Your baby is almost here! Are you ready?
WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the nine long months, and the worst is just beginning! Just kidding, having your baby home with you brings untold joy, more so if you’ve prepared yourself for what is to come.
Packing for the Trip Home
Everyone knows you need to pack for your time in the hospital before you go into labour, but don’t forget to include what you need for your trip home in that bag! A set of clean, comfortable clothes is needed to leave the hospital in. You won’t lose your pregnancy belly for a few weeks yet, so pack something loose and comfortable. Your baby also needs clothes to go home in. Don’t swaddle him in too many layers. In sunny Singapore, light baby clothes will more than do the job.
Get Your Car Ready
If you’re driving home, your newborn will need to be placed into a car seat, and in Singapore, this is required by law. Contrary to popular belief, your newborn is safer in a car seat than he is in your arms, especially if you’re sitting in the co-passenger seat next to your hubby or the driver. Upon impact, the airbag that bursts into the front seat can kill a newborn.
Car seats, baby carriers and bassinets come with a 3-point or 5-point harness with straps that run across baby’s body snugly, thus designed to hold the child in place safely, while baby’s hands remain free.
In general, experts agree that a rear-facing car seat is the safest option. According to SafetyBeltSafe USA, “children under age two are 75 per cent less likely to be killed or suffer severe injuries in a crash if they are riding rear-facing rather than forward facing. In fact, for children one to two years of age, facing the rear is five times safer.”
Don’t worry about waiting till your baby arrives to buy the car seat. Infant car seats will usually fit your newborn unless he is unusually tiny. If you like, buy one with a return policy to set your mind at ease.
Babyproofing the Apartment
Even though you have some time till your baby starts to crawl, you’re better off babyproofing your apartment before your baby arrives than after. Don’t underestimate how much of your time will be spent attending to your baby once he is born. Secure any furniture or items that may tip over once he starts trying to pull herself up to stand. Cover sharp edges that may poke out your baby’s eye or anything that may scratch or hurt him if he bumps into it. Get rid of small magnets or display items that can be swallowed and cover up all electrical sockets – a child’s finger very nicely fits into it. Remove or tie away any dangling ropes and strings – such as cords for the blinds – or cords that lay across the floor that can strangle your baby.
Treat Yourself – in Advance
In the sleep-deprived chaos of having your baby home with you for the first time, little luxuries like bubble baths, scented candles, aromatherapy scents or expensive chocolate will make all the difference. It won’t be a priority by this time to get them; all the more reason to stock up before baby arrives so you can reach for them in a quiet moment. Your new-mum body will thank you for your forward thinking when you zone out for fifteen minutes of much-needed bubble bath bliss.