With only 7 days left to my due date, the countdown is very surely on. We’re all getting very excited here in the Webb household – the kids talk about their baby sibling as though he/she is already here and I can’t wait to see my new baby.
I wouldn’t call myself the most organized person but I certainly see a lot of benefits in having some sort of a system in place and planning ahead. I think planning and preparing in advance can help one to feel calmer and more ready for such a big life change.
Here are some ways that I am preparing (ok, let me be more accurate here, some of the ways I am working towards preparing) for baby’s arrival.
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1. Stocking up the pantry & freezing meals
“Do we need more canned tomatoes?” Husband asked the other day at the grocery shop. My usual answer of late has been “Not exactly, but ah, just grab one more!”
I know how busy we’d all be with the new baby plus keeping up with our 2 girls so the last thing I want is to go into panic mode and have to make a last minute grocery dash.
I am stocking up the pantry with healthy snacks such as trail mixes, dried fruit, crackers – these will be perfect for the afternoon or late night hunger pangs. Cooking up extra meals and freezing them will also help ease the stress off us when the newborn is here.
2. Stocking up on baby essentials
We intend to use disposable diapers and since newborns can go through 8-10 a day, it makes sense to stock up (again, to prevent the need for a last minute dash to the shops). Some people recommend having at least 2 packages of disposables on standby at all times or if you’re going for cloth diapers, at least enough for 2 days.
Other baby essentials that you can consider stocking up on are: disposable wipes (normal sized and small travel packs for the nappy bag), wipe warmers, bibs (I always had to have a whole bunch of bibs on standby because my little one was a full on projectile vomiter!)… anything that you’ll go through in quick bunches!
3. Getting all packed and ready to go
Having your hospital bag packed and ready to go is usually at the top of most lists. There are so many useful lists suggestions out there. Here’s one that you can get some inspiration from. Have you got your maternity underwear ready? Or how about post birth pads?
4. Having my list of phone numbers
My husband works night shifts sometimes and gets stuck in spots with no reception at work. It was actually only yesterday that we remembered that he should give me more contact numbers!
I promptly saved the numbers of his head office, his employer’s number, the contact numbers of a few of his workmates – just in case I have trouble reaching any one due to the lack of reception at their work.
Other important contact numbers to have on hand: hospital maternity ward, your obstetrician, person(s) caring for your children (make sure to have more than a mobile number in case you go into labour in the middle of the night and need to ring their home phone)
5. Scheduling/dividing tasks
Even though my husband’s quite hands on in helping with chores and the kids (credit given where it’s due!), I’m still the main one who sorts out paper work, bills, school activities etc.
I have a list written out clearly for my husband so he knows what exactly has to be done when I go into labour and am away in the hospital. I think this minimizes stress on both parties and also reduces any potential conflict in expectations of what you might want your partner to help out in.
6. Baby proofing the home
Sure, a newborn is not going to crawl around and get into things right away so child proofing stuff like drawer locks can always wait. There are, however, some things that can help make your home more ready for your newborn.
Some examples are:
Making sure your newborn has a safe crib and crib mattress.
Ensuring there are no toys, pillows, loose bedding in baby’s cot for when baby comes home (in accordance with safe sleeping recommendations)
Making sure wires, cables, night lights are away from baby’s cot
7. Resting and relaxing
Getting that last bit of rest in and putting your feet up is just as important. At the end of the day, it’s great to spend time getting organized and feeling prepared but there’s no point in getting too caught up in the process and getting too anxious!
There will be enough busy-ness to go around when bub’s here. This last week, you’ll probably find me chilling out on the verandah, putting my (swollen) feet up, watching my favourite comedies, going for short walks… anything to keep me happy and relaxed, ready to be mum-of-3.
Are there any other ways you’re preparing for your baby’s arrival or are there any other suggestions you can think of?