What to Do While Waiting: Preparing for the Baby

Intended parents often wonder how to manage the surrogacy process. Preparing for a new baby is a big task, but one that can be exciting, especially as the due date approaches. You may feel anxious or hopeful throughout the process, especially if you’re expecting your first child. While this journey is different for every parent, there are some tried and true tips that can help. You may find that only a few recommendations apply to your family, so be sure to get the ones you like without worrying about the rest.

When to start preparing for the arrival of the baby

Creating a timeline to prepare for your baby’s arrival will help you determine when to begin specific actions. Some intended parents prefer to start planning as soon as the surrogate is pregnant, while others wait to begin preparations until later in life. Often, the best time to start preparing is somewhere in the middle.

Wait until the end of the first trimester to make sure that everything in the pregnancy will be fine, but avoid neglecting the basic preparations for a long time to avoid facing a difficult place when the baby arrives. Create a “preparation for baby” checklist to list all the things you need to do before the due date.

You can follow this timeline for preparing the baby:

  • When you find out you’re pregnant: At this stage, you can set up OB-GYN appointments to learn recommendations for visit frequency and important information you need to know. As you probably already know, the surrogate must follow specific health guidelines for pregnancy. They advise against tobacco and alcohol use and discuss the possible effects of too much caffeine, herbal teas, hot tubs, deli meats, some seafood, and more. At this stage, you should also learn more about pregnancy through educational materials such as books or classes so that everyone involved knows what to expect in the next few months.
  • Second trimester: After the first trimester, you can start sharing your happy news. Pregnancy risks are usually lower after this period, and pregnancy may become more apparent. It may also be beneficial to start researching and contacting daycare options. Some facilities have waitlists that can take months before combing. While you won’t need the services right away, it may help to get your name on a list or become more familiar with the process. Similarly, you should research which items you will need to purchase.
  • Third trimester: Contact a pediatrician so you know who to go to when your baby is born. You may want to interview them to make sure it’s a good fit. At this point, you should also establish a birth plan. Knowing where you want to give birth is important, whether you’re planning to give birth in your home state or need to travel elsewhere for the baby’s arrival. You can often complete the paperwork before the due date, so you don’t have to worry about it during labor.
  • Weeks before the due date: About three weeks before the due date, you’ll want to finalize your game plan. Establish the essential items you plan to bring to the hospital, whether you need to make accommodations for pets, who will be traveling with you, and how you plan to get to the hospital. It’s also helpful to have a few meals ready in the freezer so you can easily feed yourself or your family while you navigate your new routine after the baby comes home.

Things to do while waiting for the baby to arrive

While our timeline above may provide some peace of mind, there are many other things that must be done before the baby arrives:

  • Learn as much as possible: Parenting is a unique journey, and every family experiences different challenges. Thousands of resources can teach you about the ins and outs of parenting so you know what to expect. Read parenting books, talk to other parents, attend support groups, take classes, or do anything else that can educate you about your new arrival so you don’t feel too overwhelmed. That said, know that most parenting is learning as you go — don’t think you know it all right away.
  • Finish the paperwork: Plan to complete all administrative work before the due date. Paperwork regarding health insurance, life insurance, employer benefits, and surrogacy information is important, and completing it before the baby arrives will reduce stress for everyone.
  • Prepare your home: Making your home a safe environment for a baby can be difficult. You will probably need to lock up all dangerous items and cover sharp edges and outlets. Start baby-proofing your home even before the baby arrives. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the additions and have time to address any areas you may have overlooked during your first walk-through.
  • Make a hospital kit: The intended parents should prepare a hospital kit for the delivery. This kit should include the essentials for you, your baby, and anyone traveling with you. Things like a car seat and home clothes will be essential for a comfortable ride home. If you’re working with a long-distance surrogate, you’ll likely need supplies for a multi-day trip and plan to arrive several days before the baby’s birth.
  • Consider your finances: Children can be expensive. While the exact number may vary for each family, it’s safe to say that you’ll need to adjust your budget. Consider the costs of daycare, wipes, diapers, solid food, formula, clothes, toys, books, first aid gear, cribs, baby monitors, bottles, strollers, and car seats. You may also need additional items as your family settles in, so consider some miscellaneous spending as well. If you are working with a surrogacy agency, communicate your needs and budget to ensure you find the best match.
  • Buy baby items: Start buying essentials before the due date, such as clothes, diapers, and car seats. You can also work with your close loved ones to compile a comprehensive list of everything you need before and after the baby comes home. Hosting a baby shower or inviting family and friends to gift you baby items for the holidays and birthdays can reduce some stress and provide peace of mind.
  • Find a surrogacy support group: Many families rely on surrogacy to expand their families. Joining a support group can help to learn more about the process and make lasting connections with intended parents in your position. These groups can be a great place to ask questions, interact, and learn more about the future.

Begin your journey with Creative Family Connections

Creative Family Connections works with surrogates and intended parents from across the country. We are a boutique surrogacy agency and law firm that regularly updates information about surrogacy laws for each state. Our team members are experts in their fields and share a passion for changing lives forever by starting families and inspiring hope.

We’ve been helping families since 2001. As a uniquely qualified surrogacy agency and law firm, we have the resources you need to navigate the surrogacy journey. When you want to expand your family through surrogacy, our dedicated team can help you understand state and county laws while preparing for the exciting road ahead. We have team members across the country helping build families around the world. Contact us to start your surrogacy journey today.

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