As I got closer to the end of my pregnancy I started getting more and more anxious for my babies arrival. Some of this was because I was just SO OVER being pregnant and ready to finally meet my little bub. The other reason was because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As a first time mom, I felt like there was so much to do to prepare for my baby to arrive but I really wasn’t totally sure where to start. If you are feeling the same way right now, rest assured that this post will go through all the important but not so obvious ways you need to prepare for your baby before their big arrival!
How to Prepare for Babies arrival
Before we jump right in, the number one thing you absolutely NEED to do to prepare for your baby is to get all the supplies. I know this seems quite obvious, but there are so many products on the market that this can become an overwhelming task as well. Check out my post here for 5 Newborn Essentials You Need Here for a good starting point.
have a baby shower
If you haven’t had a baby shower yet, you should definitely have one. It is a GREAT way to get all the supplies that you need to prepare for your baby. When I was pregnant, I had like 4 registries because I couldn’t add things from other stores but some items were only sold at one location. It really was not a convenient way to go about things.
After messing around with those and frustrating myself and my family, I redid my registry using Amazon Baby Registry. Seriously it was the absolute best and I could add items from other stores. Most of my family live super far away from us, so it was nice that they could just have things delivered to our house. But honestly the best part was the coupon you get near the end of your pregnancy – 10% off of everything remaining on your registry (15% if you are an amazon prime member). Check out the Amazon Baby Registry here if you are interested.
12 Ways to Prepare for Baby that are not so obvious
Stock up on essentials before baby arrives
The last thing you want to do a few days postpartum is run out to pick up laundry detergent or other household items. By preparing to have these stocked up before your baby arrives it is just one less thing you need to think about! We went a bit crazy and did a big stock up that lasted us about two months and included:
- Toilet paper
- Bathroom cleaners
- Laundry detergent, softener and dryer sheets
- Garbage bags
- Dish soap
- Dishwasher soap and jet dry
- Kitchen cleaners
Stock up on food before baby arrives
This one is kind of tricky because unless you have a scheduled c-section, you don’t know when your baby will actually be born. To get around this my husband and I made some freezer meals. I cannot tell you how nice it was to not have to cook for those first few weeks.
We utilized our instant pot and slow cooker to make easy meals that would freeze well. Soups, stews and chili are best for these and are often good for 3 months in the freezer, so there is no rush to eat them if you don’t feel like it initially. In the month before my baby was due, I also started doubling our recipes when I would cook and then freezing some. We made enchilada’s, lasagna, and a few other casseroles.
Learn How to Breastfeed and Pump
This was seriously the best advice I got before having my baby. You and your baby are both learning the ropes, and lack of sleep doesn’t make learning to breastfeed any easier.
There is a huge learning curve to breastfeeding! Unfortunately, you only have a short window to get it right before you will have to supplement your baby with formula. This might need to happen to ensure your baby is meeting their nutritional requirements while you both are learning to breastfeed more efficiently. Prepping to breastfeed before your baby comes can make the process go much smoother!
Check out my guide on How To Become A Breastfeeding Expert During Your Pregnancy for easy steps to a successful breastfeeding journey.
The same thing goes with pumping. I will never forget pulling out my breast pump for the first time. OMG, my flanges were the wrong size and it was just a complete disaster because I couldn’t pump when I wanted too. Learn from my mistakes and check out your pump before hand, learn how it works and get all the parts ready to go.
Take a breastfeeding class
Check out Birth Boot Camp’s Online Breastfeeding Class. They have some seriously knowledgeable instructors and it is all online. What could be better than learning from the comfort of your couch, at your own pace, in your pajamas? Taking a breastfeeding course can ensure you have all the knowledge you need to be successful on your breastfeeding journey. You can get more info on the Birth Boot Camp website.
Whatever class you decide on, just make sure that they use evidence based information. The last thing you want to do is something that could hurt your baby, you or your breast milk supply.
Prepare your bags before you go into labour
Okay I know everyone knows to pack their hospital bags, but stay with me here. You need to be packing for at least 3 people – you, your baby and your husband. You do not want to be running around when you go into labour trying to figure out what you actually need to bring. My husband did this and it was beyond stressful for me (read more about that in My 31 Hour Birth Story). I also have a HOSPITAL BAG CHECKLIST HERE that you can print for free.
Okay, now that that is out of the way, you also should be packing your diaper bag! After you return home from the hospital, you will likely have many checkups for you and your baby in the next few days. Having your diaper back packed and organized the way you like it is just one less thing you need to stress out about.
Check out my post on WHAT’S IN MY DIAPER BAG for a full guide of what you should be putting in there and how to organize it.
Prepare your Phone, Computer and Camera for pictures
This one is something that I wasted so much time doing AFTER my baby was born. And by me, I mean my husband.
YOU WILL TAKE SO MANY BABY PICTURES.
You need space to store them. I quickly ran out of room on my phone within a few days of my baby being home. My camera memory card was also pretty full, so the pictures had to be moved over onto the computer before we could take more.
I know these are not hard things to do, but when you are on little sleep or have a fussy baby this is the last thing you want to be worrying about! Plus, having this done already means you are prepared to make and store all these great memories.
Get Some baby tracking apps to keep you organized
Let’s face reality here, your phone is probably within reach of you most of the time throughout the day. So why not use it to get yourself organized? There are plenty of helpful apps out there for pregnant moms and new parents!
- A Contraction timer App like this one will help you keep track of contractions when you are in labour
- The Huckleberry App is a free app that you can track your babies feeds, sleep, diapers, and more in. Plus it gives you recommendations on good times to put your baby down to sleep next. It is seriously my number one most used app since my baby was born. It also came in handy at her appointments when we would be asked questions about all these things.
- The Wonder Weeks app is a paid app but well worth the money in my opinion. It let’s you know when your baby will be going through developmental milestones and what they mean. It also tells you when your baby is likely to be more fussy. This app was bang on for my daughter.
- If you have any products that require the use of an app, have them pre-loaded and ready to go. The Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine is an example of one that you need to set up on your phone. If you don’t have the hatch sound machine you can check it out HERE. It made such a huge difference in my daughters quality and length of sleep.
- If you use pampers make sure you have the Pampers App downloaded. You can upload codes for diapers and wipes and get points to put towards gift cards or diapers and wipes. I am sure other companies have something similar available for the brand you use.
Prepare to Baby Proof
I know what you are thinking, babies don’t exactly move around when they are first born. You are completely right to think that. With that said, I was completely shocked at how quickly my daughter went from being completely immobile to sitting, crawling, standing and then walking. Having items already picked out or purchased will save you some trouble when it actually comes time to baby proof.
Check out my post on HOW TO BABY PROOF YOUR HOME THE EASY WAY!
Clean and declutter
This one is not a fun task at all. But bringing home a baby to a messy, dirty home is not something you want to do.
In the weeks leading up to the end of your pregnancy just go through and clean things systematically. Focus your efforts on the low areas that your baby will be getting into first. Mop floors, vacuum and clean carpets, wash baseboards and walls, etc., anything your baby will be getting into first. This will help to focus your efforts appropriately in addition to your regular cleaning schedule.
Get all the baby supplies organized and sterilized
Baby items like bottles, soothers, and breast pump parts all need to be sterilized before using them. This is such a time consuming task. We had a fancy sterilizer which made it super easy for us. A sterilizer totally isn’t necessary as you can just wash and then boil the items. Please be careful though if you don’t use a sterilizer because some things can and will melt this way.
I know everyone says to not open these items unless your baby is going to use them. But how do you know what they will like unless you try it out? If you have several different brands or style of items, only open one type. This way you can return the others if you don’t end up needing them.
Prepare your baby clothes
Everyone also told me to not wash many baby clothes because my baby would grow so fast and we wouldn’t use most of them. Everyone told me that if I did, I wouldn’t be able to return unused items and they would go to waste.
No having to wash all those tiny little outfits sounded great initially but was totally unrealistic! No one mentioned to me that my baby would go through as many as 4-6 outfits a day! From spit up to poop explosions there is so many times your newborn will need a change in outfit. THAT IS A LOT OF CLOTHES.
Please do yourself a favor and wash enough clothing so you are not rushing to do the laundry. On average I found I was going through 3 outfits per day. So think about how many days per week you are willing to do laundry and go from there.
That’s a Wrap on my Easy Ways to prepare for your babies arrival!
What other things do you get ready before your baby arrives? I would love to hear from you in the comments below?
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