Tips to Prepare for Your Newborn

Are you pregnant and unsure about how to prepare for your new baby? Dr. Heather Zimmerman, Board Certified Pediatrician at Boys Town Pediatrics, offers tips on how to prepare for your newborn, what essentials are needed, how to manage stress during the pregnancy and how to select a pediatrician for your baby.

​The first thing I always tell parents when they’re expecting a baby is sleep now. This is your opportunity! When you have a new baby at home you’re not going to have much time to sleep, especially the first few days or even the first couple of weeks while you are still settling in your routines.

​What are some of the essentials for a newborn?
One of the most important things for your home is going to be a crib. All you really need in the crib is a flat, tight-fitted sheet for the crib. Babies don’t need fancy blankets, stuffed animals or bumpers on their crib. All of those extra things that you see in beautiful children’s’ stores are actually dangerous for a baby and shouldn’t be in the crib anyways.

A lot of parents would prefer to have a bassinette or a cradle. Something that is smaller and can fit into their bedroom at first because babies wake up a lot at night in those first few weeks to months. It’s just more convenient to have them close by for feedings.

How can I manage stress during pregnancy?
Before the baby comes, one of the best things to do is, be spontaneous. You kind of lose that ability once you have a newborn. Whether it is a soon-to-be mom, who is having a stressful day, go out and have your nails done or go home and take a bath. Just decide as a couple to go out for dinner right now. That is something, once the baby comes, it’s hard to do at first.

How should I select a pediatrician for my child?
​I think it’s a great idea to go see a doctor before you ask them to be your doctor just so you know if you kind of fit with their personality. Then you can ask some specific questions you might have about being able to get an appointment or what kind of medications they do or don’t use, or when they refer to a specialist, things like that. One of the best ways to figure out if you’re going to like a doctor is ask the people you already know, who have kids, who they like and use.​

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