Everyone reacts differently when you find out you’re pregnant.
The typical and more responsible are happy and can’t wait for the baby to come.
Some didn’t plan for it to happen but congratulations, you’re about to bring someone into this world.
Then there are those babies having babies that don’t even know how to wipe their own behinds.
Whatever the case may be, we all need to prepare for the baby’s arrival.
Mom has to take those vitamins, visit the doctor, and all that good stuff that you can find on Parents.com.
However, just like everything else in parenting, everyone forgets about the dad.
Little do they know that dad has a lot more to worry about than you think.
Maybe not worry but there is a huge load that he must take on or things won’t sail smoothly.
Dads are just as important but most aren’t prepared.
No one ever is but I’m sure you will at least get a jump start on knowing what you will need.
This is Exactly How You Prepare For a New Baby
Well, there are two ways I recommend.
One, you follow this little checklist or two, you wing it and enjoy the ride like every other parent has done.
I like the latter but if I was to get some advice when I had my first child, this is exactly what I would say.
What comes to mind when you think of preparing for a baby?
For me, it’s the house.
To others, it’s the financial craziness that consumes you completely and that is very much very important.
However, I’m not a fan of stress, especially if it’s something beyond your control.
You age faster than you ever did and that’s only because others make you feel that way.
They have you feeling like you need this and that when you really don’t.
So before you worry about anything else, just remind yourself that everything is going to be okay, regardless of what you have or don’t have before the baby arrives.
Don’t let all the financial issues overwhelm you but rather the emotional happiness that you are about to encounter.
But to rid of some of that unwanted stress, let me show you how you can prepare for a new baby.
Remember how you jump to the internet to find out how to change that flat tire?
It might not come so naturally as a parent as things can get hectic but don’t forget what helped you through the times when you didn’t have anyone else to take care of.
Google (or any other search engine) has helped and will continue to help you with life’s problems.
Whether you are looking to become a better parent or learn how to solve a Rubix cube, Google has the answer.
No longer do you have to call mom for her bread pudding recipe as you can get it all on the internet.
The same thing goes when it comes to learning more about babies and finding the best diapers.
So put that smartphone to use and ask Google for some help instead of wasting countless hours on IG trying to see what some stranger ate for dinner.
2. Fix Yourself
Most new parents come in the form of a really immature kid.
They think they’re the best thing to happen to men and they Ummm, focus on themselves.
That’s fine for about 2 years of your adult life but don’t think that it will last forever.
Especially if you’re expecting.
You are about to bring new life into the world and you might want to change your focus.
For some dads, it will come naturally.
For others, not so much.
If you fall into the “not so much” category, you’re going to have to make some major adjustments.
This involves getting over yourself and not trying to get everything you want.
Rather, get ready to get clothes for your soon-to-be baby, and don’t expect to stop getting any either.
They will outgrow everything before you can even notice so either grab some hand-me-downs or get ready to spend.
3. Get a Better J-O-B
As a young parent, you’re probably thinking that any job is better than nothing and that’s great.
However, you need to remember that soon enough a new human will be a part of your routine.
This involves lots of appointments, feeding, and all that other good stuff that comes with being a parent.
With that being said, you should consider the type of work you’re going to be doing.
What kind of hours will you have?
Is the pay worth your valuable time?
Don’t feel obligated to work anywhere just because everyone else thinks you should.
Everyone has their two cents and they will bombard you with them like crazy.
Pick and choose wisely but think about what YOU want and not what others think.
Heck, they probably aren’t the best of parents and are probably not even around their children much.
Pay attention to who’s giving you the advice and just remember that you have a brain of your own.
So use it.
4. Get Reliable Transportation
If you don’t have a ride already, you might want to get one.
And I don’t mean a ride to the store to buy you a pack of cigarettes either.
I mean a ride of your own that you will use to take babies wherever they need to be.
I know I didn’t have my own car before I had my first child but I scooped up a nice Toyota Camry for $2,000.
It wasn’t the best ride but it took us wherever we needed to go.
Don’t focus on trying to look fancy for anyone and get something that will work best for you and your family.
Sometimes you’ll get influenced into getting a new car but think about things thoroughly before you make any final decisions.
In most cases, the new car and its monthly payments don’t fit into the budget.
5. Get Healthcare For Everyone
This is very important and something you might want to prepare the way before the baby comes.
If you don’t know how much it costs to give birth, you might want to read this article that Business Insider has provided.
It is not cheap and you don’t want to find out the hard way especially if it can be prevented.
There are all kinds of horror stories of parents and their outstanding hospital balances and I’m sure you don’t want to be one of them.
So before the baby comes (way before), you should definitely look into getting some health insurance.
Just being in a hospital room is going to cost you thousands of dollars and it’s not even close to looking like a 5-star hotel.
These things can be avoided if you do your research and plan in advance.
6. Pack a Dad Hospital Bag
I have never done this but I do think it is necessary.
Get a bag ready with the stuff you, the father will need before mom goes into labor.
Don’t worry about her as she will have everything she needs.
She will be taken care of but poor old you will be left to survive on your own.
Get ready for cold nights and a lot of uncomfortable situations.
For me, I had to sleep on a broken chair.
Call it coincidence but that was enough for me to see that no one cares about dad.
I would laugh out loud but that’s not really funny.
So before you walk into the hospital thinking you’re so cool, pack a bag with the necessities.
- Some form of entertainment
- Whatever else you like
7. Prepare For Delivery
No one is ever prepared for this part of the baby-making process.
You feel you are until shit hits the fan.
She goes into labor and you hit panic.
This time though, the panic usually comes in the form of shock and it leaves you confused.
You go with the motions and you let doc take over.
What most people don’t think about is what you will need and do.
Be prepared to put on a cap and gown but don’t be expecting a diploma.
You’re about to feel like a doctor for as long as it takes for mom to push the baby out, so get comfortable and be ready to maybe cut the umbilical cord.
Every situation is different though so hear the horror stories but don’t think that it is bound to happen to you.
Plan for the worst but at the very least, just be ready to suit up.
8. Discuss Baby Duties
The relationship between you and your other half will probably take a hit unless you’re prepared for the change that baby will bring.
Someone’s going to have to wake up to feed the baby and in most cases, it’s going to be mom.
If she isn’t breastfeeding, pitch in and wake up to make the baby’s bottle.
Get ready to walk to the kitchen with your eyes closed, just to warm up some baby milk.
Along with the feeding comes the changing of the baby’s diaper.
If you don’t know how to do that, you might want to check out this guide.
However, this kind of stuff needs a baby and some hands-on, so understand it but don’t expect to be a pro just yet.
But just like feeding, a baby will pee and poo throughout the night just like a baby should.
If that doesn’t happen, please take the baby to the clinic to make sure everything is fine.
Share this duty as well and do remember that just because the baby isn’t crying does not mean that they didn’t go.
9. Clean Everything
I’m hoping you’ve decided on where the baby is going to live once he or she gets out of the hospital.
Before the baby comes, this is a great time for you to start cleaning.
And don’t just stop there either.
Keep cleaning up until the baby comes and well, forever.
It’s great for your health, it’s great for your baby’s health, and it’s great for your overall living.
- Clean the whole bathroom
- Change the bedding regularly
- Vacuum carpets and dust out rugs
- Clean your vehicles
- Take out the trash
- And whatever else you know needs some cleaning
On top of all that cleaning, try to maintain things so you can have a much easier time when doing such chores.
Just like baby duty, share these chores with mom.
10. Get Current
No one likes bills but we tend to take them on for all the wrong reasons.
That job of ours doesn’t always seem to cut it either, which leaves us having to put some off.
If that sounds like you, today would be a great day to start thinking about getting current.
It sounds impossible to pay all your bills but try making some simple changes.
Cut down on eating out and cut down on every other leisure activity that you think is necessary.
Not only will you have more money to pay those bills but it will help you prepare financially for when you start doing real dad things.
11. Have Sex – Lots of it
I know, it sounds exciting and that’s because it is.
This is also the same reason why you’re in this mess (or great situation) to begin with.
Sure it feels great to release in your partner but it is never recommended if you’re not ready to be a parent.
The great thing about being pregnant though is the fact that you never need to worry.
However, there is going to be another human in the middle of things but that’s okay.
Having sex while she’s pregnant is actually a really good thing.
It helps with the birthing process and it draws you, mom, and baby closer.
I know you think they don’t feel anything while in there but you’ll be surprised.
Try letting them listen to some music and see what happens.
This is absolutely, positively, one very important thing that you, the dad needs to do.
If you haven’t heard of the dad bod, you might want to Google it as it’s not something you might even have a choice in.
It happens with most parents and it definitely happened with me.
It’s like I was the one that got pregnant and it was something I never saw coming.
So if you don’t want to go through the same surprise, you might want to hit the pavement and burn some calories.
For you weight lifters, you might want to focus on cardio or you will get heavier than you think.
At the end of the day, any kind of exercise is going to work and it will help you control that figure from getting sloppy.
13. Break Bad habits
For you slobs that are about to become a father, you might really want to consider taking care of yourself first.
If smoking is something you do, now would be a great time to consider quitting.
Call it an addiction or whatever excuse you want to use as to why you can’t quit but really think about things and you will see that it’s just you.
Start by looking at your network.
Chances are, most of the people you associate with are doing the same bad habits.
Smoking, vaping, being late to work, gambling, or whatever it is that YOU know is not good for you and a soon-to-be family.
I say these things not to bash but rather to share my personal experience.
I quit smoking cold turkey the same day my son was born and I have not looked back since.
Best decision I’ve ever made for me and my family and I’m sure they can agree.
And if you’re afraid of not fitting in, you’ll soon realize that those friends (specifically single ones) will soon drift away as you take on more family-type activities.
So yeah, be ready for change and a good one at that.
14. Better Hygiene
Part of the reason why I quit smoking was the fact that I was going to be around a newborn.
Not just any newborn but one that I actually own.
Washing my hands and trying to air out the smoke smell is not something I felt like doing, even if that dang stanch never goes away.
So what did I do?
I quit and focused my time and energy on being a better parent rather than being the irritating smoke smelling dude in the room.
Hygiene is very important for life and it is even more important if you are having a baby.
You don’t want to increase the chances of catching unnecessary things as it will only lead to more hospital visits and more money out of your pocket.
Clean them dirty ears, take a shower regularly, and please don’t be a slob.
Shave regularly unless you want the baby to get a rash.
And if they have eczema, you’re going to see that having that scruffy look is gonna have to go.
So be clean and do what it takes to stay that way.
15. Get the Bare Necessities
You are going to need a bunch of things and I’m sure we all know that.
This does not mean that you should go and buy anything and everything but rather get the basics and not too much of it.
Get a pack of diapers (see the best ones here), one of those all-in-one safety kits, and a couple of onesies.
For some of you, your family will help with these things and that’s why I recommend you don’t go crazy.
Get the basics but please do not forget one very important item.
I didn’t think much about this and I almost had to borrow one just to leave the hospital.
There are other items that you can use but I will create an entire post on that soon.
Today’s Parent does have a nice baby checklist but they do go a little crazy.
For now, check that out and at least get a general idea of what you will need.
So How Do You Prepare For a New Baby?
You can plan and get all your ducks in a row but no one is ever really prepared to have a baby.
Some of you probably never planned on this whole thing, to begin with, and now you’re about to be a dad.
That’s cool too but do try to plan things out as you can still make more babies.
The birthing process is something you’re going to have to go through on your own but consider the things on this list to make everything else easier.
I hope this list helps you at least understand how to prepare for the new baby and relieves some of the anxiety that comes with expecting.
Until then, congrats and good luck!