It is a mother’s natural instinct to prepare for her upcoming baby. Once you begin to nest, mothers can have some bizarre ways to prepare. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I bleached my entire bathroom at midnight. With my son, I scrubbed and oiled all of my hardwood floors. However, none of these are practical ways to prepare for a new baby (but don’t stop cleaning your bathrooms).
The goal of all of your preparations should be to make the first weeks after your baby’s arrival as smooth as possible. There is a chance some family and friends may come over and help. In my experience, it is a terrible idea to depend on other people or to believe their promises of aid. It is better to be pleasantly surprised by their help than disappointed.
1. Get Your Breastfeeding and Bottles Ready
Here is one simple way to get prepared for a new baby. Unbox and sterilize all of your bottles and breastfeeding pump parts. If this is the first time you’ve used a breast pump, spend some time reading the manual and putting the pieces Pumping isn’t difficult, but the parts of a pump are complicated at first.
2. Create a Cleaning Schedule Months Ahead
One of the best things I had done before my third child arrived was creating a cleaning schedule. New mothers often struggle to figure out how to maintain their house and handle life with their first child.
A cleaning schedule doesn’t have to be strict; I prefer a routine. For example, Monday is laundry day for our home. I do as many loads as possible that day and then as needed throughout the week. On Tuesday, I spend time cleaning and scrubbing the bathroom. The rest of the week I only need to do basic maintenance. Staying ahead is important.
3. Prepare for Breastfeeding
If you plan to breastfeed, I highly recommend you purchase at least one book. It is a good idea to learn some tips and tricks before the baby arrives. Learn the basic holds, signs of a good latch, and how to reduce the chance of cracked nipples. Damaged nipples can lead to bleeding, which is never a good experience. You want your experience with breastfeeding to be as positive as possible, so get started ahead of time!
4. Prepare Easy Slow Cooker Meals
I love my slow cooker, but my love affair is even more intense for the weeks after I have a baby. When the days and nights blend, the last thing I want to think about is dinner. There is a chance some people may bring you meals, but having easy dinners to toss in the oven or slow cooker is best.
Slow cooker freezer meals are easy to prepare. You toss all of the items into a Ziploc bag. When the day arrives, dump the frozen contents into the slow cooker and turn it on. Within hours, you will have a delicious dinner with hardly any effort.
Your freezer meals don’t have to end there. Breakfast meals are easy to put into the freezer. You can make breakfast sandwiches or baked oatmeal. Muffins, like banana or zucchini, freeze well. Cookies handle time in the freezer well as well. Take advantage of whatever freezer space you have; it is one of the best ways to prepare for a new baby.
5. Talk to Health Care Providers
While it is important to select a nice stroller and car seat, it is even more important to choose the right health care provider for your new baby. Parents have different views on parenting, and you want to find the best doctor for your family and your child. Your doctor is going to be your go-to person for all crucial questions; trust is important.
6. Find a Support System
In the last few years, more parents are turning for help during childbirth. Doulas are loved for their support to the parents before, during, and after birth. If you plan to breastfeed, it is a splendid idea to find a lactation consultant ahead of time. Research to see if you have a local La Leche League (LLL) in your area. WIC often has meetings for local breastfeeding mothers, even for those who don’t receive any support. A support system gets you through the first difficult weeks.
7. Get a Waterproof Bed Pad
No, the pad is not for the baby. It is for you. There is a chance your water will break while you are sleeping or laying down during early contractions. Amniotic fluid isn’t easy to get out of a mattress. It could do some serious damage, so think ahead!
8. Wash Baby’s Clothes Ahead of Time
You do need to wash clothes ahead of time, but I don’t suggest ripping tags off of every outfit right away. You may have a large baby or a small baby. It is impossible to tell! Wash a few pieces in newborn and 0-3 month sizes. Once you have arrived home after birth, you can select what you need to clean. My children never fit into the newborn size and, if I washed all of those items, I couldn’t exchange them for the right size.
9. Prepare The Hospital Bags
One of the last things you will want to do is pack the bags for the hospital. Here are a few items I always include in my bags:
- Thick Socks
- Comfortable, coming home outfit for mama
- Nursing bra and tank tops
- Nipple cream and nursing pillows
- Bath products
- Snacks (trail mix, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, and other items)
- 3 to 4 sleepers for baby after birth
- Coming home outfit
- Muslin swaddling blankets
One of the best ways to pass your time before baby arrives is to spend time preparing. When you are ready for baby to arrive, you will feel a sense of peace. Your child can come, and you will know things are ready. Until then, snuggle up to your husband and cherish the last days before your life changes!