Hey there, expecting mama! First off, congratulations! The best days of your life are just ahead — bringing a baby into the world is such a fantastic experience. After waiting patiently for so long, you’re about to meet your future bestie!
Making sure you’re ready to bring a tiny human home can be a lot of work! To make things easier, we’ve put together our best tips to prepare you for having a baby. So, grab a big glass of water (because staying hydrated is so important during pregnancy), and let’s do this!
Stock Up on Baby Essentials
We know how it is— gathering the trendiest baby clothes consumes your days. And let’s admit it… it’s much more fun to buy cute outfits than it is boring, but important things!
After you fill your mini’s wardrobe with the latest ribbed leggings and linen rompers, be sure you haven’t overlooked these “must-haves”:
- Burp cloths
- Swaddles or a swaddle sack
- Diaper cream
- Playmat + Baby gym
- Dishwasher baskets for bottle parts
- A wearable baby carrier (we love Solly Baby’s wraps)
- White noise machine (like the Hatch Rest or Dohm)
- A NoseFrida
- A baby lounger (when you need to be “hands-free” for a few minutes)
Set Up “Baby Stations”
In those newborn days, you never want to be too far from the necessities! Fill baskets with diaper-changing supplies/feeding essentials and place them in your most-used rooms. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure to put your pump, a phone charger, and some snacks nearby. Bonus tip: Blowouts happen —any place, any time. Have an on-the-go diaper station in your car with a portable changing mat and a backup outfit!
Find a Pediatrician
Before leaving the hospital, you’ll have to schedule the baby’s first well-check appointment. Don’t forget to do your research and find the right pediatrician for your family. Baby’s first appointment is usually one week after delivery. This checkup focuses on how mom and baby are adjusting. At this visit, you will also have your first postpartum depression screening (a short questionnaire to determine your risk for PPD), the next screening will be at your 6-week postpartum appointment with your OB/GYN.
Give Everyone their Roles
You always hear that raising children “takes a village,” and now’s the time to lean on your village. Figure out who is available to help in those first few weeks after baby. Is family planning to visit? If so, see if they are able to lend a helping hand or bring a meal over. I’m sure grandma would be ecstatic to whip up some of her famous chicken casserole!
Now’s a good time to give your partner their roles too. Delegate installing the car seat and bringing the insurance paperwork — that’s less you’ll have to worry about on the big day. Go over your birth plan and let them know exactly what you need from them during labor.
Does the new baby have older siblings? Find fun ways to include them! Help them pick out a “welcome home” gift for the baby or give them the task of reading and singing to baby each night. They’ll be so happy to be involved!
Prepare for The 4th Trimester: Postpartum
Ah, the lovely 4th trimester (the real last trimester!) The 4th trimester lasts for about three months after having a baby. It’s filled with newborn snuggles, pure bliss, and a whole lot of healing.
Here are a few things you can do to make this season of recovery easier:
Go Easy on Everyone
Your entire family is going to need a little extra forgiveness right now. Everyone is going through a huge adjustment period; you’re adding a new member to the family! It’s going to take some time for everyone to settle into their new roles.
Most importantly: don’t forget yourself! You’ve just grown an entire human and soon you’ll be giving birth. Be gentle with yourself and take time to rest before your bundle of joy gets here. If you’re looking for some easy and unique ways to show yourself love, check out our blog post 5 Self-Care Tips for an Exhausted Mom.
Embrace the change and try to really soak up every second of it, because this precious season is fleeting. Good luck, mama, and remember: you’ve got this!