Expectant parents: How to confidently prepare for your new bundle of joy

(BPT) – You’re pregnant. First, you’re anxious and then suddenly you become overjoyed. Then you ask, “Now what?” It’s typically the first question that excited parents-to-be utter after receiving the news of a positive pregnancy test. While it’s true that babies lack instruction manuals, modern technology is giving parents access to helpful information like never before, helping them thoroughly prepare for this thrilling, but often confusing, time.

Jane Buckingham, mother of two and author of the “Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood,” knows that expectant and new parents often have a lot of unanswered questions. “I know that all parents are always on the hunt for real-life parenting advice and tips, online and on-the-go, especially expectant and new moms,” Buckingham says.

A recent Huggies survey confirms she’s correct: 78 percent of new moms and expectant women spend at least two hours a day searching for pregnancy and baby information online. Does this sound like you?

Every mom has lists of questions and unanswered scenarios that play out in her head throughout her pregnancy. It’s important to learn as much as you can, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Here are a few of Buckingham’s favorite tips to help busy moms-to-be:

Do your research – New moms can become overwhelmed with so many new experiences and unique questions. Where do you turn? Try out the Mommy Answers Forum on the Huggies Facebook page. It’s a one-stop destination for all the top pregnancy and baby information from leading parenting sites and resources. Visit www.facebook.com/Huggies and browse through a variety of categories such as “signs of pregnancy” and “baby names,” or type in your own question to search for specific answers.

Pack smart – Buy an inexpensive yet comfortable pillow to bring with you to the hospital, but not bring home. You’ll leave with twice as much as you came with, including gifts, flowers, supplies and of course, the new baby. Aim to streamline your hospital bag. This also goes for supplies you bring with for your new bundle of joy, too. Of course you’ll need an outfit, car seat and blanket or jacket depending on the weather, but leave the stuffed animals and extra supplies at home. The hospital will have everything you need to care for the baby and the toys will be waiting to welcome baby when you get home.

Plan ahead – Smartphone-addicted or not, emailing is the fastest and least taxing way to spread the word of your newest arrival. Consider creating a mailing list and drafting an email ahead of time so that it’s all ready to go. Be sure to include family, friends and your work contacts so everyone can rejoice when the good news arrives. Include a photo if possible, because an image is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to newborn babies.

Love the list – Staying organized when there seems to be a million things going on at once can be overwhelming for expectant or new mothers. Checklists are the key to ensuring you’re prepared as best you can be for the approaching adventures of parenthood. An easy-to-use resource is the Welcome Baby Guide, found at Huggies.com. This “new mom survival kit” includes checklists of essentials to help you survive the first hectic weeks of parenthood, covering topics such as preparing for the hospital and bringing home baby.

With these easy go-to tips, you’ll be well on your way to being fully prepared to welcome your little one into the world.

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