There is nothing that changes our entire world quite like the arrival of a new baby. From the time that we realize that baby is coming until long after she has grown and leaves the nest, that new little person makes everything in our entire life different. There are few memories we will cherish more than the arrival of our son or daughter.


There really isn’t anything that can completely prepare you for parenthood. That said, however, you can go a long way towards preparing yourself for the joyful task of raising your child.


First of all, be ready for everything to change. When a baby is introduced into a household, especially your first baby, the whole dynamic of the home changes. Whereas before it was likely only the two of you, now there is another life, completely dependent on you. Taking care of the baby becomes, by necessity, the first priority in life.


When your baby arrives, of course, she will need to be fed, changed, held, and rocked to sleep. She will, in short, need a lot of attention. This is easier when both parents take an active role in taking care of the baby. In addition to dividing much of the work load in half, this allows both parents to develop strong bonds with the baby. And, it communicates love and respect for each other.


Before baby arrives, read as much as you can about parenting. Ask for lots of advice. While not all advice is helpful, and everybody and her sister will have parenting tips for you, much of what others share with you will be useful. Pay special attention to those who have raised children themselves. They’ve been through all of the things that you will be going through, and may be able to help.


One of the best things you can do for yourself before baby arrives in build a support network. This can include parents and other relatives, friends, or even other new moms. You will need all of the help and support you can get through the first few months of your baby’s life. Raising an infant can be difficult, but it’s rewarding, too. Having people who understand what you’re going through and care about you can help you through some of the rougher moments, giving you an adult to talk to at times when it feels like your whole world revolves around the baby.


Finally, make as many of the home changes as you can before your baby arrives. Having the nursery ready, with the crib set up and ready to go may seem like a small thing, but having as many small things out of the way as possible will save you a lot of hassle once baby arrives, leaving you free to give your time and attention to the baby.