Tips to prepare for your new baby


(StatePoint) While pregnancy can be a joyful time, there can be a lot to think about. Whether you’re a first time parent or you have a growing brood, welcoming your newest family member is a big task.

Here are some tips for staying organized throughout the process:
• Do your research. While certain parenting skills are intuitive, some knowledge must be acquired. Gather as much information as you can from other parents, your obstetrician, and pregnancy and child development books, magazines and blogs.  

• Check-up. Maintain a special calendar for your pregnancy that can help you stay on top of doctor’s appointments and other important health reminders, there are several good apps that make this easy.

• Think ahead. Even at a baby store designed for parents’ convenience, shopping will become more difficult once the baby arrives. So think beyond infancy and consider your baby's future needs now, like different clothing sizes, convertible car seats, safety gates, feeding accessories and developmental toys.

• Register. Who knew such a tiny bundle of love could need so much stuff? The best way to ensure your baby will have everything he or she needs upon arrival is to create a registry and make requests.

Friends and family want to get you the things you want -- from bibs to bouncers to strollers. Include a range of price points to provide choices. Early on, use announcement cards and email announcements to keep friends and family in the know.

• Stay organized. Be advised that even with a registry, you could still get gift duplicates. So opt for a retailer that offers hassle-free returns and exchanges.

• Get started. From painting and furnishing the baby’s room to stocking up on diapers, start early so you can relax, take your time and have fun. Starting early gives you time to consider your choices and enough lead time on furniture special orders. You'll also be quite thankful if your baby decides to arrive before expected.

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