4 Tips for Preparing for Your Baby’s Arrival

Moms in the animal kingdom may exhibit nesting behaviors when they’re pregnant. Nesting is the overwhelming urge to get prepared for the new offspring, such as changing diets or preparing a birthing nest.

For instance, the female kangaroo eats more to ensure she has enough energy for pregnancy and giving birth to a joey. A female elephant might change what she eats depending on whether she’s pregnant or nursing. She may also become selective in her interactions with other herd members.

Gestation for Humans and Other Animals

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Kangaroos have an average gestation period of up to 34 days. On the other hand, Asian elephants can be pregnant for 18 to 22 months, the most extended gestation period among animals. Human pregnancy lasts about up to 40 weeks.

Nesting urges differ for every expectant mother and may happen much earlier in pregnancy or peak near the end. Preparing for your baby’s arrival may be overwhelming with the number of things to do, so here’s a guide to help you prepare for your new bundle of joy.

General Cleaning and Preparation

Babies are ten times[Tj1]  more vulnerable to developing health issues from pollutants in house dust than adults, so prepare your home by cleaning prior to baby’s arrival. Vacuum the floors, declutter cabinets, deep clean the furniture and dust all surfaces.

Baby-proof the House

While your baby will not be mobile for some time, preparing your home in advance may provide peace of mind especially as some baby-proofing tasks may take time. Make your home safe for you and your baby by doing these baby-proofing tips:

  • Put safety covers over electrical outlets
  • Add baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs
  • Hide electrical cords
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Cover sharp furniture corners and edges with safety padding
  • Install stove knob covers
  • Secure knives, cleaning chemicals and other hazardous items to locked cupboards
  • Position the crib away from other items in the room, such as windows, lamps and cords

Prepare the Nursery

Assemble the crib, set up the changing station and ensure you have ample lighting for your baby’s nursery. Newborns use diapers and wipes faster than you can imagine, so be sure you have extra essentials. Don’t forget the baby bottles, formula, a breast pump and other feeding essentials. Also include pacifiers, burp cloths and gentle baby lotion.

Hospital Bag Checklist

Here are some of the things that you may want to bring when you go to the hospital to give birth:

  • Baby clothes, socks and blankets
  • Personal IDs and other hospital admission papers
  • Pregnancy medical file, including any over-the-counter prescriptions
  • Sleepwear, socks and comfortable clothes that are loose and can be easily layered
  • Comfortable slippers or flip-flops
  • Toiletries
  • Nursing items

Preparing for Your Hospital Stay

You may need to do much more than what’s listed here, so ensure you have someone to help you with these things. Get as much rest as possible, and don’t exhaust yourself. Focus on following your doctor’s instructions to stay healthy during pregnancy.

Much like how a pregnant kangaroo finds a suitable spot away from predators to give birth, it’s also natural for you to want to give birth in a safe and secure place. Baptist Health System’s The Nest can provide you with a safe and comfortable environment from the moment you step into one of our labor-and-delivery hospitals to when you go home with your newborn.

American Pregnancy Association
Busy Bee Cleaning Co.
California Animal Response Emergency System
Discover Wildlife
National Library of Medicine
Oregon Zoo
Portland State University
Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The Bump