posted in Parenting
I sat in the backseat of our Geo Metro next to my mewing newborn as we drove out of the hospital parking lot. As I left the safety of nurses who’d attended my every postpartum need, I felt the same awe I’d felt as a freshly minted teenage driver.
How could they let me leave? How could I be ready for this? Are there people out there who know as little as me? That last one was especially sobering as I pictured the roadways filled with spacey teenage drivers.
But as I stared at my newborn, I allowed the feelings of insufficiency to pass. I wasn’t 16 anymore. I had prepared for this, longed for this, and I was ready to welcome home my baby.
My needs have changed a little with each of my three babies, but one thing remains the same: There is never enough time. So it’s best to prep as much as you can in advance.
Here’s my list of 8 things to do and items to buy BEFORE the baby is born:
1. You’re going to need to eat. Knowing this, my husband and I spent a few prepartum evenings preparing freezer meals for our third baby. If you don’t have the time or energy to do the same, organize a meal train for yourself or ask a friend or family member to do so.
2. Consider prepping by making padsicles. I was sore for weeks with my first baby, and having these ready to go would have been such a relief. They’re easy to make and both times I’ve made them, I’ve had extra to share with other mamas.
3. Putting your hospital bag together can be fun — I loved finding just the right take-home outfit. This one has a sweet fairy tale theme, soft organic material, and cuffs that roll over newborn hands to cover scratchy little nails.
4. Have plenty of blankets on hand; I love Aden + Anais blankets. Since my baby was born in February, I decided to invest in this organic dream blanket which is larger and thicker than the company’s regular muslin blankets. This “Once Upon a Time” (can you sense a theme here?) blanket is organic and so, so soft.
5. If you plan to breastfeed, you’ll want nursing supplies. Here’s one you may not have considered: when you begin nursing, both sides may let down at once, and you’ll lose a fair bit of milk in your nursing pad or on your shirt. The Milkies Milk-Saver is a small gadget you put over your nipple inside your bra to catch those extra ounces. I found it only takes a few feedings to fill a freezer bag.
6. Have LOTS of diapers. Generally I cloth-diaper, but not during the postpartum period. I just don’t need that extra load of laundry. Pampers have a snug fit and we appreciate the pee strip indicator even as seasoned parents.
7. Find a great lotion. I like massaging my baby’s body after she’s bathed; it’s a great way to connect with her. Those brand new little muscles need some tender care. AVEENO® Baby Daily Moisture Lotion is gentle on her new skin.
8. Of course, your baby will need a place to sleep. I like having my babies near me when we’re sleeping, especially when they are too small to turn their heads. The Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper was great for us because it snugs right up to my bed and gives her her own surface to safely sleep.
As a new mom, I was so tired and felt like I could never drink enough coffee. The days are long and the nights are often even longer. Time, rest, and most of all, sleep, all feel like luxuries of the past. But I promise having these things at home will smooth the transition to parenthood. This parenting gig really can be pretty sweet — you want to make sure you have plenty of time for baby cuddles.
What items do you like to have on hand when bringing home baby?
This post is sponsored by Aveeno®. All opinions are truthful and my own.