Having a new baby can be totally overwhelming, especially when you have no idea what you are doing. Even though we had some very frustrating moments, I prepared as much as I could beforehand which helped the transition go much more smoothly. This time around, I’m definitely preparing even more because not only will we have a new baby, but also a toddler. We will need all the help, planning, and preparing we can get! So, today, I’m going to share with you 20 ways you can prepare for baby!
- Get Your Registry Finalized – Need help creating a baby registry? Check out my Ultimate Natural Baby Registry for ideas!
- Get Your Finances In Order – Figure out costs and plan ahead. You can call your medical provider or insurance to get a range on how much to expect to pay. Try to plan and save accordingly.
- Wash Baby Clothes And Blankets – Yes, every single one of those adorable little outfits should be washed with a natural, free and clear detergent before baby wears them. Then fold them and organize. Seriously, super fun when you’re in the nesting mode.
- Order Breast Pump From Your Insurance –(This is the one I use) Almost all medical insurance companies provide breast pumps for free. Call them up and check it out. If you have the medical card (AKA Medicaid), you can get your free breast pump through your local WIC program.
- Find A Doula – Doulas are fabulous for a great birth experience. Mine was seriously AMAZING for August. She stayed with us for almost two whole days… in the same clothes, sleeping on the hospital couch. Hiring a doula can help you accomplish your birth goals, and those who use doulas are less likely to need interventions.
- Get The Nursery Finished – Just the necessities, like a dresser, crib (although it may be a while until baby transitions to a crib in their own room), and all the clothing, blankets, diapers, etc. organized. Or just have a place/space for baby. We decided not to do a baby room this time around. Baby will be staying in our room until a year, and we decided to simply use our TV stand, that is actually a dresser, to keep all of baby clothes. We will see if it works. It was a way to not have to buy another dresser.
- Place Bassinet or Pack-n-Play in Your Room – The American Pediatrics recommends rooming in until 12 months. If you are not planning to co-sleep (note: for safety reasons I just want to mention the safest place for baby is in a crib or basinet, but that is up to you my friends), then having a small bassinet or pack-n-play will do it’s job.
- Create A Birth Plan And Research/Attend Birth Classes – Creating a birth plan is a great way for you and your partner to get on the same page and share what you have envisioned for your birth. This will also give you time to discuss options and choices you want to make for your family. This isn’t a concrete plan, and you will have to be flexible because you never know what might happen… trust me, I would know.
- Prepare For Breastfeeding – If you are planning on breastfeeding, it is a good idea to start doing some research. Attend a breastfeeding class, find out which of your friends breastfed, get your partner on board, etc. Also, keep all those negative people out of those conversations. There will always be haters or people who have difficult times – don’t let them persuade you one way or another. Your baby, your choice.
- Pack Your Hospital Bag – Include your natural essentials: shampoo, conditioner, soap, glasses, contacts and solution, toothbrush/paste, hair brush, socks, essential oils (I love Plant Therapy essential oils)(clary sage can help while in labor – don’t use it any other time during pregnancy and only during active labor; lavender is also awesome during birth and during pregnancy for relaxation), nipple butter, clothes, birthing outfit (if you don’t want to use a hospital gown, a dress works well), nursing bra/sports bra/or bathing suit top, phone charger, books, food, drinks, slippers, camera, etc.
- For baby #1 I packed my husband a daddy bag with his favorite snacks and drinks- he loved it.
- Pack Baby’s Diaper Bag – You don’t need a whole lot for baby at this point… a few diapers and wipes (if you don’t plan on using what the hospital or birthing center offers), clothes (onesies, pants), hats, socks, receiving blanket, and natural body wash if you want to give baby a bath.
- Pre-Register At The Hospital – This makes checking in a bit easier and less labor-intensive (pun intended).
- Create Changing Stations Around The House – Keep a small basket or drawer for a few diapering things. That way every time the baby poops, you can just change them where you are instead of trekking across the house or going upstairs to change the baby. Really, this is organized laziness. I organize because I can be lazy.
- Prepare Freezer Meals and One-Handed Snacks Ahead Of Time – This was such a lifesaver. Not only did our friends prepare a meal train for us, but I also prepared some snacks and meals for the in-between times when we didn’t have someone bringing us meals or the meal train ended. No excuse to eat out when you have healthy homemade meals ready in the freezer.
- Have Childcare Arrangements Set For Baby If You’re Returning to Work – In our area, it is super difficult to find childcare and most daycares have like a 1.5 year waiting list. Insanity. So, if you are having to return to work, finding reliable childcare is important while you’re still able to focus.
- Prepare Childcare Arrangements For When You Deliver If You Have Other Children – Ask around on who would care for your older children when you go into labor, or at least for when you go to the hospital/birthing center. Even if you have a home birth you may not want to have children running around the house. Have a few backups, too, just in case the person you were counting on has to cancel for whatever reason.
- Prepare Older Children For New Baby – Obviously, we need to prepare and talk to our children about the changes that are going to happen when the new baby comes. Depending on the ages of your older children, your methods for prepping them will vary. I’ve heard many parents giving gifts to their older kids to give to the new baby to help them get excited.
- Install Car Seat – You can’t leave the hospital without one, so prepare this ahead of time. You don’t want to be doing this last second or while you’re in the hospital.
- Prepare Cloth Diapers – If you are planning to cloth diaper, now is a good time to get them ready. You know, before the exhaustion from having a newborn sits in.
- Talk To Family (and Friends) Ahead Of Time About Expectations When Baby Comes – Do you want visitors right away? Or do you plan on taking a week or two to spend just as a new family without interruptions? Discussing this with your partner and then with family and friends can help resolve arguments.
Bonus Tip: Prepare any DIY products you may use within the first month or so after baby is born. This could be homemade deodorant, DIY face cream, makeup, etc. This gives you some time to buy before having to make any more products.
Preparing for a new baby can be exhausting, so take advantage of any nesting inspiration or energy that you come by! What other tips do you have? I would love to hear them!
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