4 Things No One Tells You About Preparing For Baby

It's only a matter of time before your little bundle of joy arrives, and for the first time you are about to be a parent. Are you ready? Many people think they are and then the reality of parenthood strikes them. Remember your friends who said being a parent is nothing like they expected? They were right.

Parenting is a wild ride, but it's also one of the - if not the - most rewarding things you'll ever do in your life. Just don't expect it to be smooth sailing right from the get-go. It's going to be challenging, but there are things you can do to prepare before your life changes forever.

To give you the leg up you so desperately need, Dawn Dais, author of the parenting book "The Sh!t No One Tells You," offers this advice:

* Take advantage of your freedom. If this is your first baby, you need to maximize every second of freedom you have left. Go to the movies, order an appetizer and a dessert at dinner, travel, decide to leave the house and then do so 25 seconds later. Watch television shows with cuss words.

* Sleep now. Dais recently teamed up with Store Brand infant formula to help get the word out about ways parents can prepare before their baby arrives. Earlier this year, they released a "Baby's First Year" survey that found 25 percent of new moms confessed their biggest fear before their baby's arrival was the fear of never sleeping again. You will sleep again, but it might not be for a few months, so it's important to get it in while you still can!

* Do your research. Make sure to discuss important topics before the baby arrives, such as feeding. The Store Brand formula survey found infant formula is the last topic researched by new moms while pregnant, but the No. 1 topic researched after their baby arrives. Feeding is the most important thing you do with your baby, so why is it so far down on the list? A lot of new parents don't think about this because they just assume they will breastfeed. They are told that it is the most natural thing on the planet and so it's not even a consideration or option not to breastfeed. But what people don't tell you is that breastfeeding can be hard and there may be challenges. The survey also found that more than 50 percent of moms experience issues when it comes to breastfeeding baby, with low breast milk supply being the top concern. So knowing your feeding options before baby arrives is vital.

* Babies are expensive, so know where you can save big. It's important to note that all infant formulas are required to meet the same FDA standards. That means you can choose store-brand infant formulas that meet the same federal nutrient requirements for baby as nationally advertised brands, and in fact, cost up to 50 percent less!

Make the most of your new role as a parent

Having a child is the most monumental change you can make to your life, but the joys that come with parenting make the process entirely worth it. So, plan ahead now by applying the tips above and you'll eliminate some of those potential headaches. To learn more about feeding options and the "Baby's First Year" survey, visit storebrandformula.com.

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