Your belly is growing, and the anticipation is now sky high. You spend your time reading and watching materials that will help you feel like you know what you’re doing once the little one has entered the world. Want to know a not-so-secret fact? All those tips are valuable, but they might prove useless as well. It all depends on the baby and your dynamics, as you’re about to see. Common denominators, though? Development, sleepless nights, and a lot of stress. Sorry for saying this! We know you’re heading to the most exciting period of your life so far, but we would be doing any new mother a disservice if we told her it’s rainbows and butterflies. Because of that, here are five things you can do beforehand to make those first months easier!
1. Set Up the Nursery
You are going to spend a lot of time in the nursery, so make it as convenient for yourself as possible. Diapers and wipes should be kept close to the changing table; it should be close enough to the cabinet where you keep the baby clothes. Remember, going into the nursery will require a lot of dizziness from being woken from sleep, low light, as you don’t want to upset the baby, so take that into account. You won’t always be able to rely on finding things on the spot, so just act as if you will never be able to do that! Know where everything is well in advance, so when the baby comes, you’ll feel like you already know what to do. (Well, not really. But kind of.)
2. Stock Up on Food – Particularly Easy Meals
The person who invented easy meals should be awarded a medal. Honestly, you won’t have much time for cooking, but it doesn’t mean you should resort to pizzas all the time. (You could, but that probably doesn’t provide many nutrients to your baby!) Your freezer should be full of things that only require a quick defrost in the microwave, or alternatively, ready-to-cook meals that also only need to be reheated. We’re talking sausages, tikka masala, all kinds of stews, soups, pancakes, muffins… Smoothies are great as well, so to save your time in advance, prep smoothie ingredients in separate Ziploc bags, so once you feel like having one, put the contents in the blender with water or milk, and voila!
3. Set up Baby Leaving the House Stations
An image of a new mother and the things she carries around when going out with the baby is close to a meme. That’s because you truly do need everything! So to avoid losing and forgetting things, dedicate some things for an emergency and then forget about them. We’re talking clothes, diapers and socks that you will keep in your car and inside of your stroller. You will need a stroller that offers good storage, such as those from Maxi Cosi, and you will never have to panic when your child pukes in the park, but you have forgotten a spare shirt or a onesie.
4. Think about Diapers
We didn’t say “get tonnes of diapers” here because chances are that you will get a gazillion of diapers and then it will turn out that your baby isn’t a fan of the specific brand or type. But do your research and get small packs of as many different types as possible in newborn size – this is literally a trial and error practice. Once the baby arrives, and you find the perfect match, set up a subscription, so you are never left without a number of diapers at home.
5. Say Yes to Help
Parenting is beautiful. It’s also very hard. We get that you probably want to enjoy the new family of three (or two, or more) and keep it to yourself, at least in the beginning. But when friends and family ask you if they can come over or even stay a couple of days, don’t be quick in saying no. Yes, your house is going to be messy and you will probably smell bad. But having someone over almost always means they will offer to do laundry for you, or go shopping for groceries or just take care of the baby so you can shower for the first time this week. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness, quite the opposite. Accept it from those who have it easier in this stage of your life. After all, a shower is a blessing.
We hope we’ve given you the right hints on where your attention should go right before and right after childbirth. It’s going to be stressful, but targeting these things will be helpful, at least in the beginning. And it gets easier, we promise! You’ll realise it when your child turns three.