***This article originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Traverse Bay Family Magazine. It was reprinted with permission.***
We are neck-deep in preparations for baby #3 and I thought I would share my to-do list for when the baby comes.
For New Moms
If you haven’t had a baby before, there are a few things to think about early on:
• Find a prenatal vitamin. At the very least, get some dissolvable B12 with Folic Acid until your stomach becomes less queasy.
• Look up some morning sickness remedies before you get queasy.
• If you are usually the one responsible for feeding others, pack away some freezer meals for the days that you have no desire to cook.
• Find a midwife or OB/GYN, if you don’t already have one.
• Are you going to take childbirth classes? Which one?
If you have other children, you also need to consider:
• Sleeping arrangements? Does someone need to move from the crib to a bed? Change rooms? Leave the family bed?
• Are you nursing? Do you prefer to wean?
• Is potty training something you need to decide about? Do you want to deal with it now or later?
• Do they need to get used to more daddy time or having him take over parts of routine?
With all of these, I suggest starting them well before the baby comes. I don’t like the idea of them associating major life changes with a new baby; I want them to have the best possible start together. They will be together for a LONG time.
For the Freezer
I also come up with a freezer cooking list. There is NOTHING more useful than having 4-6 weeks worth of meals in the freezer for those days after baby comes. Don’t forget to include breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Visit GoodCheapEats.com for freezer cooking recipes and wisdom. You can also see our list from the first time. I’m still thinking about our stock the freezer list for this time since we are having a summer baby and we eat a little differently in summer than in winter. If you have friends and family bringing you meals they will stretch even further!
For the Baby
I also have a list of baby items that I consider essential:
• nursing pillow
• other nursing gear and/or formula & bottles
• burp cloths
• diapers (cloth or disposable)
• car seat
• warm weather gear (for winter babies in cold climates)
• baby clothes/sleepers
• hats/leggings for warm weather babies
For Your Memory
In addition, some people have special pregnancy traditions such as belly shots (pictures taken shortly before giving birth) or even getting molds of their bellies made. If something like that interests you, investigate your options and set your budget.
For the Birth
Finally, get ready for your birth:
• Have a birth plan & share with your OB or midwife
• Do you know who will be watching the kiddo’s while you are in labor or at the hospital?
• Supplies (bag for hospital or midwife requested)
• Traditions (birth day cake or new toy for other children are some ideas I’ve heard)
• Do you want a labor or postpartum doula or maid?
• Who is doing photos? Any no-no’s? I personally don’t care to do pics of the baby on its way out but others don’t mind. Let whoever is doing pics know!
• Do you want placenta encapsulation? What about saving the cord blood? (Google these for more information.)
Do you have any things you do that I have missed?