I want to talk about getting ready for baby and what you can do the days leading up to the arrival of baby that will help you for when you first come home with baby.
You probably will have your friends offering to help out and wondering what they can do to help you get ready for baby. They are probably pretty excited for you. This is my biggest suggestion that if you listen to you will be so happy that you did….When your friends are offering to help and no one is really sure what they can do, ask them to cook for you! Yes, cook! When you are home alone with baby and exhausted and needing good food energy and rest, you will need to sleep and eat well. You might choose to breast feed so your diet is going to be important. You will be so exhausted that you will need to sleep when baby does and you will be busy with baby when baby is awake. So ask your friends that want to help, to make some meals and package them in individual servings that they can bring over and you can freeze. You will be so happy when you are tired and hungry to have this awesome supply of home cooked meals that are healthy and nutritous and that you can simply heat up in the microwave. Trust me on this one, it will help so much.
I never thought asking for prepared meals when all my friends were offering to help me. I wish I had. There were many days where I had cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner because I was home alone with baby and just too tired and I had no energy or time to cook. So get your friends help.
You can also have your friends over for a girls evening when you are home with baby and alone. Your girlfriends will love to see and hold baby (which gives you a break) and they will probably even be willing to cook up a fresh feast for you. You will need little breaks and help like this. It will be a good little break for you. It will also allow you to have a great home cooked fresh meal that you will need to help make breastmilk for your baby.
You can also stock up on the frozen dinners as another option. Try to find healthy frozen dinners though. You have to remember that you are eating to provide healthy breastmilk for your baby (if you choose to breastfeed).
Almost every mother loves preparing the room that their little one is going to come home to. I loved getting my daughter’s room all ready. However, I knew ahead of time that I would be nervous to have my daughter sleeping in her room all alone when I first brought her home. I knew that I would want her to sleep in the same room as me so I could check on her throughout the night (until she got a little older). So I went and purchased a bed that went in my bed so she could more safely sleep with me.
I was lucky that I knew I would be wanting my daughter sleeping with me because the bed I wanted that is displayed above was on back order where I purchased it, so I had to wait for it to come in. I did receive it on time though.
The sleeping arrangement that you choose for your baby will be a matter of personal preference. If you are a really sound sleeper or are on any sedating medication after child birth, then having your baby sleep with you might not be the best idea. There is also the issue of how soundly your spouse sleeps. You have to be confident that you and your spouse will not roll onto your baby.
There are numerous sleeping options. You could get a bassinet. You could also get a playpen for your baby to sleep in. I think that the bassinet option is an expensive one because depending on how big your baby is and how fast they grow, they could be out of the bassinet in no time. The playpen option is a good one since you will likely need a playpen anyway when your child is a bit older. You might also be comfortable with having your baby in their own room. It is all a personal choice and you have to assess the situation and do what is most comfortable for you and your spouse.
Above is a picture of a bassinet. They range in price and can be expensive for the period of time you will get to use it. The playpen pictured above I think is a better value. It has a built in bassinet and a change table. Plus there is the playpen feature also. A playpen as the one pictured above is more versatile and I think is more value for your money. You can also get playpen fitted sheets as shown in the last picture of the playpen above.
Now a life saving product for me was a bouncy chair. I was able to put my daughter in a bouncy, vibrating chair and she was so happy. The bouncy chair gave me time to shower with her sitting in the bouncy chair in the bathroom with me. I could peek at her and talk to her and we were both happy. The bouncy chair was a lifesaver. It allowed me to get so much done! Bouncy chairs come with many different features from vibrating functions to different toys. They bounce with the baby’s movements.
As you can see from the bouncers I placed above, they vary in price. So check a few out. I recommend a bouncer for sure. I found the bouncer gave me those few moments I needed to shower or eat quickly or even go to the bathroom. It was a lifesaver.
Let’s talk about swings. My daughter loved having a swing. Like the bouncy chair, the swing worked wonders for entertaining my daughter and keeping her happy and thus giving me a few moments to get some things done. A word of caution though! I have found that not every child likes swings. Some parents will tell you their baby just would not sit in a swing. Swings are very expensive. So if you are going to get a swing, then keep the receipt so if your baby does not like it you can return it! The other option is to wait till you and baby get home and then go to the store and try your baby in a swing and see if they like it. Make sure the floor model is safe before you try it out though.
If you receive maternity leave and are considering sharing it with your spouse, I suggest you both sit down and talk about this. I wanted my entire time with my daughter. The time goes by so fast you will not believe it. This is a serious topic that only you and your spouse have to assess and agree on.
My most important advice is, listen to your mother’s instinct. If you have that little voice inside of you saying baby needs something or something is just not right, LISTEN TO IT! You sill have a bond with your child that is like no other bond and that no one else will have. What mother’s instinct says, GOES! If you think your baby needs something, do not let anyone else talk you out of your mother’s intuition.
There are a lot of things to consider when getting ready for baby. The factors change depending on your circumstances. Are you a single mom? If you have a spouse how much will they be home? Do you have pets that will need walking or specific care also? Are you having natural childbirth or are you scheduled for a c-section? I had a c-section and this brought about an entire new set of needs for when I brought baby home. Will you have family visiting that will be there to help you out? There are a lot of factors to consider. Take the time to write down a plan. You will likely find that as you write things down, more things that you had not even thought about will come to mind.