1. Buy and install a car seat
The most important feature to keep in mind when buying a car seat is safety. Only buy a SABS-approved car seat. The SABS mark should be on the seat or on the underside of the restraints. The safest way for a baby to travel in a car is in a rear-facing position until they’re about one, so look for a rear-facing car seat. Make sure you know how to install the car seat properly. Ask the shop assistants for help if you’re unsure.
2. Review your medical aid plan
Make sure your medical aid covers the birth and any treatment, tests or medication your new baby might need after delivery. You don’t want to be stuck with a hospital bill you can’t afford.
3. Find a paediatrician
Choosing the right doctor for your baby is important and this search should start about four months before your due date. Ask your gynaecologist or midwife for recommendations, do your own research on the Internet and talk to other moms and dads. Once you have chosen a doctor, make sure you feel comfortable and confident about your child’s care.
4. Ask your partner what she expects from you during the birthing process
Does she want you in the room with her for support? Would she like you to cut the cord? Does she want you to rub her back and offer support when she’s in pain? If you feel like you won’t be able to give her the support she needs during the birth, tell her beforehand so she can make alternate arrangements with a friend, family member, doula or midwife.
5. Make sure the car’s petrol tank’s always full and work out the quickest route to the hospital
When it’s time to leave for the hospital you don’t want to waste time filling up at the petrol station or getting lost en route. Always keep the tank at least half full and have the hospital’s address already typed into the GPS.
6. Help your partner prepare meals you can freeze
Once the little one arrives there won’t be a lot of time for cooking. Prepare meals like lasagne and curries that freeze well before hand and freeze them for the nights you just don’t have time to cook.
7. Attend a couple of parenting classes
Parenting classes can be very helpful for first-time parents. Ask for recommendations from friends and family or your midwife or gynaecologist.
8. Assemble your baby gear
If you haven’t already put together your cot, compactum and pram, now is the perfect time to do it.
9. Have the camera ready to go
Make sure the camera is charged and the memory card empty. You need to document the arrival of your first child from the minute he or she is born.
10. Find baby name inspiration
If you haven’t already picked a name for your baby, make a list with your partner of the names you like and the ones you don’t like at all.
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