First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! You are having a new baby! Now, on to the serious stuff. You are going to get yourself prepared for your new baby, mentally, physically and you will need to adjust your house and car for the new baby too!
Mentally preparing for the new baby
Remember this, women adjust to having a new baby faster than men; so, do not expect husbands to start being all fatherly after the pregnancy is announced. They are not like that. Women adjust better to the new baby, mentally, because they experience physical, emotional and psychological changes. These changes help them adjust to the new baby quicker. However, men start feeling the new baby when they see the bump or feel the flicker of baby movement over mommys belly.
Physically preparing for the new baby
There is nothing much a new father can do to prepare to the new baby. What needs to be done by a father needs to be done BEFORE the new baby is conceived. However, the new father can try quitting smoking, quitting drinking and other vices once the new baby is conceived. The new mother needs to do the same too.
Planning for the new baby: the house and car
With the new baby, depending on whether you are planning to co-sleep with the baby or whether you are planning to plonk the baby in a separate room affects the changes to your home. Either way, we recommend having a separate room for your new baby, even if the new baby is going to be sleeping with the new parents for the first couple of months. A baby crib, some toys, a place to put all the babys clothes, shelves to convenient grab lotions, creams, diaper wipes, diapers, etc. off near the changing table is a MUST.
You will also need to think about getting a baby chair too; baby chair for the house (at the right height for the dining table) and a baby chair for the car (for traveling). Some baby chairs can be adjusted to fit the adult dining chair AND fit into the car at the same time. They are a little bit more expensive than the conventional baby chairs, but the multi-function is extremely convenient PLUS it is downright comfortable for your new baby.
Other essential stuff for your new baby
Frankly speaking, the essentials depend wholly on your own preference, budget and lifestyle. You can live without some of these things if you think you would rather not waste the money.
If you have had previous babies before, you probably do not need too many new baby clothes. New babies outgrow their clothes terribly fast and it would be a waste of money to splurge on new clothes. You can get hand-me-downs from nieces and nephews too, if you want. What you should probably get are blankets, sweaters, coats, and clothes for going out. At home, your new baby is not going to mind old clothes. In fact, it is a fact that your new baby is probably going to like wearing the old clothes better than the new clothes. Dont forget the feeding utensils like baby bowls, breast pump (if youre planning to pump breast milk for your new baby at work), baby bottles, cloth nappies, diapers, baby wipes, lotions, shampoo, bath gels, towels, baby blankets, baby bedding, bibs, stroller, etc.
And do not worry, you will do fine. The best thing to do is to get unbiased referrals from friends and family.