PREPARE FOR THE BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT

The safe arrival of a new baby is an experience that many wait a long, long time for. Emotions are running wild, your family are beaming with pride and well-meaning people are sharing their excitement all over Facebook. Oh, wait, what? Yes, someone has shared the news of your precious baby's arrival before you've even made it to the postnatal ward.
 
We live in a world of social media madness and this is the reality for too many couples. People are losing the once-in-a-lifetime chance to announce their baby's arrival because an overzealous relative got in there first.
 
For some, this is perfect, it saves just-another thing you need to be doing. But, for most, it robs them of a life moment they'll never get back.
 
If you don't want it to happen to you, it's best to expect that it could and lessen the risk. Initiate mission baby-news-lockdown. Facebook settings can be easily tweaked to give you control of what is shared on your wall. Head to your main settings and switch to the 'only me' option for timeline and tagging. It's simple and effective.
 
Of course, this doesn't stop people announcing it on their own page so the best overall solution is honesty. If you don't want people mentioning the arrival until you have, tell them. 

This doesn't just apply to social media. It's important to be clear about what you are happy for people to do and what you aren't. Consider:

  • Can people make phone calls to other relatives on your behalf?
  • Can people share it on their own page without tagging you?
  • Can they share a picture of the baby and when?
  • Can they share your baby's name and when?

Though others' sharing new baby news always comes from a place of love, how a new life is announced should always be in line with the parents' wishes.

PREPARE FOOD

When your new baby arrives they're often joined by mayhem, visitors and exhaustion. Having a batch of homemade, ready-prepared meals can make those early days so much easier. If you don't fancy spending a day in the kitchen cooking, try doubling up the portion sizes of your normal meals and pop that feast in your freezer.

If you don't have masses of freezer space, just cooking enough to get you through the first hectic days at home will be really helpful while you navigate life with your new addition - a little bit of calm and a soothing bowl of comfort food can be just what you need.

Here are some of our ideas - you can find great recipes online, or why not ask family and friends what they cook?

  • Lasagne
  • Spaghetti bolognese
  • Beef stew
  • Fish pie
  • Tomato-based pasta sauce
  • Lamb tagine
  • Chicken curry

We are in full agreement here, food is love. If you have ever given the new-baby gift of a hearty lasagne, we salute you. That being said, if you are expecting a baby and don't have the time or aren't in a position to cook, reach out to others. Having a baby is an interesting time - people can want to help but wait to be asked in case they interfere or offend. If you are open to culinary gifts, spread the word and reap the delicious rewards!

PREPARE BUSY BOXES FOR OLDER CHILDREN

If you have an older pre-schooler, busy boxes are a saviour when you're tied up with your newborn. 

Busy boxes are home-made boxes of self-entertainment fun! You can fill them with all kinds of toys, games and books; anything that your child will find entertaining. Here's the key - have different boxes and keep rotating them - they'll feel like they are getting something new and exciting to play with every day! It's also recommended that you only let your child play with the contents of the box until you've finished feeding and you have a designated area for them to sit and play with it quietly.

Here are some ideas for contents - maybe also ask your child what they might like to find in their special boxes too!

  • Books 
  • Games (like Go Fish or matching games)
  • Colouring and/or sticker books
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Mini play mats with cars
  • Playdough and cookie cutters
  • Action Figures
  • Beads and string or pipe cleaners to make beaded necklaces
  • Building blocks