If you are pregnant I am sure you may have seen these -things to do before baby arrives lists on the internet by now. But not everything on those lists is a must-do. And many a time these lists give you some serious FOMO.
There are a few absolutely essential to do’s that I want to cover though.
These from my experience make life so much easier and you mentally prepared when baby arrives. I missed out on following through with a few of these. When my son came home from the hospital we had a mad rush the first week trying to get things running smoothly. If only I had set up these systems in the last trimester I would have had it easier during that first week with my son.
Oh well, my learnings will serve you well, right? So hear me out and definitely do these 5 things before baby arrives.
Here we go,
THINGS TO DO BEFORE BABY ARRIVES
Yeah, it sounds like a trend these days and you may shrug it off as an unnecessary expense just like me. But, believe me, so much time with the partner is lost once the baby arrives that you may regret not finding and cherishing those quiet moments during pregnancy.
There is no need to go on an extravagant holiday, you can simply go out for a weekend getaway. Think of it as a time to focus on the relationship and plan your life together. A way to connect with your partner before you set out on an adventurous new journey together.
Clean the house
Clean every nook and cranny of the house. Don’t miss any spot or delay cleaning for later. Once the baby comes home that special cleaning day will never come. It gets difficult to manage the house and baby at first. It’s best to keep things in order and sanitized with less stress for later.
Check for spots in the house that develop molds or insect infestation and treat these places weeks before baby arrives.
Buy new baby essentials
Now, you don’t need too many things to prepare for baby. Here is a minimalist baby essentials list that worked just fine for us. Set your baby budget and then note all the big and mandatory expenses like car seats, cribs etc. These are basics you will need to focus spending on. Then move on to the nonessentials like baby toys. Babies don’t play with toys until they are at least 6 months old, yet the most common first purchase many new moms make is a soft toy!
In many traditions, people delay buying baby essentials until after the baby arrives. But trust me you should buy everything beforehand. The third trimester is a good time to start baby shopping. Once baby arrives you may not be able to make these choices for your baby and other’s will have to pitch in and help you shop. Then you are stuck with baby items that weren’t your first choice.
Take a pregnancy and breastfeeding class
You may have heard that pregnancy and breastfeeding classes are not really needed. Believe me, they are! The more informed you are the better prepared you are for any eventuality.
There were a number of times during my first month of breastfeeding when I felt like giving up. But it was the constant support from my doctors and the information I learned at a class that helped me continue. You need to build a support system and that can only happen through knowledge. When you know what needs to be done, then can you plan and arrange for the required support.
These days you don’t even have to travel to go to a class. Online classes like The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class are easy to complete online in a self-paced manner. The class provides all the evidence-based information you need to start your breastfeeding journey. What I especially liked is the information on possible roadblocks to breastfeeding. This is the kind of information I was seeking when I started and any new mother can greatly benefit from.
Stock healthy food and snacks
Another often missed planning step is stocking up on healthy snacks and foods. In India, we have our moms and mom in laws helping us in the initial months’ postpartum. This makes us lax about planning healthy meals and snacks. This dependence on the support system to provide healthy foods sometimes can turn into a lazier approach to fitness post-baby.
Many a time the new baby takes away so much of the families time that meal prep is delayed or your support system may end up looking after you and not find time to cook you something.
What you end up with is ordered in restaurant foods or hurriedly prepared meals that may not be nutritionally balanced.
Another important point we forget when planning meals ahead of time is healthy snack options. Breastfeeding makes you ravenously hungry and if you don’t plan your snacks in advance you could be eating everything from chips to take out junk food between meals. That’s not good either.
What worked for me is to eat small healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. I thought of healthy and easy to make snacks that I could eat in between meals that required little to no preparation. Another trick was to sip on soups in between breastfeeding sessions to keep me hydrated. Here are three soup recipes for breastfeeding moms. I relied heavily on soups and smoothies the first month postpartum. I kept a thermos flask with soup next to my bed so I could keep my tummy constantly full and not end up with crazy hunger pangs and binge eat.
There you go, these are definite must do’s before baby arrives. These points sound so simple and I thought I had it covered when I went to labor. Even so, I felt unprepared once my baby was home.
- Things I didn’t think to clean suddenly became the reason my baby suffered a stuffy nose.
- The last-minute realization that the socks we bought for the baby were not the correct size.
- No-one told me about a breastfeeding pillow! And I went to class!
- My mom came over to help but between the two of us, we were engaged with a constantly crying baby. So no food for lunch on many days. We quickly figured out a system to cook food or snacks everytime baby was sleeping, this sounds so silly but this was all new learning as a first-time mom.
The point I am getting at is, there will be times you feel like “I prepared and yet I am not prepared”. A tiny little baby does put our adult worlds into a tizzy in the initial months. But you will figure it out eventually. Until then complete these 5 things before baby arrives. And welcome to motherhood!
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