I am 5 weeks away from having our little princess and although the excitement is high, the last few days the reality of having another baby has really hit. And I keep wondering if we are really prepared.
So perhaps it is the “nesting” talking, but I have put together a list of things we need to do in the next couple of weeks. Whether you are having your first or your fourth, the list does not change much. I hope my obsessiveness during my nesting stage can assist you on your journey to motherhood.
1. Freezer Meals – As it gets closer to your due date start preparing some good freezer friendly meals. I made sure to stock up the house on our grocery necessities and packed our freezer full of our favorite meals because the last thing you will want to be doing that first week is cooking. This gives you a break and more time to focus on your new little bundle of joy.
2. Order your MonaLisa Baby Wrap and Nursing Cover – Whether you are planning to breastfeed or bottle feed through expressing, a nursing cover is a must. I have had the awkward moment or two in the hospital while receiving visitors and baby is hungry..and did not have my cover with me at hospital. Also having our Baby Wrap at the hospital allowed Daddy to continue kangaroo-care while I was getting some much needed rest.
3. Schedule Newborn Photos – It’s a lot easier to photograph a newborn the first 4 – 12 days after they’re born. Waiting a few weeks makes a big difference because they’re more alert and usually when you change poses or try to use different props they’re fussier because they want to be swaddled. So try to book an appointment with your photographer ahead of time to ensure that you’re able to get in a newborn session, most photographers are booked so far in advanced anyways!
4. Finish Nursery – Make sure all of the last minute touches are finished and all of the baby furniture is built or bought. You want the room ready for the baby to use it as soon as you bring them home! Nothing like trying to build furniture or paint a room when you have a newborn!
5. Choose Your Baby’s Name – Some people know what they’re naming their child before they even find out their pregnant. We had a list of possible names for boy and girl, but after our gender reveal, our 3-year old started telling everyone the “name” of her new baby sister! Luckily it was my favourite anyway, so in essence, our daughter decided on her sister’s name.
6. Packing Your Hospital Bags – I started packing my hospital bags early and kept it in the car once it was packed with my previous pregnancies. It’s a good idea to have a list that you can check off once you pack the item so you know nothing is left out and what’s already packed. Rather than searching the Internet silly for what to pack (most of which was unnecessary anyway!) , ask some of your friends who had babies. Those are more helpful and useful.
7. Wash, Sort, Organize – After your baby shower I’m sure the baby room is filled with bags and bags of clothes. Start washing the clothes, blankets, and bedding with a gentle detergent. After everything is washed start sorting and organizing the clothes by size. Because your baby will be growing so fast it’s ideal to keep out a few sizes bigger so that you’re not constantly unpack and packing clothes away.
8. Schedule a Pedicure – Probably the most important tip is to take care of yourself. So take yourself out and get pampered. Because once that baby comes it’s going to be so hard to find time for yourself not only because your newborn is going to want you 24/7 but you’re not going to want to leave them! And your feet could use some attention considering you probably haven’t seen them for a few months! *Remember, if you are having a C-section, you should not have any nailpolish on your nails!
9. Date Night – With how busy your husband and you are with preparing for your new baby, you have to remember that besides becoming new parents or increasing your family size, you are husband and wife! And that date night isn’t going to come as often as it does before the baby arrives. So get in those last few dinner dates or try to get one weekend away and enjoy some alone time.
10. Sterilize Bottles and Breast Pump Supplies – Even if you don’t plan on pumping if you’re breastfeeding, it’s still a good idea to have a breast pump ready because labor is unpredictable. Some friends have had babies who were born premature or had some difficulties in the first few days, and were able to express and feed their babies even though they were incubated. So start sterilizing everything now so they’re ready to use.
11. Big Brother/ Big Sister – If this is your second (or third or fourth or fifth!) child don’t forget to show them how important their role of being a big sibling is going to be. Make them feel partof the process by letting them feel baby kick, and perhaps even make or buy the new baby a little gift. Also remember to get a little gift from new baby to her/his sibling(s) to help them celebrate the new member of your family, instead of feeling resentment towards this new little being everyone is giving gifts and attention to.
12. Finalize Plans for Other Children/ Pets – Contact your babysitter or petsitter and finalize everything to make sure you have someone to take and collect them from daycare/ school and watch your child or pets on the day of labor.
13. Finalize UIF – you can print out all the forms needed from the Department of Labour’s website and have the money paid right into your bank account (instead of waiting in long queues with a newborn). www.labour.gov.za
14. Install the Car Seat – A week or two before your due date read over the car seat manual and install it according to Safety Regulations. (Same applies to the pram – make sure both you and Daddy know how to do it.)
15. Preregister with the Hospital – Unless you want to answer your families health history and search for insurance cards during labor make sure to preregister with your hospital. Most hospitals offer this and usually recommend it. It eliminates a lot of steps that you’ll have to do the day of labor.
Lastly, remember to just rest as much as you can and enjoy as the excitement grows just as your belly grows! This is such a precious time that passes in a wink of an eye!