If you’re like most parents-to-be, you may feel eager for your baby to arrive and anxious about all the changes ahead. Fortunately, these 9 months from conception to birth are a perfect time to emotionally prepare yourself and get to know your child-to-be.
Communication Is Key
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s silly to talk, read, and sing to your baby before he’s born. It’s not. Between 18 and 22 weeks, your baby’s ears are developing and by 30 weeks, your baby may be able to hear and remember language. This means your little one is taking in the sounds around him—including your voice! Talking, singing, and reading to your baby are great ways to connect and give you a chance to start some of the fun parts of being a parent. Say hi in the morning and good-night before you go to sleep, and chat about your day in between.
You can share music as well—lullabies and classical music are most relaxing. Babies seem to prefer music that matches the beating of their mom’s heart.
Knock, Knock, Who’s There?
Also around 20 weeks, you will begin to feel your baby kick and turn. (It takes a little while longer for the baby’s movements to be felt from the outside.) You can gently tap or rub your belly when your baby kicks and watch for a response. Invite other loved ones, including big brothers and sisters, to take advantage of this chance to get acquainted, too.
Hopes and Dreams
What will your baby be like? Will she have Mom’s nonstop need for activity? Dad’s sense of humor? Grandpa’s short temper? Wondering about who your future baby might be during pregnancy helps you feel connected. These “images” are a normal and healthy part of pregnancy. It can help to talk to your partner and others close to you about your hopes, dreams, and natural worries. The more you are aware of your expectations, the better able you are to put them aside once the baby is born and discover who she really is.
Some parents start a baby journal to write down their thoughts and feelings during this time. A baby journal can include photos of you and other important people in your baby’s life, a list of activities you want to share with your baby, favorite songs and stories, names you are considering, and anything else you want to say to welcome your little one to the world! When your child gets older, you can share the thoughts you had as you were waiting for him to arrive.
Enjoy some quiet moments during your pregnancy to get to know your baby. The time you share now helps you bond and connect as parent, child, and brand-new family.