I know how challenging, stressful and exciting it can be to bring a new baby home. I am far from an expert at this but after having three kids I can definitely think of a few tips I would love to share in hopes of making it a little easier for someone else. This is one of the scariest times and it is nice when it can go as smooth as possible. There are so many little things you have to worry about!! My third baby came a couple weeks earlier than expected and I would have loved to have a few more things on this list done!!
Ten tips for new moms who are bringing a baby home:
Have meals prepared ahead of time- The last thing you want to worry about is what you are going to eat. It is always nice to have some freezer meals made up ahead of time so you can just pull it out, stick it in the oven and be done. If you have younger children, it is not a bad idea to have some frozen breakfasts and lunches planned also- Waffles & corndogs, won't hurt them for a week! ;o)
Be prepared EARLY- As I said above, my third child decided to come a couple weeks early. I didn't think he would really come early so I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. Needless to say, I was awake in the middle of the night trying to find clothes for baby, myself and my other two kids to make a 3 1/2 hour drive (and it was snowing!). Just have a bag packed with everything you will need. Camera, clothes, list of numbers, car seat, etc.
Make sure you know how to use new things- This may seem unimportant but who wants to worry about figuring out a new product when you are trying to figure out life with a new baby?!? I have had a stroller I could not open for the life of me...until I finally figured it out. It is nice to make sure the car seat is put together, straps good to go and you know how to use things like a new breast pump, sterilizer, etc.
Plan ahead- Decide when you want to allow visitors ahead of time so you are not put on the spot. It is much easier to turn someone down if you are not ready to have people around the baby if you already know what you are going to say. As a mom, you have the right to tell someone know if you are uncomfortable. This is also something good to discuss with your significant other and family members ahead of time.
Take care of appts/bills ahead of time- Make sure bills are paid as soon as possible and if you have children or pets that need an appointment it is much easier to get it taken care of before the baby comes. You don't always know when you will feel like getting out of the house. You also don't want to wait until the last minute and end up being late on a couple bills. This is definitely not something you want to stress about after your baby comes!
Include siblings and pets- If you have other children (or pets) it is great to get them ready ahead of time. Maybe let them help pick out a gift for the new baby so they don't feel forgotten. After the baby is born, give them special time to meet and get to know the baby as well as special time with you so they don't feel left out.
Work with pets on behavioral issues beforehand. Give them time before they meet the new baby. It might be helpful to let them sniff baby's blanket or other items before introducing them.
Make sure everything you might need is easily accessible- It is hard enough waking up in the middle of the night to feed your baby. If you have everything in one spot- close to where the baby will be sleeping this makes life a little easier. This might include diapers, wipes, alcohol wipes for umbilical cord, a bulb syringe, extra clothing, etc.
Don’t be afraid to accept or ask for help- This is one thing that is hard for most women!! We all want to be super moms and be able to do everything on our own. If possible, make sure you your significant other to help, especially at night. A close friend or family member could also help if needed- even if it meant being there so you can get a nap in during the day. Any of these people would work great for running errands for you for a week or so if needed also.
Don’t expect a perfect schedule- As nice as it is to have baby on a schedule, don't expect it. Especially at first. As you are still getting used to everything so is the new baby. The perfect schedule might not always happen at first and you don't want to be let down because of this. Plan to just go with the flow.
Enjoy EVERY minute- They are walking and talking in the blink of an eye. Ask for help if it means more time with the baby. Don't be afraid to hold them too much or spoil them. As soon as they can walk they won't want held anyways!! And take a million pictures so you can watch how they change and remember the special memories!
I hope someone finds a few of these tips helpful. I would love for you to share any tips you have!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.