Becoming a parent involves planning, preparation and learning.

As the countdown to your due date begins, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your baby’s arrival.

While welcoming a baby into your family is a joyous occasion, planning ahead can help make the transition to parenting easier. It is also important to get enough REST. The following suggestions may help:


  • Make sleep/rest a priority
  • Make time to take care of yourself


  • Eat nutritious meals and snacks and drink plenty of fluids


  • Discuss parenting responsibilities with the support people in your life
  • Ask for help when needed
  • Accept help when offered
  • Ask other mothers how they felt during the first few weeks at home with baby
  • Talk to your health care provider about what to expect when baby comes home
  • Learn about parenting programs in your community for new parents

Take your time

  • Slow down and enjoy the parenting role
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Set small goals each day
  • Think about the way you were parented and your expectations of yourself as a parent
  • Acknowledge that being a new parent can be stressful
  • Make time for relationships
  • Make time to nurture your body, mind and heart

Watch these videos created by Ottawa Public Health and the Monarch Centre that shares some of the physical and emotional changes after giving birth and tips on what you can expect and do about it.  There is more information available to support your emotional health and links to various Toronto services.

.Video: Here Comes Baby – Postpartum Recovery (11:24). Reproduced by permission of Ottawa Public Health.

Video:Here Comes Baby – Postpartum Mental Healtj (10:40). Reproduced by permission of Ottawa Public Health. Most of this video is supportive of breastfeeding; however, there may be some references and graphics that are not.

You may have many questions about what to expect from your newborn baby.

Ottawa Public Health and the Monarch Centre created a series of videos for expecting parents to learn how to take care of your newborn baby.

Video: Here Comes Baby – Newborn Behaviours (07:34). Reproduced by permission of Ottawa Public Health.

Video: Here Comes Baby – Bathing your Baby (05:30). Reproduced by permission of Ottawa Public Health.

Video: Here Comes Baby – Diaper Change Demonstration (06:16). Reproduced by permission of Ottawa Public Health

There are also a few other things you need to consider before the birth of your baby:


How you feed your baby will be one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. Make an informed decision about feeding your baby.


When your baby comes home, it is important to create a safe sleep environment.  For more information visit Safe Sleep for Your Baby provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).


It is normal for babies to cry. Babies cry to tell you that they need something. Learn about why babies cry, what you can do to soothe them and how to prevent shaken baby syndrome.

Travelling by Car

Babies have special safety needs when travelling in a car. It is important to choose the right car seats and install and use car seats correctly.

Product Safety

Safe products are important for your baby’s good health. Choosing right products for your baby can be confusing, learn about product safety, and how to protect your baby.

Medical Appointments

Your baby will need regular health check-ups especially in the first week after birth. During the first baby check-ups, your health care provider will take your baby’s measurements, check if the umbilical stump is healing and check for newborn jaundice.

Plan ahead by finding a family doctor or health care provider for your baby. If you cannot find a family doctor, contact Ontario’s Health Care Connect program for assistance.