop swaddling baby Some babies aren’t dependent on swaddling for comfort, making them much easier to stop the process. Other babies, however, can become very dependent on swaddling to help them sleep — making weaning them away from their cosy muslin wraps much harder. If your bub has become dependent on their swaddle to sleep, it’s probably time to stop! We recommend gradually easing your little one off their swaddle. Begin by leaving one arm or leg unswaddled, before moving on to both arms or legs. Before you know it, you’ll have reached a stage where your little bambino isn’t being swaddled at all. So, there you have it, newbie parents. It’s time to start swaddling!

How to cope with a new baby during COVID-19


How to cope with a new baby during COVID-19

Bringing your baby home from the hospital can be a surreal experience. There is a great deal of tears (from baby and parents), laughter, cooing, and chaos. But you don’t have to do it all by yourself – there are often family members and friends lining up to help you. At least, this was the case until 2020. With Victoria currently locked down and the threat of the second wave of the pandemic looming over the rest of Australia, isolation has become more important than ever. Of course, if you have a new baby at home, this can be easier said than done. In addition to handling your responsibilities as a new parent, you are also having to cope with the realities of parenting during COVID-19.  This can leave new parents feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Even if you have older children (which brings with it different challenges such as what’s being posted across social media), the idea of bringing up younger children during a pandemic is enough to put pressure on any parent. If parenting during COVID-19 is something that you’re struggling to do, here are some top tips to help you out during this difficult time.  Make sure you’re splitting duties  Before the outbreak, it was easy to get help from willing family members and friends. At the very least, you had a grandparent or two willing to hold the baby while you took a shower or ran some errands. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible anymore – new parents are on their own. Needless to say, this can lead to you feeling overwhelmed, since you have to juggle quite a bit more. So, how can you cope in this instance? Here, it is all about the division of labour. You and your partner should be equally sharing responsibilities. This way, the work gets cut in half. Not to mention, you will have a lot more time to spend together as well.  Take care of yourself  Whether it is the demands of being a new parent or the worries regarding COVID-19, it can be easy to stop taking care of yourself. You may not eat proper meals or fail to exercise on a regular basis. Not only can these bad habits compromise your health, but it can also have a negative impact on your mental health.  So, start by planning out your meals a little better. Not in the mood to cook? Look for healthy foods that you can whip up quickly, maybe even without turning your stove on. Keep the processed foods to a minimum and load up on fruits and vegetables instead.  If you can get some fresh air and exercise, do try to manage this. Take the proper precautions to wear a mask and ensure that your baby is well-protected to. Carry hand sanitiser and check that no one comes to close to you and your little one. You should also exercise indoors as well. Take a portable bed or cot and keep your little one beside you. Then, workout as needed. It will make you feel a whole lot better.  Look for online healthcare support It is natural to freak out about how your baby is doing as a new parent. Every sneeze or too-long cry can seem suspicious. To ensure that your baby is in peak health, accumulate a number of online healthcare contacts. This could be a paediatrician, pediatric nurse, or even a doula.  Just have someone that you can call or message if you have any questions. This way, you will be able to put your mind at ease and take some of the stress out of being a new baby. Remember that if you have serious concerns, though, it is best to take your baby to a hospital.  Social distancing doesn’t mean an end to socialising  The main problem with isolating during the pandemic is the feelings of isolation that come along with it! This can increase when you have a new baby. After all, this was supposed to be a time for you to show off your little one to family members and friends. Thus, you may feel especially removed from those closest to you, particularly your parents. Well, just because you need to partake in social distancing doesn’t mean that the socialising has to come to a total stop. Use technology to keep you with the people in your life. This is particularly important for new grandparents. They can often feel like they are missing out and may feel rather down about it. Video calls on a regular basis, however, can make them feel more involved.  These calls can be detrimental for your sanity as well. Talking to people – especially ones that haven’t thrown up on you that day – can act as a stress reliever. You can voice concerns, talk about any issues you may be facing, or simply gossip!  These are all the ways that you can cope as a new parent during the pandemic. It will be tough, but this is definitely something that you will be able to manage and get through.  Written by Chathurika Kahavita