Preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy… or two or three…

Bump and bootiesIf you are thinking twins and triplets, you are right. I really love working with multiples. Those tips are for all parents to be, living in Switzerland. Some points might be more important to those expecting multiples but anyone could benefit.

I’m very interested to hear from families in Switzerland what else should I add to this list.
What did you wish you knew before your baby or babies arrived?

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  • Choose a hospital or a private clinic – if in doubt which are available to you, contact your health insurance.
  • Organise a midwife who will see you at home after birth. Good midwives get booked up in advance and might not be available if you start to look few days before your EDD. You can check which midwives in your area speak fluent English or other languages here, contact and meet them in advance.
  • Organise immediate help – family, friends, maternity nurse, nanny… what help will you need – cooked meals, groceries and sleep is a good start… make a schedule, so that not everybody visits you in one day, it can be very overwhelming for the baby and the parents too. If you choose to book a maternity nurse, do so in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • If you are planning to go back to work after your maternity leave, long term help is equally important – a nanny or a nursery, this is the question. The waiting lists are long for nurseries in baby groups and nannies based here will usually need to give 3 months notice.
  • Sign up and complete a first aid course, like this one, before your baby arrives – hopefully you won’t need it, but you will be much more calm and confident when anything happens and you need to act fast.
  • Prepare baby’s room, buy baby equipment, like a Moses basket, a cot, car seat, pram… and those tiny cute clothes! Don’t forget nappies.
  • Read parenting and baby books when pregnant, dads too – you won’t have much time to do that after your baby arrives. You will be trying constantly to catch up on sleep.
  • Learn how to secure the car seat in your car, especially dads. The technology advances so fast that in some cases you might need an engineer to operate baby equipment. You will want to get mum and baby home safely.
  • Research available formulas – I know “breast is best” for your baby, but find out which formula your hospital is using, which ones are currently recommended, the knowledge won’t do any harm, quite the opposite you will have a peace of mind. There might be emergencies in the early days and you will need to supplement, so buy a box or even two if you are planning to formula feed from the start. If you’re planning to travel, check if your chosen formula is available in the countries you are planning to travel to, if not calculate how much you will need for your trip.
  • Baby shower – don’t leave it until last minute, your baby might decide to arrive earlier. Multiples really like to do this 🙂

For more tips on how to prepare for maternity leave, click here.

What did you wish you knew before your baby arrived? Leave a comment to share your experience.

Marta is a qualified maternity nurse and sleep consultant with over 10 years of experience in childcare. She supports new families in Zürich area in Switzerland. Marta also travels further away for maternity nurse assignments. In her free time she photographs and knits baby hats.

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7 thoughts on “Preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy… or two or three…

  1. It’s important to read and be informed but on the other hand, don’t make too many “grand plans” of how you’re going to do things because babies bring lots of unexpected things with them and in the end you have to find the approach that matches you and your baby as individuals even if this is not written in a book. I was forced into a “pragmatic” approach quite quickly with my twins and it all worked out well.

  2. I would like to add to this that you should not underestimate the emotional part of your birth experience. Be ready to feel all sorts of emotions and be sure to have someone you trust whom you can speak with and share these with.

    It was a major roller coaster for me emotionally and I was surprised at the intensity of my own feelings both positive and negative.

    It’s very important to have people you can talk to even if they just listen.

    • I can only confirm this. I was highly emotional and I am not usually the type who gets weepy/scared. Make sure that your partner/husband is prepared for this so they aren’t caught by surprise when you become a weepy mess over something small and can give you a good cuddle and words of support 🙂

  3. Marta that is really useful info. I wish I knew more before my son was born. For example I wasn’t completely prepared for bottle feeding because I was sure I would breastfeed straight away. But it wasn’t so easy and things went not as planned. And I had no clue which formula milk to choose. What’s more I had no milk while leaving hospital, which made the whole beautiful-to-be situation very stressful. So I absolutely agree on that point. All mums to be should do the formula research just in case and stock one box for emergency.

    Another essential concern is help at home, just like you said, basically everything from shopping to hoovering the floor – please ladies do not hesitate to ask for help. Friends and family will be more than happy to help, stealing a glance at a little angel at the same time.

    I would add few more things to your list, which would make my life much easier if I had only known before. These would be: silicone Contact Nipple Shields (I recommend Medela), that allowed me to breastfeed for the whole 9 months, usually used when the nipples are sore, Purelan Nipple Cream for sore and cracked nipples, also from Medela and few pacifiers.

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