In Finland, they know how to take care of young mothers and their babies. Every pregnant woman has a choice whether to accept a 140 euros cash grant or the baby box, and more than 95% choose the box over money. Sadly, we don’t live in Finland nor do we get such presents from our government, and it is a struggle to get everything you might need for the baby.
Do your research
Books on parenting can be very helpful, and many mothers-to-be read a few during their pregnancy. Also there are lots of online communities which can be helpful and which can give you specific examples or an exact solution to your dilemmas and problems. Nevertheless, keep in mind that every baby is different and the fact that your baby isn’t going through the exact same things as somebody else’s is nothing to worry about.
Being strong and independent is easy when you’re on your own, but when a baby comes along, you should ask for help. Postpartum doula or you or your partner’s family member are a safe bet, but keep in mind that the person is supposed to help you and not add stress. Before you make a decision, think about whom you and your partner would like to have around for weeks and even months, so that you are both relaxed and stress-free.
Get diapers and wipes
You will think that there aren’t enough diapers in this world in the beginning, until your baby establishes eating and a pooping pattern. Diapers are among the most important things to have in your home when your baby arrives, so do some research and be ready to experiment and compromise. Some parents like to use cloth diapers because they are more natural, while others choose regular diapers because they are more convenient. If you are willing to go ‘green’ with your diapers, there are some ‘eco’, biodegradable ones, too.
Holding a baby in your arms may work at home, but you cannot hold them in your arms when you go out for a walk – your arms are going to hurt too much. Strollers are important, and as your baby grows, you will have to get different ones. A good choice would be to find the ones which have an adapter available for baby car seat model – put your car seat into a frame and voila – a comfortable stroller.
Putting your baby to sleep is a process, as you will learn yourself, and it is important to find the right ‘equipment’ to make it all as simple as possible. A nice baby crib is a priority, and baby sleeping bags are a great choice, because babies love to be wrapped tight – it reminds them of the feeling they had in the womb. A few blankets are a must, and sometimes a baby will fall asleep faster if you play soft, relaxing music.
Clothes and cloths
In the Finnish baby box, parents find hats, snowsuits, mittens, knitted overalls, socks, balaclava, several bodysuits, romper suits, leggings, cloth set and muslin squares, but parents from all over the world have to buy these separately. Maybe you don’t need mittens and snowsuits, but burp cloths and body suits are essential, so you can buy many (and you’ll still feel like you don’t have enough). Your baby will grow quickly and you will change their clothes soon enough, but you have to have a supply ready for the first weeks at home, though.
First-time parents are always scared that they might make a mistake, and it is not easy to make any choice when you have such great responsibility on your shoulders. It is not that scary or dark at all. It just takes some time and practice, and by the time your baby is a couple of months old, you’ll be an expert; so don’t worry.
Emma Lawson is a busy mom to two wonderful boys. She is passionate about writing and her boys are her inspiration. She loves to explore, learn and share about parenting techniques. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson