___ Babysit -- an entire day. Anyone can survive a couple of hours, but having to go through bedtime, meals, and moments where you'll need to deliver a good parenting "No!" will give you a much better feel for the whole mom thing.
___ Pick up a book on games and activities to do with infants. Newborns are cute little lumps that can't do much for a long time, and a lot of new moms end up feeling like "Okay, now what do I do with her?"
___ Sign up for a baby-care class. Most hospitals and birthing centers offer them, and it's a great chance to learn things like how to diaper, swaddle, and other pearls of wisdom -- like the fact that, as nervous as you are, you are not going to break your baby.
___ Be a baby hog. Holding and carrying an infant can be a big nail-biter for a lot of first-time moms. (What if I drop her?! And oh, I've got to watch that wobbly little head!) So get your hands on as many babies -- of your friends, neighbors, relatives -- as you can. More than anything, it will make you see it's no big deal.
___ Realize that almost no preggo lady feels like she's going to be "a natural." In the end, what makes you comfortable with a newborn is the simple fact that he is yours. You'll handle parenthood with more grace than you can know -- or give yourself credit for -- now.
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